abandoning ship

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abandoning ship

I have been a paper scrap-booker for 13 years! I have shelves and drawers full of supplies. I really feel like I am abandoning ship jumping from paper to digital, but with 4 kids now, I feel like it will be easier to do.

Question I have...

A friend recommended Memory Mixer to create pages on, yay or nay? Or is Photoshop the way to go? I have many digital papers downloaded and my pics are ready! This is kind of overwhelming smiley

@Ashly There is a thread on this here.

There are a lot of different opinions. You have to decide how much you want to invest. The first program I got was My Memories Suite but I have to admit that it totally confused me! So I invested in Photoshop Elements 10 and I know that there are many designers that use this program. I got PSE 11 but then gave it away because I decided I wanted to participate in Blog Trains and so I went ahead and purchased Photoshop CS6. I have to admit, I still do my layouts in PSE10 though. There is a learning curve but I found a beginning Scrapbooking class with PSE or PS over at Scraps N Pieces and it made a lot clear. They give the class pretty regularly.

Further, Marisa has some great tutorials for Photoshop and they are well worth spending some time looking around. There is a tab at the top of the page!

Good luck on your decision.....

Ashly, I am in the EXACT same boat as you (but I only have 3 kids) smiley . I've been paper scrapbooking for years, but I literally just created my first digital page last week! It did take me a LOT more time to create the first page digital page vs a paper page, but it was so great not having to schlep out all the materials or clean anything up. I also think using layout tempates and just clipping in my photos and papers is going to save a LOT of time. The old Shabby Princess blog also has a great tutorial on how to use a template. I also printed out these pages with keyboard shortcuts for PS. And as Janet said, Marisa's PS tutorials here are really great too.
I think organization is key for digital. It's next to impossible to see all of your stuff at once so you can figure out how to arrange the layout. The way I figured out to arrange my supplies is to put each kit in a separate folder and then title the preview page that came with the kit "folder" (w/o the parenthesis) and this comes up as the image on the outside of the folder. That way when I'm searching through my big "Digital Scrapbooking" folder I at least get a quick idea of the color palette and the papers and elements available. I also view that folder as extra large icons so that I can see everything on the folder page as much as possible.
I have an older version of photoshop elements that I'm using. It seems to be the most commonly used program. The learning curve on the software is huge, but once you get the hang of it it'll be a piece of cake. I already feel like I know what I'm doing so much more from last week to this week!

I'm just sad because now I don't know what to do with all those cute papers and elements collecting dust in my cabinet. Off to Pinterest for ideas!

I think that choosing a software really depends on what you want to accomplish with it and what kind of a budget you have.

Adobe Photoshop (PS) is the big brother of Photoshop Elements (PE). Regular PS is a robust program that lets you do a LOT of things and can be used for simple scrapbook assembly, creating scrapbook items and papers, all the way to heavy digital illustration/painting and graphic design. The newest version of PS runs around $700, or Adobe offers a "cloud" subscription to just PS for $20/month (or $50/month for unlimited access to their entire creative suite), though I think that the cloud subscription may require internet access to use - I am not sure. PE is more of the "lite" version of PS, with a few extra features that are geared toward photo editing and light graphic design. It is considerably cheaper at $80-120 for the full version.

Adobe offers trial versions of PS and PE, so you can get a feel for the programs, do some tutorials, muck around a bit, etc. Also, one of the up-sides of PS/PE is that there is an incredibly large support network and following on the internet: practically any technique you can dream to do, there's a PS tutorial for it, and many (not all, but many) of those tutorials can be used in PE. Also, there are a LOT of brushes, swatches, actions (press a button and the programs executes a series of defined steps for you), etc available, too.

The downside to PS/PE is that it CAN seem very daunting and overwhelming, especially to a new user. I absolutely adore it and, honestly, don't use much any other program, but after 10+ years, I am still discovering new stuff. If you like to learn, and discover, and muck around, then PS is GREAT for that, but if you just want to drag-and-drop and not have to follow too many steps then PS might be over the top.

Corel's PaintShop Pro (PSP) is a cheaper alternative to PS/PE that, IMHO, still packs a pretty decent punch. I used a version of it 10+ years ago, so I am outdated on it, BUT it was a nice program for the price. It runs around $50. It can be used to assemble pages, edit photos, and also create scrapbooking elements and papers. It's not the heavyweight that PS is, but many of PS' extra features can be a waste on someone who is *just* wanting to assemble scrapbook pages.

PSP also offers a trial version for you to muck around in. And there are also tutorials for this program, but not as widespread and common as for PS/PE.

There's a free program called GIMP that, IMHO, is somewhere between PSP and PS (granted, it has been a while since I used PSP). I've used it for digital painting and illustrating and, while it offers many of the nice features of PS, I think it lacks the refinement and power of PS.

