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Photoshop - Rope
Useful in a number of images, rope is fairly easy to create in Photoshop.

1. Open a new image 600 wide x 800 px. Create a new layer and fill with white. Make sure your Foreground/Background colors are black/white and go to FILTER...Sketch...Halftone Pattern.(in later versions of Photoshop, this will be FILTER...Filter Gallery...Halftone Pattern) Use the settings as at the right:

Now go to EDIT...Transform...Rotate and pick up one of the corner handles and pull until the pattern is about 45°. (note: This is a fairly large image and this rotation is a RAM-hungry move. If nothing seems to be happening, click on the Move Tool and you will get a dialog box asking is you want to Apply your rotation).

Halftone pattern

2. To give our rope-to-be a more frayed look, go to FILTER...Noise...Add Noise and use settings of Amount: 30, Uniform, Monochromatic.

3. Now select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw a long, thin selection across the widest part of the pattern. It is easy at this stage to make the rope too thin. Later in the exercise, we will be distorting it in various ways and the rope will look more like string! To give you a flying start, once you have selected the Rectangular Marquee Tool go to the Options bar, select "Fixed Size" and make the sizes 600 wide x 30 px high. and click on the centre of the canvas. Use the Marquee Tool cursor to centre the selection at the widest part of the canvas.

Rope selection

Copy and paste this selection (or press Ctrl + J ) this will automatically create a new layer - and delete the original "pattern" layer (this will speed things up as it will reduce the file size by around 75%). You should only have two layers now - the background layer and the one with the selection of "rope" we just made.

4. It's looking good so far, but the contrast between the black and white within the rope is a bit strong. Go to IMAGE...Adjustments...Levels and drag the lower black pointer inwards a bit as in the image below:


5. Now we'll add a bit of depth.

Press the layer styles iconicon and add Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow as the rollover image to the right:4.

Go to IMAGE...Adjustments...Hue/Saturation and, with the Colorize box checked gave it a rope-like color.

Finally for this stage, duplicate this layer (Ctrl + J).

Rope layer styles

6. With the Move Tool, position the rope somewhere in the centre of the canvas and go to FILTER...Distort...Polar Coordinates. Make sure Rectangular to Polar is selected. It should look like the image below-right. You may have a small gap where the ends of the rope don't quite meet. Zoom in and using the Pencil Tool carefully paint in a section to span this gap.


Rope distorted

7. Use EDIT...Transform...Scale to "squish down" the coil so it looks more oval as the image to the right, maybe add a bit of EDIT...Transform...Perspective. Then make three or four copies of the rope layer and move them down a touch to create a coil of rope.

Now we are going to create a loose end for the rope. This technique will help you for when you wish to use a bit of rope for other images.

8. Return to the layer with the straight selection of the pattern on it.

Now go to EDIT...Transform...Rotate 90°CW to make the rope vertical. Now go to FILTER...Distort...Shear and click in the preview window (below) where you want bends in the rope.

rope coil
rope - shear filtersheared rope

9. Here you'll probably have to use a bit of EDIT...Transform...Rotate to make the end of the rope look as though it's coming off the coil in a natural way.

Move the "loose end" layer to the top of the pile and put a Layer Mask on this layer by clicking the layer mask icon and use a soft black brush to paint the loose end into the rest of the coil.

rope - finish

In the finished version above, we got rid of the layer mask on the "loose end" layer (LAYER...Remove Layer Mask...Discard). You could also move the copies of the original coil a little so that they don't look too uniform.

Flatten the image, crop to size and you're done!