Sunday, 5 June 2011

Sunday School: How to use a Layered Template

When I first started digi-scrapping almost three years ago now I had no idea how to use a layered template. I used to drag the pieces off the template onto my photos and paper and try all sorts of weird and wonderful tricks to make my paper the same shape!
So when Andrea asked me to write a tutorial for her blog I knew where I had to start.  I am currently making a brag book gift for my husband for fathers day using Andrea's Mini Memories Brag Book Template Pack; so it seemed like a good opportunity for a series of tutorials.  I'll start this week by showing you how to use the layered templates to make a page and then next week I will show you how to put the brag book together. Trust me if I can hybrid you all can too!

Part 1 - How to use a Layered Template
1 Open your layered template in your software program.  I use Photoshop CS5 but the principle of using a layered template is the same for earlier versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
2 Open the photo that you want to use on your template. In your layer window select the photo layer of your template. You can do this by right clicking on the photo layer on your template as well.
 3 Drag the photo onto your template. You will see from my example image below how my photo is behind the frame on my template because i have dragged it on top of my photo layer on the template.
 4 Now we need to clip the the inserted photo to the templates photo layer and position it on our layout.  To do this hover your mouse pointer between the photo layer bar and your inserted photo layer and hold down 'alt' The mouse pointer will change to a white and black overlapped circle and your photo will attach to the photo layer. This is indicated by a downward pointing arrow. Now you can resize and reposition your photo to your taste within the photo layer space.
 5 Once you are happy with the position of your photo merge your inserted photo with the templates photo layer. To do this right click on your inserted photo layer, a drop down menu will appear and you need to select merge down. At this point I also delete the 'photo' text layer so that I do not have the word photo written across my image.
 6 Now we can start to add papers to our layout.  Open the paper you wish to use, select the paper layer in your layer window the same way you did for the photo and drag the paper into your layer. Clip the inserted paper to the paper layer, as we did for the photo and when you are happy with the position, merge the layers again.
 7 Repeat this process for all the papers that you need to insert onto your layout. In the example below you can see that I have 'papered' the background, the frame and made a start on the journal strips.
 8 Now its my favourite part, time to add the embellishments.  I use the template elements as a guide to get me started, following there position and size. However as I start to build up my element layers I will sometimes deviate away from the suggestions.  This is fine, its your layout so go with your own creativity. Once you have finished with the templates 'guide' elements remember to delete them so that they are not peeking out beneath your clusters.
 9 Continue adding elements until you are happy with your layout, add a title and some journalling if you want to. Then make sure you have shadowed everything.  Learning to shadow helps to give your layout depth and realism.  There is a lot to learn with shadowing techniques, too much to cover here in this tutorial. However Andrea always pre-shadows everything in her template for you so if you clipped your papers to her layers these will already be beautifully shadowed. Then for ease you can always right click on a paper layer and select copy layer style. This will copy the shadow for you enabling you to paste it onto your unshadowed element layers.  just right click and select paste layer style to do this. As you grows in confidence you will learnt to tweak your shadows and enhance your layouts. 
My layout here uses Trixie Scraps and Armina Designs Collab 'Quality Time'

Join me next week for our hybrid tutorial - make sure you have chipboard, heavyweight photo paper, book rings and ribbons, buttons etc to decorate.

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