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Creating a Postcard Layout

Lesson 26 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

Creating a Postcard Layout

Lesson 26 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

26. Creating a Postcard Layout


Class Trailer

Day 1


Adobe Bridge Basics


Sorting Images in Adobe Bridge


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 1


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2


Image Processing Q&A


Contrast and Color


Adjustment Brush and Auto Mask


Lesson Info

Creating a Postcard Layout

Let's, start doing some layouts let's say we need to create a promo you know, we I want to make something like this because I'm going to send out a postcard and to do so I need to put together multiple images and sent it out. So what do we do? Well, I only have a few images here. S o I'm only going to use for image is my wife karen made this and she had a few other images accessible, but this is in general what I'm going for now, these particular images that I'm working with were previously worked on for a slide show where I have black bars on them so that they would fill the screen of a projector so you wouldn't see any emptiness I could choose control color showed up there, so I'm going to take these first and I'm going to open them in camera and just crop out the black parts I could crop him out and photoshopped wouldn't matter but it's just in rods rather easy. So I'm going to select these three because those were the only three that have the black bars in them and I'll say opening...

camera raw from the file menu and I just grabbed a crop tool, click and drag get rid of anything that's not part of the picture go to the next picture in the bro on left side of my screen, I still have the crop tool active click and drag go to the next one. This one it's hard to tell where the picture ends, but it was a vertical picture, so I'm just going to crop it into a well, I can see it's the edge of the this is an iceberg into the icebergs cut off uh, so maybe about like that and then I'll cook done so I got rid of the black bars. Now let's, take these one, two, three, four images and let's see if we can make a layout like that something similar to it. You know, first off, what I might do is go to photo shop and let's say went on a website that's not going to make a postcard. So I goto printing companies that quickly print postcards just do a google search for postcard quick print or something like that, you can find all sorts of companies that will print you five hundred postcards deliver him, you know, in a day or two and let's say, when I did that, I found that they have standard sizes, and so I'm gonna go over here and create a brand new document in photo shop, and I'm going to type in one of their standard sizes, so I'll call this postcard because it asked me for a name at the top here we have within height since the standard sizes were in inches that's what I'll end up using and I'm just making up a number off the top of my head because I haven't actually done this on the website but let's just say it's going to be about seven inches wide by five inches tall five by seven then down here is a number called resolution and what that means is when I print this image the pixels the little squares that make up by image how big are they going to be if they're too big you see jag ease on the picture you can tell it's made out of square blocks and if they're too small the file size is much bigger than it needs to be if it's just right though then you're usually going to be fine you have an acceptable file size and you won't see the jag ese the highest setting most people would practically need use is three hundred for most anything it's very rare to have to go above that so because I don't know what kind of printing process they're going to use I'm just going to use that generically but I'll give you a range of numbers that you could use for various purposes let me see if I haven't convenient here take a moment find out hmm no I don't have a convenient right now but I will later on show you a grid that has ranges that are good for magazines, newspapers printing you know that kind of stuff so you'll have a good idea but three hundred's about the highest you should need to go uh other things that are in here it says background contents that means just what should the document contain when I first opened it should it contain white should it contain my current background color? You know you have forgotten background contain transparent which means checkerboard uh or other where I could choose a color white's fine. The other things I can leave the default settings click okay, so here is my base image now I want to get those other files into here I want to scale them down moving around and all that kind of stuff so let's, go back to bridge and let's see if I can navigate to where this is now the whole bunch of different ways of getting those over into that other document I could open each one select all copy switch to the other document paste I could select all these like this and choose photo shop load files into photoshopped layers that would stack them all into one document but it wouldn't be that document I just made then there's a way I could drag them over to the other document or I might even be able to move this out of the way drag them really strike one a time over here it's a raw file so it thinks I want a process in a raw but if I click okay it would place it in in here it puts the next through because it thinks I want to scale it it's right now in scaling mode where I can grab the edges anyway there's all sorts of ways we can get it over there I need to pick one so for me since we have multiple images I'm just going to select all of them I'm gonna choose tools photoshopped load files into photoshopped layers it's always busy with the task of my machine I don't know why it just loaded them unfortunately it skipped my cropping I applied I see it ignored because I could see black bars and there we'll fix that here but I need to move on these four layers over the other file so I'm gonna hold shift and click on the bottom layer remember how shifts lex everything between whatever is currently active and what I'm clicking on now just like when I was in bridge if I needed a select