Graphics - Borders

DRAW A BOX

When drawing a shape it normally consists of two components - an outline and a fill area. In the case of wanting to apply a border to an existing image, you will actually be drawing an empty box and using its edge to frame the image. So after picking the rectangular option for the Shape tool, make sure that it is set to outline mode (or stroked) with no fill setting. If you are using Paint Shop Pro 7, you will need to click on the tiny arrow on the colour swatch for Fill, on the right side menu, and select the 'null' option (it's the farthest on the right). Check that the colour of your border is the colour you want, too. In addition, the width of the line will also have to be adjusted to suit the image.

Selecting anti-alias will make a soft edge where the border interacts with the image. Next, draw the box around your image. By now you will have noticed two things: it can be fiddly getting the box exactly where you want it and, if you use a thick-lined border without increasing the size of your canvas, then the border will cover edges of your image. There is a solution . . .

INCREASE THE CANVAS

If you simply want to add a border to an existing image, then increasing the size of the canvas is a quick and easy way to do it. In this example I want to add a medium-sized border to this picture to recreate its authentic 60s' feel. I am using a slightly grey colour, as white will appear too stark for the age of the picture. Whatever colour you select as your background will become the colour of the border. In the example below, the original image was 1850x1400 pixels wide. A border of about 3-5 per cent on each edge is generally enough, so I increased the canvas to 2000x1520 pixels. If your image must be an exact size, you can always resize after adding the border. To change the canvas dimensions, choose Image-Canvas size from the menu (this is for both Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop) and enter the new values. Make sure that the options to centre the image vertically and horizontally are selected, or your border will be skewed to one side. Click OK and a new border should appear.

SELECT-INVERT

Last month, this column discussed the Select tool. This, too, can be used in a range of ways to add a border.

First, use the select tool and drag out an area where you want a border. By using the Select-Invert option from the menu, you will have now selected the area between the marquee and the edge. You can change this area using a wide range of tools. If you hit the key, this area will become the colour of your background. You could also fill in the colour by using the bucket tool, spray can or paint brush. There are many more sophisticated methods for adding textures - a bit of experimentation can go a long way (filters can also produce some interesting results). There is no need to stick with the rectangular frame - you can use other options such as the ellipse select tool and combine it with feathering. The end result can be like those cheesy frames that are frequently sold on temporary stands at shopping centres.

CUT AND PASTE

This is yet another way to create a border, but it can be cumbersome - particularly with very large files. After determining your image's dimensions, calculate how wide your want the border and add the numbers together. Select and copy the entire picture you want to frame, then create a new image with the larger dimensions. Paste the image and then move it into the position you want.

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