Design House Digital

Posts Tagged ‘PSE’

4 Play!

Hello everyone, it’s Decorator Jennifer Valencia back with a 4-Play for you! Since I chose greens last time for my 4-play, I went with some bold blues, reds and blacks. When I pick 4-Play ensembles, I try to pick a quartet of kits that a) have some papers, b) have some elements, and c) have something funky and interesting.  I also try to choose colors that will be appealing for many different kinds of pages, for boys & girls, etc.  So hopefully this selection appeals to YOU.   Here are the four kits!

I Love Boys digital paper by Robyn Meierotto

Be You Elements by Karla Dudley

Real Simple Newsprint Alpha by Jen Allyson

Grunge Brushes by Sara Schmutz

I absolutely LOVE the chunky newsprint alpha by Jen Allyson.  This page with primary reds and blues  matched well with it, and I used the alpha to make a large word on my layout.  Sarah’s grunge brushes are prefect to layer behind other elements; I clipped one of Robyn’s bold geometric papers to the brush and it ended up as a perfect patch of color to break up all the squares of my page.  Speaking of Robyn: I used several of Robyn’s striking papers for pops of little wow-boxes on the page to set off my black and white photos.  And Karla’s element pack gave me lots of choices for extras to soften up edges and add visual interest.  Karla has this knack for creating the perfect assembly of elements, I think!  And so it all came together like this, in a layout about my daughter and her friend playing Angry Bird Towers with City Blox and stuffed toys.

Image by Jennifer Valencia

Next up is a fantastic layout by Audrey Neal, who is both a Decorator AND a designer here at DHD.  Audrey says: “I really liked the four products that Jennifer pulled together; the brushes add to the grungy feel of the papers, and that’s echoed again in the newsprint alphabet. I wanted a simple layout that focused on a composite photo I created in PSE and a lengthy bit of journaling, so I used one of Tiffany Tillman’s Simple Snapshots templates. I clustered the grungy brushes from Sara, elements from Karla, and patterned paper strips from Robyn to create a visual triangle; this allowed me to create layers of texture and pops of color to accentuate the main focus of my page.”

Image by Audrey Neal

And here we have a wonderful layout by site Decorator Jennifer Papadimitriou.  Jen says:  “I love the colors Jen chose for her kits, and they matched really well with the elements too! I used a grungy brush for the background and clipped a pattern paper to it.I wanted to keep it simple as my main focus was the photo frame which I let hang from a brad. I added a bit of flowers, some word art and the letter “i” from the alpha in the corner of the frame for her name (Isla).”

Layout by Jennifer Papadimitriou

And finally we have a layout by Gennifer Bursett, one of our site designers.  Gen says: “I absolutely loved the kits Jennifer chose! I used them to showcase this hilarious photo of my niece, who has the most amazing sense of humor… and she’s not even two yet! I used different blending modes for the text and graphics so they’re not just “floating” in a solid color, one of my favorite things to do this in white space of photos!

Layout by Gennifer Bursett

Don’t forget that today only (ends Monday at midnight PST), you can get each of these kits for only a dollar, and one is even FREE! So go grab them, and then play along. Upload a layout using these four kits to the DHD gallery by Sunday, then come back here and post a link to it. Not only will you learn to stretch your kits, but you could win a gift certificate to DHD!

(Congrats to Liz, last week’s winner!)

Saving Your Layout for the Web

Hi all! Decorator Shannon here with a quick tutorial on how to save your layout for the web. I’ve seen questions on the forums about how people get their layouts to look so crisp and sharp in the galleries. The answer is a quick series of steps after you’ve saved your layout.

These instructions are for Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop Elements 6. If you have a different version the menu options just may be slightly different than what I list.

First, you want to open your full size (12×12 or 8×8) .jpg file of your layout.

Next, you will resize your layout. In CS you do this by image>image size. In PSE it’s image>resize>image size. The dimensions will be 600×600 pixels and 72ppi. Change the pixels/inch first and the size second.

Next, you will sharpen your image. This is what makes it really pop on the web, instead of having that slightly fuzzy look. You’ll do this by applying an unsharp mask to the entire image. In CS you’ll find this in filter>sharpen>unsharp mask. In PSE you’ll find it in enhance>unsharp mask. My settings are as follows; amount: 150, radius: 0.3, threshold: 0. You could play around with it a bit if this doesn’t look quite right to you.

Now you will save your new file. Make sure you choose “save as” and not “save”, you don’t want to overwrite your full size file. I always save my file with the same name as my original, but I add the word “small” to the end.

There you have it! A few easy steps to really make your layouts pop when they’re uploaded to the web. I’ll end with a visual of how my layout looks before and after resizing and using the unsharp mask.



Tutorial: Simple tips for beginning photo editing part: 1

Learning to digital scrapbook can be a daunting task when you first start out AND so can photo editing.  I cannot tell you how happy I was to just learn these simple skills in Photoshop Elements and what a huge difference they made in my digital scrapbooking layouts.

Lightening Photos: When your photo is underexposed, your falsh didn’t go off, or the flash was simple not enough light.

