Speed up your scrapping

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Speed up your scrapping

Lets get this straight: I am by no means a speed scrapper smiley In fact, I may well be the slowest scrapper alive. My layouts usually take me between 3 and 5 hours to finish, which includes playing around with my photographs. I work on my layouts in basically the same way. I select my photos (after I played around with them or -in case they only need slight adjustments I select them unaltered), place them in a template that I like, type in a title and add journaling and then close it till further notice...

Once I have enough time to actually scrap this page, I open it up again, load up (to many) papers, place my elements, pick an alpha for my title, adjust the type for my journaling and then work on my shadows and/or start brushing. I love working with a bunch of different papers because you never know what they look like together. I used to load each one manually into my layout... But then I found a very helpful action (or actually a script) that I use ALWAYS. It's a free action created by Christy VanderWall from SpeedScraps called "Copy & Close". If you don't already have this, make sure you check it out!

It takes all your opened papers and elements, copies them into your layout and then closes them all. Sounds simple but it's incredibly nifty and saves you lots of time. You'll need to have a PSD layout open (it doesn't work on any other filetype), then open all the papers you want. Click on the "Copy & Close" action button and sit back and watch... It takes each paper or element, copies it into your layout and then closes them. It also puts the file names as your layer name so it's easy for crediting! (At least, when the designers have been so kind as to put their name and/or kitname in the files).

After I've copied and played around with all my papers, I'll open lots of elements. I click "Copy & Close" again and now all my elements are copied into my layout. She even made some random scatter scripts you can use with your elements.

You can download her (free) scripts here: http://speedscraps.blogspot.nl/p/free-scripts.html
They all work for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

Take a look at the instructions here: http://speedscraps.blogspot.nl/p/instructions.html
It may seem a little daunting, but if you follow her instructions step-by-step you'll get there. Using the scripts first time around is a little weird (what the? where did all my files go? how? what? oh, there they are...) but I am sure that once you've used them, you will never want to be without!

So, how do you scrap? Do you have a method? How quickly (or slowly) do you create a layout?

I can't use this because I use PSP, but I know there are a lot of Photoshop users here who will probably benefit from this. smiley

I'm a very slow scrapper too... Right now what I do is pick out the photo[s] I want to use, then I'll look through the templates (my folders are broken down by how many photos in the template) & select one, and then I study the photos to decide on a theme... Like for this time of year I'd probably choose a Christmas kit or maybe a Winter-themed kit. Then I go looking through that folder (Christmas or Winter) to see what catches my fancy & maybe picks up some of the colors in my photos & start scrapping. I like elements, but I'm not very comfortable with clustering (I guess I lean toward a "less is more" type look) so I'll just choose a few that I really like & put them randomly on the layout. Of course I don't consider staples, stitching & things of that nature as "elements" - to me they are more like necessities to make the layout more realistic. smiley Then I'll add a title & journaling or word art (sometimes it's another designers' work, sometimes it's something I've made)... I haven't used Alphas much - I generally tend to choose a font I like, type out my title in a large size, color it, bevel it and apply a shadow. But I do want to start using alphas - I really like them (and have downloaded a ton) - I'm just stumped at times on where/how to use them... Sometimes I just find it easier to do the font thing because it's quicker than sifting through the alpha folder...

Is that action you mentioned any different than just dragging things onto the opened layout file? I don't ever open a paper file in Photoshop, I just drag it onto my layout. You can select a whole bunch of papers in the desktop folder and then just drag them all together into your layout file and they'll be there.

Am I making sense?

@Melouise: thanks for sharing this site... i have never heard of it before.
I typically do what Marisa mentions down below in her post, drag and drop into PS smiley

@Lizanne: we'll convert you to photoshop before long tempting you with all the "things" we can do smiley

@Marisa and @Shawna: Whenever I drag and drop it places the item as an 'smart object' and I have to transfer it back to pixels before I can do anything with it. Maybe that has to do with CS6 or with some kind of preference that has to be set somewhere... I've never come across it though. So this action works a lot better for me. Dragging and dropping also works, and I think it also gives the layers the same name as the items you've dropped inside your layout. Also, I like to sift through everything in mini-Bridge, that's another reason why I don't drag and drop from my desktop.

