≡ Menu

≡ Menu

Working with Selection Tools and Alpha Sheets

We have had multiple requests to explain how to use Alpha Sheets, so let’s take a look at that today.  Just what are Alpha Sheets?

Some Alphabet Sets will come with an “Alpha Sheet,” where the entire alphabet will be on one png file.  Other packs come with each letter as a separate png file,  while still other sets will come with both options.

This is what an Alpha Sheet would look like; the letters are all on one file (PNG), with a transparent background. (You might also see it provided in an Alpha set as a PSD file, with the letters on one layer, and a white background, just for easier viewing.)

sd-alpha-1a

If you have an Alpha Sheet, the Rectangular and Elliptical Tools are great selections tools to help you move individual  letters onto your document.  These tools are found in the Tool Bar, the 2nd Tool Preset from the top. Click on the triangle in the lower right corner to expand the tool options.

sd-selection1-1

 

 GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THESE TWO TOOLS:

Rectangular Marquee Tool:

  • Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool in the toolbox.
  • Choose which options you would like to activate in the Tools Option Box.
    • You may choose to create a new selection, add to a selection, subtract from a selection, or intersect with a section.
    • You may choose to feather your selections edge by entering a pixel amount in the “Feather” box.
    • The Anti-alias option is not available with the Rectangular Marquee.
    • In the Style box, you may choose a Normal (free form), Fixed Ratio, or Fixed Size selections.
  • Drag out your selection on your document.

Elliptical Marquee Tool:

  • Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool in the toolbox.
  • Choose which options you would like to activate in the Tools Option Box.
    • You may choose to create a new selection, add to a selection, subtract from a selection, or intersect with a section.
    • You may choose to feather your selections edge by entering a pixel amount in the “Feather” box.
    • The Anti-alias option is available with the Elliptical Marquee Tool.  Check this box to create a softer selection.
    • In the Style box, you may choose a Normal (free form), Fixed Ratio, or Fixed Size selections.
  • Drag out your selection on your document.

The Lasso and Polygonal Lasso Tools can also be helpful with an Alpha Sheet.  They can be found nested in the 2nd selection tool icon. Click on the triangle to expand your options and see these tools.

sd-selection1-4

Now let’s look at a practical way to use either the Rectangular or Elliptical Tools.

GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THESE TWO TOOLS:

Lasso Tool:

  • Select the Lasso Tool in the toolbox.
  • Choose which options you would like to activate in the Tools Option Box.
    • You may choose to create a new selection, add to a selection, subtract from a selection, or intersect with a section.
    • You may choose to feather your selections edge by entering a pixel amount in the “Feather” box.
    • The Anti-alias option is available with the Lasso Marquee Tool.  Check this box to create a softer selection.
  • Click on your document. Without letting go of your mouse, draw out the selection you want. End your selection at the starting point of your selection. When you reach the starting point, Photoshop will close the selection for you, and you will see Marching Ants, indicating your selection.

Polygonal Lasso Tool:

  • Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool in the toolbox.
  • Choose which options you would like to activate in the Tools Option Box.
    • You may choose to create a new selection, add to a selection, subtract from a selection, or intersect with a section.
    • You may choose to feather your selections edge by entering a pixel amount in the “Feather” box.
    • The Anti-alias option is available with the Polygonal Lasso Marquee Tool.  Check this box to create a softer selection.
  • Click on your document to create an anchor point. Let go of your mouse. Move to where you would like to make your next anchor point and click. Continue until you have reached your starting point.  Photoshop will close the selectin for you, and you will see Marching Ants, indicating your selection.

Now let’s see how to use these tools in a practical manner,  using an Alpha Sheet.  For this purpose, we don’t won’t want to set a feather on our selections.

