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Grunge border tutorial

NOTE:I had originally taken this tutorial down for fear of the concept being "dated", however, I have had enough requests to upload it again.

This question is frequent enough now that spending time to create a tutorial on the subject is warranted. This tutorial was originally removed when version 5 of Dubtastic was released, however, there seems to be enough questions about it to at least put it back up for those who need it.

There is another tutorial that I use for the foundation of mine, at Striding Studio. While I use Strider's tutorials for the grunge border, I also take a few extra steps to create the final look and feel that I prefer for the borders. An additional requirement for this tutorial is the need for custom Photoshop brushes. While there are several places you can find brushes, I would recommend visiting my resource section for brushes. Also, it is assumed that you are comfortable with Photoshop commands. Please do not email me asking how to install a new brush that you have downloaded. This tutorial is only for the creation of the border. What goes inside of it, is up to you. With all of that said, let's get started...

For the sake of this tutorial, I will work with an image size of 500 x 500. We will begin with the foundation, as instructed in Strider's tutorial. Open your new image and set the foreground color to black (Ctrl + D). Run the following filters in order, accepting the default values:

  1. Difference clouds (Filter > Render > Difference Clouds)
  2. Palette Knife (Filter > Artistic > Palette Knife)
  3. Poster Edges (Filter > Artistic > Poster Edges)
  4. Glass (Filter > Distort > Glass)

After running the Glass filter, do a filter fade (Shift + Ctrl + F). From the pop-up menu, select Overlay as your blending mode, and hit OK. You should have an image similar to the one below:

image 1

Save this image as grunge_border.psd. You can now close the image or minimize it as you will not need it to be open for the remainder of the tutorial.

Create new image with the same dimensions as your grunge_border.psd image. Create a new layer and name it grunge border. Using your rectangular marquee tool, make a selection on the new layer similar to the one below:

image 2

Inverse the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I) and then fill the selection with black. You may substitute any color for black. This will ultimately be your border, of course.

Next step is to apply the Displace filter (Filter > Distort > Displace) on the new layer. From the pop-up menu, select the default options. Then you will be asked to select a file to use. Select your grunge_border.psd file and click OK. You should now have a border similar to the one below:

image 3

Now that you have your foundation, you most likley will want to build on top of that. The remainder of this tutorial is purely creative and specific steps are difficult to outline. I will merely provide you with a few pointers and examples of what I do to create the borders.

If you wish to keep a sharp edge on your border, leave it as is. If you want a softer, corrosion-like feel to it, you will need to blur the entire layer once (Filter > Blur > Blur). For all of the example images you will see below, I will apply the blur filter.

If you want to take the corrosion even further, you will want to make use of the brushes that you downloaded. Using your eraser tool, select one of the new brushes and randomly click on the grunge border. This will "eat" away at the grunge border. Depending on the texture of the brush, it will not completely erase the border, but leave some rather nifty effects. =] Below is an example of what I mean:

image 4

Next step is to add some additional pieces to the border, be that some grunge text or other rough elements. Try experimenting with various text, brushes, lines, etc. Once you are happy with what you have, merge the new layer into the grunge border layer (Ctrl + E). Below is an example:

Grunge Border Tutorial
Click to enlarge

There is not a right or wrong way to go about this tutorial, much like most of the tutorials I have seen. You are only limited by your own creativity. There are several ways you can tweak this tutorial for a different outcome. For instance, you could change the settings when creating the initial grunge_border.psd file. Or you could add, remove, edit the various components of the border. Another key point to mention that the border is only a subcomponent of the final image. Try not to let the border take over. =]

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