This week’s Why I Love Digi topic is templates! I love to design templates. I love to have templates. I love to use templates! Did I mention that I love templates?!? Right now I have 205 templates in my always growing stash.
Before I get carried away, here is a little more background. Templates come in various formats but the kind I use are PSD files – layered files proprietary to Adobe Systems. They can be used in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and GIMP.
A PSD template is to digital scrapbooking as a sketch is to paper scrapbooking except most of the work has already been done! When you create a paper scrapbook layout, you start with a piece of paper as your base. Then more layers of paper and embellishments are added, one on top of the other, until the page is complete. A PSD template works in basically the same way. The template consists of layers, one on top of the other that create a finished digital layout.
This tutorial is done in Photoshop CS5 on Windows 7 but layers work the same way in Photoshop Elements. This is my Photoshop workspace with a simple template of 5 layers.
The finished product is on the left and the right side contains the layers palette. The layers palette shows all the layers in order from top to bottom. This is similar to what you would see in Photoshop Elements. The small circle (the top layer) is selected in the workspace so it is highlighted in the layers palette.
Let’s use this template to create a layout.
1. Select the background paper layer. This highlights the background paper layer in the layer’s palette.
2. Select the digital paper you want to use and drag it on top of the layout in the Photoshop workspace and let go.
This has the desired effect as the gray paper is now the background paper for the layout.
3. Next, select the square paper layer. This highlights the square paper layer in the layers palette.
4. Select the digital paper you want to use for the square paper area and drag it on top of the layout in the Photoshop workspace and let go.
This inserts the paper onto our layout but it now covers our gray background paper. We need to shape the green dotted paper to fit in the square paper area. For this, we will use the square paper as a clipping mask. Clipping masks allow the use of one layer to define the shape of another. To create a clipping mask
- select the layer you want to shape (the green dots)
- right click
- select Create Clipping Mask
Alternatively, you can also hover between the green dots layer and the square layer and then select Alt and then click in between the two layers. Now we have the desired result.
Notice that the green dots layer is not indented in signifying that it has been clipped to the layer below it.
5. Now, you can use the large circle and the small circle as clipping masks for your photos. The steps are the same except that you will drag a photo onto your workspace instead of a digital paper. Here is the layout after my photos are inserted and clipped.
Notice the photos layers are indented in the layers palette just like the clipped green dots layer.
6. Now add journaling using the journaling path around the circle. The path wraps around the outside of the large circle and shapes the journaling. To change the journaling, select the Horizontal Type Tool (specified by a capital T) from the tools palette to the left of the layout.
7. Double click on any of the words in the text path and type the journaling. Often when I use circular text paths, I find it easier to compose my journaling elsewhere and then paste it into Photoshop.
8. Add any other title, papers or embellishments and the layout is done.
Those are my kids. My daughter’s name is Kara but my son calls her “Ta”. Kara only lets Colin call her “Ta”. She corrects everyone else. It is cute.
I can use this same template for as many layouts as I want! For example, I use my 5 Photo Layered Template No. 1 for the following layouts.I customized and added more photos to the template for a few of them.
Want to try using a template? You can download the simple template I used for this tutorial for free.
Just click on the preview or click here to download.
I hope you found this tutorial useful! Next week on WILD Wednesday I will talk about my scrapbooking process and how templates fit in.