Tutorial Tuesday | Save for Web

 

I often say that Photoshop is like our brain: we only use 10% of it. Well, “save for web” is probably one of those features that we don’t put to as good of a use as we should! It’s a simple tip… yet it can change the way you share your pages online!

As is often the case with Photoshop, there are several ways to get to the same end result… so I will simply share my own process (I use PS CS6), but keep in mind it’s definitely not the only process.

First, I always save 3 versions of the same file:

  1. My original layered file. I used to save it in .PSD format, but I’ve recently switched to .TIF format as they are non-proprietary (hence readable by software other than PS), smaller in file size, and can be previewed in my windows folders.
  2. The high definition .JPG file. This is the file that I use for printing (at 300dpi).
  3. The web version. This is a low-resolution .JPG file (72dpi), but it’s still nice and crisp.

When my layout is finished, I save the .TIF file first. Then I flatten it and save the high-resolution .JPG file. Then, I start my “save for web” process.

 

Here are my “save for web” steps

First, I go to  Image>Image size  or  Alt+Ctl+I  and change the resolution to 72 dpi (from the printing resolution of 300 dpi) for screen use, and I re-size the file. The file size/image size settings that I need are different from one gallery to another. The Digital Press gallery allows layouts from 600px to 900px in size (900px preferred), so when I re-size my layout I switch to 900px (because I scrap square layouts, I re-size my file to 900px x 900px). If your page isn’t square, just keep the proportions of your original but make sure the longest side is set to 900px.

Next, to ensure that my layout looks fantastic when displayed online, my file often needs to be sharpened. Now is the time! Again, there are various ways to do it. I simply use Filter>Sharpen>Accentuation (you could also use Smart Sharpen or a Highpass filter). Here are my settings when I sharpen — but pick whatever suits your own taste and your page, using the preview window to help you…

Here’s a small comparison of the before and after of my layout; it’s a subtle difference, but it gives my page a really nice oomph (you can really tell the difference if you look at the string frame… look how nice and sharp it is on the right side)!

 

Next, I will save this web version using… wait for it… “save for web” (in the File menu)! Ha! The shortcut in my version of Photoshop is Ctrl+Alt+Caps+S. Then I use the following settings…


I make sure to set a file size limit using the “optimize for image size” option. Here’s where the menu is located, in the top right corner (click the little 3-lines/arrow icon at top right, and you’ll get the following drop-down menu)…

A pop-up window allows me to pick the maximum file size I wish to allow, which I choose according to the online gallery’s requirements/guidelines. In The Digital Press’s case, the max size allowed is 400kb — so I could increase the 350 you see in the following image to 400…

The quality level of the layout will automatically adjust to fit within this size limit you just set. Use the preview window to make sure it still looks good, then click “save”.

This tip is super simple, but it will help your layouts take up less space online (including helping you adhere to different gallery limits/requirements), while still looking nice, beautiful and sharp! You can even create an action to record the steps you end up using to do this… and make it even quicker/easier! I hope this info will help you out; don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

 

In case you’re wondering the layout I used for the examples in this tutorial, above, was made using several items from the new June 2016 Special Edition that launched this past weekend!


ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown.

Moving Forward into Fall

Moving Forward Into Fall

 

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready to move forward into Fall. Fall is by far my favorite season. There is just something about fall that brings a peaceful feeling. I don’t know if it’s the change in weather or the beautiful warm colors, but I just can’t wait for that  first crisp breeze that lets you know summer is gone and fall is in the air.

As fall officially begins this month, I’d thought I’d share a few of the things I look forward to. Here are some of my Fall Favorites:

  • The Crisp, Fresh Air
  • The Beautiful, Warm Colors
  • Leaf Lookin’ (as we call it in the South)
  • Football Season
  • Sweaters & Tall Boots
  • Pumpkin Lattes (or anything pumpkin flavored)
  • Snuggling Up with a Warm Blanket and a Good Book
  • Halloween
  • Corn Mazes
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Making Soups
  • Pumpkin Patches
  • Leaves Crunching Under Your Feet
  • Fall Festivals
  • Fall Spices – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves

 

I used Little Lamm & Co.’s Crisp Collection to document some of my fall favorites.