1.  Open a photo in PSE.

2.  Always make a copy of your original layer before modifying it. Then if you don’t like the way it’s turned out you can discard it and easily start again on another copy of the original. To create a new empty layer, click on the New Layer icon at the top left of the layers palette. A new layer will appear immediately above the layer you currently have active.

2. Go to Enhance> Adjust Lighting> Levels.

3. Your levels box will pop up. Click on the third little eyedropper all the way to the right (set white point)

4. Click on any portion of your photo that is white, or the lightest area you can find in your photo.

5. Your photo will now be brighter than the original–simple as that!

6. If you don’t like the changes to your photo you can always undo them and keep playing around with the lighting until you get the perfect look. Just press reset in the levels pop up box.  You can change the lighting by clicking on different white parts of your photo with the eye dropper.

Warming Photos: Used when the flash or other lighting washed out the colors or you just want to add a little warmth to the photo.

1. Open a photo in PSE.  Duplicate photo by going to Layer> Duplicate Layer> OK this will make a background copy.

2. Click on the “Create Adjustment Layer” icon that looks like a black and white circle next to the New Layer icon at the top of your Layers palette.

3. Choose “Photo Filter”

4. Be sure that you have the “Preview” option enabled by clicking the box, this will allow you to view the intensity as you increase/decrease the warmth.  Change the warmth by dragging the Density slide to the left or right inside the Photo filter pop up box.  You can also select the “warmth tone”  by changing the color box by clicking on it.  Nice colors to try when looking for warmth are yellow, orange, pinks, and reds.

5. The results: A warm sunny day!  I wanted to take the cool tones and bring some warmth into the photo. It was a really warm day, but my camera did not capture that, a few simple steps and it’s perfect!

Just a few reminders:

1. Work with a copy of your photo and be sure to save the edited photo under a different name in case you want to go back to the orginal .

2. Moderation in all things.  The slight, simple changes you make in photo editing are going to have the greatest overall impact and will keep your photos looking natural and “real”.

3. Have fun, the more you play around in Photoshop Elements the more comfortable you’ll feel.  Your photos and layouts will thank you!

Tutorial: How to use masks in Photoshop Elements

full of surprisesToday I am going to show you how versatile my cutting files can be.  I always include PNG files in all of my digital cutting file kits that can be used as masks in your digital layouts. If you have a personal cutting machine, then all the better!  You can use them to cut paper or to mask digitally. Right now we are going to focus on using PNG files as masks.

step1 Open the 3 jpg paper files you’d like to use in Photoshop Elements. I used Deena Rutter’s “Happier” collection.
• DHD-drutter-happier-fullgarden
• DHD-drutter-happier-pink
• DHD-drutter-happier-blue
step2 Then I open 3 png files I’d like to use. I used Deena Rutter’s
• DHD-drutter-openscallop.png

• DHD-drutter-circlescallop.png

• DHD-drutter-bracketedge.png

found in the D-cut Diecut Paper Edges Kit.
step3 Lets get started by opening up your base layer of paper and the bracket edge file

Click and drag the bracket edge .png file on top of the pink paper copy. Place it right in the center of your page.  I also like to close out my bracket edge.png file one I’ve placed it, just so I don’t get confused.

Unlock your background image (Pink paper) by double-clicking on the layer and name it something. I’m going to call mine, “Pink”.

Now that my Pink copy is unlocked, I’m going to make it the top layer. I can do this by clicking on the image on my right hand layers panel and drag to the top.
step7 I’m going to take my mouse right between the pink copy and the black png on the right hand side, while holding down the ALT key. You’ll see an arrow with two stacked circles. Now use your mouse to click.

And voila!! You’ve clipped your base layer.  Now I’ll minimize this and move along to my patterned paper.
I’m using Deena’s Happier full garden paper and my circle scallop.png for my next layer. I’m going to repeat steps 4  to click and drag my .png file to where I’d like to have it on my patterned paper. Repeat step 5, and  rename the “locked” pattern paper to be called “Full Garden”. Repeat step 6 and change it to be the top layer.
Repeat step 7 to clip the patterned paper to be the scalloped circle shape.
Now, I want it to be an image itself. I’m going to highlight both my layers (shift+click) and right click on my mouse and select MERGE LAYERS.
I can click on one single layer and drag it to be the top layer on my pink sheet.


I add my photo and a few other Deen Rutter “Happier” elements and there you have it!! Happy Clipping!! Hope this tutorial made you a little “Happier”!


Creating a Basic Layout – Video Tutorial

Photoshop Elements can be a little intimidating at first, but it truly is the most versatile program for digital scrapbooking. I am going to be releasing a series of videos that will help you understand the basics of digital scrapbooking using PSE.

This first video is a quick overview on how to create a basic layout. You can download the free kit used in this layout in the shop and follow along. You may need to watch a few times or pause and resume watching as you go. The tutorial is using Photoshop Elements 8, but the same principles apply to other versions of Photoshop Elements and Photoshop.

Check back for more videos that will help you learn the basics of digital scrapbooking using Photoshop Elements.