Monday, June 3, 2013

How I did 31 pages without Photoshop

You'd think I'd want a break from blogging coming off of two months of month long blogging projects but I thought I'd write a bit about how I did the pages for the 31 Things project. At home we have a free Photoshop program called Gimp. I have actual Photoshop at work and sometimes (on break!) I'd use it to tweak any designs I made. But mainly I used Pixlr and Ribbet to make the pages. Pixlr is basically Photoshop light and I find it easier to mantipulate than Photoshop which is a program I am still learning. The 31 Things project was a great way to learn more about these programs and I think my work got better over the course of the month.

I didn't like what I did originally for the Being Great at Something post.  So I obtained a cooking kit from Digital Design Essentials and decided to change it up before printing the book.

From this
to this

So using Pixlr I opened the original prompt from Erica at Crashnotes. Files are .png.

I decided not to use the chevrons she had created because frankly I didn't know what to do with them. So I erased them. Then I opened a few backgrounds to get an idea of what I want. From there I can start building onto the frame what I want it to look like.

 To manipulate objects you have to use the navigation bar and drop and drop from there.

I picked out a few elements and tried them out and thought about doing some sort of paper layering but decided against it. Free transform will take a layer and allow you to resize or rotate inside the frame which is what I did here with the utensils. When you have multiple layers on one page, use the layers section on the navigation bar to select the object you want to manipulate.

Moving objects around

Color picker

The color picker allows you to match the colors in the paper or elements that you are using. It is very handy for finding the RBG codes for matching text too. It will also show colors in the same spectrum if you want to go lighter or darker. I added a recipe card for the writing, bow to the utensils, and a flower to spruce up the title.

In Ribbet
For the text I am not fond of Pixlr's text option. I find the fonts are not creative or big enough sometimes. So I use Ribbet which is the closest thing to Picnik I have found since that website shut down. Here I add in my text and this is where knowing the RBG codes come in handy. So that they match. The drawback is that the images are not manipulable anymore so what you see is what you get. After adding my text I notice that there is too much empty space at the bottom so I headed back to Pixlr and added a few more elements. It came out pretty nice and I like it much better than the original page I had created. I usually save in both .png and .jpg for some reason but that is not necessary.

Almost done


As for scrapbook kits, I've found quite a few really nice free ones and have been building a collection for a while. On my 31 Things posts, I tried to include the designer of the kit I used for that page in case anyone is interested. Digital Design Essentials, Citrus and Mint, and Shabby Princess are just a few of the digital scrapbooking designers I like. But a google search will bring up many. Pinterest is a good resource too.

My new goal is to remake my blogs using some of the skills I've picked up and  a few of the scrapbook kits I've collected. I've already started with Annie, I think as you can see and I love the new look of my blog. Next I will work on The Little Bookworm. I've had the same look over there for close to 3 years and it might be time to do something different. Anyway, I had a good time learning and growing my skills.

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