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New Project Guidance needed

I have a project in mind for three 1800's photos and need a little advice on the simplest way to achieve this...I have in my mind what I want it to look like but don't know the steps how to achieve it..:banghead: ............Highly ambitious for a beginner with just basic knowledge but one must try to improve by doing it I think
All three are separate small pictures of poor quality, no clarity. and not scanned in HR.....Two are the couple and the third is the old house they lived in.... and I'll finish the third picture sometime today, then I will need whatever advice I receive from everyone.
My idea is to make make three ovals in the matte somehow...the center one being more elongated than circle for the old house... and the man and woman on each side of.
Keeping in mind the pictures are not shape, I think I need to keep the matte and frame some what muted as not to over power the composite and make it look to modern and fake...correct?
Trying to figure it out myself..... I found out I couldn't make three circles on one page with the Elliptical Marquee Tool....or rather I am doing it wrong as nothing would hold but one circle....(first time using this tool)....my newbyism showing ;)
I Googled and found these PS6 instructions but need to ask...are these the simplest or the bes to follow or are there others somewhere...a youtube video would help greatly....
Cast a eye over them and see what you think....Is this what I need? My photo wont be aa 6x10 or anything that large as the photos look better staying smaller to hide the lack of clarity, so does his instructions still hold?
[FONT=&amp]1. Open image in PS6. Before you do anything else, double click
background copy in the layers pallet and rename “Photo”[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]2. Select > all. Go to Edit> stroke, 2 pixels in black[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]4. Make duplicate layer.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]5 Go to Layer> layer style> innershadow add 5 pixel distance and
size. You can adjust these to your own taste later. Important,
keep the angle on everything at 120 degrees[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]6. Make new layer, title it “First Matte”. Drag it to
the bottom of the layers pallet. Go to Image> canvas size. Add .5
to both the width and height of this layer. Click OK.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]7. Go to Select> select all. Go to Edit> stroke. Add 2 pixel black
stroke to the “First Matte” layer. At this point
select a color for the first matte. Try a medium color for this

[FONT=&amp]8. Still on the “First Matte” layer, go to Layer> layer
style> bevel and emboss. Style “Inner bevel”, 7 or 8
pixel size, click the "down" button. Make sure angle is always 120
degrees. You can add a texture to the 2 mattes any time you choose.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]9. Make new layer, title it “Second Matte”. Drag it to
the bottom of the layers pallette. Go to Image> canvas size and
resize to 8”X10”. Click ok.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]10. Select a complimentary color and add with Paint Bucket. Add
texture if desired.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]OK, at this point you should have a finished matted picture. You
can save and keep all the layers in this picture for future changes.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]Now for the frame:[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]11. Make a new layer. Title it “Frame” and drag it to
the bottom of the layers pallette. Go to Image> canvas size and
resize the “Frame” layer. Add 1 additional percent to
the short side. For example, Landscape - width 104%, height 105%,
Portrait - Width 105%, Height 104%. Fill using paint bucket with
color of your choice. (Got this from MHL, Thanks, don't know why
it works this way, but hey!)[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]12. Go to Layer, layer style> inner shadow - add. Go the bevel and
emboss, select “outer bevel” and click the down button.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]13. Activate the “Frame” layer, Go to Layer> layer
style> bevel & emboss. Select “inner bevel”, click the
“up” button. You might at this time stroke the frame
with a 2 pixel black stroke[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]At this point you should have a matted picture with a frame. Lets
put a background under it.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]14. Make a new layer, title it “White Back” and drag it
to the bottom of the layers pallette.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]15. Go to Edit> canvas size and resize to 120% on both height and

[FONT=&amp]16. Fill white color with paint bucket.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]17. Go to “Frame” layer, activate, go to Layer> layer
style> drop shadow. Set to distance 50 pixels, size 50 pixels.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]That’s about it folks. Remember, keep the angel at 120
degrees (unclick the "global light". Hope I didn’t forget
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I am not near a computer with PS on it at the moment so I cant show you a screen shot but if you want to make 3 separate selections with any of the marquee tools just make sure you have "add to selection" selected.


If you then want to put a stroke around the selection create a new layer and then on the edit menu select stroke.


I don't wish to sound rude but I really didn't understand what it was you are trying to achieve, sorry.

All I gathered was that you have three images and that you cannot create three circular marquees.
Furthermore, you then ask if some random [BAD] instructions are what you need.

I read through those instructions, I even followed them with an example image, this is the result...


Now....call me old fashioned but I see no correlation between this and what you described....it didn't contain anything you wanted to do...well, at least I don't think it did.

