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Old 06-13-2010, 02:34 AM   #1
TanyaH666
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How To Use A Layered Template

***If someone else uses a program other than Photoshop, fill free to post a tutorial for said program here as well!!***

I know when I first started digi-scrapping, I got Photoshop Elements and downloaded a bunch a free templates and had NO IDEA how to use them!

So here is a quick and simple tutorial on how to use those awesome layered templates to get started making some beautiful layouts!

I use Photoshop Elements 8, but this is pretty much the same in all versions of Photoshop. Layered templates come in either .PSD or .TIFF files. Both work the same way.

Let's start by downloading a template! I went ahead and made one for this tutorial, which you can get HERE!! I have included 2 versions of the same template. One (which I am using in this tutorial) that is just the paper layers, and another with included element guides if you chose to use them.

Open Photoshop. Open a layered template. Go to File>Save As and save this project under a new name so you don’t accidentally save over your original template.



Open a photo.



Drag your photo onto the template. Position the photo so that it covers the spot for the photo in the template.



Go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask (Keystroke: Ctrl+G in PSE, Shft+Ctrl+G in PS, Apple+G on a Mac).



With the photo layer active (it will be highlighted), resize and rotate the photo until the desired portion is visible. I resize by moving any of the 4 corners of the photo. If you use the sides of the photo, it will distort the photo.



Right click on the photo layer in the Layers Palette and select “Merge Down” from the drop down menu to merge your photo into the template layer. Or use Layer>Merge Down or Keystroke Ctrl+E, Apple+E on a Mac.



Open a paper from any of your digi - scrapping supplies.



Click and drag your paper onto the template. Click on the paper layer in the Layers Palette and drag down until it is directly above the template layer you want to clip it to.



Now we are gonna clip it just like me did the photo earlier. Go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask (Keystroke: Ctrl+G in PSE, Shft+Ctrl+G in PS, Apple+G on a Mac).



Just like we did with the photo, right click on the paper layer in the Layers Palette and select “Merge Down” from the drop down menu to merge your paper into the template layer. Or use Layer>Merge Down or Keystroke Ctrl+E, Apple+E on a Mac.

All you have to do now is continue this process until you have all photos and/or papers placed on your template!

After you get used to using templates, they become a really awesome base for starting your pages. You can rotate them, move the layers around and even delete/add layers.

Here is the layout I made with the template using Enjoy The Moment by Sahlin Studio:


Thanks for hosting Mickey Bar Jungle Cruise I link to MouseScrappers! Mickey Pumpkin Thanks for being an outstanding contributor Tanya! Speed Scrapper! Captain EO Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts! I got Maleficent as a dragon for referring people to MouseScrappers! Limited Edition Amazon pin #3 Expedition Everest Magical Express Pirate Dog Sleeping Beauty\'s Castle (Disneyland) Pop Century Wish VoluntEAR - Ribbon Cutester Minnie Pumpkin King Kaa Ursula Pete Ive met another MouseScrapper Eiffel Tower

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Old 06-13-2010, 09:54 AM   #2
Carolc
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Wow, Tanya... this is awesome! Thanks for writing such a detailed tutorial. The screen shots really helped a lot. I learned a few things I didn't know.

- I didn't know that the action I did was called 'Create Clipping Mask'. I didn't know that I could use Ctrl-g to do it, either. I have always held the Alt key down and hovered over the line between the two layers that I wanted to associate (in the layers panel on the right). When you see the little oval/link, you click on it. Ctrl-g is much easier to explain.

- I've never tried 'Merge Down'. Will that essentially crop the rest of the photo/paper that can't be seen out? If it does, maybe that would reduce the size of my psd file and keep me from having to crop before dragging it on the paper.


A couple more tips:

- before you drag items onto your template, select the template layer that you want your new item to be right on top of. This way you won't have to move it to the right position later (which can minimize confusion if you have a ton of layers). i.e. do it right before "Click and drag your paper onto the template."

- if you hold the shift key down before you drag an item onto your page, it will center it. Especially helpful for the paper on your bottom layer.

Thanks again!!

p.s. Love your layout!!
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Last edited by Carolc; 06-13-2010 at 11:55 AM.

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Old 06-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolc View Post
- before you drag items onto your template, select the template layer that you want your new item to be right on top of. This way you won't have to move it to the right position later (which can minimize confusion if you have a ton of layers). i.e. do it right before "Click and drag your paper onto the template."
OMG THANK YOU for sharing this!!!!!!!!! That is going to be a HUGE headache saver.... drives me crazy trying to find things hidden under the layers--esp tiny stitches and staples and buttons and stuff!!!

And Tanya, thanks for the FAB template! Love it!!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:03 PM   #4
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Another great template Tanya!!!

What Carol said about merging down the layers, what are the pro´s of doing this? I never do it, maybe I should
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by roxana View Post
Another great template Tanya!!!

What Carol said about merging down the layers, what are the pro´s of doing this? I never do it, maybe I should
I don't ctrl-E things ALL the time, but sometimes I do it b/c I need to move an element, or make something larger or smaller after I have already added the photo or paper to it (often a strip of patterned paper or something like that). If you DON'T merge them, then you have to change each part separately.... by ctrl-E-ing, it turns it into one layer.

I'm sure there are other (probably better!) reasons, too!
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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I use photoshop CS4

The principle is similar to Tanya's fantastic tutorial. With your template open drag your photo or paper on to the template. Drag your paper/ photo in the layer window so that it is above the layer of the template you want to add it too. Hover the mouse pointer in the line between the template layer and your chosen paper or photo and hold down alt (I think it is ctrl on a mac), a little black arrow with 2 overlapping circles appears. Click the mouse pointer and your paper or photo will become the same shape as the layer beneath it.

You cna then use ctrl and t to transofrm the photo or paper as required. This is handy if you need to shrink a photo to fit the shape.

One last thing to remember is if the template layers are not preshadowed you need to shadow the template layers not your paper/ photo layers beause the shadows will not show.

Clear as mud isn't it this was hard to explain without screen shots. If anyone is using the same program as me and needs help with this let me know and I will do a photo tutorial as well.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:28 PM   #7
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Awesome tutorial AND template, Tanya!

99% of the time I don't merge down because I like to have complete control, lol, and I'm constantly changing things. I seriously can spend forever just moving something over a millimeter & back to see what I like better!

BTW, I saw someone mention in another thread how they used templates wrong before they learned the right way. Well, the first time I used a template, I thought you had to keep the background color that's included in the template I added a paper & blended it a bit to at least give it texture. Ah, well, live and learn, right (that reminds me, I really should redo that page!) Just shows there's no such thing as stupid questions!
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
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This is awesome! Thank you... and the this is how i learn....

when posible can you do one for using Elements PNG files


and layering?
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:06 PM   #9
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thank you so much for this!! I couldn't figure out what to do with a template, either, and I knew it couldn't be all that hard...
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #10
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If you are using Photoshop, not Elements (it might work in Elements, but I don't know), you can create a smart object out of your photos and boxes they are clipped to. This allows you to modify them all at once, like add a stroke or drop shadow to all of them at the same time, resize them, etc. And, as a smart object, you can always go back and edit at anytime.

To do this make a group of your layers (put them all into a folder), right click on the folder and choose smart object. The folder will change into a layer with a smart object icon on it.

To go back and make changes to the individual layers, just click on the smart object layer thumbnail, the whole thing will open up in it's own document and you edit, save and it's all updated.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll do a tutorial and post it on my blog for everyone.
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