Posts tagged photoshop elements
Digital Scrapbooking with Photoshop, Class 5

I am excited to introduce Digital 5: Creativity Comes Alive! This intermediate-level class is the newest in my digital scrapbooking series for Photoshop. (If you're a beginner, check out my FREE beginner's class, Digital 1: We've Just Begun)

What to Expect

In Class 5, we continue with intermediate-level techniques to grow your Photoshop skills beyond the basics. I'll be right there with you in my HD video screencast as I walk you through FOUR complete digital scrapbook layouts. Each lesson is between 40-50 minutes of video, and each layout is packed with techniques that coordinate together, but also stand alone as useful & practical tools in their own right. (I mean, learning how to make text look like it's on fire is great, but it's kind of a one-trick pony, you know?)

Mixing and matching these techniques with others in your arsenal, you've got the "fixings" for dozens more layouts. But what exactly will you learn in Digi 5? Here are some specifics.

Lesson One: 5 Things I Love

This digital scrapbook page looks cute, AND contains a wealth of techniques you'll love. You'll learn how to:

  • Add four different patterned papers to create a unique background
  • Use the Photoshop drawing tools and a creative selection technique to draw a ring-shaped clipping mask AND its white outline
  • Create a three-photo block with a black matte
  • Create a block-style letter from a numeric font (introduction to the Polygonal Lasso tool)
  • Load and stamp four different brushes
  • Use Photoshop layer Groups to keep the layout pieces organized

And of course we'll save our page for print and for the web, so you can share it with friends and family no matter where they are! Record the stories of your life AND learn great new techniques in Digital 5.

Instead of hundreds of dollars (based on community college course costs), this class is $49. Yep. And you'll learn the best of the best techniques: How to combine images, brushes, photo edits, and type into great finished projects. 

As always, this course is self-paced, and will be available to you FOREVER at JessicaSprague.com


Register for Type-ology today!

Hi there! My newest class, Type-ology: Designing with Fonts & Type is now available as a self-paced class! When you register, you'll receive instant, permanent access to the course, which includes more than 6 hours of step-by-step video instruction, gorgeous PDF companion sheets, and lots of extras! 

Here is the syllabus, which includes EIGHT beautiful projects, including seven posters and a gorgeous mini-album you'll design and create yourself:

  • Lesson 1: Details Poster: Getting acquainted with the anatomy of letterforms
  • Lesson 2: Type as PatternSlab serif and outlined type creates a pattern for a poster or a card
  • Lesson 3: Mixing Fonts & BrushesUse block sans and script with watercolor brushes
  • Lesson 4: Exploring & Collecting FontsUse tags and albums to identify, collect, and compare fonts of various styles at Myfonts.com
  • Lesson 5a: History of Type, 15th-18th Centuries
  • Lesson 5b: History of Type, 19th Century
  • Lesson 6: Wood Type Poster: Create a poster using fonts patterned after 19th century wood type
  • Lesson 7: Font Mixing, Forever Young PosterSelectively mix fonts from different eras and add ligatures
  • Lesson 8: Font Management for the Hoarder, er, Hobbyist
  • Lesson 9: Love Poster: Use Photoshop patterns on type, and create a grid for a poster
  • Lesson 10: Cricket CollageCreate a collage using an offset grid and LOTS of layers to mimic a paper from Cosmo Cricket
  • BONUS LESSON: Collage Mini-album: Use a grid and the Cricket Collage to create a quick and beautiful mini-album

Here are some of the projects you'll create as part of this class: 

From Type-ology, Lesson 1

From Type-ology, Lesson 3

From Type-ology, Lesson 6

From Type-ology Lessons 9 and 10

n this class you'll learn about the history of type, the anatomy of letterforms, how to mix elements like Photoshop Brushes and patterns with fonts, and how to manage your ever-growing font stash. This is a must-have class for any digital scrapbooker, digital crafter, or designer! It's available at a special limited price of $45.00 (14$ off!)

You can register today for instant, permanent access, with over 6 hours of video instruction that streams to any device! This makes it easy to view the class on your phone or tablet, and create the projects on your computer.

As always, if you find this class isn't right for you, simply contact me and I'll give you a full refund. Register for Type-ology at JessicaSprague.com today!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Layer Opacity

Here's another Pro Tech Tip! 

When your Move tool is selected, it's easy to control the opacity of the layer you have targeted, using the number keys.  

Layer opacity is important in things like photo editing, as well as art journaling and any kind of brushwork. It's great to be able to quickly dial in the intensity of a particular layer.

Best of all, it's easy! 