  • Open the Alpha Sheet.  I find it is helpful to reduce the size of the Alpha Sheet, and let it reside on my canvas right next to my working document.
  • Use the tool of your choice and create a selection around your chosen letter.
  • Once the letter has been selected, click on the Move Tool (top icon in the Tool bar); click on your selected letter; drag it onto your document.

sd-selection1-3a

 And that’s it! Just continue selecting the letters you want to complete your title, phrase or word art graphic.

sd-selection1-5

Products used in this tutorial: Paper, Alphas and Alpha Cluster (on the “S”) from By Design, a collaboration between SnickerdoodleDesigns and Vero – the French Touch.  Butterfly is from SnickerdoodleDesigns Butterflies 2 (resized and recolored for this word art graphic)

The By Design Alpha letters are provided as individual png files.  I have created an Alpha Sheet you for from the lower case blue embroidery letters.  You may download that Alpha Sheet, as well as the “Sweet” word art Graphic by clicking on the image below.

sd-selection1-6

 If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

When you experiment with this technique, or any technique you learn through our tutorials, we encourage you to upload your results to our Tutorial Gallery! Show off your hard work!  Please include the name of the tutorial and provide a link to it, in case some of our readers missed it!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week!

{ 6 comments }

ArisaMinamoto with her fabulous page This Happy Place.
I love the composition here. The black and white photo’s do so well in this colorful page and the elements and brushes and stamps really make the photo’s look amazing!
So congrats Arisaminamoto on winning this weeks LOTW!

this-happy-place

This wonderful page was created with the fantastic kit This happy place by WendyP Designs.

wendyp-thishappyplace-kit

{ 0 comments }

A is for apple, B is for bus, do you remember reading or hearing those when you were young? JulieC Designs created ABC kits for you to celebrate those days. These kits are perfect for all sorts of projects, and especially for kids. You can create gorgeous cards, invitations or just scrap your beautiful children photo’s. F is For by JulieC Designs is the newest kit in the ABC collection and it is on sale for 30% off at the moment!

A is voor appel, B is voor bus, ken je deze liedjes nog van toen je jong was? JulieC Designs creëert een hele ABC serie voor jullie om je hier aan te herinnneren. Deze kits zijn perfect voor allerlei projecten en speciaal voor kinderen. Je kunt er prachtige kaarten, uitnodigingen of gewoon al je mooie foto’s mee scrappen. F is For van JulieC Designs is de nieuwste kit in deze ABC collectie en het is momenteel in de aanbieding met een korting van 30%!

jhc-pm-FisFor-elements-preview

Please take a look below to see the other bundles from this collection.

Kijk maar hieronder om de andere bundles te zien van deze collectie.

Alphabet_Collection_A_main_preview

jhc_pm_B_is_for_main_preview

jhc_pm_C_is_for_main_preview

jhc-pm-DisFor-main-preview

jhc_pm-e-is-For-preview

Now here is the quickpage I made for you. I decided to go for F is For Fun. Please enjoy!

Hier is de quickpage die ik voor jullie gemaakt heb. Ik heb besloten te gaan voor F is For Fun. Veel plezier ermee!

***Download***

DbyR-fisfor_quickpage_preview

{ 2 comments }

When someone you love is in the military, it’s not just hard work for that person but for the entire family. Long distance communication, managing a household without help, waiting, worrying, hoping and praying that they will come home safe and sound. Bring them home is a beautiful, soft and meaningful collection created with love by Angel Hartline Designs, Nibbles Skribbles, Piggy Scraps and Vero – The French Touch.

It will be FREE for Studio Military members: just go here to get it.

Thestudio-BTH-kit-pv Thestudio-BTH-pp-pv Thestudio-BTH-solids-pv

Here’s a Quick Page for you today, Enjoy!!!

***Download***

preview

{ 2 comments }

Goodbye Oma

This is how I remember my Oma. Happy, full of love, beautiful. I am beyond blessed to have had her my entire 47 years. It makes saying goodbye so hard.

I am the oldest grandchild. I am the luckiest grandchild. I remember rainy days on end, playing duizenden and always losing (I was in my 20s before I learned she was a really good cheater).

I loved being sick at her house. No one makes liga/sinasapple/banana “pap” like Oma. I loved taking the bus to den Bosch and running errands with her. I especially loved it when they were long errands and we could have lunch on top of the V&D too.

My favorite was having a tientje pushed into my hand. Her hand warm and firm over mine:

“Niet verliezen hè?” And going to the baker to buy little cakes for unexpected visitors. It was always so hard not buying them all.

I loved playing in the attic, alone or with my cousins, digging through her clothing or my uncles old war gear. The best days were the days we could play with Opas billiard table, not that we were allowed to touch it often.

