Friday, May 11, 2007

Working with templates (and a "freebie!')

I just LOVE specific requests! Especially when I know how to fill them! :D I'm going to try more of a bullet point type of instructions this time and see how that goes.

About Templates
With templates, the layout of your page is done for you. All you do is fill it in with the photos, papers and (sometimes) extra embellishments to make it uniquely yours. That being said, it may seem harder than it really is, once you try to do it. For some reason, in GIMP, the "select" feature can combine specifics of different layers to accomplish one goal. And that is necessary when using templates (apparently) in GIMP. It's the only way I've figured out how to get the job done. So... here goes:

Instructions
1. In your layers dialogue, position your paper underneath the template layer you want to use.
2. Select the template layer.
3. From the drop-down menu, choose "Select" then "by color"
4. Click on the layer, in your layout. It will now have a dotted line around it that looks like it's floating a bit, or, as someone else said once, like ants marching around your selection. :D
5. Go back to your layers dialogue and choose your paper.
6. From the drop-down menu, choose "Select" then "Invert".
7. From the drop-down menu again, choose "Edit" then "cut"
8. In your layers dialogue, raise your paper layer so that it is ABOVE your template layer.
9. DONE!

Okay, now here's the freebie! It's not really a freebie, but it's something I feel worth mentioning here. When you've cropped a layer, like you just did, the "outline" of the layer remains the same size, even though the content of the layer is drastically smaller. What I do, for visual clarity, is shrink the size of the "outline" or "layer boundary" as GIMP calls it. Here's how: From the drop-down menu, click on "Layer" then "Auto-crop". Unless there is some of your layer outside of the image boundary (which I can address later if you like), your layer boundary should shrink to the new size of your layer. Also, try playing around with "Layer Boundary Size" in the "Layer"drop-down menu. It's pretty fun!

Well, that's all I have for today. I'm thrilled with the feedback I've been getting so please keep the questions and comments coming. They make my day! :~) ~Jen

14 comments:

Tara said...

Well I am a complete novice and I have no idea where to even start... if I'm creating a new file, what size canvas is good?

Summers Camp said...

You know what, I ended up doing it in a COMPLETELY different way! I have the template open, select the layer I want to add to and then open up the paper I want to place there and basically cut and paste it into the template layer and then anchor down! But sometimes that doesn't work and then I select by color, open up the file I want, copy and then go to the edit menu and select paste into. Then I anchor down and select none. And if I go about using the select by color method, I make sure to have the transparent edges box unchecked. But I am totally going to try your way and see what happens! Here's what I was able to do with my method though:

http://www.digishoptalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=114503&cat=all&ppuser=4785

Sorry I keep showing you all of my pages, but from one GIMP user to another, I know you'll appreciate what I seem to figure out! Three cheers for GIMP!!! :) B

PS- if your page seems to be really heavy laden and has a large size, the color select tool doesn't work! Seriously, it poops out on you. That's what happened with my crazy page (mentioned in above post)...

PPS- remember when you had taught us how to make patterns for font/alpha work? It chews up a lot of memory and space becaues it saves the pattern as its original size. So when I wanted to use a patterned paper I liked for an alpha pattern, it saved it as a 3600x3600! I just went back and deleted it and then GIMP wasn't running so sluggy! I never noticed that most patterns are at such small pixel dimensions....

Summers Camp said...

Sorry, wrong link. That's my crazy page I mentioned. Here's my first template page:

http://twopeasinabucket.kaboose.com/album_display.asp?album_id=63684

*B

the GIMP 4 Digi-Scrappers said...

Whew! You two are keeping me BUSY! :D

Beth, I believe what you are talking about would be useful when using a sketch. A sketch is similar to a template, but with only one layer. Your method would be completely perfect when using a sketch, but I haven't used sketches too much. I'm curious to know which you think is easier, especially now that you know a different method for the templates!

LeAnn said...

I do it basically the sam as you, Jen, but for a template (Summer's way is good for a sketch!), I put the paper or picture on top of the template piece, then lower the opacity of the paper/picture so you can see exactly what part will be on the template shape. Then I use the magic wand tool, make sure "add to current selection" is selected, and then I do like you and click on the template layer, then click on the template piece on the layout, get marching ants, click on the paper/picture layer, Select>Invert, Edit>Cut, then I raise the opacity level of the paper/picture, and delete the template piece.

Summers Camp said...

I'm going to have to try both of these techniques! And yes, mine was a sketch I believe, sorry about that. I just kinda lump them together into the same category... When I get back home I'll have to let you know which way works easiest.

Oh wait, no, mine was a template because it had multiple layers! Hmmm. Well, it still worked the way I ended up doing it. I just worked on one layer at a time. But I guess I could merge all the layers in a tempate down and work on it like a sketch, too. I have a feeling the possibilities are endless! ;)

So I've got another question for you guru: how do you make overlays??? Like those fabulous inked edges from Nancie Rowe Janitz that I use ALL the time? I want to start being able to make my own elements. Heck, who knows but maybe GIMP and you will make a designer out of me yet!

the GIMP 4 Digi-Scrappers said...

Now you're out of my leaague. I don't design at all. I know how to USE overlays, but I have no clue how to make them. When you figure it out, pat yourself on the back. Then come over and let the rest of us know! :D

Lisa said...

This is awesome! It would have taken me a lifetime to figure this out on my own. Bless you!!!

Lisa said...

Thank you for mentioning to delete the template piece, Leann. I will have to go home and try it but I think you answered the question I was about to ask. I wasnt able to get the words that the designers put on the template for fun to go away (like Photo). I was stuck with a photo with photo written on top of it!

About Me said...

Instead of deleting the template piece, you can also hide it. To hide any layer in your layout, simply go to your layers dialogue, choose the layer that you want to hide, then click on the eye icon next to the picture of your layer. The eye icon, as well as the link icon next to it, are toggle switches and I will definitely have to do a tutorial on those because they are SUPER USEFUL when scrapbooking!

Lisa said...

Okay so I tried those ideas and they dont work. How do I get rid of the template designer's writing? I am still ending up with a photo that has photo written on it. Any ideas? TIA!

About Me said...

Can you post your layout somewhere so I can take a look? I'm really stumped. If you hide, or delete, all your template layers, you should only have your layout left. Maybe you can direct me to the template at the site where you bought it, too. That might help me decode this for you. ~Jen

the GIMP 4 Digi-Scrappers said...

Sorry, that last comment was me. I'm trying to fiddle with my blog, with difficulty.

the GIMP 4 Digi-Scrappers said...

Lisa, Sorry about the confusion with the "About Me" posts. If you can post your layout on www.flickr.com or www.snapfish.com, or something similar, then I can look at your layout to see what might be the problem. I am really hoping to help you solve this problem, but can't imagine exactly what the problem is. Don't give up! ~Jen