Welcome to EarlK Design!

The EarlK Design blog consists mainly of entries that show how to do things using Adobe Photoshop that I hope you will find helpful and give your creative mind more tools to work with.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes Adobe Illustrator CS5, Lightroom 5, and Corel Painter X. However, I believe that much of what I show can be done using Photoshop Elements.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

EKDesign_Template_002Landscape FREEBIE

Here is the second in the series of the EKDesign 11 X 8.5 inch landscape templates for your layouts. The template was made using Adobe Photoshop CS4 on a Mac. However, I believe that users of Adobe Photoshop Elements can also use it. This is a fully layered .psd file with many layers that will give you lot of flexibility in how your layout will look.

Here is what the basic template looks like. When I originally created my layout with this format, I was using it to show a couple of photos as gallery prints hanging on a wall in a gallery. Thus, I have used Gallery Prints for the title on the layout. Of course, you can change the title to whatever you wish. I used a 50% neutral gray with noise added for the wall and double matting. The outer mat is white. The inner mat is a cream color.

There are many layers in the .psd file. For this basic layout, many of the layers have their visibility turned off so that you do not see them on the layout. Turning the visibility of layers off and on gives you a lot of flexibility in how you  create your final page layout. Near the bottom of the layer stack in the Layers Panel, you will find a Color Fill layer that has its visibility turned off. If you don't want a gray wall for your background, click on the place where the eyeball would be to turn on the Color Fill layer and then double click on the Color Fill layer's thumbnail to open up the color picker and select the color you want for your wall. In this example I have used a light brown wall color.

If you want a gray wall with a canvas texture added to it, you can turn that layer's visibility on and turn the ones below it off. As shown here (it is hard to see the texture in this image).

Say you wanted to use a pattern for your background. You can use the Pattern Fill layer by turning its visibility on.  In this example, I used a flower pattern for the background. If you want to use a different pattern, double click on the layer's thumbnail to open up the Pattern Fill picker and select your pattern of choice. Remember, you can scale the size of the pattern while you are in the pattern picker. I also reduced the opacity of the pattern layer to 49%.

Then I wanted to color the flowers in this background. Since the layer was created with a Pattern Fill, it is really a vector layer and not pixels. If I want to use the Magic Wand tool to select all the flowers in the layer, I need to rasterize (simplify) the layer to make it a pixel layer. Since this is a template, I don't just want to rasterize this layer. I duplicated the layer. Then I rasterized that layer. Now I can use the Magic Wand tool on the rasterized layer to select all the flowers. With the flowers selected, I created a Color Fill layer and used it to change the color of the flowers. I clipped the Color Fill layer to the rasterized flower layer so that it would only color the flowers on that layer. I colored the flowers pink.

I will assume that you get the idea of using the various layers by turning the visibility of some on and some off. There are also effects on some of the layers that can be turned on or off to achieve different effects. In the following, on the left photo, I have added a Gradient Fill layer. I used a noise gradient for the fill. If you double click on the Gradient Fill layer thumbnail it will open up the Gradient Fill dialog. Then click on the Gradient to open up the Gradient Editor. You can change it there. If you are not familiar with the noise gradient, you can learn more about it in Other Days with Earl-Episode 6: Gradient Tool-Gradient Editor-Noise. You can download that episode here on my blog. It was posted 24 August 2010.

Also on this photo, the stroke was turned off on the inner mat. And, a gradient fill was clipped to the inner mat. A Bevel and Emboss effect was turned on for the photo mask. This makes the photo look like it is on a tile instead of flat. And, the opacity of the pink color fill layer for the flowers was decreased so the title words could be seen more clearly. So, you see you can do a lot of different things with the same template.

In this next example, I turned off the title in the lower part of the layout and turned on the title for the upper part. Also, two text blocks are turned on to add them under the images. The opacity of the Pattern Fill layer for the flower background was decreased so the text is more legible. And, the other photo was changed to be more like the left photo 

For this next, and last example, I have turned off the visibility on the flower Pattern Fill rasterized layer and the pink Color Fill layer. I turned on the visibility of the heart Pattern Fill layer and the brown Color Fill layer. You can see the brown through the transparent hearts. You can see how to make the transparent overlays by downloading my Other Days with Earl Episode 4-Bold Dots. It was posted to this blog 12 August 2010.

I hope that you have seen by these examples that you can do many, many things to the templates that you may have. They can be modified to suit what you want. You could even move the photos and their mats. Transform the size of the photos and their mats to make them smaller and create more photo areas on your layout. You could make just one larger photo area. You could make larger text areas by decreasing size or number of the photos. Lots of things can be done. Use your imagination and create what you want!

If you wish to download the template Click Here.

This will take you to 4shared.com. You can download the file from there. This file is in a ZIP file and you will need to unzip the file to get to the PSD template file. If you haven't used 4shared.com before, when their page opens, on the left-hand side of the page there will be a blue rectangle with a white arrow pointing downward with white text saying "Download Now." Click on that blue box. This will take you to a new window that will have a box that says "Your download link will appear after wait." There will be a circle with the wait period counting down. After the wait, where the words "Your download link will appear after wait" were, you will see the words "Download file now." Click on those words and your download will begin. At least this is how it works on my iMac using the Firefox browser. Also, 4shared.com only allows one person to be downloading the file at a time. So, if you have trouble getting the file to download, you may want to try at a later time as someone may already be downloading it when you tried to do so.

That's all for now.

Enjoy life and keep increasing your knowledge of Photoshop!



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