Each number represents the percentage of opacity from 10% to 90%, with 0 being 100. So with your Move tool selected, just click on a layer (remember that I always have both my "Auto Select Layer" and "Show Bounding Box" checked in the Options) and then tap the corresponding percentage with its number:

5 for 50% 

6 for 60%  

and so on. 

Here's a quick graphic you can save for reference. Just practice it a few times a month to keep it fresh! :)

JS-OpacityHotkeys.jpg
Scheme On, Episode 1

I love color schemes! First of all, I just love colors in general. Secondly, I love seeing new ways to put different colors together. I was asking myself what I could do that would make color scheming even more fun and useful and amazing than it already is. :)

In this tutorial-slash-episode-one, I'll show you a great new color scheme, plus an inspirational quote of some kind (see below), and PLUS, the Adobe color swatch file with these exact colors in it! No more sampling out and hoping for the best - you can load these in whenever you need to, and you'll have them forever.

First up, the scheme itself. Like so:

JSprague-SO-Boldness.jpg

So there's the scheme, and it's time to download the swatch file!  Just click on the button above. This file will come in as a .zip file, and when you unzip it, you'll find both the color scheme preview and an.aco file, which is the Adobe color swatch file extension. Once you have that, you're ready to load it in to Photoshop! See the video below!

I recommend that you keep both the swatch preview as well as the swatch itself in the same folder - just dump them all in the same one - so you can have an idea of what the colors are in that particular swatch when you're loading them. Have fun, and scheme on!

Photoshop Friday Summer #2: Half-circle Journaling

Happy Photoshop Phriday! It's time this week for episode 2 of Photoshop Friday Baker's Dozen. This week I've got a tutorial featuring awesome half-circle shaped journaling. In Photoshop Elements, I'll show you how to use a pre-made shaped journaling file to fill in your own text. And in Photoshop CS6 I'll show you how to create your OWN shaped journaling with the shape tools! YAY!

Here's the project we'll make with the template I include in the class: 

Half-circle journaling in today's episode of Photoshop Friday!

Half-circle journaling in today's episode of Photoshop Friday!

In this layout I use goodies from Echo Park. 

You can head right over here to grab my brand-new Photoshop Friday Summer Baker's Dozen series, which will keep you learning through my weekly tutorials throughout the entire summer - all 13 weeks between now and the end of August!  

With the discount you'll receive, each tutorial, with its video lesson, Photoshop template, downloadable/printable PDF file, and extra goodies is only a couple bucks each! Go check out the Photoshop Friday Summer Baker's Dozen right here. 

Remember that ALL of my classes/lessons/tutorials are always available to you forever, so head over and grab the Photoshop Friday Baker's Dozen summer series now, and learn through the summer! (I won't be selling the tutorials individually - gotta grab the set!) :) 

Have a wonderful weekend and a super Photoshop Friday! 

xo

-J

Tech Tip Tuesday: Ctrl/Cmd to Toggle the Move Tool

Here's a really quick pro tip for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, related to the Ctrl/Cmd key and the Move tool

Your Ctrl key, or Cmd key on the Mac, lets you switch temporarily to the Move tool from another tool to accomplish something that only the Move tool can do. So let's say you're over here on Layer 0, with your Rectangular Marquee tool selected. You select one of these letters:

Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to create a selection. See the cross-hair cursor?

Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to create a selection. See the cross-hair cursor?

and copy something out, which places that selected bit it on its own layer, and your cursor (still in Rectangular Marquee) loses its target of Layer 0 and goes up on to the next layer. 

After copying an item to a new layer - Rectangular Marquee tool is selected still.

After copying an item to a new layer - Rectangular Marquee tool is selected still.

To quickly get back to layer 1, you have three choices: 

1. Move your cursor all the way over to the Layers palette and click on Layer 0 there, 

OR

2. Type V to actually select the move tool, and then click on Layer 0, and then type M to get back to your Marquee tool,  

OR

3. Hold down your Ctrl/Cmd key while you click on something IN Layer 1 right there on your document. Your cursor temporarily turns into the Move tool to show you what you're doing, and there you are on Layer 1 again, ready to select something else or move along to another task.   

I pick 3. It looks like this: 

With my Ctrl/Cmd key held down, I can click on any of the letters in the alphabet set and be taken back to that layer. Presumably to cut another bit out, but at this point, the sky is the limit. :) 

By holding down the Ctrl/Cmd key while you click on an item in Layer 0, you'll go right back there. This turns your Marquee tool into the Move tool and makes switching layers without switching tools easy.

By holding down the Ctrl/Cmd key while you click on an item in Layer 0, you'll go right back there. This turns your Marquee tool into the Move tool and makes switching layers without switching tools easy.

