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Create Frames using Photoshop Gradients Tutorial

effects frame photoshop gradients borders
  1. Image and select area for image using rectangular marquee tool in Photoshop

  2. Copy

  3. De-select

  4. Gradient tool

  5. Apply Photoshop gradient to image

  6. Paste selection back onto image

  7. Flatten

How to create frames and borders using Photoshop gradients tutorial. You can use shapes with a gradient fill. The gradient shape layers can be added around the image to create a super colorful frame. You can use gradients with transparency to cover parts of the image (the edge) and leaving the rest of the image untouched. You can use the gradients on a layer duplicate the layers around the edge of the image to create a gradient frame. You can also use a selection around the edge of an image and fill with gradients to create a colorful frame. This tutorial shows you how to create all kinds of frames using Photoshop gradients

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Creating a border / frame using shapes

frame gradient border shapes

The Photoshop gradients are perfect for creating borders and frames in all versions of Photoshop and also PS Elements. The actual approach can be as varied as the features in Adobe ® Photoshop ®.

  1. Open image

  2. Go to the ellipse tool

  3. Set to shape option

  4. Set fill to a gradient

  5. Set style to radial

  6. Apply circle (hold shift)

  7. Alt / option and duplicate gradient circle around image

  8. Change sizes of gradient shape layer etc

  9. Apply all the way around image

  10. Flatten

Frame / border via transparency

single transparency and frame and gradients in Photoshop

Many of the gradient presets on the graphicxtras site contain transparency which means the underlying background image can be seen, the rest of the image and the frame are blocked out.


To use the gradient, setup the preset with transparency stops set to 0%.


The transparency is set to the left side of the preset in the gradient editor. To display the editor, select the GRD tool and click the GRD panel.


You can use two colors for the preset but you can also add in additional color such as black to the mix before the start of the transparency. To get a sharper and more intense edge to the artwork you can also use the stops and midpoints as well as the midpoints for the transparency. Instead of having the midpoint at the actual midpoint, you can set them a different location so say 80% and combine that with a set of intense blacks around at the same point of the start of the 100% opacity then you can create all kinds of very interesting edges

  1. Go to the gradient tool in Photoshop toolbar

  2. Dropdown gradient

  3. Go to the foreground to transparent preset (reset gradients if needed)

  4. Move the first color / opacity stop to 20%

  5. Move midpoints to closer to the first stop

  6. OK

  7. Set to radial gradient

  8. Reverse gradient

  9. Apply radial gradient in the center of the image

Using transparency to create frame / borders using gradients

transparency doubled frame gradients photoshop

You can also use the transpency with linear gradients and the gradients can have transparency at both ends of the gradient. You can then use the linear gradient as a line or edge. Apply this linear gradient to a layer and the layer can also be warped and distorted by effects to create more interesting linear effects. The linear layers can then be added around the image

  1. Select the gradient tool in the toolbar

  2. Click the dropdown

  3. Create a gradient with four stops on top bar (opacity) 20% 80% zero opacity 30% and 70% 100% opacity

  4. Three stops for the color stops black at 20% and 80% Yellow at 50%

  5. Layer menu

  6. New layer

  7. Create gradient on the left with linear mode

  8. Alt / option duplicate multiple times and place around the image

  9. Filter menu

  10. Distort

  11. Wave

  12. Set the wave options

Frame / border using selections

selection frame gradients  photoshop

You don't have to use just transparency, you can use selections / masks to create even more interesting frames in Adobe ® Photoshop ® using the presets. Creating them is easy but sometimes it is hard to stop or know when to stop. Use the rectangular marque tool or elliptical tool to create a selection; you could also just use a free form selection.


Once you have highlighted the area for the Photoshop frame then go to the select menu and use the inverse. You can now fill this region / area with GRD preset (you don't have to be limited to one). You can use the transparency of the preset but you can also just fill it with the solid color by turning off the preset's transparency. You can also use different blending modes to apply multiple presets. The one on the left uses the same GRD preset as above right with the double transparency (0% opacity) and the preset is then added to the selection multiple times


Of course, you can extend this approach with additional selections, you don't need to keep at a single selection. You can remove the previous selection and then add a new selection or perhaps select the selection and copy and paste and use the frame as a layer and then add layer effects. You can also add into the mix additional presets as well as effects such as poster edges or blurring of the edge.

  1. Go to the rectangular marquee tool

  2. Draw selection along one edge

  3. Hold down shift

  4. Draw selections along other edges for the frame

  5. Select the gradient tool in Photoshop toolbar

  6. Set gradient style to linear

  7. Set blending mode to difference

  8. Select gradient

  9. Apply gradient to selection multiple times


1. how to load and the installation of the Photoshop gradients

Other resources

1. frame and edge custom shapes