Rene Klein

Digital Scrapbooking Designer and Eternal Optimist

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Rounding Out My Skillset

As a photographer and digital scrapbook designer, extractions and isolations are something I'm expected to know how to do, but every technique I tried short of erasing with a 2px brush at 50% opacity looked awful, and that 2px brush took WAY too long. So I've got a backlog of about 8 years worth of photos that would make great extracted elements "someday when my Photoshop skills are good enough."

I'm no stranger, however, to clipping masks, since they're used fairly regularly in digital scrapbooking. I've also been learning Illustrator recently, so I've gotten more comfortable with the pen tool because of that. So I dove in at the deeper end of this, starting with a twig of holly, and then going for some small leafy branches, ivy, grapevine, berries, spruce twigs and finally to a small dwarf spruce bough--all within the space of a couple of weeks.

As I'll be selling my extracted items in my shop, I've chosen to omit replacing the background and create a composition with some of the items I've managed to extract thanks to what I've learned here. I added a few of my snowflake illustrations, in white and in silver glitter, for some delicate contrast. As you can see, it's turned out very well. It's shadowed internally, but the external shadows have been removed, as is normal for digital scrapbooking supplies.

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Thank you for teaching a method that allows me to finally learn an essential skill for the designing I do, thereby enabling me to add high-quality isolated elements to my kits, in addition to the drawing, painting, and typography that have made up the bulk of them so far.

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