Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Design Your Own Picture Frames in Corel PHOTO-PAINT

by Steve Bain
Whether you use the majority of your digital photos for personal albums or professional layouts, you can add interest and creative flair by applying frames. You can do this quickly and easily in Corel PHOTO-PAINT 12 (or any recent version) by using a simple filter effect. To demonstrate the effect, I've used the prime photo album candidate shown below.

  1. In Corel PHOTO-PAINT, open a digital photo that is ready for framing. Choose Effects > Creative > Frame to open the Frame dialog (see below). You'll see two tabbed areas and a collection of options and tools for selecting and modifying your new frame.

  2. Start by clicking a frame entry in the Select Frame column. Choose a frame style by clicking the selector button to browse the previews and then clicking to select a style. The frame path is added to the list. In the View column, the eye symbol indicates that the frame style is currently in use (see below).

  3. With the frame style still selected, click the Modify tab (see below). Choose a solid frame color by clicking the Color selector button to make a selection from the palette list or by choosing the Eyedropper tool and clicking a source color directly from your digital photo.

  4. Use the Opacity slider to control the degree of transparency for your frame style, and use the Blur/Feather slider to soften the edges of the frame pattern (see below). Depending on your preview method, the effects of the current settings are displayed either in the dialog or directly in your open image window.

  5. If you like, you can also set the merge mode of your frame transparency by choosing the Add or Multiply option from the Blend drop-down list. Merge modes control how the color of your frame reacts with the colors in your digital photo (as shown below).

  6. To control the size of the frame, use the Horizontal slider or Vertical slider, or both, and use the Rotate option to rotate the frame pattern 360 degrees. To center the frame pattern on a specified point, click the Align button, and click a point on your photo. Use the vertical or horizontal Flip button to change frame orientation, or unlock the Maintain Aspect Ratio lock between the sliders to produce a nonproportional shape, as shown in the example below.

  7. When your frame style modifications are just the way you like them, you can use the Presets options to save all your current settings. Click the Add (+) button to add the current frame and settings to the Presets list, or click the Delete (-) button to remove a selected preset from the list. 8. With your frame modifications complete, click OK to apply the frame to your digital photo. By mixing and matching frame styles and modification settings, you'll have no shortage of creative avenues to explore for stirring your creative juices. As you do, you'll discover that the shape and color of the frame are the key ingredients. Dark-colored frames often work best on light-colored photos (see below), and vice versa.

    You can create a balanced effect by using the Eyedropper tool to match the frame color to a visual element in your photo. Softening the frame edges by using a subtle blur/feathering value can also improve the look. The examples shown below are a small sampling of the frames that you can quickly create by using this creative filter.
Steve Bain is an award-winning illustrator and designer, and the author of nearly a dozen books, including CorelDRAW: The Official Guide.

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