Scotch Tape

Scotch Tape

Step 1
Create a New Layer above your photo/image.

Step 2
Make a large, long rectangular selection. Use your eye to get it the shape you think a piece of scotch tape would be. Making it much larger than it needs to be will make it easier to create the jagged edge along the ends. Don't make this out to be anything more difficult than it actually is - it's just a sharply jagged edge.

Step 3
Fill the selection with a very light gray. I used #CCCCCC from the Web Safe palette; that's the lightest gray in that palette. For obvious reasons, we can't make the tape strip completely transparent, but we'll get it pretty close.

Step 4
Use the Polygon Lasso tool (not the Freeform Lasso, but the 'triangular' looking one) and starting from the top left of the gray rectangle, create a jagged edge from left to right.

NOTE: If you've never REALLY looked at a serrated edge before, go get a roll of scotch tape and tear off a piece. Then look closely at its edge(s) to fully examine its characteristics.

When you reach the outside edge on the right, click the tool up and away from the rectangle and then back toward the beginning of the selection where you started it. Then click on the start point of the selection to close it. Now press Ctrl+H to hide the selection. Then hit the Delete key to remove the contents of the selection. If the jagged effect is to your liking, hit Ctrl/Cmd + D to deselect. If it's not, then Undo the delete and redo the selection part. (don't forget to unhide your selection - Ctrl+H)

Step 5
Now Duplicate that layer and flip the duplicate vertically (PS5+ > Edit/Transform/Flip Vertical). Then pick the Move tool, and use the arrow keys to nudge this layer down by 5-10 pixels. This part gives us a serrated edge at both ends of the tape. Now Merge this layer down onto the original layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + E).

Step 6
Scale the strip of tape down now to the size you'd like (PS5+ > EDIT/Transform/Scale). Hold down the Shift key while you drag one of the corner nodes inward toward the center. That will scale your object proportionally.

Step 7
Now, if you like, you can also Rotate the tape so it sits at any angle you want. Choose Rotate from within the Transform submenu, and drag one of the selection nodes left or right until you've got the angle you want the tape strip to be on. Hit Enter/Return to apply.

Step 8
>Next, use the Move tool to position the tape strip where you want it over top of your photo/image. Then turn down the layer's Opacity to around 50%. You can adjust this more or less as you see fit for your purposes.

There... for a simple 'scotch tape' effect, that's all you need do.
BUT... if you'd like to add a 'rubbed-on' effect to the tape, click the NEXT button below to find out a few ways of adding more detail to your tape.

Step 9 - Adding more detail
More detailsNotice the air pockets in the tape, in this sample image on the right?

Duplicate your finished tape layer, and name it 'rubbed 1'. Set the duplicate layer's Blend mode to Lighten, and turn down its Opacity further to 25%. Then click on the Preserve Transparency check box for the layer.







Step 10
Using a small, soft-edged air brush (less than half the width of the tape strip), and white as your Foreground color, paint a few strokes across the tape. Stroke it in a general direction running along the length of the tape (i.e. top to bottom). Just like you would run your thumb or finger nail over the tape to make it stick. Use your own judgment as to when the effect is real looking enough for you. If you screw up just erase the white and try again.

Note In the above sample, the lightest areas (air pockets) you see are where I applied my white paint over the tape. These lightened areas of the tape would suggest that the tape is not stuck to the photo it's holding up. And it's this small space between the tape strip and the photo's surface that allows light to reflect inside, "Rubbed-on" effectgiving the tape in those spots a lighter shade.

Ok that's one way of doing a 'rubbed-on' effect.
Here's another way to strengthen the effect, which produces slightly different results; such as wrinkles and creases.






Step 11
Duplicate the 'rubbed 1' layer you just created, and name it 'rubbed 2. Leave its Blend mode on Lighten, but raise the Opacity up to 50%.

Step 12
Now apply the Emboss filter to this layer. Use these settings to start with: Angle=90 / Height=3 / Amount=150.
Click OK to apply the filter. If you like, you can play with these settings more after you see how the effect is created.
Now turn off the 'rubbed 1' layer by clicking the eye to the left of the layer's name. Only one of the 'rubbed-on' layers can be visible at a time. Otherwise, the effect is overkill and the realism is lost.
And that about does it for this effect. I hope everyone enjoys it!


Copyright © Mark Anthony Larmand
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