Photo Filters and Funny Pages

Photo filters and funny pages may seem like a strange title but bear with me.  I was excited when I found out our topic for May is comics.  When I was growing up the funny pages was my favorite section of the newspaper.  I especially loved the Sunday funny pages because there were lots more comic strips and they were in color!  Then a few weeks ago my daughter-in-law shared some photos and my grandson had on a t-shirt that said, “Dad is My Hero”.  It made me smile because I think every child’s Dad should be their hero, I know mine was.  Plus, my grandson is really into all the Avengers superheroes.  With all that in mind, I came up with an idea for a design using a combination of photo filters, a puffy photo sticker, and other techniques to create a comic-themed layout in Photoshop Elements.

Photo Filters


Photo filters are a great way to alter or enhance photos.  They’re very intuitive and there are tons of different filters available in the program. I’m going to use these two photos which I cropped from my originals. I wanted the focus to be Dad and his son.  Remember to work with a copy not the original.


Original Photos


Now to transform the photos.  Select Filter> Sketch> Comic.  Easy, peasy!


Photo Filter Sketch



Accept the settings or adjust to your satisfaction.  Sometimes there is a delay after you make changes before you see the preview.  These are the settings I used but it will vary depending on the photo used.  Don’t be afraid to play with them.



Photo Filter Comic



Photo to Photo Sticker


I decided to cut out the photo I mentioned earlier and transform it into a sticker.  As you can see the background in the photo wasn’t desirable and I thought a sticker would work perfectly with the comic strip theme.

The Quick Selection Tool worked well for this extraction.  I started with a new selection then used Add & Subtract as needed.  Then I inverted the selection to delete the background using Ctrl+Shift+I  (or Select> Inverse).  I angled the photo on the right side as shown.



Photo Selection



I wanted to make a sticker so I inverted the photo again Ctrl+Shift+I or click on the photo thumbnail in the Layers Panel to reselect.  Then I added a wide (30 px) white stroke on a new layer. (I’ve included more detailed instruction about adding a stroke on a separate layer below). Drag the stroke under the photo and merge the two layers.  I then applied a puffy style.

I chose a background paper that looked like the funny pages with several stacked comic strips.  I cut out a couple of blocks to place the two photos with the comic filter applied and resized the photo sticker on the right.  Then I placed a piece of gray paper at 85% opacity over a couple of the comic strips to calm the busy background and give a place for some added embellishments and the title.



comic strip and sticker



Add a Title


Although the title looks pretty simple it actually took several steps.  I typed each line separately so I could place them the way I wanted.  Then I duplicated each title line.  I used dark gray for the bottom layer of the title and offset it down and to the left from the top. I then attached newsprint paper to the top title layer and added a dark gray stroke on a new layer.  (See the steps below to add a stroke on a separate layer.)



super dad n boy wonder title



Add a Stroke (Outline) Selection on a Separate Layer


To add a stroke on a separate layer first add a new layer.  Then with the text layer selected, hold Ctrl and click on the text thumbnail.  You’ll see the marching ants around the text.  Now with the new layer selected go to Edit> Stroke (Outline) Selection.



stroke selection



The Stroke settings box will open.  Set the Stroke Width and Color, Location: Outside, Blending: Normal & 100% Opacity. Click OK.



stroke settings



Finishing Touches


Add any desired embellishments to complete the layout.  In this case, the background paper is very busy so I only added a few elements.

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas you can use in your own layouts.  If you have any questions please let me know.  Comments are welcome too.


super dad layout


Kit: World’s Best Dad
Designer: Little Butterfly Wings
Font: Engcomica Regular
















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One comment

  • Christa File May 16, 2017   Reply →

    Great job Yobeth!! Comics in PSE is so much easier.. I absolutely love what you did here and love the title work too.. Great tutorial!!

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