Photoshop Friday Summer #1: Extract a Pattern

Happy Photoshop Phriday and the first Friday in June! Can you believe it? My kids get out of school on MONDAY, and the whole summer stretches ahead of us, filled with possibilities.  

One possibility for today, however, is to grab my brand-new Photoshop Friday Summer Baker's Dozen series, which will keep you learning through my weekly tutorials throughout the entire summer - all 13 weeks between now and the end of August!  

With the discount you'll receive, each tutorial, with its video lesson, Photoshop template, downloadable/printable PDF file, and extra goodies is only a couple bucks each! Go check out the Photoshop Friday Summer Baker's Dozen right here: 

Grab the entire series of Photoshop Friday tutorials now, and learn throughout the summer! 

Grab the entire series of Photoshop Friday tutorials now, and learn throughout the summer! 

Today's tutorial features the GORGEOUS Traditions collection from Carta Bella (designed by our very own talented Samantha Walker), and I walk you through the steps to extract a pattern from a patterned paper to use as a sticker or an overlay on your layout!  

Here's my take on the technique, with the extracted piece in the top left corner of the photo block:

Extract an overlay from a patterned paper

Extract an overlay from a patterned paper

Extract a pattern from patterned paper in PSF #1

Extract a pattern from patterned paper in PSF #1

Remember that ALL of my classes/lessons/tutorials are always available to you forever, so head over and grab the Photoshop Friday Baker's Dozen summer series now, and learn through the summer! (I won't be selling the tutorials individually - gotta grab the set!) :) 

Have a wonderful weekend and a super Photoshop Friday! 

xo

-J

Photoshop Friday: Create Your Own Photo Storyboard

For today's Photoshop Friday, I wanted to do something special. I've been setting up my new Mac, and trying to figure out how I can do all the things I used to do in Windows, and still need to do. This includes, of course, making videos - which is a huge, HUGE part of my work.

I still use Camtasia, but the version available for Mac is v. 2, and Windows is on v. 8. Techsmith makes no secret about the fact that they are just flat-out different programs. So a few items I'm still trying to figure out. But there's nothing better for figuring stuff out than diving in and making something, right?

In that spirit, here is today's Photoshop Friday. Be sure to grab a cold drink first, this vid is 25 mins long! :)

Create a Three-Photo Storyboard

 In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a new blank document, add in placeholder shapes, then use clipping masks to add your photos to the storyboard. Save for print and for the web, and you'll have a great storyboard to frame or share with friends and family. For Photoshop and Photoshop Elements!

Create a three-photo storyboard in Photoshop. Like so!

Create a three-photo storyboard in Photoshop. Like so!

When you create your storyboard and post it, be sure to post a comment with a link to your project, so we can see! Happy Photoshop Phriday!

Adobe Creative Cloud: Weighing In

So a couple of days ago, Adobe announced that the next release of Photoshop (as well as almost all of its other applications) would start being offered as part of a monthly subscription to the Creative Cloud. I'm still stewing on this, but I thought I would weigh in anyway, because I really want to know what YOU think, and what your plans are.

What it Is

Essentially, what will happen is that the next version of Photoshop (coming in June) will be called Photoshop CC, and will only be available through the Creative Cloud. It will still be the desktop application we all know and love, BUT access to it will only be through paying for a monthly subscription ranging anywhere from $10/month for JUST Photoshop to $50/month for everything.

As for Photoshop Elements, the only information I have been able to find is a year old, so I don't know whether Photoshop Elements will continue being released under (as Adobe calls it) a "perpetual license" or whether it will join the Creative Cloud, or whether it will go away forever at some point. So far, Adobe isn't saying.

Adobe has gone to great lengths to tell us how awesome it is, that it's the wave of the future, and that really, this benefits US much more in the long run. They've created a lot of articles, and FAQs to that effect. Adobe execs even say that they've surveyed their customers and the reaction is overwhelmingly positive:

"Overwhelmingly, when you compare the people who've complained about the new model to the people who loved it, it definitely skewed heavily to the new model," he said. "Obviously we would not be making a decision this big if the percentage of people in that category was so big it was the wrong thing for us to do."

But wow. WOW. I don't know where the people are who loved it - maybe they don't have internet. Because every Adobe article, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, basically anywhere anyone can post, is brimming with outrage. Just read to the bottom of any of the articles I've just linked for a little taste. And despite the good things Adobe says we're getting, it seems that regular users aren't the only suspicious ones with regard to motives here. 

