Wednesday, September 12

CoffeeShop Carnival Tutorial Part 1: Action UnWrapped

I love carnival rides (the ones that aren't too scary) and we decided to go to Galveston Island's Pleasure Pier a few weeks ago.  Hurricane Ike destroyed the Flagship hotel that was originally out on the pier, but the pier has been rebuilt and it is amazing!  For about $25 each we were able to ride all of the rides we wanted all day.  There is nothing like riding amusement rides over the ocean on a beautiful summer day.

I didn't want to spend too much time taking photos but I was able to snap a few of some fun rides.  I wanted to edit the swings with a vintage reddish tint and add a texture.  Today I am going to show you how I added the vintage tint.  In my next post I will show you how to add the textures and I will also post the free action I recorded while creating the vintage tint in this post.  Like all actions/tutorials, this effect will not look great on every image, so just play around!

CoffeeShop Carnival Tutorial:  Adding a Vintage Tint (free action here):

1. Open your image.  You can download this swings image to practice with here.  Remember, this effect won't work with every image.  I am going to show you step-by-step how I edited this image.  When you edit it yourself please feel free to play around with the layers.

2. Add a solid color fill layer.

3.  I used fef9e7 (a yellow).

4.  I put this layer in Soft Light blending mode and set the opacity to 75%.  This lightened my image slightly.

5.  Next I added a Levels adjustment layer.  I put the Levels on the Red channel (it opens on RGB) and set the gamma (midtones) from 1.0 to 1.3.  This adds more red to my image.

6.  I adjusted the Blue channel by moving the gamma (midtones) from 1.0 to 0.8.  This adds more yellow to my image.

In Photoshop you can add a Curves adjustment layer to do the same, but I wanted this tutorial to work in both Photoshop and PSE.

7.  I wanted to add some more contrast (I will be adding textures so I don't want this too washed out), so I added a Levels adjustment layer, made no adjustments to it, and put that layer in the Soft Light blending mode. This adds a contrast pop.

8.  I want even more yellow added to this image, so I added another Solid Color layer in yellow (f4e386).

9.  I put this layer in Screen blending mode and set it at 20% opacity.  Normal mode also would work, but I liked Screen better with this edit.

10.  I want a reddish tint over the entire image, so I added a red Solid Color adjustment layer in ee1e1e.

11.  I kept this layer in Normal blending mode and set the opacity to 15%.

12.  I want to add a vignette, so I clicked to select the background.

13.  Select, All.

14.  Select, Transform Selection.

15.  I set the W and H to 85% for this image.  Then checked to transform the selection.

16.  I feathered the selection.  Select, Feather in  PSE; Select, Modify, Feather in Photoshop.

17.  I used 150 pixels for this edit.

18.  Select, Inverse to select the edges.

19.  Ctrl-J to make a new layer with the selection.  I then put this layer in Multiply blending mode.

20. I wanted a darker vignette, so I Ctrl-J that vignette layer.

This is just one way to edit this image but I am really happy how it turned out.  However, it is not finished until I add the textures!   Please tune in later this week for the rest of this tutorial.  I am going to show you three different edits using textures from three designers to get completely different effects.

Here is one of them (using my Carnival action and textures from Shadowhouse Creations).  Mouse over for the before.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


  1. This is great! I can't wait to try it out!!! How did you know which colors to pick for the solid fills or was it just trial and error?

  2. Thank you! The colors were completely trial and error. I just play around until I get the look I love!

  3. Love it Rita!!! thank you! I use your actions all the time and absolutely LOVE them!!!! and i'm jealous...we went to galveston for a bachelorette party, and I wanted to go to pleasure pier so bad! i guess the kids have gotten to me :)

  4. Rita, this is such a fun action... thanks sooooo much!!


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