Here's How to Make Your Own Templates For the
Album Designer if you are not using Presentation Gold

The "composite style" templates we are using in the Album Designer are very easy to create in your favorite image editing program (such as Adobe Photoshop or Jasc's Paint Shop Pro).

If you are using Presentation Gold you can create templates with feathered edges, reduced opacity, text, and borders...in minutes.


Step 1
In your image editor, turn off anti aliasing, for the selection tools and the fill tool. The selection tools are the Marquee and the Magic Wand (the Lasso is also a selection tool, but we will not be using that tool to make templates). The Fill Tool is also called the Paint Bucket. Make sure contiguous is turned on. These options will be visible in the tools options bar when you click on the respective tool.

  
Step 2
Create the canvas.

That is open a new file. This is done by clicking on File/New.

When you click on File/New, you will be prompted to enter a size for your image.

Make the canvas any size you wish. Now remember, you will be ordering these pages from a lab, and later most likely ordering an album. It makes sense that the size you use is available from your lab.

Set the image resolution to 250 ppi (pixels per inch).



You may fill the canvas with color. In the example shown here, we filled with white.

In most image editing programs, the Fill (Paint Bucket) Tool fills with the foreground color. By default, the foreground color is usually black and the background color is white.

In this case, since we are filling the background with white, we must first switch the foreground and background color. This is accomplished by clicking on the double sided arrow as shown below.

After you set the foregound color, click on the Paint Bucket, then click in the open area of your canvas. The program will fill the canvas with the foregound color.

  

Step 3
Setting the guides.

We have been advised by labs and leather bound album companies, that a safe distance from the edge is 3/4 of an inch, unless the image will be placed at the edge.

Click the option in your image editor that makes the rulers visible. This is accomplished by clicking View/Show Rulers.

Click the Zoom tool and in the options bar Click "fit on screen".

   

Then set guides 3/4 of an inch from each edge. This is accomplished by left clicking your mouse over a section of the ruler and dragging into the canvas. If you want to move the guide after it has been placed, you may use the Move tool to change the position of the line. The Move tool allows you to click on an item and drag it into position. Note: the guides will not be visible when you open the template in Album Designer.

In this example we have also placed additional guides in the image for centering purposes.

So keep your images inside the 3/4 area, or move them to the edge.

   

Step 4
Create the opening in the Template.

Create a new image the size you wish your opening to be. In this case we created a 5x7. Also using the same resolution of 250 dpi.

Fill the 5x7 with a neutral gray. To accomplish this, you will have to change the foreground color before you use the Fill Tool. The Color Picker, opens when you double click on the foreground color in the tool bar. When you have selected the color you wish to use, click OK. In this example we used an RGB of 212 208 200 (which is what the programmers have recommended to us). You may use any color you prefer (just make it different than the background).

Fill the 5x7 area with the new foreground color. Be sure your colors are on the pastel side, not solid reds, greens and blues. We suggest using shades of grays.



Select the 5x7 area by left clicking the blue bar at the top of the 5x7 and press Ctrl A on your keyboard. Copy the 5x7 by pressing Ctrl C.

Click on the first canvas you created, the 12x12. and paste the 5x7 into it by pressing Ctrl V.



The 5x7 image will paste into the center of the canvas. In some cases that's great, but in this case we will wish to move the 5x7 into position, using the Move tool. Note: we find it useful to use the "snap to" option in the image editor. This feature is turned on by clicking View/Snap.

   

Paste the second 5x7 into the canvas. (Ctrl V). It is not necessary to "re-copy" as the image is still in memory (clipboard).

Again, using the Move Tool, drag the 5x7 image into place.

 


The templates must be 250 DPI. They have to be able to be saved as TIFFS. Save them to a folder, give the folder a name. Example: Square Templates

Open them in PS, save as a TIFF. Then go to: File/Open in Presentation Gold. Select Convert/Templates. Browse to the folder of TIFF templates. Open the Folder, the TIFFs will convert to our templates.

Panorama Templates: You must put the word "panorama" in the file name of the template to create a panorama.

Example: 123ws_panorama.jpg

Step 5
Some Rules.

In the example above, we have created a very simple template. You may create many more elaborate designs. All you have to do is observe some simple rules.

The boxes must be a different color than the background. Be sure your colors are on the pastel side, not solid reds, greens and blues. We suggest using shades of grays.

If you have boxes touching, you must fill them with a different color. For instance if your original shape was set to an rgb of 212 208 200, you may fill the second box with 182 178 170. Try it and you'll see what we mean.

Add at least a 1 pixel "stroke" around the edge of each opening. The stroke color must be a different color than the boxes or background. This will prevent a "spill over" if an object at the edge of the image you insert matches the color of the background or the box next to it.

Add a stroke by clicking Edit/Stroke. The stroke dialog box will open. If you click on the box with the color in it the color picker will open. Set the color of the stroke, set the pixels and click OK.

   

 


Performer Software - Tech Support