How to Scatter Leaves… digitally
November is here. The beautiful, vibrant colors of Fall will soon be a distant memory. Mother Nature brings cool air and the leaves fall – scatter everywhere.
This Photoshop tutorial will teach you how to “digitally” scatter leaves. You will need Photoshop CS6 to use this tutorial. It consists of several parts, so get ready, set, GO!
GET THE NATURE SET IN YOUR SHAPES MENU
The leaf shape is in the NATURE custom shape set which comes with Photoshop. If it is not already in your shape menu, then all you have to do is add it.
1. Click on the shape preview thumbnail in the options bar to open the shape picker.
2. Click on the small arrow in the top right corner of the shape picker. This opens a menu with many options. In the bottom is a list of additional shape sets that were installed on Photoshop.
3. Choose the Nature set. and click append, and OK. Now the Nature set will be in your shape menu.
MAKE A LEAF BRUSH WITH YOUR LEAF SHAPE
Why would you want to do this, when you could easily use the shape tool? Because there are many more ways you can use it in brushes, such as scattering, color dynamics and more.
1. Open PS, go to file>new. Since I am going to make a leaf brush, I am going to make a square size: 2500 pixels by 2500 with transparent background at 300 dpi.
2. Ctrl j to duplicate layer. Click on shapes tool in tool presets. find leaf that you want to use. draw leaf shape as large as you can on your layer Fill: black. no stroke see screenshot.
3. Go to edit>define brush preset, name it, click ok it is now in your brush pre-sets.
PART 1: MAKE THE LEAF BORDER BACKGROUND PAPER
We will make the background paper first by adding color, using a layer mask and stamp with leaf brush the border, and then clip a plaid background to the colored paper.
1. file>new choose what size you want it to be. I suggest you use the dimensions that you need for the image you plan to put the border on. I used 20×16. The image I have in mind has dimensions 10×8 so it will fit perfectly. Enter Width: 20 in, Height 16 in, res 300, Set background as transparent
2. Ctrl>j to duplicate layer, then choose layer>new fill layer>solid color. choose color from color picker, OK
3. Press D to set foreground color to black, click on layer mask to activate layer. Click brush tool in tool box.
4. Go to window>brush to see brush presets. choose leaf brush. set size to 1500, spacing to 25%. check the boxes for shape dynamics, scattering, transfer and smoothing. Begin stamping design around edges to create design.
5. To add additional pattern choose layer>new fill layer>pattern. ok, choose pattern ,ok
6. To inlay pattern to solid color area only, leaving leaves transparent, you must create a cliiping mask. To do this click in the empty area of the layer to bring up the layer menu, click create clipping mask. I use the opacity slider to lighten my pattern.To make the pattern larger you can doubleclick the pattern and increase the scale. In the image, I scaled my pattern up to 800 and decreased the opacity to 15%. Save in psd format. close window.