Thursday, July 31, 2014

Digiscrap Parade Freebies

The Digiscrap Parade is pulling through once again! The theme for this mega collab is Authentic, which means you get a great kit, in beautiful colors, perfect for your All about Me pages and much more. 

Here's a peek at what you can snag if you like sweet caroline on Facebook

If you are not on Facebook, you can still snag this freebie by signing up for the newsletter, not only will you get the introduction bonus, but you will get links to the current freebies in each newsletter.

This little freebie is created by the sweet team, an alpha and washi tape. Because you can never have too much washi tape!

This freebie will only be available to newsletter subscribers, so sign up and you get the current intro bonus and this freebie. It will be linked in the next edition of the newsletter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PS Tutorial: How to Save Your Layouts for Gallery Upload (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of my tutorial on How to Save Your Gorgeous Layouts For Gallery Upload! In this second and last part, I'll share the Advanced technique and Automation Tutorial.

If you haven't read Part 1 yet, go there first because there are steps from Part 1 that we'll be repeating in Part 2.

If you've read Part 1, then let's get started on Technique #3: Advanced.

- - -

We'll be using the Eraser tool here.

1. Let's open up our layout and resize it to 600x600 px:

2. After resizing our layout, let's duplicate the Background layer:

3. Select the duplicate layer and apply the High Pass filter on it:

4. Let's set the layer blending mode to Soft Light:

5. Now we have our over-sharp layout, just like in Technique #2:

 6. Unlike in Technique #2 where we reduce the duplicate layer opacity to 15%, we're going to keep it at 100% now because I like how sharp the glitter moon and journaling look like at 100% opacity. However, I don't like how other parts look too sharp, so I'm going to erase them using the Eraser tool.

Let's grab our Eraser tool from the Tools palette:

7. Let's change the eraser brush opacity to 30%:

8. Here I'm highlighting the parts that I'll erase: the die-cut background paper, the title and the flags on the photo (you don't have to do this! This is just for example):

9. After erasing, here's what the layer looks like:

10. Now that we're done erasing, let's bump the saturation up to add vibrancy to the final layout. Click on the Fill/Adjustment Layer tool and select Hue/Saturation:

11. Let's increase the saturation to 8, then close the Adjustment panel by clicking the circle button on top left:

 12. And now, the final result.

To save your layout, repeat Step 3-4 from Technique #1.

- - -

A comparison between Technique #2 (left) and Technique #3 (right):

I love how I can play with the level of details that I want to keep here, by using the Eraser tool. I also love that I can remove the overly-sharp parts and dark shadows that were created by the High Pass filter. The result looks more natural and vibrant, just the way I like it. The differences might be subtle, but when you look closely, you'll see them.

Now let's learn how to automate the process so you'll only spend 30 seconds (or less) on the Advanced technique!

- - -

We'll be using the Actions tool here.

1. First of all, open your 12"x12", flattened JPG layout, then open up the Actions tool window by navigating to Window > Actions:

2. Now we're going to record what we do in Technique #3! Click on the icon below to create a new action:

3. Name it "Save for Web" or whatever you like, then click "Record".

 4. We'll start with resizing our layout to 600x600 px:

5. Then select the Background layer and duplicate it:

6. Apply High Pass filter on the duplicate layer:

7. Add the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer:

8. Now click on the Stop button to stop recording:

9. That's it! You now have a Save for Web action that will enable you to save your layout in just a few seconds!

10. All you have to do now is erase the parts that you want to be less sharp using the Eraser tool, or simply lower the duplicate layer's opacity to 10%-70% (whichever number you prefer). Then repeat Step 3-4 from Technique #1 to save your layout.

- - -

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and learned something from it! If you need any help, just leave a comment below and I'll do my best to help you in any way I can.

Thank you for reading! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PS Tutorial: How to Save Your Layouts for Gallery Upload (Part 1)

Hi everyone! Zakirah here with an exclusive tutorial on how to save your gorgeous layouts for gallery upload (and preserve the quality too).

In this tutorial, I'm going to share with you 3 techniques - Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. At the end of the tutorial, I'm also going to show you how to automate the Advanced technique (which is my favorite), so that you'll be able to save your layouts for web within a few clicks!

I'll also break this tutorial into two parts, so that it'll be easier for you.

In Part 1, I'll share with you the Basic and Intermediate techniques, and in Part 2 (which will be published tomorrow), I'll share the Advanced technique and Automation Tutorial.

So let's get started!

- - -

We'll be using the Save for Web feature for this.

1. Open your flattened JPG layout and navigate to Image > Image Size...

2. Change the Resolution to 72 pixels/inch, and Width and Height to 600 pixels. Click OK.

Navigate to File > Save for Web & Devices...

4. In the Save for Web dialog box, choose JPEG as file format, set the quality to anywhere between 60-85, and check the boxes next to Optimized, Embed Color Profile and Convert to sRGB. Click "Save".

We're done! Here's the result:

Now let's take a look at technique #2.

- - -

We'll be using the High Pass filter and Fill & Adjustment Layer features.

1. Let's open up our flattened JPG layout and resize it o 600x600 px, just like in Step 1 of Technique #1. Navigate to Image > Image Size... , and set the settings like so:

2. Now let's duplicate the Background layer. Navigate to Layer > Duplicate Layer...

3. Select the duplicate layer by clicking on it, and then navigate to Filter > Other > High Pass...

4. In the dialog box that appeared, set the Radius to 1.5 pixels, then click OK.

5. Your duplicate layer will look crazy now, but that's ok.

Back on the Layer palette, choose the duplicate layer and click on the "Normal" box next to "Opacity" to open up the layer blend mode. You'll get a long box like this, and choose Soft Light.

6. Let's take a look at the result:

7. Our layout looks too sharp and the shadows became too dark, so let's lower the layer opacity a bit, to around 15%-30% (I like 15% here):

8. Next, we'll bump the saturation a little bit to make the page looks more vibrant. Select the Background layer, then click on the icon shown below, and choose Hue/Saturation (this will create a new adjustment layer):

 9. In the Adjustments layer settings, increase the saturation to around 5-15 (I use 8 here):

We're done! Let's look at the result:

To save your page, follow step 3-4 in Technique #1.

- - -

Now that's we've completed Technique #1 & #2, let's compare the results:

As you can see, Technique #1 (Original) saved our layout nicely, but some of the details and colors are lost in the process. The result is blurry and not vibrant.

When we sharpened the layout in Technique #2 step #3, the details of the layout are enhanced, but it looks too sharp.

Hence in step #7, we lowered the opacity of the sharpened layer to 15%, and now it looks just nice.

- - -

So that's Techniques #1 and #2! Come back tomorrow to learn Technique #3 - Advanced and Automation Tutorial.

Thank you for reading!