@Lizanne: I have a folder filled with templates-by-number-of-photo's too, that also saves me so much time! I treat Alpha's as I do elements: I chuck all the letters I need onto my layout (usually grouped inside a 'title / alpha' folder) and then move them around, align, rotate etc. and shadow them. If you treat them as such, there is no need to panic smiley

Oh I will have to check this out. Sounds like a great time saver.

@Shawna: I admit it - I have buyer's remorse... Not because PSP is not a good product (it is), but because of the lack of tutorials & resources for it compared to Photoshop. If I knew then what I know now I probably would've saved up for Photoshop (it's much more expensive - I think double what PSP costs). But back then I went by a friend's recommendation that Corel makes good products.......he said if it were him making the purchase he'd go with the PSP. So I did, and now I feel committed to using PSP & giving it a go. It really is a nice product... I just wish the resources that you all use could be used in PSP too & that the tutorials you have were also available for PSP.

@Melouise: I understand what you're saying... What I had to do w/PSP is open each letter into a layer of their own, then move them where I want to & apply a shadow to each letter. I think I've used a ready-made alpha maybe twice - once for a sig tag I made for myself & once for my youngest's 8th birthday layout (in my gallery here). Outside of that, the hardest part was going through the Alpha folder to decide which one to pick - there are so many good ones!

Regarding a "smart object" in Photoshop, to remove that you can always right click and say "Rasterize Layer" which will then allow you to edit the layer. I often like leaving mine as a smart object (until I need to edit it) because it saves the original resolution, so if I resize making it smaller and then bigger it's okay, no loss of pixels.

@Marisa: I know, smart objects are the smart thing to do smiley But I have tons and tons of papers and elements on my layout and I alter most of them, because I am a perfectionist - the color has to be just right, the shadow needs to be manupulated by hand etc.etc. Having to rasterize each layer everytime put me off. That's one of the reasons why I went in search of a copy-close action in the first place smiley

@Lizanne: the link to your gallery doesn't work, but I found it anyway - cute! I love that kind of acrylic alpha too. The method you describe in PSP is virtually the same as mine, except for the nifty script trick I use. And yes, I have the same problem you have: way too many alphas and way too little time to use them all!

At first, I choose all the pics and alter it in the way I want/need. Then, I may or may not decide to work with a specific kit. Anyway, I start opening lots of papers too - and deciding one that will be the background. When I decide the background I paste the pictures there and resize - and then save as with another name, of course. Some of the other papers I crop or cut before putting on the Layout - It´s what I did here and with a transparency paper from this kit in this layout - others I put as they are and then rescale. After the elements, I put lots of elements, but almost always end up using very few of them.

I can take lots of time preparing a single layout, or can do it in half-an-hour, depending on the choices I make. What makes me faster is choosing a kit and working with a template.

WOW, thank you so much for sharing! I've participated in a couple of speed scraps over at Designer Digitals and i've never completed by layout in time! this looks nifty!

I'm more a speed scrapper, but I do most things pretty fast, even writing.
I work with GIMP, I totally love it, and now that i know how most things work (took me some time to get there) it's totally perfect!
I select the photo first and then a kit... I work with kits most of the time, but I often add things from my elements-file. I select a paper and put my pic/pics on top of it. Then I go through the embellishment-file and open everything I like and find fitting... half of that I delete again later because it's just too much, but first I go into overkill smiley .
Then I take a two-minute-contemplation-time-out where I try to visualize the layout and where I want to cluster the embellishments- I also think about the title and what I would like to use for it, and if I want to make it myself, which fonts would be good or if I just stick to an alpha from my extensive ( smiley it's getting confusing) alpha-file.
Then I start scaling the embellishments, one after the other. Once I'm finished, I put everything where it belongs on the layout I have in mind, rotating and re-scaling on the way.
Templates are great to remind me to leave a spot for some journaling, because I ALWAYS forget that, making my layouts too "full" to write anything in it, but I mostly work without templates, especially when I use kits with very similar papers- I found that I don't really like templates for those, so I only use them on occasion and for the more "colorful" kits.
When I'm content with everything, I add the drop shadows.
One layout seldom takes more than 30 minutes, but as I said, I'm "rushing" everything in my life, so...

I'm a slow scrapper, for sure. If I need to have something done faster for some reason, I will grab one of the "quickpages" I have in my stash.......Just slide in the correct number of photos, and I'm done!