individual layers just like when your bridge used the command key control windows instead teo make more or less active I'm goingto then use the move tool the move tools what you used to move a layer to reposition it usually could just click and drag like this to move things around and you can move more than one layer at a time I'm going to click within this file and just move my mouse up to the other tab and then not let go yet you need to make sure your mouse is inside that document before you let go I just drag him over now any time you move between two documents it always copies it didn't take them away from the other document it always copies just like when you move a file between hard drives on your computer you don't even have a choice it's not going to move it it's going to copy it and it's the same thing here when you move between documents I don't need the other document anymore, so click on it and I'll just click a little ex tio don't say it because I don't need those layers and I'm back to this now I'm gonna work on individual layers so click away from whatever layer was active and click on my first image I'm going to move it around with the move tool wherever I'd like and if I'd like to change its size, you go to the edit menu and there's a choice in there called free transform free transform means that I'll be able to who do multiple things to its scale it rotated or do other kinds of manipulations you can do all of the things that are found under this sub menu all in one command or you can go to the sub menu to say I only want to deal to scale it and not be able to rotate it at the same time so you can either choose free transform I mainly use free transformed because it has a keyboard shortcut of command tea for transform and therefore it's easy to get to where's thes don't have any keyboard shortcuts and so I have to go to the menu every time so for now we'll use this little sub menu called scale and on the other ones will just type command tea that up like that when I'm down I press return her enter to complete that change now you notice that that picture is covering up the others and that's because if you look in the layers panel it's the top layer and just like if you had five pictures on the physical desk in front of you whatever pictures on top he's going to obscure your view of any pictures that are hidden underneath it right same thing here if I turn off the eyeball for that layer, I'd see what's underneath it now I'm going to click on another layer in this case a picture that contains the northern lights and I'm gonna come in here and move it with the move to all now I can click anywhere because it's a ziff that picture is on a huge sheet of glass in when I grab the move tool, I'm just grabbing the sheet of glass I don't have to grab whatever's on the sheet of glass I just click on the name of the layer and that means whatever sitting on this huge sheet of glass is going to move regardless of where I click so I don't have to click over here where the picture is, hank, look anywhere heck, I click out here and it's going to move that and I'm going to move it so it lines up with left edge. If you have a new version of photo shop when you get something a lineup little pink lines will show up. They're no smart guides but those air relatively new as faras newer versions of photo shop, they're not in aa lot of older versions, but if you ever see those pink lines, they're called smart guides and it means that your layer lines up with something. Otherwise I'd be moving this free form and I wouldn't know when that lines up. If I needed it to line up with an older version there's a couple different ways I could do it here, I'll show you one I could select two layers, so in my layers panel I already have the layer that's physically at the bottom of selected, I'll put on the command key and get the top layer as well then you can go to the layer menu and you're going to find a choice in here called a line, and I could stay out of those two layers that are currently highlighted in my layers panel make the left sides of them line up and so that's goingto pullover that whatever layer is not all the way to the left to that, and then I can switch where I only have that one at the bottom. Now, I can already tell that I don't have enough space to put those other pictures of the bottom because the picture of the tops taking up too much space. So I want to crop the picture that at the top, there is many different ways I could do it, but I don't want to use the crop tool because the crop tool crops your entire document. I want to crop one layer, so what I'm gonna do is grab the marquis tool that's the thing that makes rectangular selections, and I'm going to click and drag to get a little bit of sky, and then I'm gonna come down here and just get a little bit below that church, and I'll make sure the layer that contains that picture is active, and I'm just kind of at a later mask, and when I do, whenever you had a lair mask, it says only keep the part that's currently selected so it's okay if the selection goes beyond the edges as long as there's nothing in that layer beyond the edge so I'm going to add my larry mask boom and it just did it so that that's the only part of half assed the area had selected and now use the move tool to move that up make room for my other photos now click on the other layer that I'd previously worked on and I'll move it up like that and I think it's too big it's going beyond the edge of my picture so I'm going to transform it now it could go to the edit menu choose transforming to scale, but if I'm going to do that for all these pictures going to take too much time so instead I'm gonna type command tea because it's a keyboard shortcut for this thing called free transform command tea and it puts those little transformation handles on and, uh I'll zoom out so I can see him grab the corner I'll scale it when I'm done we'll hit returner enter now there's another picture covering this up a little bit so I'll change the order of my layers to drag this up higher and higher in my layers panel so that layers on top of that stuff so I can see it and I want to put my other layers in there so let's grab another one I'll use the move tool to reposition it, and he'll be nice because I can tell when it lines up with the top