Frames development

Frames are templates in which user photos are inserted using the coordinates of the corner points of a quadrangle area. This area can occupy only part of the whole image (see the example on the left) or, alternatively, the entire canvas (see the double exposure effect example on the right).

Frame templates can be found in the Photo Lab application in the "New Reality", "Double exposures", "Magazine covers" and "Amazing frames" sections. These templates often have versions for portrait, landscape and square photos.

Creating a project in the Template Creator

To work with the Template Creator, you should associate your PSD file, containing layers, with a .pttp2 format project file.

Use the Template Creator to generate template drafts easily. The Creator generates a set of groups and subgroups with valid names, minimizing the error probability while creating the template structure.

How to start: a step-by-step guide

Open the Template Creator when Photoshop is already launched (if Photoshop is not running, it will start automatically when you open the Creator). Go to the "File" menu, and select "Create Project":

A dialog will open, where you need to fill the parameters of your template and save it in a selected directory.

This dialog allows you to create several types of PSD documents:

  • Universal orientation.
  • Several orientations in a single PSD document.
  • Several orientations, with each of them stored in a separate PSD document.

When you are done with the dialog, Photoshop will create a new PSD file with the necessary structure of groups and subgroups of layers, associated with a new project.

Template structure in Photoshop

In order for a template to be properly processed by the Template Creator, it needs to have a certain structure in Photoshop.

A template consists of groups and subgroups of layers, and also a Smart Object of the User Photo Region.

Groups of layers can be of 3 types: "Portrait", "Landscape" and "Square". The template Creator can only process groups named like this. It does not matter whether these names are capitalized or not.

Each group consists of subgroups of layers. Blendings can be applied to them. All layers inside subgroups are rasterized, so the resulting blendings should be located on the subgroup of layers.

Different combinations of layers and blendings, etc. are possible inside subgroups, but, as mentioned above, all this will be "merged" into one layer of the subgroup.

The area where a user's photo will be placed is defined by a Smart Object of the User Photo Region. To create a Smart Object from a normal layer, right-click on the layer name and select "Convert to Smart Object" from the menu. The resulting Smart Object can be edited if your template needs it, but it must remain a quadrangle (not necessarily with right angles, but you cannot use tools like Distortion Mode).

The name of this layer should include the "SQ" prefix (both letters must be capitalized). A Smart Object should be positioned on the same level with subgroups, directly above the background layer. Also, a raster mask can be applied to it.

You can store sample photos for User Photo Region inside a Smart Object.

There can be either one or all 3 types of layer groups in a template ("Portrait", "Landscape" and "Square"), each with its own User Photo Region.

Below is a sample of a template with two types of layer groups:

Auxiliary materials for creating a template (grids, etc.) can be inserted in two places:

  • on the same level with the subgroups of layers (do not collect layers with these materials in groups). Layers can be called as you like (without the SQ prefix, so that the Creator does not confuse the service materials with the Smart Object of the Frame Region).
  • on the top level (the same level with the Portrait/Landscape, etc. groups). Here the layers can be organized in groups with names other than "Portrait", "Landscape" and "Square".

Important: the Template Creator won’t be able to read a PSD file, if it contains groups or subgroups of layers with identical names on the same level, or user photo regions with the same name inside one orientation.

For example, you cannot have two groups of layers called "Square", or two subgroups of layers with the same name (i.e. "1_v") in the "Square" layer group.

However, you can have layers with identical names within the subgroups.

The subgroups in the sample below have the same name, the PSD file cannot be read.
The subgroups have different names, the PSD file will be read successfully.

Here is an example of a ready-made template with different orientations: download template.

If a template does not include different orientations we call it universal. Templates of the kind do not have groups of layers with orientation names. As for the rest, their structure is no different from the one described above.

Here is an example of a ready-made template with universal orientation: download template.

Template orientations

Different orientations support

Template orientations may require PSD documents with different aspect ratio of their canvases. In such cases the Template Creator lets you store each orientation in a separate PSD document.

Duplicating template orientations

The Template Creator allows you to add additional orientations into your template.

E.g. if your template includes only one orientation at the moment, you can use it later as a prototype for other orientations of this template.

Splitting orientations into separate PSD documents

If your template has several orientations inside one PSD document, and you need to split them into separate PSD documents, use this option offered by The Template Creator.

Frame User Photo Region

A User Photo Region is defined by a smart object, located on the same level as the subgroups of layers. Depending on the type of a template, these Smart Objects may have their own characteristics.

In this case, the Smart Object is a quadrangular frame which name starts with "SQ". A User Photo Region should be slightly larger than the hole in the base layer, to ensure that the base layer overlaps the borders of a user photo.

You can put test photos inside the Smart Object for additional convenience. In order to open a Smart Object, double-click on its icon:

Copy test photos to new layers, select one of them and save the Smart Object:

Let's return to the template. The test photo is located where it was intended to be. Then you can switch between test photos in the Smart Object to see them appear inside the template.

If you transform the Smart Object in your template, test photos will also be affected, and you will not have to customize the photos separately. This is especially convenient if a template has some perspective distortion.

Additional information

Automatic resizing of templates

If the dimensions of a user photo are smaller than the dimensions of the template, the photo will be upscaled to match the template size. If the difference in their sizes is quite noticeable, the user photo will look blurred and low quality in the template.

To avoid problems related to size mismatch, use the automatic resizing option.

Creating templates with several user photos

The Template Creator makes it possible to create projects with several different user photos inside one template. Read more about this option here.

Frame templates: examples of development

Step-by-step example of template development

Creating a frame template

Important video tutorials