Photoshop : How To Create Gradient Frame Effect

Selections / Presets

For gradient Photoshop frames, Open an image and then go to the rectangle marquee tool and then create a selection around the edge of the image (with some margin). Go to the select menu and invert and go to the edit menu and fill and fill it with a gradient or pattern or brushes etc and then copy and paste the design and go to the layer menu and layer styles and add a bevel or drop shadow to the layer.




There is a picture frame filter in the application and it comes with tons of presets. Really worth checking out if you want to create foliage, stars etc designs around th4 edge of your image and there is a lot of creative options available. Find it in the render section with the rest of the creative tools.

Vector shapes

The presets and vector shapes are perfect for edge designs. Open an image and go to the ellipse tool and set to shape option (top left of the control panel) and set fill to a gradient and set style to radial and apply and drag outwards to create an ellipse or a circle if you hold the shift key down. Alt / option and drag to duplicate the circle (or use the layer menu and duplicate) and place them around the edge of the image in the top, bottom, etc. Alternatively, you could just use the ellipse tool multiple times and in this case you can also change the content and use a different color or perhaps a different presets (filled with multiple colorful stops or perhaps filled with opacity stops) or perhaps a different pattern for each object generated. Change the size of the different layers by using the bounding box or go to the edit menu and transform and apply scale etc to transform the design. Apply all the way around image and then layer menu and flatten. You don't have to use an ellipse, you could use multiple rectangles or perhaps combine rectangles and circles and stars (created via the polygon tool) or use the custom shapes tool and add a variety of arrows all around the edge of your artwork or gear designs etc, and they could all be filled with the same colors or presets but they could also be filled with reds, greens, blues as well as other presets such as the colorful ones found in the legacy section as well as all the basics, blues, purples, pinks, iridescent, pastels, etc ones supplied in the panel.


Go to the gradient tool and then go to the editor at the top of the control pane (left side) and click. You need to set up a preset that has two or more opacity stops. The opacity on the left has to be 0% and the far right set to 100%. You can then set any color on the left and that will be added into the mix, you can also set the far right color stops to black or a solid color to create the vignette. You may also like to manipulate the mid points in the opacity stops to moved more to the right. Exit out of the editor. Apply the tool to the center of the image and drag out to the edge and release and you will see the center clear and the edge of the image will be filled with black (or white or whatever color you set the color stop to). You can set the far right stops to any mix of colors so it can be made of black but it can also be made of red and black etc. You can apply the tool multiple times from the same center position to manipulate the edge color even more though generally the first apply probably works best.

Vignette layer

You could apply the design to a layer so add a new layer before you add it and as a layer you can then re-size it as well as rotate it and perhaps turn it into a smart object via the layer menu and smart object. This can then have effects added to the design such as blurs or wave distortions etc to create even more unique masking for your image. You can also just duplicate the layer or smart object and then overlap them using blending modes or perhaps use different color stops in different layers as well as lighten or darken etc blending modes to create ever more complex and interesting designs. You can also, as a layer, add layer effects via the fx button at the bottom of the layers panel, though the results will depend on the transparency. You can then add shadows or bevels as well as additional overlays to the mix.

Using transparency

You can also use the transparency with linear gradients and they can have transparency at both ends with the first stop and the end stop. You can then use the linear style as a line or edge. Apply this 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. You can use this multiple times on top as well as bottom and to the left and right. As it is a layer, you can also add layer effects to the art and give it a shadow or a bevel or an inner glow or stroke etc. Effects can also be applied to the lines as well to create all kinds of distorted as well as straight line designs. You can also go to the styles panel and select one of the standard styles such as metallic ones or plastic or concrete etc or wood.

Wave example

Select the gradient tool in the toolbar. Click the drop down and you will see the editor appear. You can manipulate the current preset and add as well as remove stops from the bar either by clicking just below the bar or selecting a stop and dragging away from the bar to remove it. The top of the bar is the opacity and the bottom of the bar is the color. Create a preset with four stops on top of the bar (opacity) 20% 80% zero opacity 30% and 70% 100% opacity. Three stops for the color stops black at 20% and 80% Yellow at 50%. Make certain that the transparency check box is set to ON in the control bar otherwise all the opacity stops will be ignored. Go to the Layer menu and new layer and apply the gradient from left to right (hold down the shift key to constrain) . Filter menu and distort and wave filter (or perhaps use the liquify effect found in the same menu) and set the values as required, perhaps use the randomize to create a variety of distorted designs. Duplicate this artwork using the alt / opt key and place them along the top, bottom, left and right of your image.