Most of the arguments I've seen take one of a few different tacks:

  • Never Get Ahead. With a monthly subscription, you pay x, which is a lot smaller than the outlay for a new version (Y), but in the long run (say ~3 years), you'll have ended up paying Y+, and still not own anything. Rinse. Repeat. Forever.
  • You Own My Ass and I Don't Like It. Adobe has been the industry standard for so long, that there aren't any other products even close to the level of implementation and acceptance. We have no place else to go, and that bites.
  • No Way Out. Adobe hasn't said this out loud, but if you subscribe and then choose to discontinue your subscription, you'll lose access to all of the files you've stored in the Creative Cloud - AND depending on how long you've subscribed for, who knows whether your crusty old version of CS6 will even open anything anymore? Locked in forever.

To give you a completely irreverent (and also hilarious) idea of what the reaction has been, take a look at this YouTube video called "Hitler Learns About Adobe's New Creative Cloud Model". There are several swears in the "subtitles" You have been warned.

This reaction video on YouTube is hilarious and also has swears in it. You have been warned.

This reaction video on YouTube is hilarious and also has swears in it. You have been warned.

My Take on The Outcry

They make it sound entirely reasonable - like a car lease (they don't make that comparison). You essentially rent a car for a set period of time, and then return that car and get a newer car in exchange, which you then rent. I do think that leasing cars is probably a very acceptable way to roll (ha!) for many people, the people who prefer shiny and new over the security? satisfaction? victory? of owning the title to the vehicle. I just don't know any of those people.

I think there's a very strong sentiment toward ownership in America. It's been the American Dream for 60 years to own a neat little home in the suburbs. (n.b. I own a neat little home in the suburbs). We like HAVING.

We're used to BUYING things and having the knowledge that at least this is ours forever - especially something we need for our jobs. And barring that, we at least enjoy having a few choices - if I don't like my internet provider, I have the option to switch. What makes this move of Adobe's particularly scary is that there really is nothing that any of us can do. I think this is the driving force behind the level of outcry.

True Confessions: I've Already Joined Creative Cloud

I haven't actually participated in any of the posts/rants/mobs, because for me, it hasn't made much sense NOT to go along. Two weeks ago, I signed my whole team up for the Creative Cloud for Teams for $40/mo per seat. In my line of work, 5 of us have to be on the most current version of Photoshop, and we use Illustrator and InDesign regularly. I've been buying upgrades of the Creative Suite at every release for years, so spreading out the pain is fine with me, and if I want to be in the business I'm in - teaching people how to use this stuff - it will always be this way.

But What About Photoshop Elements?

But the main question in my mind - and in the minds of every hobbyist who uses Photoshop Elements (which at this point still makes up about 75% of the students at JessicaSprague.com), is what is going to happen to PSE?

I know it doesn't pay to speculate, but I can't help it. There are really three ways this could go:

  1. Adobe continues releasing PSE like it always has - as a downloadable or boxed single product that you license and own. Typically these are released in September/October every year.
  2. Adobe folds PSE into the Creative Cloud, so it becomes PSE CC and part of the full subscription or as a single-app subscription
  3. Adobe kills PSE altogether, essentially forcing everyone who uses it to switch to the Creative Cloud and Photoshop CC or ... nothing?

In this specific regard, I don't have any insight into what will actually happen. In the long run (2 years? 3?), I think Adobe will move toward offering everything as part of Creative Cloud. Lightroom 5 will be sold as a standalone AND part of the Cloud, which might give us a clue as to what will happen with Elements. 

So - your turn: What do you think will happen with Photoshop Elements? What's your plan with regard to the Creative Cloud? If Elements goes away, will you join the Creative Cloud at the single-app price? Or will you dive in to the whole Cloud? Or walk away completely?

I am anxious to hear what you've got to say!
Video Tutorial: First Digital Scrapbook Page
I get asked about digital scrapbooking a lot. This is probably the understatement of the year, but you get the idea. I have created a new video tutorial to walk you through an entire digital scrapbook page from start to finish. In fact, this is the first lesson in my brand-new Up & Running with Photoshop class.

Here is the page we'll be making:

Make your first digital scrapbook page

Make your first digital scrapbook page

First, you'll need to download and unzip the file that you'll open in Photoshop. Click the button below to download, then double-click on the file to extract it (Mac), or double-click on the file and then choose Extract All (Windows). You'll see a .psd file, which will be what we'll use in the tutorial.

Because the class is 30 minutes long, I've divided it into three segments. Here are the videos (note that you can navigate either here or to YouTube on your mobile device to watch the video while you work in Photoshop Elements:

Please SHARE with me what you make, whether on your own blog (be sure to add your blog URL in the comments here), or on Facebook (upload your layout and then tag me), or in a web gallery of your choice. I can't wait to see what you make!