top of page

Create A Photo Album Page

Ever thought of creating a page of a photo album digitally? We’re talking about the kind of effect that looks as if one took a physical photo album and then scanned over a page inside – complete with the album’s page texture, ring binders, photograph, and cellophane tape. Well, this month’s tutorial will achieve just that using a few combination of basic filters.

Step 1: Preparing the background for the album Drag a Gradient.

Import an image as texture. I chose this image: 5151650 © Claudio Divizia. Set the Blend mode to Multiply, and Opacity to 30%.

On a new layer, draw lines using the Marquee Tool and fill it with a color. When done, duplicate the lines so you will get something like the below.

Apply Strokes using the settings below.

Rotate the lines and set Blend mode to Screen, with 30% Opacity.

Merge the layers (i.e. texture and lines) together as ‘page’. Crop the layer to a size similar to below

Step 2: Creating punch hole marks for the binding  Using Round-Shape tool, I drew a perfect circle (achieved by holding down the Shift key while dragging) and then create multiple duplicates.

Merge all round shapes into one layer.

Press Ctrl/Cmd and click on the merged round shapes to get the selection. Select ‘page’ and erase the selected areas.

Go to Blending options and apply Bevel and Emboss. You may refer to my settings below.

Next, apply Drop Shadow. Now your ‘page’ looks 3D-like.

Duplicate ‘page’ and nudge it a few pixels apart so you’ll get a thicker album instead of just one page. When done, select all the page layers, duplicate them and flip this second set horizontally. Now you’ll have view of an open album with pages on both sides.

Step 3: Adding steel ring binder Create a Gradient on a new layer, and then select a small area of the gradient. Go to Filters, apply Refine Edge and set the Smooth settings to 50.

Crop that part out and use the Transform Tool to resize it to an appropriate size. This will be your steel ring.

Move steel ring so that falls on the first pair of punched holes, like the above. Create multiple duplicates of the steel ring and arrange clones until you achieved a fully-binded page like below. Merge them together. I named this the ‘binding’ layer.

Apply Strokes to the ‘binding’ layer with the following settings.

I roughly created a steel-like texture. This was achieved by adding Noise to a new layer (filled with white), and applying Motion Blur to it.

Set the page texture’s Blend mode to Multiply and Opacity to 50%. Then clip it to the ‘binding’ layer (ensure the texture layer is above the ‘binding’ layer before you hold the Alt-key and click the line between).

Step 4: Adding photo and cellophane tape Import an image (5012592 © Peter Kirillov) and create a nice little border around the image, resembling a photograph.

Create another new layer. Using the Lasso Tool, draw a shape that resembles a cellophane tape, with the serrated sides. Fill it with black. Don’t deselect just yet…

Create another layer, and using the previous selection, go to Select > Modify > Contract to shrink the selection by 1 px. Fill the selection with grey.

Again, create a new layer. This time draw two lines with a soft white brush. It acts as creases on a cellophane tape when not stuck properly.

Apply Drop Shadow, and change the layer’s Blend mode to Soft light.

Merge the 3 layers together (black, grey, and white lines) as ‘tape’, then set its Blend mode to Soft light. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp mask

Liquify tape to add in a bit of realism (nudge on the areas near the creases).

Rotate and transform as you see fit.

We can add in a bit of color to the tape using Color Overlay in its Layer style.

We can also bring down the level of brightness to improve on the tape’s visibility.

I imported this next image (901824 © Tatiana Kalashnikova) as an added texture to the photograph. Desaturate it (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + U).

Set the texture’s Blend mode to Overlay and Opacity to 25%. Clip it with the photograph layer and then merge it.

Select an area along the bottom corner edges of the photograph layer (see example below). Now, increase its brightness (I adjusted it by tweaking on the Curves).

Using the same selection, Transform and Warp the photograph – nudging in the bottom right corner a little.

Using similar selection, create a new layer and fill it with black.

Transform and Warp it so that is resembles a shadow behind the photograph.

With the ‘shadow’ layer selected, proceed to click on the Masking icon and create a gradient mask so that the shadow slowly fades out.

And we’re done!

bottom of page