How to create an old photo effect
There are thousands of different ways to digitally age a picture. The method I will describe is dead simple and although I used Paint Shop Pro X, you can easily transpose it to any other image editing software. All the more since all the required filters can conveniently be replaced with masks and brushes.
- a photo
VM Toolbox filters (optional)
Photo Ageing Kit filters (optional)
Grunge brushes (optional)
20-20 mask (as a substitute for VM Toolbox filter )
1. Open a copy of the image you wish to manipulate.
2. Apply Sepia Toning effect (38%).
3. Add a new layer and fill it with stone pattern. Set blend mode to Soft Light.
4. Add a new layer and fill it with paper pattern (scaled 60%). Set blend mode to Overlay and opacity to 30%.
5. Optional step: Add a new layer. Pick up a dark colour in your picture and use it to apply your chosen grunge brushes depending on the effect you want. You may change the blend mode and opacity and add more layers if needed.
6. Merge all layers.
7. Apply the VM Toolbox Soft Border filter with the following settings:
Transition = 43
Red/Green/Blue = 12
Transparency = 255
Padding = 7
NOTE: If you cannot use plug-ins, here's an alternative way: apply the 20-20 mask. Merge group of layers and duplicate resulting layer to get the same intensity as with the filter. Add a new layer. Move it to the bottom of the list and fill it with the darkest colour from your picture. Merge all layers.
For the above variation, I didn't use brushes on step 5. Instead I filled the layer with crack pattern and set the blend mode to Screen and decreased opacity to 50%. I then merged all layers and added a 20px white border before applying the Photo Ageing Kit Photo Frame 01 filter. I designed the corners myself on an additional semi-transparent layer.
I hope you'll have fun ageing your wear-free digital pictures. If you can use plug-ins, do experiment with the Photo Ageing Kit filters since other than vintage photo frames they offer more interesting possibilities such as scratch, dust, stain, grain and fading effects which are very easy to create.
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