April 18, 2012

The Beginner Digital Scrapbooker & Ten Tips for You

I recently spent the day teaching my 9 year old daughter how to digitally scrapbook. As I was teaching her the ins and outs of Photoshop there were a few things that I consistently had to remind her about. I thought I would share some of those things with you. Some of them will be key things every beginner digital scrapbooker will need to know and some of them will be little extras that will make your scrapbooking a lot easier. I'm also going to share the pages she made....because I'm proud of her.

I'm using Photoshop CS3 so all of my tips will be based on that program, although most things will be similar in Photoshop Elements and other version of the creative suite.

1. Use Templates! Okay, okay, you don't have to use templates BUT if you are a beginner digital scrapbooker this is a great way to go. My daughter used them on all four of the pages she created. It was a great way to get her started and teach her about layers. I have two beginner video tutorials here that will teach you how to use a template. There's even a way to get the template in the video for free. ;)

2. Remember to use Ctrl+alt+g to clip your papers/photos to the different layers. It only took a few reminders for my daughter to remember this.

3. When you place an element on a page and then you rotate, re-size it or whatever you will have to hit enter. She would always get frustrated because Photoshop wouldn't let her do anything else until she hit enter and she would always forget to hit enter and then she would be stuck. So remember, hit enter after you have used your move tool to rotate or re-size a photo, paper or element.

4. When you re-size an element in CS3 hold down the shift key while you re-size it so it doesn't distort it. She remember this after a few moves. In Photoshop Elements you don't have to hold down the shift key, I think.

5. Use your change screen mode. When she would maximize her template so she could get a better view of it she would get confused about how to go back and look at her elements and paper. You can change it by hitting F or by going to the bottom of your tool bar. Just click and hold on that box and then you can decide what view you want.

6. Zoom in or out. I taught her how to zoom in closer to her template to be able to view it better.  You can either use ctrl+ or you can use the little scroll thingy (don't know what it's called) on your mouse. On my computer you have to hold down alt for it to work but on my hubby's computer you don't. I guess it's probably our settings. I think I want to change mine!

7. Use your Arrange tool. It helps  arrange all your elements, papers, etc... in your Photoshop workspace so that you can easily see them all. In Photoshop Elements you won't have to worry about this because you have your work bin at the thing I don't like about CS3.
This is the before pic of all my elements in my workspace.
Kind of a jumbled mess.

And here they are all organized.
These elements are all from Laura Banasiak's kit Spunky Chick

8. Copy and Past Layer Styles. I think this is a REALLY easy way to use shadows when you are a beginner. She needed help remembering how to do it but once she got it down it was pretty easy for her to remember.
You go to your layers palette and right click on the layer's style that you want to copy and click on Copy Layer Style (you see it highlighted) and then once you click on that you'll go to the new layer that you want to copy that same style to and right click and hit Paste Layer Style (it's right below copy layer style).
I also have a video tutorial here to show you how to copy and paste layer styles. You need to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to view it.

9. If you are using a template, feel free to stretch the different photo spots or paper layers to fit your photo needs. She needed to do this on one of her pages because her photo didn't quite fit in the photo spot. I have a video tutorial here that will show you how to do this.

10. Save periodically. I taught her to save her layered .psd file (or .tiff) periodically so that she didn't lose anything in case it crashed.

If you are a beginner digital scrapbooker you can find more tutorials here and if you go to the Scrap Orchard University Forum you can find lots more written tutorials and video tutorials,everything from beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Here are her pages!
Made by my 9 year old daughter.
Using a template I made that you'll be getting free the weekend of iNSD! So keep your eye out.
Using Sweet Spring by WMSquared Designs.

Made by my 9 year old daughter.
And this was made with a kit from Jady Day Studio and Flergs called Magical Christmas.
Using a template from the ever trusty Simple and Sweet Album Templates.
I did show her how to stretch out the picture and paper mats (all at the same time) so that it would work better with her pics. I have a video tutorial here and in the video tutorial you can see how to re-size all the layers in a template at the same time.

Made by my 9 year old daughter.
This template was a freebie given away at a special MIS. It will soon by in  Recyclables Template Set.
And using Nature's Goodness by Faith True.

I think she did pretty good with her first few pages.

I think my #1 Tip for beginner digital scrapbookers is REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT. Master one step before moving onto the next. I didn't even get into journaling, photo editing, shadowing (beside copy and pasting the layer shadow), etc... When I was learning it took LOTS of pages before I remembered all the basic steps. After that I was ready to learn new things.

Either way, I hope you learned a little something....from my daughter!


Rebecca L said...

From a PSE 10 user, most everything in here will work! Here's a couple tweaks I know about for PSE:

2. Clipping layers in PSE is just CTRL+G

3. I'm not sure if "enter" works, but you definitely have to confirm your change before moving on. I have been using the little check mark button, but I'm going to try "enter" next time.

5. Not sure this has an equivalent in PSE. I just use zoom in and out.

6. A helpful related tip is that CTRL+0 (zero) will return your window to the size where you can see the whole window on the screen.

GREAT TIPS! I recently taught my mom how to use PSE, and your step #1 (templates) turned out to be the magic charm to get her off to a great start. It's so much easier when learning to change something than to build it from scratch.

Christelle said...

And there I thought I wouldn't learn something! I actually didn't know about copying layer styles - this will CERTAINLY save a lot of time...especially when I want to change the shadow colour!

Thanks Liz! Her pages are beautiful!

Sue said...

Wonderful tutorial and beautiful pages by your daughter! I own PSE 6 but use GIMP because I learned that program first. Your tips are an encouragement to me to try PSE again. Thank you!

Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing your daughter's layouts..they are gorgeous!

Breeoxd said...

oh wow, thanks for the tips! Ive been scrapping since 99 and digi since 05 and I have to say, I never used the arrange tool or the change screen very cool~ love your daughters pages too, she did a fabulous job!

lvgurrrl said...

Thanks for the template freebie in the Daily Digi!!!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Rebecca, for giving us some tips for PSE.

Christelle-Glad I taught you something new! It took me awhile to learn that one too.

Sue-I hope you do try it again & that my tips help a little bit. ;)

Breeoxd-I just started using the arrange tool about a year took me 3 years to figure that one out.

lvgurrrl-Your Welcome!

And thank you all for your comments on my daughter's pages. I'll read them to her.

LaRessie said...

Now I can share these with Kamy! :) She was excited when I shared with her about the "club".

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