Move Forward Into Fall

 

Move Forward Into Fall

 

So, how about you? What are your fall favorites?

I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums at The Digital Press so grab a Pumpkin Latte and come play along! Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges. See you there!

 


LindyKrickbaum

About the Author: Lindy Krickbaum is a Creative Team Member here at the Digital Press. She is a happily married wife and best friend to her twin sister. She currently lives in Johnson City, TN.  Lindy is a self-admitted scrapaholic, rarely missing a day to scrap. She also enjoys designing jewelry, reading and traveling every chance she gets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial – Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

It’s Artsy Week in Summer School and I’m here to tempt you to put your art journaling hat on by using the Filter Gallery in Photoshop. Sure, we all know how to do a pencil drawing, but did you know you can do so much more and easily, too using the Filter Gallery? With Photoshop CC 2015, you can now apply multiple effects to one image. It’s 100% non-destructive, artsy heaven! I say this as an artsy non-art-journaler.

I’ve selected two photos to work with for this tutorial. One is a pretty decent photo of my hubby and son, if I don’t say so myself, and the other is a hot mess photo of my son as a toddler. Open a photo or two in Photoshop and play along with me.

First, we need to prepare our photos: I recommend deciding what size photo you’d like to use on your layout, so you won’t need to do any difficult re-sizing of the filters on your canvas. Once that’s done, you need to convert your photo for smart filters.  If you don’t have PS CC 2015, yet, (and you so should), you will only be able to apply one filter to your image. To apply another filter, you will need to rasterize your image and start again.

In Photoshop CC 2015:

In the menu bar, click Filters> Convert for Smart Filters

All this means is that Photoshop is working magic so you can add more than one filter on your photo at a time.

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

When the scary dialogue box appears, click “ok” (really, it’s okay)

One thing to note is that the color selected in the color palette will effect the filters. I recommend you start with the default colors picked (B&W) and explore the different filters before going a bit wild with colors. (and I do hope you get to that wild place!)

Now it’s time to open the Filter Gallery! Click Filters> Filter Gallery

To see your entire photo, in the bottom left-hand corner, click the drop down arrow. Select Fit in View.

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

For this photo, I selected the Stamp option. I reduced the smoothness and the lightness until I have the fewest lines, but can still tell what I’m looking at. Start with these settings and adjust the sliders until you’re happy with your image:

  • Light/Dark Balance: 12
  • Smoothness: 6

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

The next photo I’ll be using is already prepared. It’s an old, damaged, sad photo that was scanned. I neglected to wipe off the dust… um, d’oh! It’s the perfect photo to use with the Artistic Filters.

I started by using the Colored Pencil Filter. It doesn’t have be perfect because we’re going to add another filter on top of this one. What I want here is to really just bring out the eyes and lines of the face. I’m not worried about the background- I’ll take that out later.  If you’re photo isn’t a person, the same still applies- bring out the lines that define the object. When you’re happy with your photo, click okay. 

Start Here:

  • Pencil Width: 16
  • Stroke Pressure: 8
  • Page Brightness: 43

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

Go back into the Filter Gallery. This time, we’ll use a Sketch Filter, specifically, Charcoal. Again, we’re making sure the important lines are clearly defined…in an artsy way of course.

Start here:

  • Charcoal Thickness: 5
  • Detail: 2
  • Light/Dark Balance: 59

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

Click on your photo in the layers palette. Now click on Layer Mask icon. Select black as your color, use a round brush and brush out your background. You can select a different brush with a lighter opacity if you want to keep some of your background. If you brush out too much, don’t worry. Swap your color to white and brush over the area of the photo you erased. It’s magic!

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

When your happy with your image, it’s time to drag onto to your layout. I’m using Real Life in Pockets: Rad Lab: Elements, Papers & Word Art by Mommyish and Just Jaimee. I’ve chosen an embossed kraft paper to show off my artsy photos. If you’d like your work of art to show the background paper, choose a blending mode like Multiply or Color Burn. Then, reduce the opacity so it blends into the paper.

 Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

Here’s my finished product:

  Tutorial- Get Artsy with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop | The Digital Press

 

There you have it: a simple way to get artsy looks on your pages. Now, off to Summer School with you to learn more artsy techniques you can pair with this tutorial.  


Carrie About the Author: Carrie is a mom to an ASD teenager and wife to a Chiarian living in coastal Delaware. Currently, the producer and host of The Digiscrap Geek Podcast, Creative Team Lead for Just Jaimee, creative team member at The Digital Press & Get It Scrapped. Carrie’s other passions include genealogy and family history, beating your husbands and sons at Call of Duty, binge watching TV shows on Netflix, visiting the beach, reading, doting on her cats, making cards with digital products and front porch chats with her neighbors.

Get Familiar with the History Panel

HistoryPanel Header

 

The History Panel is an often overlooked tool in your Photoshop arsenal. But used to it’s potential, it is quite a handy ally. Let’s take a closer look at how it can help you.

 

You can find the History Panel on the right side of your workspace where the tool icons are located. The History Panel icon looks like 3 small boxes stacked on top of each other with a  swooping arrow next to it.

 

History Panel - 1

 

When you click on it, a panel flies out showing you the last twenty “states” or steps you performed on your layout. In the example below I had only opened the layout, so there is only one state showing. However, if I had worked on this layout a bit, everything I had done would have been recorded and would be listed in the area I have marked below.

 

History Panel - 2

 

The number of states it shows you can be customized. You can change this under Preferences. Photoshop > Preferences > Performance.

 

History Panel - 3

 

Clicking on the down arrow, brings up a slider that you can adjust all the way up to 1,000! However, keep in mind that keeping that many states will bog down Photoshop’s memory, so you want to keep that number as low as possible, while still being useful to you.

 

Instead of bogging down your memory by holding onto multiple states, a better practice would be to make use of Snapshots. This is where I find the history panel to be most useful. When I am close to completion on a layout, but would like to move some things around or try some different papers or a different title effect, I take a snapshot. Taking a snapshot allows you make a copy of any state of the image you are working on. You can take a snapshot by clicking on the camera icon at the bottom of the history panel.

 

History Panel - 4

 

Once you make a snapshot, you can make whatever changes you would like to make to your layout and then compare it to the snapshot you took to decide which version of your layout you like better. If you decide you like the original snapshot better, you can just click on it in the history panel and save it or continue working on it from there.

 

If you take several snapshots during the course of creating your layout, it’s a good idea to customize their names. By default, Photoshop names them, “Snapshot 1,” “Snapshot 2,” etc. To rename it, just double click on the name and enter your custom name.

 

There may be times when you want to create a new document from an image state. For example, if you were working on a photo and wanted to show the before and after, that would be a great time to create a new document from the image state.

 

History Panel - 5

 

In my example above, I opened my image. Then, I made some adjustments to it to convert it to black and white. Next, I took a snapshot of it and then dragged it onto the create new document icon seen below. This allowed me to place the two images side by side very easily to create the before and after diptych above.

 

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I find the History Panel most useful whenever I am trying to correct an image using the clone or healing brush tools. Inevitably, whenever I am performing this type of task, I always seem to reach a point where I overdo it. As a result, I have trained myself to take snapshots along the way. This way, if I get to a point where it starts to look too artificial, I can just go back to my most recent snapshot and try again.

 

And finally, for those of you that create process videos, snapshots are a MUST! Prior to recording, I create a series of snapshots showing each of my steps along the way. For example I will open my layout. (There is no need to take a snapshot because by default, Photoshop always keeps a snapshot of the first state of the document.) Next, I will hide the items that “finished off” my page, like paper strips around the edges or confetti and then I will take a snapshot. Next, I may hide my journaling and then take a snapshot. Then I may hide my title and take a snapshot. You get the idea.

 

Once I have all of my snapshots and they have been renamed for easy reference, I am able to begin recording my process, showing where the page started and discussing in stages what was added on top of what to create my page without having to recreate it from scratch. It makes the process really smooth.

