Film Frame Instructions

The 35mm and sheet film frames are distributed as vector-based TIFF files in the film frames download. These are not actions, but vector graphics image files. Choose File > Open to view the frames. This section explains how to incorporate an image into the frames.

Images can be represented as vectors or bitmaps. For photographic purposes bitmaps are used. Each pixel is represented by an RGB value consisting of three 8-bit numbers. When you resize bitmaps adjacent pixels are interpolated and quality suffers. Vectors are represented by mathematical equations. When you resize vectors the equations are multiplied by a constant multiplier and the image redrawn. Images represented as vectors are small and resize with no loss in quality. For example, you could resize a 3000 pixel vector-based image down to 10 pixels, then resize it back to 3000 pixels, with no loss in image quality. Try that with a standard JPEG bitmap image!

The frames are supplied as vectors images. Since vectors resize better than bitmaps, the best strategy is to resize the vector-based frame to match the size of your image. First crop your image, without resizing, to the frame's ratio. For a 4:5 ratio, for example, enter "4 in" and "5 in" in height/width options for the Crop tool and leave resolution blank.

After cropping, measure the image. Let's assume you have a 655x524 image. The TIFF file indicates that cutout size is 2500x2000. You need to resize the frame so the hole in the frame is 655x524. This is best done using percentages. The ratio between the desired frame width and actual frame width is:

655 / 2500 = .262 or 26.2%.

Round down to 26% so that frame size will be slightly smaller than the image. To resize the frame go to Image > Image Size and specify Percent under Pixel Dimensions, enter 26%, and resize. Then use the Move tool and Shift-drag the picture into the frame. Go to the Layers palette and drag the image layer to the appropriate place and use the Move tool to make final adjustments. Here is a suggested workflow: