February 5th, 2009 | No Comments »

Natural, Realistic Looking Use of Digital PaperClips

Ever wonder how to apply the paperclips so they look realistic? Especially pretty tough when using on say, a short piece of tag, or a ribbon – anywhere when the lower bit would show. And how about on a sheer ribbon or a piece of vellum paper?

Well, Ztampf! makes it easy for you. In most cases, I would provide the paper clips in 2 versions:
• Full Version, showing the entire clip.
• Clipped Version, showing how it would appear when ‘clipped’ to a paper/tag/picture with the ‘back’ section partially erased.

Now, to use a paper clip in the most common way, you would just drop the Clipped Version where you want it, align it well with the edge of the paper and you’re done! It even has the natural looking shadow where it should have! Convenient!

For other type of usage as described at the top, you would need to use both versions:
– Place both version on your file, each on its own layer.
– Align them well, so they would look like there is just 1 paper clip. Use the top as the base to align them precisely.
– Next, adjust the layers order: place the Full Version layer to be BEHIND/underneath the layer of paper/tag/picture to be clipped.
– Now, while making sure that they are still linked together, drag them to where you want the paper clip to be.
– Voila! See the result for yourself!

On the left is the common way of using just the ‘Clipped Version’. On the right made use of both versions to create a complete paper clip being clipped through a short material, with the bottom part of the paper clip peeks out.

The samples above were taken from these layouts below. Click the thumbnails to see them larger:

Posted in Tips'n Tricks, Z!matter
February 5th, 2009 | No Comments »

I’ve decided to move the Tips’n Tricks Section on Ztampf.com here over the next few days.
Below is a tutorial I did upon customer requests to use with my The Ultimate Torn Pack, can also be used for similar products.

For using the Cropping Templates with Torn Overlays
based on Photoshop CS

• Choose the paper you want to ‘tear’, open it in your graphic software.
• Choose the style of ‘tear’ you want, noting the name i.e. Circle.
• Open the CroppingTemplates folder and find the cropping template for Circle.
• Open it and copy the layer on top of the paper layer.

• Open the the Circle torn overlay file and copy it on top of the cropping template layer.

• Link or group the Cropping Template layer with the torn overlay layer, they should be automatically aligned when you copy them. Otherwise make sure they are perfectly aligned before you link/group them together.

• Position them where you want the ‘tear’ to be done.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Use your Select Tool with Color Range or Magic Wand Tool (set the tolerance level to Zero) to select the area, a marquee should appear.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Now hide the Cropping Template layer and Un-hide the paper layer.

• If your paper layer is a background layer, turn it into a layer (Layer 0 in PSCS).

• Hide all layers except the Cropping Template layer.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Select the paper layer, then cut/crop (Command X or Control X). Another way to do this is using the Create Clipping Mask under the Layer Menu (Opt+Cmd+G in Mac). This way your paper is not actually being cropped/cut.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Un-hide the torn overlay layer.
• Remove the remaining unwanted portion of the paper using cropping tool.
• Delete the Cropping Template layer.
• Merge the torn overlay layer with the paper.
• If you want to add drop shadow to the paper, do this before merging it with the torn overlay layer.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• See the samples given to see how they look like.

• Compare the ZtampfTornThings_FloralDelight07.png with the ZtampfTornThings_FloralDelight08.png. The first one used the Framed Circle, while the latter one used the Circle.

• You can combine the tear overlays on 1 paper as shown in the ZtampfTornThings_ChatreuseBloom.png in The Ultimate Torn Pack.

Hope you will find this useful!

Posted in Tips'n Tricks, Z!matter
October 11th, 2008 | No Comments »

A customer emailed me this:

I have purchased a number of your beautiful packages and would like to use the Album and Ensembles pages on 8.5×11 pages. That means I am trying to re-size them and when I do that I loose the benefit of using the Group with Previous function that makes these pages so desirable. I am working and printing from home and so would very much like to keep this standard size.
Can you help?

I absolutely love your work and will be very disappointed if I cannot use your wonderful packages to the fullest. I know of a couple of other scrappers that would like to hear this answer so may be it would be a good subject for your newsletter. I am somewhat new to scrapbooking and so hope that I am not bring up questions that you have answered long ago!

Looking forward to your reply.

Are you a 8.5×11 scrapper? Do you face similar problems with her? Don’t worry, I’ve written a couple of small tutorials here to help you out :). I hope they are clear enough. Do not hesitate to ask if you need further clarifications, OK!

