Installing Actions for PSE 3 and 4

PC USERS:

1. Close Elements if it is running.

2. Copy the entire folder (.atn files and .psd files) to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 3.0\Previews\Effects

3. Open the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 3.0\ Previews\Cache\Effects Cache

4. Delete these three files: CategoryCache.che, ListCache.che,
ThumbnailCache.che

MAC USERS:

1. Close Elements if it is running.

2. Copy the entire folder (.atn files and .psd files) to Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 > Previews> Effects.

3. Open the Adobe Photoshop Elements 3> Previews> Cache> Effects Cache folder.

4. Delete these three files: CategoryCache.che, ListCache.che,
ThumbnailCache.che.

Lights, Camera…ACTIONS!

action

Actions (a precorded set of steps in Photoshop) sure can make life easier and sometimes even more fun. There are actions to speed up your workflow (resizing for web, renaming files), actions to perform cool tricks (like turn things to metal or make your text look “stamped”), and even actions to edit photos (turn to black and white, make the color pop). As digital scrappers, there are often times when actions can come in really handy. But before we can use them, we have to know how to install them.

Wendyzine did a great post for us with instructions on installing and using actions in most programs. Very helpful!!

Atomic Cupcake includes great instructions with all of her actions and effects. I remember when I first bought Photoshop Elements 6 and I was searching all over the web for instructions that made sense. Finally, I just bought something of hers so that I could get the directions. She has generously allowed us to reprint them here (they have been generalized for use with any action).

Installing Actions for Photoshop

Installing Actions for Photoshop Elements 3 and 4 — PC and MAC

Installing Actions for Photoshop Elements 5— PC USERS (there is no MAC version of PSE 5)

Installing Actions for Photoshop Elements 6 –PC and MAC USERS

Since I always find myself needing to load a new action and never remember how, I created this handy downloadable PDF document of all the instructions that you can print out and keep right by your computer. You can download them here:

INSTALLING ACTIONS .pdf

INSTALLING ACTIONS – A4 paper.pdf

Wendyzine, the Queen of Actions, also wrote a post for us about installing and using actions.

Installing Actions for Photoshop

For Photohop 7, Photochop CS and Photoshop Creative Cloud:

Thanks to Atomic Cupcake for allowing us to reprint these!

1. Copy the .atn files to the location of your choice

2. Open Photoshop. Open the actions panel (WINDOW>ACTIONS).

3. Click on the contextual menu (icon with 4 thin lines) in the top corner of
the Actions panel and click “LOAD ACTIONS.” Navigate to the ATN file on your computer and select it. Click OPEN.

Don’t Lose a Thing

computerdisaster1

ETA: I have switched my online back up method since writing this post. You can read about my newest system and why I switched for more information.

Imagine all of the photos, layouts, and memories you have stored on your hardrive. What would happen if the drive they were stored on died? Do you have them backed up anywhere? What would happen if you had a natural disaster in your area and something (heaven forbid) happened to your home? Do you have an offsite backup of all of your files?

Hang around any digital forum for a day or two and you will see a thread titled something like this, “I thought it would never happen to me” or “Digital Tragedy”. The reality is that it WILL happen…your hardrive WILL bite the dust! Everyone THINKS it won’t happen to them, but hardrives are not meant to last forever!

I (Steph) have never been very good at backing up to CD’s and DVD. I tried, but it just became too much, so I came up with a pretty good system for backing up my files that worked for me. I had two little portable external hardrives (EHDs) one for photos and one for digi supplies. I backed them up to a larger non-portable EHD that was attached to my desktop. Whenever I downloaded photos from my camera, I downloaded them directly to the larger EHD and then copied them to my portable EHD for use on my laptop. Suddenly, without warning, my little EHD with my digi supplies died. I hadn’t been as good about backing it up, so I did lose some supplies, but I was able to get most of my links reset. I bought a new EHD and kept the same system for transferring photos from my camera, but again wasn’t very good about backing up my new EHD. During February 2008, I got caught up on all of my printing and just a couple of days later, that new EHD died. Because of my system for transferring photos, I did not lose any photos, but did lose some layouts (I had just printed them, but have lost the digital files), and again some supplies. I decided that enough was enough and I signed up for Mozy’s online backup. It took about a month to get all 160gigs of photos, layouts, and supplies backed up, but I did get them securlely backed up onto Mozy’s servers.

Fast forward to last month when I lost yet another EHD. We were on vacation and I only lost one days worth of photos that were not yet backed up to Mozy. When I got my new little EHD (a different brand from all of the others this time), I just right-clicked on the Mozy icon on my desktop and selected restore. Within 3 days, I had all of my photos, layouts, and digi supplies back and on my new EHD!! I could have cried with joy!

The peace of mind that I now have by knowing everything is backed up on an extra EHD and also backed up online has been huge! I no longer worry about what will happen if I lose things, because I know the chances are much lower than they were before. It’s not an IF but WHEN will your computer/hardrive die?