I can still remember the smell of her house. Part old, part clean, part my favorite meal. How she managed to cook for all of us in a kitchen the size of a galley is beyond me.

These last years, as her speech left her, I still felt loved and part of our own world. Her words may have been few and far between but her face spoke volumes. She was still there. And I am so incredibly grateful I got to spend her last years nearby.

I lost my beautiful Oma, my hero, this week. It was peaceful, quiet and still surprising. Somehow, even at 100, I didn’t think she’d really go. I miss her with all my heart.my-oma

{ 3 comments }

Creating Text on a Path

Last week we talked about Working With Shapes in Photoshop.  Today let’s look at another thing we can do with Shapes, and that is creating text on their work paths.

For today’s tutorial, I am using Photoshop CC.

Let’s get started!

1. Select the Shape Tool in the Tool Bar on the far left of your screen.

2. Go to the Top Options Bar.  Choose:  Shape; No fill; No stroke

sd-custom-1

3 Create a new blank layer. Drag out your shape on that layer.  I chose the Ellipse Tool, and held down Shift while dragging to create a Circle. A work path will be created.

sd-custom-2

4. Click on the Horizontal Type Tool in the Tool bar.

5. Move your cursor onto your document. As you move it closer to the work path, you will see the cursor change.  It will now look like an “I” with a wavy line through it. When you see that change, click on your document and start typing.

sd-custom-3

You can adjust your text, change font styles, sizes, or colors, just as you normally would.  Sometimes you might need to play with the spacing of your words to create the look you want.

Don’t limit yourself to circles.  Use any of the Shapes that Photoshop provides to add a fun look to your layouts!

Photoshop Elements 13 Users:  Once you draw your shape, choose your Type Tool, and in the options box at the bottom of your screen, choose Text on Custom Path.   I am not sure if this works the same in previous versions of Photoshop Elements.

 Untitled-2 copy

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

Toiny has created a new Tutorial Gallery for us!  When you experiment with this technique, or any technique you learn through our tutorials, we encourage you to upload your results to the new gallery! Show off your hard work!  Please include the name of the tutorial and provide a link to it, in case some of our readers missed it!

When I think of some of the fun and “cool” things we can do in Photoshop, the phrase “Cool Beans!” always comes to mind.  With that thought in my head,  I chose a paper from my collection Cool Beans to demonstrate the work path on.  You can take a closer look at this Collection HERE.

I’ve put it on Special Pricing for you through June 7th!

Enjoy this Cool Beans Stacked, which has plenty of room for you to add text paths that you create! Click on the image to download.

sd-cool-beans-studio-fre

See you next week!

{ 7 comments }

Marieh with her fantastic page Always Smile. I love all the paper borders and the flowers, that are so beautifully clustered. The colors are matching the photo perfectly and that lovely little girl makes me smile! So congrats Marieh on winning this weeks LOTW!

marie-alwayssmile

This fabulous page was created with the gorgeous Yolo collection by A-manda Creation.

aw-yolo-mega-1000

{ 1 comment }

Don’t we all like to remember the beautiful moments of our lifes? That sweet feeling of melancholy? Sweet Melancholy by Mel Designs is the perfect kit to help you remember. The beautiful lavendar and the romantic touch will help you to scrap all your cherished photo’s. Sweet Melancholy by Mel Designs brings memories back to life!

Vinden we het niet allemaal fijn om de mooie momenten uit ons leven te herinneren? Dat heerlijk gevoel van melancholie? Sweet Melancholy van Mel Designs is de perfecte kit om je te helpen herinneren. De mooie lavender en het beetje romantiek zal je helpen al je geliefde en gekoesterde foto’s te scrappen. Sweet Melancholy van Mel Designs brengt je herinneren weer tot leven!

meldesigns_sweetmelancholy_pvkit

Besides the kit there are a few wonderful extras for you, to help you scrap your pages. Just take a look below:

Naast de kit zijn er een paar fantastische extra’s om je te helpen mooie pagina’s te scrappen. Kijk maar eens hieronder:

meldesigns_sweetmelancholy_pvalpha

meldesigns_sweetmelancholy_pvembell

meldesigns_sweetmelancholy_pvjc

meldesigns_sweetmelancholy_pvstacked

So here is the quickpage I made for you. Please enjoy!

