Friday, July 27, 2012

Tutorials by Meagan's Creations - File Stacking, Don't Stretch tip

So I have PS Creative Suite 3 and I am finding out there's a lot it can do that regular versions of PS can't do so if you don't have this script, I am sorry! Maybe there's an add-on you can find that does it??? If you like using alphas then this is a must! If you are a designer, this makes making previews sooooo much easier!

This script is called "Load Layers into Stack". You can find it by going File--->Scripts--->Load Files into Stack

It then pops up a window where you can "browse" and select files from your computer to load into one PSD! If they are not all in one folder on your computer, no worries, you can browse again and select more and more.

Once you have all the ones you want, you click ok and PSD does it's thing! It opens each one and then loads them into one document. I love it being this way because it keeps the name of the file not just calling it "Layer 1" or "Layer 2". It's "button", "pp3" etc.. It's great!

For alphas, I do this and then go to Select----> All Layers and drag them onto my layout. And each letter is labeled in the layers palette already! So I know what letters I am moving around! For previews, I will then make all other layers invisible and work with one layer at a time, carefully placing each element as I want to. I hope you find it useful!

Tip for general-layout making

Well, it's not so much of a tip as a tidbit of information. You might find my word art clusters HUGE! but it's so much better to have an element BIGGER than you want rather than smaller. Did you know you shouldn't re-size ANYTHING on your layout bigger? If you drop a photo in and the resolution is too small for the large photo layout you want, it's just not going to happen! Stretching it out pixelates your image and makes it poor quality. The same thing is true of elements. So don't stretch your elements bigger. If they came that size in the kit, that's the size they will be at the best quality. Trying to make them bigger, makes them look worse! Some elements look ok if stretched a little but you don't want to do it too much.
Also, if you at first shrink an element but then decide later on you wanted it back to the original size, just start over from the original file. You can't go back and forth with the size and keep the quality. It's like a pregnant lady's belly (bwahahaha). Once it gets stretched out, it doesn't go back to it's usual, non-scarred form (at least for those of us who get scars, the rest of you lucky ones are just not included in this example, lol).

So work on that, don't stretch-out elements and only re-size down.
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Tutorial by Meagan's Creations - Linking Layers

Have you ever seen that chain symbol at the bottom of the layers palette? It's pretty nifty! It's a way of connecting layers without merging them so you can still keep them together. To merge layers, you simply hold down the control button as you select all the layers you want to link, and then click on the chain. You can unlink them the same way.

It's great to link layers because say you start moving one layer around and forget you had it placed like that for a reason. If you have it linked, it will move all the linked layers when you start to move one of them. That cluster is just as you want it, but not WHERE you want it, link up the layers and move it around without having to hold the control button constantly. You can change the layer order of the linked layers but any moving, including re-sizing, will affect all the linked layers.

Smart Guides

I recently found this setting and I LOVE it! It works better than using guide lines when I am trying to line things up. You can turn them on by going to the View Menu, Show, Smart Guides.

I couldn't get a screen shot to show you what they do, but purple lines show up when you use the move tool and it shows all the ways your layer is lining up with the other layers. Lines go along the edges and the centers so you can see the different edges you could line up with. I absolutely love it! When you are using an alpha to make a title, this is a life-saver! Check it out!
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