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Make heads turn by creating a realistic curling page

Added on Wednesday 27th of April 2005 12:51 am EST


Adobe Photoshop 7/CS

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


Photoshop, Page Curl, Turning Page, Depth

Finding new ways to make your design stand out can sometimes be a challenge when working in two dimensions. Adding a page curl to your piece is a great way to add another dimension.


To enhance your piece with a page curl, we’ll:

       Create a path to serve as the foundation for the technique.

       Fill the path with a gradient to give the curl depth.

       Enhance the page curl with a drop shadow to add realism to the page.



Adding a page curl is an easy way to grab your viewer’s attention. It can serve as a placeholder for a marketing message, like the image shown in Figure A, or simply to make the image appear to jump off the page. In either case, it’s a simple technique with multiple possibilities.




Create the foundation

To get started with this technique, you’ll need an RGB flattened image to work with. If you prefer to follow along with our example, download from the URL at the beginning of this article, and extract the file grapes.psd. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Once you open your image, you’ll need to add a path to define the borders of the page curl.


To create the path:

1. Determine where you want to put your page curl.

2. Select the Pen tool pen tool from the Toolbox.

3. Click the Shape Layers button shape_layers on the tool options bar.

4. Draw a triangular shaped page curl, similar to ours shown in Figure B. This creates a new layer with a vector mask.




Create and apply the gradient

We’ll need to use a gradient to apply to the page curl to give it the illusion that it’s actually popping off the page. We’ll create a gradient using white and a light purple sampled from our image.


To create the gradient:

1. Set the foreground color to white.

2. Click on the background color and sample a light color from your image or another one you might prefer, and then click OK.

3. Select the Gradient tool gradient_Tool from the Toolbox and choose the Linear Gradient option on the tool options bar.

4. Click on the gradient on the tool options bar to display the Gradient Editor dialog box.

5. Select the first color stop at the bottom of the Gradient bar, and choose Background from the Color pop-up menu. Do the same for the last color stop on the right.

6. Add another color stop to the Gradient bar by clicking underneath the Gradient bar.

7. Choose Foreground from the Color pop-up menu, and enter 35 in the Location text box. Your Gradient Editor dialog box should look similar to the one shown in Figure C.

8. Click OK.



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