En hier is de quicpage die ik voor jullie gemaakt heb. Veel plezier ermee!

***Download***

DbyR_sweetmelancholy_quickpage_preview

{ 1 comment }

Colorful Meadow by Designs by Brigit

Lush grass, abundant sunlight, a field of flowers, the colors of summer are warm, rich and welcoming.  Let the colors in this kit, Colorful Meadow by Designs by Brigit,  instantly perk up any scrapbook page.

DBB-colorfulmeadow-prev600

And here is a little corner cluster for you today, Enjoy!!!

***Download***

preview

{ 1 comment }

Working with Shapes

Today let’s take a look at working with Shapes: how to create them and the fun things we can do with them.

For the purposes of this tutorial,  I am working in Photoshop CC.    The Shape Tool can be found in the Tool Box on the left, and this is the same in all versions of Photoshop.  Click on the little triangle in the lower right corner of the Shape Tool to bring up all your options. In the image below, I have the Ellipse Tool selected.  Click on your choice to make it active.

sd-text-1

Once you click on the Shape Tool, the Tool Mode options will become available to you at the top of the screen.

sd-text-1a

Be sure that “Shape” is selected. If it is not, use the drop-down arrow to open the options, then select Shape.

Next is where the fun happens!  You have lots of options to choose from now!

FILL:  Click on the drop-down arrow to see your options:  1) no fill; 2) color fill; 3) gradient fill; 4) pattern fill

In the image below, I have clicked on Pattern Fill, and the patterns that I have loaded are now available for me to choose from.

sd-text-3

STROKE: Click on the down-pointing arrow to access your Stroke options.  They are the same as the Fill options:  1) no stroke; 2) color stroke; 3) gradient stroke; 4) pattern stroke

STROKE WIDTH: Here you may select the width of the stroke you wish to apply by using the slider. (New in CS6 I believe.)

STROKE TYPE: You may choose what type of Stroke you would like.   You may choose from dashed or dotted lines; but you can also click on the gear in the upper right corner to open the Stroke options box.  Here you can made additional choices, creating your own favorite stroke, and then saving it as a Preset. I love that!

sd-text-4

Once you have made choices on how you want your shape to look, create a blank layer to place your shape on, then click and drag to make your shape.

Here are a few shortcuts:

1. To constrain proportionally, hold down the Shift key while you drag.

2. To draw from the center, press and hold the Alt key, then drag.

3. To set the exact size and position of your shape, with the shape tool selected, click on your document. The Create Custom Shape box will open.  Here you may make exact choices. Once you have done so, drag on your blank layer to create your shape.

sd-text-2a

I selected a 900 x 900 px size, with a Pattern fill (Follow Your Heart Glitter), no stroke, from the Center, Preserve proportions.

Once I dragged out my shape, I realized I wanted it a little larger.  Because shapes are vector-based, as opposed to pixel-based, I can  select the shape and use the Transform Tool to make it larger without losing any quality.  The larger shape is pictured below.

sd-text-5

Now what?  So you can make these neat shapes. What can you do with them?

I decided to use this as a frame.  I used the Magic Wand to select the inside of the circle and then deleted that from the background paper. Since the paper is from Follow Your Heart, I placed one of the Follow Your Heart Clusters on the page, and had a Quick page in seconds!

Save 30% on Follow Your Heart Kit and extras for the next week! Or save the most with the Collection!

sd-text-6

This is just one example of how Shapes can be handy. Paper Strips are very popular on scrapbook pages.  Create your favorite shape, clip papers to them, and you have custom Paper Strips that match your layout perfectly.  I am awed by the creative ideas I see in our challenges, and I know that you will all find awesome ways to use Shapes in your own work!

Toiny has created a new Tutorial Gallery for us!  When you experiment with this technique, or any technique you learn through our tutorials, we encourage you to upload your results to the new gallery! Show off your hard work!  Please include the name of the tutorial and provide a link to it, in case some of our readers missed it!

If you would like to have this Follow Your Heart Quick Page for your personal use, you may download it by clicking on the image below.

sd-follow-your-heart-gift-pv

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

See you next week!

{ 8 comments }