Scrapbooking With Your Computer : Digital Product Definitions & Suggestions

This is part two of Day Three of my week-long series on Scrapbooking With Your Computer.

There are tons of sites and tons of different options when it comes
to selecting digital products. Below you will find a brief explanation/definition
for some of the popular product types and some suggestions to add to your collection:

: Actions are essentially a pre-programed set of steps/tasks that can be applied to photos or other creations in Photoshop/Elements. Popular actions include ones that will make quick adjustments to your photos such as totally rad actions (free trial download here) or ittybitty actions. Here's a link
learning how to load actions
in different versions of Elements. You can also create and record your own action steps in Photoshop CS but you can not record custom actions in Elements.

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ALBUMS/PHOTOBOOK TEMPLATES : These include multiple pages (either quick pages or layered templates) that are all designed to work together. Often they come pre-designed with photobook printing in mind - such as being designed to specifications at Shutterfly. These albums can be printed out in book format or as individual pages. [ Ali Edwards Today You Photobook Layered Templates (see completed example here) and Anna Aspnes MultiFoto Layered Template Album 12x12 No.2 (see completed album example here) ]

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: Just like traditional scrapbooking, alphabets are a popular choice for adding text and titles to your digital projects. Most sets come with each letter and number as its own .png file. [ Katie Pertiet Basic Paper Alpha/Yellow and Ali Edwards Wood Type Alpha ]

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BRUSHES/STAMPS : Brushes are basically just like traditional stamps. After loading them into your brush palette you use them much like you would a stamp to add them to your photo or project. When you download a product labeled Stamp & Brush, such as the one above, you will receive the designs in .png format (the "stamp") and .abr format (the "brush"). Here's a link to a video tutorial at Two Peas by Sande Krieger about working with brushes.  [ Ali Edwards Bracket Title + Journal Stamps & Brushes (see layout example using this product here) and Ali Edwards Hello Life Title + Journal Blocks ]

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ELEMENTS/EMBELLISHMENTS : This category includes a whole range of different products. Everything from epoxy circles to tags to brads & other fasteners to acrylic clocks to stitching to word stickers and frames and borders and so much more. My approach to choosing and purchasing digital elements is similar
to my approach to traditional supplies: I like things that are
versatile with universal themes that can be used to tell any number of
different stories. [ Katie Pertiet Clock Parts No2 and Ali Edwards Love You Embellishment Collection ]

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JOURNALING SPOTS/LABELS : Journal spots are elements to be added to your pages (or printed out as hybrid embellishments) as a home for your words. [ Katie Pertiet Basic Journal Spots and Katie Pertiet Worn & Torn Journalers ]

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: A full kit is a product that includes a variety of different coordinating elements: pattern papers, an alphabet, embellishments, etc. They are great if you like to have a collection of products that all go together or you can break them up like I do and work with the pieces and combine elements with other products. [ Andrea Victoria Garland Mini Kit and Katie Pertiet Candid Collection ]

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: Layered templates are full layouts designed a lot like sketches. They give you a base foundation (and often include a couple of elements or a title) and you complete the page with your choice of pattern papers, additional accents, journaling, etc. Layered templates are .psd files and are only able to be opened in Photoshop or Elements. When you open a layered template you will see that each element has it's own layer in the layers palette. I will talk more about layered templates later this week. For a previous tutorial showing how to use one of my layered templates go here. [ Ali Edwards Layered Template N0. 38 and Cathy Zielske Layered Template No. 7 ]

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MASKS : Masks are something that may be a mystery to you if you are new to digital scrapbooking.  [ Katie Pertiet Notebook Paper Masks Brushes and Stamps No. 01 and Katie Pertiet Letter Box Photo Masks No. 04 ]

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OVERLAYS : These are one of my favorite products to use printed out as the base for a layout, placed on top of a photo, or as a hybrid element on a traditional page. I have created quite a few different overlays and used them for projects such as my Week In The Life album in 2008. [ Ali Edwards Title + Journal Photo Overlays No. 1 (see example here) and Ali Edwards 365 Days Monthly Photo Overlays ]

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: Includes both cardstock and pattern papers. [ Michelle Martin Ethan Solids and Lynn Grieveson Typo Paperpack ]

: Quick pages are pages that have been completely designed for you and all they need to be complete are your photos and journaling. Quick pages, whether as an album or as an individual page, are flattened files meaning you can not move elements around on the pages. You simply open the file, open & add your photo(s), add your journaling, and print or upload to your developer. This is a great quick, simple option for people who want to have a well-designed look but don't want to take the time to put all the elements in place. [ Katie Pertiet & Kayleigh Wiles Love Quick Pages No. 1 ]

Masking And Working With Layered Templates

Tomorrow I will be taking you through the steps of creating a layout using a layered template (including how to mask photos and papers). A free layered template download will be available for you to test out the process.

For other posts in this series go here.

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