Since GIMP is free, you get full access to it whenever you want. smiley And, I know there are some tutorials for it, but I don't have much experience with them.
I did a little research and have found that most, if not all, PS brushes can be directly installed into the newest GIMP version and some styles can be duplicated/replicated. Plus, GIMP actually has quite a bit of a following with many artists that subscribe to this free-software/open-source movement that's going on right now in the tech world, so there ARE quite a bit of brushes and tutorials and support for GIMP. And, from my experience, a lot of the functionality of GIMP is very similar to PS (ie - you look for commands in very similar places within the programs). There is a DeviantART gallery resource category for GIMP brushes and a Google search will yield many tutorials and tips and tricks, including ones specifically for digital scrapbooking.

If you are wanting to someday make scrapbooking papers and elements, then buying an actual design program might be a good investment (or try GIMP, have I mentioned that it's free? smiley ).

I have never used MemoryMixer (MM), or similar programs, because I tend to want more creation features (I tend to muck around with scrapbook design more than I make any darn pages - lol). MM looks to be just an assembly and adjustment program, so I don't think you'd have the option to make your own supplies. However, it looks simple enough to use (it looks a lot like Microsoft Publisher and similar drag-and-drop production programs), is affordable, and you could always play with one of the design software trials (or good ole' free GIMP) on the side if you ever want to pursue more design features. (I wish they offered a trial of MM, because I'd actually really like to play with it.)

There is a link to Serif Software in the thread that Janet posted about (above), and it looks to have free scrapbooking software. Since MM does not offer a trial, you might try Serif's program (called "Craft Artist") to see if you like that kind of production program.

Personally, if I were in you shoes, I would try out some of the design programs and do some tutorials - see if that's what you're looking for or if it's too much for you. If you decide to by MM now but later decide you want more, you're not out too much $$. Whereas, I would hate for you to jump into buying PS ($$$!!!) and decide it's just not what you want.

I hope all my ramblings have helped and haven't confused you more. smiley

@Tiffany, great suggestion regarding supply organization! I am still trying to sort all the stuff I got in the last year before learning as much as I know now. Organization in the beginning would definitely be a key in your success!

@Mollie your ramblings are just great! Very informative!

Mollie, that was exactly the reason I went with PSP - it's more affordable & it is a good product! But I admit sometimes I have buyers remorse because the lionshare of tutorials, classes & supplies in digiscrap-land seems to be geared toward Photoshop (wish I could use some of the PS actions, styles, lightroom presets, brushes, etc.). Financially I am just not able to make that jump though (being a family of 4 on one salary), so I stick with PSP.

Lizanne, you might try out GIMP. I did a little research (and I will update my post above to reflect) and found that most, if not all, PS brushes can be directly installed into the newest GIMP version and some styles can be duplicated/replicated. Plus, GIMP actually has quite a bit of a following with many artists that subscribe to this free-software/open-source movement that's going on right now in the tech world, so there ARE quite a bit of brushes and tutorials and support for GIMP. And, from my experience, a lot of the functionality of GIMP is very similar to PS (ie - you look for commands in very similar places within the programs). GIMP works on pretty much any operating system and it is TOTALLY FREE.

Here's some information I have dug up (and I am certain that more Google searches would yield even more stuff):

How to Use Photoshop Bushes in GIMP

Handy Tweaks to make GIMP Replace Photoshop

The GIMP Brushes category on DeviantART

GIMP Tutorials and FAQ... for digital scrapbooking!! :D

How to Convert Photoshop Brushes to PaintShop Pro


Also, if you're feeling slightly guilty for abandoning your paper stash, you could always use a flatbed scanner to turn them into digital stuff. As long as you are keeping it for yourself and not distributing it at all, I personally don't see where it would violate any copyrights.

Recently Ive learned the word "destash". In fb groups some people offer their slightly used (or not used at all) materials to fellow scrappers at a reduced price.

I have PSE10( photoshop elements 10) i only use it for my digi scrapbooking, pretty much i don't do layouts, i just do like elements and sometimes paper. I can do a layout but it's not my forte and i get frustrated with doing them lol. However i was also once a paper scrapper then my cousin told me about digital scrapbooking.. i wish she hadn't cause now i am addicted smiley But it is easier and more cost effective because you can use the paper over and over and over again.

OH YEAH I WAS~~ i was gonna ask if she could scan her paper stash and use it to her degree how ever she wants! that would be cool if she cool!

AS LONG as you're NOT giving ANY of it to ANYONE else and are JUST using it for your own personal use... IMHO, which could very well be wrong, I don't see why it wouldn't be ok. I scanned up all my Creative Memories papers for my own amusement. It kinda sucks because I tweaked a few settings and got some really cool effects out of the scans, but I wouldn't dare share them, though I wish I could.

I say GIMP allthe way!!!


I resisted converting to digital for quite some time...until I tried it! Now I'm hooked. I still use my paper and elements to make greeting cards, so they are getting used. I made this adorable teapot card for my daughter.[img][/img]