This Photoshop Tips & Tricks reader asks about creating a grid effect using Photoshop. Photoshop911.com is pleased to answer, here in the Design & Publishing Center, and the Photoshop Tips & Tricks Department

Making Grid Masks in Photoshop

The Question from S. Evans in Illinois
I'm trying to find an easier way to recreate an effect like this. What I have been doing is creating a layer, filling it with black, and then using the "Tiles" filter in PS to create white lines. I then "magic wand" the white lines and "Layer via Copy". Then I place my images in a layer between my black layer and the white "grid" layer. Maybe this is the fastest way, but it certainly seems like alot of trouble. Likewise, I'm wondering if there are any tips for doing things like this with, say, rounded rectangles spaced a few pixels apart. Thanks!
 
Photoshop 911 Replies:effect
The grid would be easier in Illustrator, so it fit the specific size and number of boxes you neeeded -- then brought into PS as a MASK or channel as described below.
      In Photoshop, you've got a pretty good method. However, I believe you would save a little time, and gain a lot of flexibility by setting up a single grid square as a pattern. See enlargement

Do this by creating a single grid square exactly the right size for the project, then fill it BLACK.

  • Add a white strip down the right side as the grid spacer
  • Add a matching white strip across the bottom to match up with the right grid spacer.
  • Select it, choose Edit > Define Pattern. (You can name it and save it)
Create a Pattern Layer or Mask
Now you can FILL a layer or a mask with your new pattern and presto, there's the grid.
  • Select the Fill Bucket tool (tap "G" or Shift/G) which is on the Gradient tool pull-out
  • Note the Options Bar will say "Foreground" Click that button and select your new pattern
  • Click the layer and it should fill with the new pattern
  • Click a new Channel to fill a Channel with the new pattern.
Using the Magic Wand method
As for your "magic wand" selections method, Photoshop will generate some 'gray' pixels, possibly fogging the true grid. In the pattern method, you've used only pure black and white. Now rather than using the Magic Wand, you can choose the Select menu > Color Range and specify 1 / white and all the grid spacers will automatically be selected.
      Now you can select the layer with the image to be gridded and delete.
      Or, if you filled a CHANNEL with the pattern, you can now use that pattern as "cookie cutter" over and over again on successive image layers.
      Any time you want to cut out the grid, simply click the Load Selection button (dotted-circle) in your channels palette, then return to the layer with the image to see the racing ants of the grid -- now delete, or fill with white.
The Example
This example you sent in used four separate images... the guy, the document and the composite montage of money.
      With a channel containing the grid, you simply drag-and-drop in each new image, load the selection, and your next layer is ready. Much quicker than repeating the gridding steps. It also facilitates the ability to then add layer styles or effects to each of the individual photos.
      Note in your example, the "entrepreneur" image got selective blurring, and the money image was blending of two photos together using gradient masking. (Techniques shown elsewhere in this section.)
      Once the images are as you want them, simply remove the channel and flatten for output.
Rounded rectangle grids
If using rounded rectangle, then you're best advised to use the Vector object, and duplicate a series of those for your grid. All vector objects can then be used as clipping paths -- to segment your images 'cookie cutter' fashion. Remember that if the file is to be rasterized for use as a bitmap, or a web graphic, then the round corners will introduce antialiasing, eliminating your nice, hard grid edges.
   Please let us know if you found this helpful!
 
From Photoshop 911 Case #04/02/2003
In the Design Center:
visit our sponsors

make them pay

Win Prizes
Link to Photoshop Tips & Tricks and you can win prizes. Click and let us tell you all about it!

Back to the index

Sharon Steuer's Famous "Zen of the Pen" Seminar
... Master the "Zen" of using the pen tool in Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark XPress, and other software programs with this Certified Training session in downloadable PDF format!
http://www.design-u.org/~zen/index.html
Post your questions and tips to the Photoshop 911 hot line
If we don't have the answer, we turn to the Photoshop Bibliography in the Designers' Bookshelf and select books until we find the answers for you. Sometimes answers are the composite of information from several of the books --- always edited and written to give you the fastest possible answer in the shortest possible number of words.
If you have a Photoshop related web site, or you know of a good Photoshop tutorial based web site, why not list it in the Photoshop 911 Search Engine soon to appear at Photoshop911.com
Get Published
If you'd like to publish in the pages of DT&G then read the Readers Guidelines or just contact us
Got a tip? Get a treat!
Send your tips... if they're published, you'll get a chance to select goodies from the Designers' Bookshelf!
Thank you for visiting
. . . the Photoshop Tips & Tricks department of the Design & Publishing Center   Don't forget: this is a reader-driven web site. We need your input and participation to continue bringing great content to Photoshop users everywhere at no charge.

High content, low noise since 1990

DT&G ezine has been bringing quality design, typography and graphics help to desktop publishers, graphic designers, graphic artists and visual communications practitioners since it's debut on CompuServe and the Mug News Service (MNS) in 1989. The Design & Publishing Center was launched in 1994 and continues to be one of the few remaining web sites to deliver a 90% content to noise ratio -- featuring graphic design, photography, typography, illustration and imformation for designers, graphic artists, creative directors and anyone involved in desktop publishing, design, art, illustration or other visual communications fields.
      Copyright 1993 through 2003, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Although DT&G's Photoshop Tips & Tricks department was the first "tips & tricks" publication for Photoshop, it is not officially associated with Adobe Systems, Inc. Photoshop is a Registered Trademark for Adobe Systems, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
      Contact the design team for web page critique, makeover clinics, or website design, production and hosting. If you would like your web site reviewed by peers in the web publishing industry, just go to the Web Design & Review wing and visit the Web Site Reviews department where you'll find reader's web sites posted for review. There you'll also find our Web Site Review Submission form for submitting your site for review.
      The Design & Publishing Center is an affiliate of the Graphic Design Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of Showker Inc., trading as Graphic Arts & Design, a Virginia State Corporation since 1972. Affiliates of The Graphic Design Network also include . . . 60-Second Window (tm), the editorial column published online since 1989 with editorials covering computer and online related issues; The Publishers' Warehouse(tm), the freeware, shareware, and tryware department first launched in 1987 publishing a printed catalog of more than 200 disks of clip art, fonts and programs for designers; the News Serve Network(tm), where you can post your own news stories, press releases and information about your products or services -- syndicated across dozens of websites; the User Group Network and the User Group Academy. The Design Center is a proud sponsor of the Association of Apple Computer Users & Groups at www.aacug.org
Please come back again!