168. Create a Scrapbook Page
Before You Begin
44 Create a New Image
91 About Layers and the Layers Palette
99 Move, Resize, Skew, or Distort a Layer
106 Rotate an Image or Layer
120 About Drawing Shapes
183 Add a Text Caption or Label
Scrapbooking is a multimillion dollar industry, providing artists with a complete array of colorful papers, wavy-edged scissors, die-cut shapes, and small paper punchestools designed specifically to help you create a unique presentation for your photographs. Without spending a dime on these special papers and tools, you can create beautiful scrapbook pages on your computer using the Editor. And best of all, with the Type tool, your "handwriting" will look perfect!
Create New Image
Open the Editor in Standard Edit mode and set the background color to the color you want to use for the background of your scrapbook page. Then, click the New button on the Shortcuts bar to start a new image, or choose File, New, Blank File. The New dialog box appears.
Type Scrapbook in the Name text box. From the Preset list, select 8 x 10. Select Background Color from the Background Contents list. Adjust any other options you like, such as the Resolution. Click OK to create a new image with the background color you choose. Save the new image in Photoshop (*.psd) format.
Use the scrapbook pages you create for greeting cards, post cards, or special scrapbook photo albums. You can have your scrapbook pages bound professionally into a hard cover book, by uploading the individual images to an online service. See 69 Print an Image Using an Online Service.
You also can create quick-and-easy photo album pages in the Organizer: Just select the photos to use and click the Create button on the Options bar. Choose Photo Album Pages from the Select a creation type list, and then follow the onscreen instructions.
Break up the page by defining large areas for text and photos. Click the Rectangle, Ellipse, or other shape tool on the Toolbox, and use it to create one or two areas of various sizes and colors. Enable the Create new shape layer option on the Options bar so that each "area" will be on its own layer. This arrangement enables you to resize the areas that define the page as needed so that you can fine-tune the layout of your page. See 120 About Drawing Shapes. These areas will help to anchor the various elements on the page. Breaking a page into thirds or halves typically works best.
You can create unusual shapes for your page, such as the lightning bolt shown here, using any of the selection tools and then filling the selection with color using the Paint Bucket. I plan on using the lightning bolt shape to hold text later on, but you could use a shape to frame a photo. When creating shapes for photos, keep in mind that placing photos in odd-numbered groups (such as singly or in threes) helps to create more flow and interest on your page. Also, to avoid cluttering the page, try not to use too many photos.
For ideas on what colors to use for your scrapbook pages, look to paint-set samples. The colors on each sample card are designed to go together, so if you use those same colors, you'll automatically have a complementary color scheme.
Add texture or a pattern to your background using the Pattern Stamp, a filter, layer style, or effect. You can even insert a photo above the background layer and meld it with the background color by changing to Hard Light blend mode on the photo layer.
To make the sides of one of your areas look like it's torn paper, select the shape layer you want to change and simplify it (Layer, Simplify Layer). Use the Lasso tool to draw your jagged edge, invert the selection, and then press Delete. Set the foreground color to the same color as the shape, and the background color to the color of the background the shape is lying on, or some contrasting color. Deselect the selection and apply the Torn Edges filter (Filter, Sketch, Torn Edges). Set Smoothness to 2 and Contrast to 20, and then play with the Image Balance setting until the torn edge appears. Because you have to simplify the layer first, apply this filter after you're sure that the area is the size you need it to be for your photos.
Bring in your photos one by one. To insert a photo, open the image and arrange the screen so that you can see the Scrapbook window too. Drag the photo's thumbnail from the Layers palette and drop it into the Scrapbook window. A new layer for the photo is automatically created.
Use the bounding box that appears around the shape to resize, rotate, skew, and reposition the image on the layer. See 99 Move, Resize, Skew, or Distort a Layer.
To set off the photo on the page, add a frame (see 166 Frame a Photograph), a drop shadow or outer glow layer style, or cut the image in a shape that complements your theme: Click the Cookie Cutter tool on the Toolbox and choose a shape from the Shape palette on the Options bar. To view other shapes, click the right-arrow button on the Shape palette and select the shape preset list you want to see from the menu that appears; select All Elements Shapes to see all available shapes in this list. Click the Shape Options button and set how you want the shape sized. For example, choose Defined Proportions to keep the original proportions of the shape and not make it fatter or taller. Add a Feather if you like, to soften the edges of the photo shape. Disable the Crop option. Drag on the image to draw the cookie cutter shape; again, you can use the bounding box that appears to move, resize, rotate, or skew the shape on the image before cutting. Click the Commit button (the checkmark) to cut the image to that shape.
With the Crop option disabled, the Cookie Cutter tool will crop only the current layer, which in this case is one of your images. If you enable the Crop option, all layers are cropped, making your entire scrapbook page that shape.
Click the Horizontal or Vertical Type tool on the Toolbox. On the Options bar, select the Font, Font Style, and Font Size you want to use. Select a Color and set any other options you want. Then type your text. See 183 Add a Text Caption or Label for help. Click the checkmark button on the Options bar to accept your changes.
To rotate the text to fit in a particular location on the page, click it with the Move tool. Then, drag just outside a corner handle, right or left, to rotate the text into position. Drag from the center of the text to move it on the layer. See 106 Rotate an Image or Layer.
View the Result
After you're satisfied with the result, make any other changes you want and save the PSD file. Resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
I had a lot of fun creating this scrapbook page of my daughter's recent birthday sleepover party. I have a lot more photos, so I might create a second page using the same colors and shapes so that the two look like they go together.
When I created the guest list for the lower-left corner, I remembered that I'd taken a photo of the glasses the kids wore, so I erased the background in the photo and hung the glasses over the sign. For the owl photo, I created my own owl and Harry's arm using the Paint Brush tool. I then placed a photo on the layer above the owl drawing, and used the Layer, Group with Previous command to create a clipping mask, which caused that image to be clipped in the shape of the owl I had drawn. I then changed the image layer's blend mode to Vivid Light so that the whitest areas of the owl shape I drew (such as its head and upper wing feathers) still appear, like a ghost on the image shape. That way, the faces of my daughter and her friends on the image layer appear to be casting a spell on the photographer. Look for this image in the Color Gallery.