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Creating your first page…

Posted by PatriciaD on December 2, 2009

Step-by-step instructions

Creating your First Scrapbook Page

I’m using PS CS3 but I’ve tried to include all shortcuts and those tend to work across the board with whichever version of Photoshop you happen to use even PS Elements.

Open Photoshop – Double click on PS icon on desktop.

Create a new blank document:  File, New

       Select or enter size of page (12×12, 8×8, 11.5×8, 8×11.5 OR 8×10) I’ve used 12×12
       300 pixels
       Color – RGB

 Open 2 coordinating Background papers in PS (download these – many times free – from any of the web sites listed or do a search for digital scrapbooking kits).  BTW, these two papers are visible in the screen shot below of the finished page.  The two papers are the rock wall on the left and the crackle page that covers about 2/3rds of the page on the right.

Click on the background paper to activate that document in PS.  With the Move tool (V) selected drag the background paper to your new blank document.  If you hold the ShifSamplet key while dragging (let go of the shift key after letting go of your mouse button) the paper will drop exactly in the middle of your page.

We’re going to use a 2nd background paper, select the rectangular marquee tool and drag a rectangle about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of your page on the second background.  Drag to your scrapbook page and move to the desired location.

Now you will need to pull in or open your photos.

You may either drag them from wherever you store your files – or select the file name from File, Open and open the file or if you’ve used Bridge you can open them there, too.  (If this is your first digital scrapbook page in Photoshop I would go with the first option for now.)

Once your photo is open go to Image, Image Size to verify that it is 300 pixels.  If it is not 300 pixels – unselect the last option (Resample Image) and change to pixels to 300.  DO NOT do it all at once.  Change the resolution 10% at a time and click OK, redo until you reach 300.

Close the window.

Now drag the photo to the page with the background you have already created.

Adding pictures and elements to your scrapbook page:

Re-select the move tool (V).  Drag your photos onto your scrapbook page.

Move to desired location.

If you choose you may re-size the photos.  That is resize on the page not the resizing of pixels .  Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) will give you selection handles around the edge of the photo.  Move your mouse over a corner handle and when the double headed arrow appears, hold the Shift key and drag either in (smaller) or out (larger).  The Shift key maintains the integrity or ratio of your photo while resizing.

Working with Layers:  Add a mat to your photo

Select the layer in the layers palette that is below the photo you want to add the mat to.  Select the Rectangle tool (M).  Drag a rectangle slightly larger than your photo.  While drawing the rectangle (mat in this case) and before letting go of your mouse use the Space Bar to move your rectangle into place.  This action will add a new layer below your photo but above the background layer. 

When using layers (especially when you are going back and forth quite a bit) it may be helpful to put a check mark in the Auto Select Layer in the top menu (note:  you’ll only be able to see this when the Move tool (V) is active).

Decorate your page:  Adding elements, and shadows

First let’s add shadows to your photos and possibly even the mat.  Select the photo layer in the layers palette.  Now select Layer, Layer Style, Drop Shadow in the tool bar at the top of your screen.   You can play around with the settings.  Note that you will see a preview of your drop shadow if you move the window out of the way of your photo.  One thing to warn of…don’t be too dramatic you want your shadows to look as real as possible.  The shadow is only the shadow of a paper.

You will see from the example that I’ve tilted the photo and mat behind it on the smaller photo.  You may want to do something similar with your scrapbook page.

Now, let’s add an alpha.  In this case let’s choose a 4 letter word (or thereabouts) that describes your layout.  I’m going to choose HOME.  Select each letter (these again are from the kit mentioned in the first pargraph) and open or drag to your PS window.  Note that it doesn’t matter how you open a document (drag over to PS window; click File, Open; Select from within the Bridge).  They all accomplish the same thing.  NOTE:  the alternative to using an Alpha from a kit is using a large font.

Drag each letter onto your document and close each letter.  Now place the letters in the location you wish.  First we will line up our letters to make sure they’re even.  With the Move tool (V) selected note the align tools options in the tool bar.  Select all the letters of your alpha in the layers palette.  Click on the first one and hold the shift key while you click on the last one.  This will highlight or select all the layers of your word.  Click on either the top align or bottom align button whichever works better for your word.

In our example we’re going to move the whole alpha to the left side of the page.  So keep all layers selected (from the above step) and click Ctrl + T so that you have selection handles around your whole word.  Move your mouse outside the selection handles and it will change to a tiny curved double ended arrow.  Drag around until your word is the direction you want.  In this case it will be perpendicular to our page and we will place it on our left side paper (see finished page above).  Note that in the information bar at the top of your window there is an angle ticker.  We want a perfect -90° angle.  You can play around with it and try to get a perfect square or work with the angles.  When you have the alpha where you want it – click the check mark (Commit transform) in the upper right hand area of the tool bar to accept.

Play with the options until you’re satisfied with the look.

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