Welcome to Design House Digital’s School of Design. Today, and every single day in September, we’ll have new blog posts; informative, detailed, and FREE classes that will take your digital scrapbooking to the next level. Each subject will have a new post weekly, and at the end of the month you won’t believe how much you’ve learned! Our schedule is as follows:
- Thursdays – Journaling From the Heart with Jen Papadimitriou
- Fridays - Photography Tips and Tricks with Lori Pickens
- Saturdays – You and Your Camera with Allison Waken & Shannon Dombkowski
- Sundays– Standout Shadows with Gennifer Bursett
- Mondays – Design Theory with Tiffany Tillman
- Tuesdays – Blogging Secrets with Mary Shaw
- Wednesdays – Maximizing Templates with Renee Fink
When I started digital scrapbooking I loved the creative freedom that this medium provided. Who doesn’t love the “undo” function? But, somewhere along the way I began to get bogged down and found myself frustrated with all the options available to me. Templates to the rescue! When I discovered digital scrapbook templates my whole approach to creating a layout began to change.
Scrapbooking templates provide a basic framework for a layout. Think of them as a blueprint or an outline for your page. You can create a page without making any variations to the blueprint. And, with the marvelous template designer available here at DHD you can create standout pages in a snap. Or you may choose to customize your template to fit your own needs or creative whim. The sky is the limit when it comes to maximizing your templates.
We are going to start with the basics – How to use a layered template.
Step 1: Select your template. Open it in Photoshop and IMMEDIATELY rename it by using “save as”. Renaming your template at this point will ensure the template is saved in its original form. I am using Tiffany Tillman’s 52 Thursday Templates #9 for this tutorial.
Step 2: Before I actually add my photos to Photoshop I like to “float” my template. You can do this by either grabbing the little tab with the renamed template and dragging it down a bit or you can go to “Window” – “Arrange” – “Float in Window”.
Step 3: Select your photos and drag and drop them into Photoshop. Because you “floated” your window in the step above when you drag and drop your photos into your program they will be added as separate open items rather than adding them as additional layers in your template. You can see that all of the photos are open in individual windows.
One of more difficult adjustments I made when moving to Photoshop from PS Elements was the loss of the project bin at the bottom of the page. Floating your various items is a way to achieve a similar result in Photoshop. Hovering over the blue Photoshop icon on your windows toolbar will bring up thumbnails of your open windows.
Step 4: Select the layer on your template where you will be adding the photo. Hover over the photo you want to use. Select it to bring it to a full size window and “drag and drop” it into your template.
By selecting your photo layer in the template first and then adding the photo to the template you add the photo to the layer directly above the active layer in your template. I find this method to be the simplest way to pair my photo with the photo layer in the template. Not all template designers name and label their photos like Tiffany does so it isn’t always easy to find the correct layer. This is especially in template with multiple photos.
Step 5: Move your photo to approximately where you want it. Selecting “Ctrl – Alt –G” will make the template photo layer into a mask for your photo and only the elements within the mask will be visible. Once you have created the mask use the transform and resize tools to fit your photo to the template layer. In my illustration, I rotated the photo and made it slightly smaller. You can play around with the size and rotation of your photo until you are satisfied with the result.
NOTE: In Photoshop Elements you need to use “Ctrl – G” to create you layer mask. All other steps will remain the same.
Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other photos on your template. Utilize the elements included on the layout or substitute for with appropriate elements from the kit of your choosing. Either way, the process was quick and relatively painless and the result is a layout created in a snap and ready for your album.
Template from Tiffany Tillman 52 Thursday Templates #9
Paper and Elements from Little Fishies by Audrey Neal