Ragged edges, fuzzy, photo frames

NOTE: I suppose that you have Adobe Photoshop (better CS version) and you have spent some time to learn basic shortcuts and tools. All tutorials was done on CS version under Microsoft Windows XP. All tools and filters parameters are set up for a good quality images (minimum 300 dpi). Don’t work with JPG images!

I notice that there is many threads on forums and blogs dedicated to photo frames and image borders. People spend money to buy expensive plugin’s and applications waste time to find more frames on Internet. I Have decide to tell you a bit about how to create frames with the only tool you need Adobe Photoshop!

This is the first framing tutorial and it will explain how to create most interesting frames. Have you ever saw fuzzy (dirty) frames which designers often use in their artwork? Do you really think they use complex additions for Photoshop? )) No, they only play around with their experience and standard filters. Take a look on this site design, on head image and on footer, do you see ragged edges? believe me, this is a VERY simple trick which you will learn from this tutorial and which can be applied for photos and designs.

Lets play. Open your photo. Good quality, 300 dpi, because I will use filter settings for high quality images, if you use lower quality images you will need to take smaller values for filters!

The first step we will start is to create a new layer. Depends on your needs fill this layer with black or white color. Black for black frame, white for white ) If you Decide to create a black frame, then you will need to set this new layer in to Multiply blending mode.

Here is my result for first step:

The next step we will do will tell most people EVERYTHING. With the new layer - Select ALL [CTRL-A]. Now go to menu Select->Modify->Border and create a border from selection with WIDTH value 200.

Now, we can play with two types of borders, SIMPLE (like we have) and FEATHERED. Feathered border is same we have now but the selection is also feathered Select->Feather (I use minimum value 100).

Here is my result for this step with simple and feathered border selection:

Next we will create MASK for our layer. We already defined the selection for such mask, so, everything we need to do is to add it. Press add layer Mask button in layers panel. Actually, we have create our first basic border now.

Here is my result:

Left: Mask from simple / Mask from feathered
Well, now I can only suggest and point you on possible next steps. We will play with FILTERS applied to our mask.With mask selected (press on it) go to Filter-> Filter Gallery. Filter Gallery is powerful toy to play around with many filters applied one by one.

NOTE: You can add as many filters as you wish directly in filter gallery. Just press “New effect layer” button directly in filter gallery dialog.

Let me show you some results of filters combinations:

Left: Grain & Spatter / Right: Water Paper & Rough Pastels
Left: Sponge & Inc Outlines & Dry Brush / Right: Sponge & Grain & Mosaic Tiles & Cutout

NOTE: It will take some time until you understand what filters do. Just try to remember the effect and think “what will be if I will use this after this”. For example: Cutout filter is very good if you need to smooth the result.

Left: Sponge & Mosaic Tiles / Right: Sponge & Grain
Left: Spatter & Sponge / Right: Spatter & Water Color

NOTE: This last sample is result of simple (not feathered border selection)

And here is my simple white border. I will show you filters settings for this one:

1) GRAIN: 100 / 100 / Regular
2) MOSAIC TILES: 2 / 15 / 10
3) WATER PAPER: 50 / 87 / 89
4) DRY BRUSH: 10 / 10 / 2

Now you can play with filters and create as much you own frames as you wish. You can record them as Actions to reuse in the future. Just be creative and you will find your own good result. This is only tutorial, so, you might don’t like samples, I actually don’t use such frames for my photography, but I wanted to show you possible solution.

44 Responses to “Ragged edges, fuzzy, photo frames”

  1. Roge Photo Home - ragged edges photo frames Says:

    […] TutorialsRagged edges, fuzzy, photo frames […]

  2. moshe Says:

    Great tutorial (and great photo)
    waiting for your next tutorial.

  3. czisdso Says:

    this is very cool thank you

  4. john dennis Says:

    your tutorial is realy great me your’e awesome

  5. Jose Germosen Says:

    hey very nice tut ,very detailed, i couldnt find any good border tuts Gj.

  6. Luis Says:

    Great tutorial, Superb Photos, Gracias A Lot..!!!!!

  7. mamkho Says:

    Dear Roge, excellent work!!! Very helpful tutorial. I admire your talent. Can you give a tutorial on the black simple but very elegant frames in your gallerie? Thank you.

  8. roge Says:

    mamkho: It is most simple border ) I really don’t know what to write in the tutorial. But we can discuss Action or Script for such borders.

  9. Alex Says:

    when i add a filter to the mask it adds i to the whole picture. Do you know why it does this?

  10. roge Says:

    9: Select the mask first (click on it).

  11. tadas Says:

    truly good leason. Thnks

  12. virso Says:

    Great job Roge! Thank you for your tutorial!!

    from brasil, virso!

  13. Nigel Sparg Says:

    not only is your web site great, your PS tips are very easy to follow.

    great site. well done.

  14. Marshall Says:

    Thank you!!! This is a really cool effect that will get alot of useage! Again thank you!

  15. faheem Says:

    well well guys good work thanks u all

  16. Shawn Says:

    Hmm. I’m doing something wrong here. At the point where I apply the filters the effect is applying across the entire image, not just the edge. I’ve made sure that I have the mask thumbnail selected. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

  17. Lisa Says:

    Thanks so much for your great tutorial. You saved my cheese today at work. I owe you a nice lunch.

  18. METJM Says:

    only perfect


    jean marc

  19. Sue Says:

    Maybe I’m doing something wrong too, but I get the filter gallery effect on my whole picture too, not just on the edges. Is that the way it’s suppose to be?

  20. roge Says:

    sue: “With mask selected (press on it) go to Filter-> Filter Gallery”

  21. Sue Says:

    Roge, I got it, thanks. This is great! Sue.

  22. mp lorelli Says:

    thank you I will try this it looks beautiful

  23. D. Says:

    I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks awesome

  24. reid Says:

    When doing the Simple White Border, even with the mask selected, the Water paper filter covers the whole picture,not just the border. All the other filters work OK

  25. Craig Says:

    Smooth Operator….:D
    Thanx a lot from Hungary

  26. Joe Says:

    Thanks Roge, your art work is beautiful and the tips very helpful.
    keep up your good work.

    Thanks from Brazil

  27. evilPrince Says:

    MARVELLOUS!!!!! thank you!!!! dude, you ROCK!!!

  28. Bogi Magnussen Says:

    Excelent tutorial, you have saved me tonnes of work, thank you!

    By the way, nice portfolio.

  29. saeed Says:


  30. Tracie Says:

    When I apply the filters, they’re applying to the whole image, not just the mask. I am selecting only the mask, not the whole RGB image before I apply the filter effect. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  31. Paul Says:

    brilliant! thank you!

  32. paw-e-l Says:

    thanks a lot :)

  33. Steve_T Says:

    Thanks for showing me what the layer mask can be used for.
    Tip use blending options layer style to further refine frame.

  34. Tony Says:

    Wow! Thanks for the Tut! Beautiful work!

  35. ebe Says:

    Waaooo…..Thanks for you..tutor…

  36. scott dickson Says:

    the last one is just what i was looking for. man, you’re a genius! =) i love the effect it had on the website i was developing. kudos

  37. vk Says:


  38. Melinda Says:

    “Press add layer Mask button in layers panel.” HOW? Step by step. Thank ypu! (Sorry, I am a beginner.)

  39. greg Says:

    I was having trouble too with the effect being applied to the entire image. After creating the new layer (black or white), I was making a border on the new layer, not my original image layer. Once I made the border on my original image layer, it all worked out great. Melinda, the add layer mask button is in the layers box, right next to th e “Fx” button…look for a square with a cirlce in it.
    Thanks Roge for the tips!

  40. hanpedro Says:

    Thank you for your valuable post.

    This save me.

  41. Poe Chen Photography » Blog Archive » Designing My Header Image (Photoshop CS4) Says:

    […] Blurred Edges | Photoshop Basics Roge Photo Home – Ragged Edges, fuzzy, photo frames […]

  42. hh9sc9l Says:

    Absolutely agree with previous reports

  43. Brook Says:

    I was having trouble with the waterpaper filter covering my entire picture, too. What I did, was adjust the settings for the watercolor paper to 50/74/89. By reducing the middle number, it did not affect the whole photo. Took me forever to figure that out.

    Thanks for a great tutorial!

  44. EIleen Says:

    This works great! One question: I’m trying to place this image in a InDesign layout that has a colored background. How can I make the white border transparent?

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