 

So there you have it — the History Panel in all its glory. So now you know how I use it to make my pretties. How about you? How do you use it?

 

Jen Flaherty

About the Author: Jen is a member of the Pocket Team at The Digital Press. Having scrapped digitally for many years, she has come to embrace the simplicity of Pocket Scrapping since it fits more easily into her busy lifestyle of shuttling her three children from field to field. When she is not on the computer, you will find her working out or really doing anything else she can besides cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.

Realistic Washi Tape

header

 

Washi tape is probably one of my very favorite elements to scrap with. I love it both in real life and in digital form. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to use shadows and highlights to make your washi tape look a bit more realistic on your layouts. I’m going to use this layout below. I have everything finished on it, and the washi placed. The only thing left to do is add shadows to the washi tape. You can see here that it just looks a little flat with no realistic dimension.

 

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  • First, add a basic drop shadow to the washi tape. The settings below are what I used, but use whatever suits your preference. I typically prefer a small shadow on washi tape, because if you look at a piece of real washi tape on paper, it doesn’t come off of the paper much. There’s not a lot of shadow there.

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  • Now, we’re going to put this shadow on its own layer. To do this, go to Layer>Layer Style>Create Layer. This will put the drop shadow on its own layer below the washi tape.

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  • Even this shadow makes the washi look better than it did, but the shadow darkened the washi tape. I like to preserve the transparency of the tape. To do this, load a selection of your washi tape layer by using Command-click (or Control-click for Windows) on the tape layer in the layers palette. This should give you marching ants around your tape. Now click on the shadow layer in the layers palette, and hit delete (make sure you are on the shadow layer before hitting delete… this is important). This will delete the shadow that sits directly beneath your tape and bring back the transparency of the tape. (You can use a layer mask if you’d rather not permanently delete it, but I never have wished I had it back, so I just go ahead and delete.)

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  • Command-d (or Control-d on Windows) will deselect the tape.

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I think this looks good, and you can stop here if you like. I have left my tape with a basic shadow like this sometimes when I am trying to save time and get a page done. If you want to take it one step further to make the washi tape really look like it’s stuck on your page, follow the steps below.

  • First, you need to select the item the tape is holding down. In my layout, it’s the framed photo of my boys. Command-click that layer in the layers palette to load a selection.
  • Next, select the dodge tool from your tool bar. At the top of your screen, you want a soft brush that’s big enough to brush over the bottom part of the tape covering the photo. For this particular page, I used a brush size of 125. Set your range to Midtones and the Exposure to around 50%. You may need to play around with this exposure depending on the specific tape and how dark or light it is. Most of the time 50% works pretty well.
  • Make sure your washi tape layer is selected in the layers palette on the right, and brush over the tape 2-3 times. This highlights the part of the tape that is “stuck” to the photo.

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  • If you think about pressing a piece of tape over a photo in real life, it’s going to leave a little crease where photo meets the background page. In this next step, we’ll create this look digitally.
  • Your frame selection should still be loaded (meaning you have marching ants around your frame). If it’s not, select it again. But now we want the tape that outside of the frame area, so we’re going to select the inverse of what is currently selected. To do this, go to Select>Inverse. It won’t look any different, but now everything except the frame is selected.

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  • We’re going to use the Burn tool to add some shadows to the top part of the tape where it is “sticking” to the page. Select the burn tool from the toolbar.
  • This time you want a pretty small brush… just big enough to shadow the tape right at the edge of the photo. I used a brush of size 35, and for this particular tape I set my exposure to 25%. If the shadow isn’t as dark as you like, you may want to change this to 50%. Use the burn tool on your washi a few times along the edge of your selection, until the shadow is as dark as you want it.

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  • Command-D to get rid of your selection, and you can see the end result.

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Here’s a look at the final layout:

Layout using Summer Bucket List by Amanda Yi Designs and Wishing Well Creations

 

JaimeAbout the Author: Jaime is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a stay-at-home mom to 4 boys and 1 girl. When she’s not chauffeuring, volunteering at school, or helping with play costumes, she likes to digitally record her family’s memories, improve her photography skills, and read (there’s always a stack of books on her nightstand).

