PI7 Phone Card From a Photo

Here is a cool way to show off a special photo by turning it into a phone card graphic. That's what I've done with this photo taken of me and my kids when we camped in the Everglades this spring. This is just a fun image effect, but in fact, ATT tells you how to make a promotional phone card using either their graphics, or your own custom images!

Start with a new True Color image 400 X 400 pixels, white canvas. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select white. Click Shape and select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape dialog box opens, choose Rounded Rectangle 2 and click OK. Draw a rounded rectangle to serve as the body of the phone card.

draw a rounded rectangle

Open up the photo you wish to use. Hit Ctrl+C to copy it into the Clipboard. Click on the blue title bar of the phone card image to make it active. Choose Edit, Paste, Into Selection. The photo will be "stuck" to your cursor, which looks like a cross. Move the photo around in the rounded rectangle object until it's positioned as desired, then click to fix it in place.

paste photo into object

We need to make a small white strip for the bottom of the phone card. Right click and Duplicate the object, dragging it away from the original. While the duplicate is active, click the Mask button in the Tool Panel. Doing so will place a semi-transparent red mask over the base image. Choose the Standard Selection tool, Shape=Rectangle. Make a selection over the phone card, leaving only a narrow strip at the bottom unselected.

make a selection

Make sure that black is your background color.

black is background color

Hit Delete to fill the selection area with black. Since you're in Mask mode, filling with black will delete your selection of the top part of the phone card, leaving only the narrow strip at the bottom.

hit Delete key

Hit the Mask icon to exit Mask mode. You'll be left with the narrow strip at the bottom of the duplicate phone card object. Choose Edit, Fill. From the Color tab, fill the object with white.

fill object with white

Select the Transform tool. You'll notice that the bounding box shows that the narrow white strip is still at its original size (the bounding box includes all of the original object), even though you just deleted part of it in Mask mode. To remedy this, select the Eraser tool and click Trim in the Attributes toolbar. Doing so will get rid of the deleted area. Now select the Transform tool and note that the bounding box fits tightly around the narrow white strip object.

Select the Pick tool to drag the white object up to the original phone card object. While it's active, Shift+Click the phone card object, so that both are selected at the same time. Right click, Align, Bottom. Right click, Align, Left. This will line the white strip up exactly with the bottom of the phone card object. Because of Anti-aliasing, a pixel or two of the original phone card object might show around the white strip. If so, use the Transform tool to resize the white strip so that it completely covers the bottom of the phone card object.

align white strip at bottom

While the white strip is active, Shift+Click the original object and then right click, Merge as Single Object. Now you're ready to add text. Select the Text tool, any font and font size you wish, 2D, black. I'm using a font called Julius, that came with a greeting card program I installed on my computer. Because I don't want to infringe on anyone's trademark or copyright, I've made up a phoney telephone company name, South Florida Telephone.

add phone company text

To add your name and faux numbers to the phone card, select a small, blocky font. I'm using OcrA, Size=12, 2D, in black. Add a series of numbers. Copy the number into the Clipboard (Ctrl+C), then Paste the numbers back into the base image (Ctrl+V). While the copied Text is active, click in the Attributes toolbar's Color box to change the text to white. Drag it over on top of the black text. Position it so that a teeny bit of the black text peeks out at the bottom and to the right of the white text. This helps to create the look of raised text on the card.

add numbers

Repeat this process to add your name in capital letters.

add your name

Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and choose Rectangle, Mode=2D, Color=black. Draw a small rectangle, then drag it onto the top left or right corner, depending on the detail in your photo. Select the Text tool and add white, 2D text that says "60" in large text, and "minutes" in a smaller version of the same font, all lower case. Position the text over the black rectangle. Remember, you can use the Transform tool to resize the black rectangle object if you need to in order to make the "60 minutes" text fit.

add black rectangle and text

Use the Pick tool to move things around as needed. When your phone card looks good, click on any object to make it active, then right click, Select All Objects. Right click, Merge as Single Object. Now all you have to do is add a Shadow to your phone card to help it pop out from the page.

This tutorial uploaded 8/2/02


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