To be honest, instructions like these are just one reason people find PS difficult to use.
Some of those instructions are just impossible, some unnecessary, some contradictory...the rest are just wrong, misleading or plain daft.
There is even an error right there in the very first step..."double click background copy..." since when did opening an image create a background copy? :banghead:

Didn't anyone ever tell you not to accept instructions from strangers! :rofl:

Lets make things easy, why not just post an example image of what you want to do?
Failing that just scribble something down in PS, or screenshots, or anything 'visual' really.....remember Arlo Guthrie? (twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows)

Doesn't have to be a work of art, just informative.

An image is always better for describing what you want to do, info like "the third is the old house they lived in" is nice, but not very helpful, not really relevant to your question at this time.

I'm sure with the right info someone can help you out, in fact I almost guarantee it, I'd even make a video especially for you, but.....its got to be crystal clear what you want to do.

I'm surprised you felt the need to find [BAD] help elsewhere, why didn't you come here first?

Apologies if that sounds harsh, I'm on your side....honest.

No worries Mr. Tom, I highly respect and value your comments when I needed guidance before... Its my fault for not being entirely clear what I am attempting to learn how to do, and do it the correct way.
I try not to bother anyone for trivial subjects as I know ever one is very busy.... usually I search online tutorial's then practice it and I know what you mean about there are some terrible ones out there...
I made a really bad, rough, throwed together idea what I want to create...I can do the small things when the small pictures are completed....but this is what I have in mind. Three pictures, 2 circles and one oval....matte over the top in a matte color.......text to be added at the end.
I must state this is a personal project not a request from anyone, just something I want to learn in case I ever need to know.

Rough Draft of Project.jpg
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At a better machine now so here are some screen shots.

I think you could look at layer styles as well.

As I understand it you want to create some oval frames. This is how I would start to approach it.

Create 2 oval selections - with add to selection selected.

frame 1.jpg

Create a new blank layer and from the edit menu add a stroke - in this case 20 pixels
frame 2.jpg

Ctrl + D to deselect

Then from the fx dialogue box select styles at the top and choose a style you like - this was a downloaded style (just google free layer styles for photoshop and you will find loads).
frame 3.jpg

This is what it is like on its own


Sorry for the delay, lunch was calling.

...I try not to bother anyone for trivial subjects...
Its no bother...and its only trivial IF you know how to do it, which I assume you don't, which is why you are asking...and so on round in circles.:rofl:

...I made a really bad, rough, throwed together idea what I want to create...
Doesn't matter how rough....that one image says everything about what you want. If any finer detail is needed its now easy to reference back to that image when asking for it.

...Three pictures, 2 circles and one oval...
Excellent. I missed the 'two circles' bit in my following video but as with the image content, (house they lived in..etc), it doesn't matter, the image content is irrelevant as is the shapes....ANY shape can be created in exactly the same way, and used with ANY image.

So, on initially seeing that image TWO things immediately sprang to mind....which for me is an achievement in itself.

1. De-construct the elements of the image.
A. Black 'background'.
B. 3 images of a certain shape.
C. Text layer.

2. Is this a 'one-off' or a template.

The second will define 'how' you re-construct the first.

Here are three examples of achieving the same thing:
1. Have one 'background' layer and a layer mask for each image layer above it. Text on top...


2. Have one 'background' layer, above that, group the image layers and add a mask to the group. Text on top...


3. (What you are thinking of) A solid 'fill' layer above the three image layers. Text on top...


The first video below shows the three methods above, including how you can change a 'mask' with different tools.
The second is just me showing how to create marquees with various tools including adding to, subtracting from and exclusive combinations. Its is similar to Johns only instead of using the menu icons I have used the modifier keys...you can see the keys used in the top right hand corner of the UI (Adjust to taste for non-windows OS).
You'll also see those menu bar icons change with the modifier key combinations although the icons are never actually clicked.
Also note the CURSOR. It too changes with the modifier keys to let you know what you are doing...'+', '-', 'x'.

Note there is NO AUDIO on either video.



If you need a less 'general' example / explanation / guidance then don't hesitate to ask....even if you think it's trival.

I've neglected to include 'vector masks' at this stage although this is exactly the sort of situation where they would be useful. (Especially in a template)
We can go over those at a later date if you desire.

Mr Tom, you don't know how much I appreciate the time and effort you went to to show me how and included two videos which are excellent. I will be practising these techniques and applying them to future projects for sure..... Thank you again sincerely for all your help