Create Hybrid Journal Cards with Digital Kits

Create Your Own Journal Cards with Digital Kits

 

Sometimes I fall in love with a digital kit and all the fabulous patterned papers and embellishments only to find out the kit doesn’t have any pre-made journal cards for Pocket Scrappers like me. But since becoming friendly with the shape tool and clipping masks in Photoshop, I make my own cards in just a few minutes and can customize to my needs.

Create Your Own Journal Cards with Digital Kits

 

I used Mari Koegelenberg and Scotty Girl Design’s new collection called Party Animals to make this hybrid page about my daughter’s 5th birthday party this past week. It was the perfect collection and perfect timing.

Create Your Own Journal Cards with Digital Kits

I made a video showing my process in creating these hybrid cards. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I’d love to hear them.

 

brenda

About the Author: Brenda Smith is a mother of two littles and wife located in Southern California. When she is not scrapbooking, you can find her working full-time, trying to finish up her college degree with online classes, or sleeping because there are never enough hours in the day. Hybrid scrapping satisfies her addiction to technology and her addiction to paper and glue.

 

Pursue Custom Shapes

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I love to use brushes/stamps on my photos, just to give them that little bit of extra. I love it when these are included in kits, but even when they’re not, it’s super easy to create your own using fun fonts and the custom shapes tool.

Take a look at the two pages below. They are the same page, but the first one doesn’t have the little extras I created using shapes and fonts. On the second page, I added a little, chevron arrow pattern (repeated a few times) and some custom text.

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use custom shapes to make your own stamps to use on your own photos.

  1. Create a blank document. I usually use a 4×6 or 3×4 document, since those are typically the size of the “pockets” I use for my scrapbooking.
  2. Over on the tool bar, click on the corner of the shapes tool to bring out the flyout menu, and click on the one that says “custom shapes tool.”

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  1. The shape options will show up on your top toolbar. If all the shapes aren’t showing up, you can click on the little tool icon to bring up this menu. I like all of my shapes to be showing, so I select “ALL”.

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  1. For the page above, I chose to use this cute, little chevron-shaped arrow. Click and drag on your page to draw the shape. If you hold down shift at the same time, it will keep the same proportions (which matters for some shapes and doesn’t for others).

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  1. For this one, I duplicated the arrow so I had five copies of it. Here’s one of my favorite tricks. Select all 5 arrows, and make sure your move tool is selected. Then, push the icon at the top that says “distribute horizontal centers” when you hover over it. It makes your arrows evenly spaced!

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  1. At this point, I like to merge the shapes together. To do this, select all the arrows, right-click, and select “Merge Layers”. I also like to rasterize the shape (right-click and select “Rasterize Layer”). Now, you can drag the arrows over to your layout and use them however you want.

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  1. For the top right pocket on this page, I rotated the arrows, made them smaller, and changed them to a blue color that matched my layout. I felt like I needed something next to the picture on the card, so I put the arrows there. I duplicated the arrows for the moccasin pic, but I decided that five arrows was too many, so I used the lasso tool to select two of the arrows, and deleted them. I also changed them to white for that pic and lowered the opacity to about 75%.

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  1. The final step I took for this page was to add text to the bottom left pic. I had converted that photo to black and white, and I felt like it needed a little more. I just added some text boxes directly on top of the picture. Sometimes I will lower the opacity, or change the blending mode, but for this one I just changed the text to the same color as the top arrows. I liked it, so I left it that way.

Here is the final layout:

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simply Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Design

There are so many fun shapes to play around with, so the next time you think your photo or page needs a little something extra, check them out! Here are a few more of my favorites:

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JaimeAbout the Author: Jaime is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a stay-at-home mom to 4 boys and 1 girl. When she’s not chauffeuring, volunteering at school, or helping with play costumes, she likes to digitally record her family’s memories, improve her photography skills, and read (there’s always a stack of books on her nightstand).