Plugin Galaxy can be used to generate innumerable linear effects which can in turn be used to create attractive picture frames. Creating a lattice effect can be surprisingly frustrating, depending on the complexity of the lattice etc. This simple method described here is by no means the only one, but it's very easy and can be adapted for the creation of most lattices. For the purposes of this tutorial I've used the Rainbow effect because it has obvious linear properties that make it easy to use.
  • Start with a new square image, 300 x 300, any color background. Promote the background to a layer.
  • In Plugin Galaxy, click the Reset button to clear any presets, and choose the Rainbow group, FX Linear. Move the Frequency slider as far right as you can. For now, work with the default set of colors. Click OK.
  • Zoom in on your image and, starting above the first red stripe and ending with the purple stripe as seen below, select a single set of the combination rainbow colors. The height of the selection should be 22-24 pixels, depending where you start and end it. (Each band of color is 2 pixels deep.) You could select a strip several rainbow bands wide, but it complicates things for the purpose of this tutorial.

  • Paste the copied stripe of colors to/as a new layer, then delete the original layer. (Don't worry about the size of this image - we'll deal with that later. For what we're doing it's easier to work on a small image.

  • Duplicate the layer twice.

  • Select a layer and Zoom in on one rainbow stripe so you can easily see the 2-pixel color bands.
  • Make a 22 or 24 pixel square selection - depending on where you began your "stripe".
  • Copy and Paste the selection as a new layer - this square is what you will use later to create your lattice.
  • Hide the layer so it won't be included in the merge operation to come.

  • Move the three pasted stripes into place in the top left 0,0 corner of your image, so that each just meets the one above it. Make sure you don't overlap any pixels.
  • Merge the Visible layers of your image.
  • Duplicate the merged layer.

  • Rotate this layer 90 degrees counter clockwise. (So the outer top and left colors are the same.)
  • Move the rotated strip into position in the top left 0,0 corner of your image as seen left. Make sure your move is accurate.
  • Do NOT merge any layers.

  • Unhide the layer containing the square you pasted earlier, and make sure it's on top of the layer stack.
  • Move the square into position as shown, top left 0,0.
  • Select and Copy/Paste the square, or duplicate the layer. Don't paste directly onto the combined stripe layer, as we are going to be working with those layers again later.

  • Repeat this till you have pasted and positioned 5 squares as shown left.
  • At this stage, if you decide you want your finished frame to have a narrower set of rainbow stripes (as shown in the header example) Resize the whole image to a smaller size that suits you. Again don't worry about what size the finished frame will be - that comes next.
  • Go to Image>Canvas Size (in most programs) and enter the size you want your finished frame to be - whatever you want, it doesn't have to be a square.
  • Your program should give you the option of where to place the image content in the Canvas Size dialog - choose the Top Left corner and click Okay. (If not, you will have to move the contents into place manually.)
  • In your program's layer palette, select the layer containing the horizontal triple band of rainbow stripes. Using your scaling tool/function, drag the stripes to the right until they extend somewhere beyond half the width of your image. You only need that much and you don't have to be accurate.
  • Repeat this exercise with the vertical stripes and layer.
  • Merge all your visible layers. You should now have only one transparent layer showing your completed work in the top left corner and with your stripes extending beyond the half way point top and bottom as described and as shown here.
  • Save your image at this stage - you might want to change the size to suit different photos or whatever at a later date. Then, all you will have to do is change the Canvas Size and repeat the Plugin Galaxy mirror action described below.

  • Open Plugin Galaxy and change the Group to Mirror.
  • Choose Quadrant NW from the FX combo list. Don't be alarmed if everything vanishes momentarily. :)
  • In the Preview window, Right click on the coordinates at the bottom, as shown below. Select NW from the drop down menu.

  • Plugin Galaxy will instantly mirror your top left (NW) corner to all the other corners of the image.
  • You're done!

Taking things further ...

Once you've created a lattice, Copy and Paste the merged lattice area to get as complex a section of lattice work as you like. The images below are only to show that change is never limited and playing around can be a a lot of fun!


Warp>Cubic Cryptology
Greyscale + Cartoon Various effects! YUV Intensity

And so on ...