The instructions here are for Photoshop/Photoshop Elements. The main thing before you begin is to make sure to have the ‘Constraint Proportions‘ option in the Image Size dialog box selected. If you are using other program, I’m sure there is a similar option available, so be sure to look for it. The bottom line is to make sure that when you resize, you do so proportionately so the result will look right.

1. Using 12×12 QuickPages on 8.5×11 pages
To keep the right proportion of the QuickPages, first resize them proportionately to 8.5 x 8.5 in (if you use Photoshop/Photoshop Elements: in the Image Size option, set to 70.83% or 2550 x 2550 px). Then choose a complimentary background paper. You can use a matching main paper used in the QuickPage, or you can choose a contrasting paper instead. Resize this paper to 11 x 11 in (91.67% or 3300 x 3300 px).

Now open a new file of 8.5 x 11 in page. Copy or drag the resized background paper layer to it. Align it so it’s centered. Then copy or drag the resized QuickPage and center it as well. For a softer blending between them, use your Lasso Tool, set the feather to around 55, then ‘draw’ it around the edges of the QuickPage. Then cut that portion by pressing Control+X for PC or Command+X for Mac. Finally insert your photo behind the QuickPage layer and if you wish, you can add further text or embellishment on top of the QuickPage layer. See the samples here:

Sample 1. Using a matching background paper: ‘lasso’ the edges of the QuickPage and remove the area to achieve a somewhat seamless look. I’m using Bohemian Rhapsody Package Saving here.

Sample 1b. Here’s how it looks like without utilizing the ‘lasso technique’ – note the straight, more obvious edges of the QuickPage against the background paper behind it:

Sample 2. Using a contrasting background paper:  elements are added between the QuickPage and the Background Paper (the lace), also on top of them for a more unified look (the beaded stapler and stitches). I’m using Phrench Phoebe Package Saving here.

Sample 3. A few QuickPages can be simply cropped to fit 8.5×11 pages like this one from the Birthday Bliss Album Set. It is dragged and centered on a 8.5×11 page then proportionately resized to 90.75%.

2. Using Ensembles on 8.5×11 pages
For the Ensembles, it is easy too. A few of them might be small enough to just be dropped on a 8.5×11 pages.The key is to get the background paper you want to use with it resized correctly. There are 2 ways to do this:

1. By resizing the background paper to 11×11 then center it on a 8.5×11 page like described above for using 12×12 QuickPages on 8.5×11 pages. This work best for papers with evenly spread out patterns.

Sample 4. a 12×12 page proportionately resized to 11×11 and then cropped to fit a 8.5 x 11 page. Paper is from Syrin Seamstress Kit.

2a. By cropping the 12×12 paper on the most interesting part to fit a 8.5×11 page. Open a new 8.5×11 page. Then open the 12×12 paper you want to use. Drag it to the 8.5×11 page and move them around until you found the most interesting part you like the best.

Sample 5. a 12×12 paper cropped on the most interesting part to fit a 8.5×11 page. Paper used here is from the Bohemian Rhapsody Kit.

2b. By resizing the 12×12 background paper to 11×11 first, then drag it to a 8.5×11 page and move the up and down until you find the look you like the best.

Sample 6. a 12×12 paper proportionately resized to 11×11 and then cropped on the most interesting part to fit a 8.5×11 page. Paper used is from Year In Revue Kit.

For the Ensembles themselves, just resize them proportionately. If you’re on Mac, just press the ‘Shift’ key while you are dragging the corner of the Ensemble with your mouse to resize it. In PC, I think it’s it’s the ‘Control’ key that you have to press – I’m not sure though but you can try. Another way is to use the Image Size feature: select the Ensemble then set the scale percentage accordingly.

Sample 7. An Ensemble proportionately resized to fit into a 8.5×11 page. The paper is proportionately resized down to 92% and placed on a 8.5×11 page while the Ensemble is proportionately resized down to 85%. Both are from the Birthday Bliss Package Saving.

Tips: It is usually easier to work by dragging whatever you want to use on a 8.5×11 page. This way you can see how exactly things look would look like when you resize and move them around on the 8.5×11 page.

That’s it! I hope you will find these tutorials useful. Questions? Just ask me here on the Comment section or email me. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Scrapping :).

Posted in Tips'n Tricks, Z!matter