Photoshop Tutorial – Frames (Hollow Shapes)

Get that Perfect Ring, Frame, or Other Shape

Trying to create a picture frame in Photoshop? Want to apply effects and filters and have them come out in a perfect frame shape? That’s what we’re going to do. For examples of what I’m talking about when I say “frame” or “ring”, which is what we’re going to create, check the images out.

There is a very simple process to follow, that consists of only three short steps:

Step 1 – Create your shape.

This shape will turn into the frame. If you’d like to make a hollow ring, make a circle. If you want a frame, make a rectangle. You can even get fancy and make whatever shape you want, be it a rounded rectangle, a star, or whatever else you can imagine.

– Make a new layer.
– Create your shape.

Step 2 – Select the Shape.

We’re trying to get a perfect outline of the shape, so there’s a special way to do this.

– Hold Ctrl, and click the layer that your shape is on.

Step 3 – Shrink (or grow) the selection.

This part turns it from a big shape into an outline or frame form of that shape.

– Press Select->Modify->Contract (or expand, your choice – obviously expand makes the end result bigger and contract smaller).
– Choose a number of pixels. This number defines how big the frame will be. I usually end up doing 5-20px for what I use this for.
– Press OK
– Tap the delete key. This removes the extra from the original shape and leaves you with a frame.

I use this method to create images of monitors with pictures being displayed. I make the monitor’s frame, then use the resulting selection to draw an image in. You can do the same thing for a picture frame, ring, or whatever else. It’s a versatile technique, be creative!