of that other picture because you see the pink line boom right there, I'll hide this other layer that's underneath just goes confusing to see it sitting in there, so I'll turn off the eyeball can't see it and let's scale this other one down. I'm just gonna type command tea for transform, and I'm going to scale it down until it's about the same height as the other one. I wish the smart guide would show up to tell me that, but sometimes they don't pay attention, presser turner enter, and that has the black bars on I want to get rid of, so I'm going to end up making a selection again with the marquis tool no crop in a little bit on the image in that I'm going to add a layer mask to that layer to say, hide everything except for what I currently have selected, and then I'll use the move, tool move tools always what use for repositioning things, and I'll move it over and then I'll turn on the eyeball for the last layer and I'll use the move tool, move it down. Just because you mentally changed to the other layer didn't mean you clicked on the other layer of your layers panel so in my layers panel if you looked at what layer was still active it was the lyric that was this one and if I wanted to change the other one just manually moving there doesn't mean it's going to do it you could click on it and your layers panel then you can move it down and I'll type command tea again, transform it and get it to be about the same height but just so you know, when I transformed things I hold on shift shift means don't let me squish it in one direction more so than the other dimension and I wish it was actually the default but it's not you hold on shift when you do it if you don't have shift held down, you could make your pictures look really skinny uh or really tall or whatever because you're distorting them then I'm going to make a selection in this time I'm going to do it a little different because I only want to hide the right side over here that because I can see this slicing in right here to the iceberg so I'm going to select the area I want to hide that's the part I want to hide now usually had a layer mask it keeps the area you have selected there's a way to get it to do the exact opposite when you go down here to the layer mask icon there's a trick hold down the option key that's ultimate does and that means do the opposite of the usual so if it usually only keeps the area that selected in this case it's going to hide the area that selected so hold on option I click on this and it hid the area that was selected it's something that's not obvious but it's it's there I used the move tool and I'll move this over then I want to hide more of it so that I have a gap between this and the next picture so I'll make a selection over the area that I'd like to hide about that much so I get that much white space I don't care how far out this extends as long as it's covering that area wanna hide now we already have a layer mask in so it's not like the layer mask icon is going to help me because you only can have one layer mass there all I need to do though is fill that part of the layer mask with black because black hides things so the layer mask is active I could grab the paintbrush right now and paint through that the selection would limit where the paint shows up or I could just go to the edit menu and say hey let's fill and let's fill with black. Now look at what's active in the layers panel you see what's active right here that's where the feeling that's gonna happen is going to put some black in here, which is going to hide part of that. Do you see the black show up in my layer? Then I could get rid of my selection d select so we're seeing how we're getting some of these layers together and how layer masks and limit were crop a layer because the crop tool crops your entire picture. Now, I don't know if I hid all of what was in this layer, some of it might still be there underneath the others. I'm going to turn off the eyeballs on the two layers above, okay? I just wanted to see if there was any more black out there, and there isn't now. Does this gap that's here look like it might be a little bigger than that one? I'd love him to be equal. Well, we could do that. All we need to do is select those three layers to get them to be active. I'll hold down the shift key, and I'm gonna clip two more layers up so we get all three of them, then I think it added a layer distribute horizontal centers. Although that I don't know if that's going to do it because they're not if they were equally sized that that would do it no darn if those were equal widths, it would do it, but what I wish they had here and I don't think they have is to distribute them where they're evenly spaced. Well, I could make the right edge is evenly spaced, I could make the horizontal centers evenly spaced and that kind of stuff, but there isn't an option that I know of it here that'll actually let me do what I want to do. The one thing I might be able to do is move the middle layer and see if a smart guy ever shows up because a smart guide will often show up when it shows there's an equal amount of space, but in this case, it doesn't want to, so I mean visually estimated now I noticed the tops of these don't quite line out plan, and if you can tell that or not, but the middle ones a little higher than the others, so I'm going to select those three again my layers panel, I'll choose layer align, top edges, boom and then to get him so they're trimmed the same height I'll simply make a selection too up like that and click on one that has a mask I'll fill that area with black get a mask, black hides things, so I'm going to trim off that bottom little part. I'll go to the next one that has a mask, and I'll say fill the mask with black down there. The next one doesn't have a mask yet saw add one, but usually only keep the area that selected. I want the opposite, so I have to hold option there. I just clipped the bottom of that one. I'm just adding to their mask, adding black to say, hide, hide, hide to get the same height. Then I'm going to actually had text on top of this picture because we have this big area up here. So if I want to add text up there, I need to make the top most layer active because otherwise, if I had text right now, whatever you had something new, it goes directly above what you're currently working on, and it would if you look at my layers panel and that being below that picture and I wanted to see it because the picture would obscure my view of it. So I need to make the top most layer active. I go over and grab the text tool then, and just right here, when it click the textiles just let her tea over here. And the text tool is going to use your foreground color to figure out what color of text to use you can always change it later but that's what it's going to use and so if you want a pre choose one feel free and I'm just gonna click right here and I'm gonna type iceland it looks kind of big in order to change the taxed usually I need the first type command a command a means select all because you can have each letter of text be a different color size or anything else and I want each or all of the letters to change if I take command a it selects them all it looks weird right now because the text is so large it's considered to be covering the entire picture and so it does a wierd look but they're right up here is the size and if you click on that I might bring it down, delete the six and get down to fifty two there you can see my text it has ah what's called a reversed highlighting, meaning it could be the opposite of whatever is in your picture just to show you what's highlighted but I'm going to click up there on the size you can use the up and down arrow keys if you want to just increase the number that's in a field and I'm gonna cop here say iceland then I'm going to switch to the move tool right now, the text looks weird because it's selected, and when it's selected, it gives you the opposite of what's behind it. It looks odd, but when I switched to the move tool, you can see what it really looked like, so you can see how you can build up something made out of separate pieces like that and just make some sort of a layout by using the various features and photoshopped the main thing till that we learned here, I think was first off if you need something to be a particular size it's nice to first create the fresh document of that size and then, uh, pull your images over to it, so you know that when you're done, you know, it's the exact size you wanted instead of starting at whatever size your pictures happened b then the second thing is to change the size of our images. We go to the edit menu and choose free, transform or type command t ana mac control t and windows and grab the corners to scale, and so you don't squish the picture in one direction more so than the other hold shift when you're pulling the handles, then to crop a layer you know, use the crop tool, the crop tools for cropping at document the entire thing instead make a selection around the part of that layer you want to keep on at alarm, ask, and it will limit that layer toe on lee showing up within the shape that you had, and you can always add to that player mask if you need to. And we also used, uh, alignment teo to get the top head just a lineup, that kind of stuff, which can be useful. We're going to now do mork complex versions of the same type of layout. We're the edges of the photos might have different treatments on them, where it looks almost like ripped edges on the photos or hand drawn one. Instead of just typing tax, we're going to use some cool looking graphics and other things, but before I do that, do we have general questions about what we've done thus far with this, you know, we have a question about what, because you can put grid lines on there as well and why you would not do that and just use the smart snapping or sometimes use grid lines. Just line it up visually, you can put in guides in here, and then the layers snap two guides. You can also overlake grids there's all sorts of things you can do it it's just a matter you gotta pick some method there's always more than one way of doing things and photo job and it's a matter of whatever your brain thought of first or whatever you're most comfortable with so there's always other ways to do it better and things I just needed to pick some we had he there already talked about or something that was easy tio introduce uh to what we're doing awesome all right, we're going to save this just in case we need to open it later and I'll call it iceland uh postcard and just for the sake of talking let's just a just a couple of these images because we've been using adjustment layers and we can use that thing that makes it only affect one picture because there'd be a nice thing to use this image isn't too complicated yet so first I would click on the picture that I want to change to make it active I'm gonna work on the big more panorama picture of the top so that's active then you come down here and create your adjustment in my case I'll use human saturation and I'm going to take the saturation slider in increase it which should make the picture more colorful and as I do that you should notice that the pictures below are becoming more colorful ahs well so at the bottom of this human saturation dialogue is that icon that I briefly mentioned this one you see it that one that means on leah just layered let's directly below this adjustment layer. So as long as I had clicked on the layer I warned work on before creating this adjustment layer then that should be the layer that's directly below it. So when I click here the other layers the bottom are no longer affected and I can tell that because if I look in my layers panel you see that little down point an arrow it means this only affects that let's. Do it again, let's say this image here needs to be a little bit brighter, so I click on it in my layers panel I create a adjustment layer let's use brightness and contrast and before I even moved the sliders and brightness and contrast I'm gonna click on that icon that means on ly effect layer directly below but now I can come over here and short this up brighten this up we had contrast to it making really pop and I could do that for all the layers that aaron here each one I could adjust uh but the main thing is that little down point barrow is what prevents it from applying everything else. Otherwise an adjustment layer applies to all layers that are under it because if you're standing at the top of the layers, pound looking down. You have to look through it. And it would only affect what is below it.

Class Materials

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Course Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Ben, thanks again for this course. I have taken and purchased quite a few of your courses to date. I keep thinking I will only watch to make sure I am on the right track and you always bring more to the table than the last course. Your teaching methods are the best, sorry to all the other instructors from Creative Live, but you are very easy to understand and you speak in layman's terms so we all can understand. I am following your instructions and working along with your files and it is the best! It is hard to keep up with you even when I watch you on one computer and work with the same files on another computer, to do what you are doing...impossible but I gain so much by trying. You provide so much info on each topic, it is amazing. Thanks to Karen for the PDFs, she does a fantastic job and also, for her templates/layout documents. Thanks again and to anyone who thinks this is too much money for all the videos, the exercise files and the instruction PDF, I am sorry to say but you are mistaken.

John Taylor

Like all of the Creative Live courses, excellent training. Ben does a great job of explaining the entry part of Photoshop. A lot of things cleared up in my head and i like his easy pace into this complex program. Thanks Ben.


I had several "lightbulb" moments with this class, after many years of photography and when you think you know it all, you don't :) Ben Willmore is an excellent tutor, with his many years of experience teaching PS, he obviously knows the types of things a lot of us struggle to understand. I learnt a lot about Bridge, and have since implemented these things into my everyday workflow, so much easier to sort out what I want to keep etc.. Thanks so much Ben and Creative Live. Thanks also to Ben's wife for her amazing work creating the Guide etc. Even though being in Australia, I pay more for the courses (the conversion rate, the aussie dollar is low at the moment) it's very worth it to me. I have paid more for courses here, and learnt next to nothing. Thanks again.

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