Welcome back! Ready to get started? When I first started hybrid (and restarted digital) scrapbooking earlier this year it was by using layered templates. Basically a layered template is the digi version of a sketch in paper scrapbooking. Consider it a map of sorts to use to make your page. The layout and design is there for you, you just need to add your papers, photos and embellishments! You can find templates with a complete page design, or one that is just for laying out your photos.
This page by Paula uses a photo template by Katie Pertiet from Designer Digitals.
Once Paula had the photos arranged in the template, she printed out the file and then cut around them to use on her page.
I used only the photo, label and paper layers, and then printed that out for my paper page. I also kept the little @ tag, but repositioned it.
But just how do you use these templates? The way I do it is by using a method called "clipping masks". I'll show you the steps, using a basic little template that I made for the tutorial. The template has two 4x6 shapes, similar to what you'll find in standard layered templates. Click the following link to download the template. Download Francine Clouden Test Template
In Photoshop: Open the template and your photo, and with the move tool, click on the photo file and drag it onto the template file. (First make sure that you are in Standard Screen mode and can see all the open files)
In Elements you will see all your open files in a tray at the bottom of the screen. Make sure that you have the template file showing in the main working area, then simply drag the photo file from the tray at the bottom onto the template file.
You can now close the photo file. We want to clip the photo to the grey rectangle, so first drag the photo layer down in the layers palette so that it is above the layer with the grey rectangle. The layer palette can be found in the lower right of the screen.
Then place your cursor so that it is between the photo and rectangle layers and press the ALT key on your keyboard. Keep pressing it and you will see your cursor change into two overlapping circles. At this point click with your mouse and your photo will clip to the rectangle.
You can see that your photo is linked to the rectangle layer in the layer palette
Your entire photo is still there, but as it is clipped to the rectangle you can only see a portion of it. Use your move tool and try moving it around, you can see that different portions of it show up in the rectangle area. This is the power of clipping masks. Now we can move around the photo to get the placement we need. We can also resize it so see more or less of the original photo.
To do this in Photoshop make sure the photo layer is selected and go to Edit>Transform>Scale
In Elements go to Image>Resize>Scale
You'll see a frame come up around the photo. While holding your shift key down, Click on one of the corners of this frame, and drag the mouse to make the photo smaller. Holding down shift is very important because it keeps the proportions of the photo!
Play with this until you're happy with the size and position, then hit enter to make it stick.
I've prepared a video of the steps shown above in Photoshop. Hopefully it will help explain the steps more clearly.
Once you've tried it out and feel more confident, why not play with a real template? You can find a free download from Cathy Zielske here. She also shares a video showing how she used the template.
Ali Edwards also has a number of freebies and videos on her site. One of my favourites of hers is this one.
Tomorrow I'll show you how to complete a hybrid page and talk more about templates and overlays.