Very simply, a template is a layered file that is already “stacked up” or arranged to create a layout, pattern or project. Each layer in the file contains a shape or placeholder for you to clip a paper, photo or element to create your final project. Hybrid projects often use templates to help you easily create dimensional crafts or projects that coordinate with a specific physical product. Templates are so helpful for creating these types of projects because you can clearly see where to cut, fold, glue, etc. This allows you to create fabulous projects with ease!
Today we’re going to cover the basics of templates. I think you’ll be surprised how quickly you will become comfortable using them!
Note for those that purchased the prepped Our House Mini Book kit: The following steps are already done for you, but if you’re not familiar with these techniques it’s a good idea to follow along and learn these new skills. You may also want to switch out a paper for a favorite in your file and you can follow these instructions to make those changes if desired.
Begin by opening your photo editing program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Now let’s take a look at the template folder we downloaded yesterday. Inside the unzipped folder ‘AHartline_OurHouse_MiniBkTemp’ you will find :
- 3 layered templates in psd format
- a folder with all 3 layered templates in tif format
- 3 folders with all 3 templates split into png format.
Let’s open the template for the front cover of our mini book: AHartline_OurHouse_MBTFrontCvr.psd
It’s a good idea to save your file under a new name before you proceed so you don’t accidentally save over your original template. In your main window you can see our house shape, and in the layers palette you can see all the individual layers I used to make the house:
Each of these layers is a placeholder for you to clip your paper and other items. We’ll get to that in just a minute, but first I want to explain the shape for this project.
You see how there is a house shape on both the left and right sides of the page? Later when we print the halves of this double shape will fold together to make your mini book cover. By folding the page in half, we get pretty patterns on both sides of the paper without worrying about trying to align our paper to print on both sides. Plus it makes a much sturdier cover and allows us to do some fun things with the windows and door.
Let’s start dressing up our little house! Open up any paper file that you would like to use for the front wall of your house. I’m using the file: AHartline_OurHouse_PP06.jpg
Select your ‘move tool’ then drag the paper you just opened over and drop it into your template file. You’ll need to be able to see both windows in order to do this so you may need to zoom out a bit or rearrange your files so you can see them both. To drag and drop, simply (left) click once on your paper file and hold the mouse button down. Drag the cursor over your template file. You’ll see a black border appear around the outside edge of your template file and a little plus sign will appear next to the cursor. Then just release the mouse.
Now we need to clip the paper to the layer called ‘House 1’. First make sure your paper (‘Layer 1’ in my file) is positioned directly over the layer called ‘House 1’ in the layers palette. If it’s somewhere else in the layer palette, click on it to select it (the selected layer is highlighted), then drag it so it’s in the right place.
There are several ways to clip in PS & PSE:
- Hold down the alt key and position the cursor directly over the line between the two layers in the layers palette. The cursor will turn to a hand; click once. (my favorite way to clip)
- Layer Menu --> Create Clipping Mask (or ‘Group with Previous Layer’ depending on the software version)
- Keystroke: Ctrl+G in PSE, Alt+Ctrl+G in PS
Now make sure your paper layer is selected in the layers palette and use the move tool to reposition it and/or resize it if desired. When you’re happy with the way it looks, we can merge it with the ‘House 1’ template layer:
- Right-click on the paper layer in the layers palette and choose ‘Merge Down’ from the menu.
- Layer Menu --> Merge Down
- Keystroke: Ctrl+E in PSE & PS
Now your ‘House 1’ layer is filled with a pretty paper.
Repeat the steps above to add papers to all of the template layers in your file. Don’t be afraid to mix-n-match the papers for a fun look! There are no rules! Here is the list of papers I used for my cover:
- House 1, Door Knob: AHartline_OurHouse_PP06.jpg
- House 2: AHartline_OurHouse_PP05.jpg
- Chimney Top, Door, Window Frame: AHartline_OurHouse_PP09_BONUS.jpg
- Roof: AHartline_OurHouse_PP08_BONUS.jpg
- Window Inside: jwds_ourhouse_cardstock12.jpg (I changed the blending mode on this layer to color to let pattern show through. I’ll be happy to explain how to do that if anyone wants to know.)
I wanted a very specific look for my house (did I mention I’m crazy picky LOL?) so I created two new papers for my house. I’m sharing them with you if you want to use the same ones:
Download Bonus Papers
When you’re finished adding papers to all of your template layers, you can add personal touches like embellishments, drop shadows, etc to your file if you’re comfortable doing so. We’re going to cover this in more detail on Day 4, so hang tight!
Some of you cannot use the layered psd & tif files, but there are PNG files included in your download as well. If your program supports layered files in another format, it will be super easy to recreate the layered file I provided in the kit.
The png files are numbered in order starting with the bottom, so simply open the first file in the folder (AHartline_OurHouse_MBTFrontCvr01.png for example). Then open the next files in order and drag them on top of each other in the first file. In PS, you maintain placement from one file to the next when dragging by holding down the shift key and I would imagine most programs have a function like this. This means all your files will be aligned properly once you’ve stacked them up.
If you have trouble or need help let me know!
- Apply papers to your front cover template: AHartline_OurHouse_MBTFrontCvr.psd
- Apply papers to your back cover template: AHartline_OurHouse_MBTBackCvr.psd
Don’t panic! If you have questions please feel free to ask! We’re spending 3 more days working with our digital files, so we have plenty of time to make sure everyone understands and find solutions to differences between programs.
That’s it for today. Have fun & feel free to share your covers when you’re finished! Just upload to the gallery and link in this thread so we can take a look.
PDF Printable of this Post: http://angelhartline.com/images/hybr... theStudio.pdf