Which online backup solution is for you? I have linked below to a couple of articles that might help, but it seems that most digital scrappers use Mozy or Carbonite. Both are very affordable, right around $50/year with unlimited space. The biggest difference is that Mozy will backup your EHD’s as long as they are attached to your computer during a backup. Carbonite does not recognize EHD’s but the backup is more real-time where Mozy backs up once a day at a scheduled time (that you select).

Here is an article on how to choose an online backup service

Here are some reviews of online backup services

Using Flickr As a Back UP

Computer Tips & Tricks

computer-tips-and-tricks

By nature of the hobby, digital scrapbookers spend a lot of time on their computer. It’s kind of hard to scrap without it, huh? However, even if we feel comfortable on our computers and can scrap a page with relative ease, there are always things we don’t know and always things we can learn to make things go faster, to do things better, to make our pages and our photos look their very best.

COMPUTER TIPS AND TRICKS will be a regular feature here at THE DAILY DIGI. Whether you want to learn how to get the most out of Photoshop or are trying to decide between a Mac and a new PC, TDD will be there to give you tip, tricks, tutorials, and a whole lot of fun. If you are new to digital scrapbooking, be sure to check out the section we have created especially for you — in it you can find software recommendations, information on making your first layout, and where you can print these layouts once you are done.

Novice or seasoned veteran…COMPUTER TIPS AND TRICKS will be sure to bring you the information you want and need.

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Today I want to show you one of the best (and easiest!) things you can do to take your photos from good to great.  You’ve probably seen it a million times without realizing what made a specific photo really stand out.

The vignette.  The word has lots of meanings but in the context we are talking about (photography) it means, “any process by which there is loss in clarity towards the corners and sides of an image.” Loss of clarity may not sound like a good thing, but I promise you, it is!  You see, when you have a loss of clarity towards the corners and sides of an image your eye automatically is drawn toward the center of the photo.  Most often, the center is what you want to highlight. By reducing the clarity of the outer parts of the photo, the subject of the photo can truly stand out.

Take a look at this photo:

family_before

It’s a good photo, right? Color is good. Exposure is good.  Composition is good.  However, we can make it even better with a simple vignette.

family_after

The difference is subtle but delivers lots of impact!

Here are a few more examples of good photos becoming great photos.

momandgirl

mom_baby

Now lets look at an easy way to do this yourself in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements:

First, select your photo.  I chose a photo of some friends of mine that I took a few weeks ago.  I love the photo (and the people in it!) so I wanted to make it something they would truly love.

thegirls_before

First, you need to select your Marquee tool (keyboard shortcut M). You can use either the elliptical (oval) marquee or the  rectangular marquee tool.  For this photo, I chose to use the elliptical tool.  I made a selection around the area I wanted to stay clear. Since my subjects weren’t quite center, I nudged the selection up a bit using my arrow keys.

marquee_selection

Now I need to feather the selection so that there is a gradual shift of color rather than a harsh line.  I went to the top of the screen and chose Select>feather> and then set my pixel amount.  The amount of feathering can really depend on the look you are going for and the resolution of the image. As good rule of thumb is 100 pixels for a high-resolution photo and 50 pixels for a low-resolution photo.

feather_selection

feather_selection_100pix

Now I have the subject of the photo selected, but that is not the part of the photo I want to change.  I want to change the outer edge of the photo rather than the center so I need to inverse my selection.

inverse_selection

Now the outer edges of the photo are selected.

Now I will copy and paste this selection onto a new layer (PC: Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V,   MAC: COMMAND+C then COMMAND+V).  Now my selected area is on its own layer.

feathered_layer_330

I am now going to change the blending mode of this layer to multiply, which will darken the pixels.

multiply_mode_315

This is what it looks like now

vignette_toodark

In my opinion, the vignette is a little too dark and too noticeable.  So, I will lower the opacity of the vignette layer until it looks right.  I set the opacity to 70% to get this:

thegirls_after

Now, I just need to merge the layers and I am done.

merge_layers

See the difference?  Subtle but oh-so-powerful.

BEFORE:

thegirls_before3

and AFTER:

thegirls_after1

Now, don’t fret that this will take you forever.  Once you get the hang of it, it goes really fast.  I timed myself and it took me 27 seconds (using keyboard shortcuts for most menu choices).

So there you have it…one little trick to take your photos from good to great…all using our favorite little sidekick…our computer!

janet_sig5

Photography Class

photographyclass_450

Photography.  Scrapbooking and photography tend to go hand in hand.  While it is possible to scrapbook without photos, most people assume the two belong together.  We take photos and then on our scrapbook layouts we share the story and convey the feelings through our art and our words.

Here at  TDD we want to help you grow in your photography journey.  Whether you want to learn the relationship between shutterspeed, aperture, and ISO or you need ideas on how to organize your photos, TDD will be here to help.  The digi scrapping community is full of amazing talent and is a wealth of knowledge. We hope to bring you information that you can really use in a way that won’t intimidate you. If you are wanting to improve your photography, get tips from the experts, and make your camera see what your heart sees, then stay tuned for more posts from Photography Class here TDD.

And to get you thinking about photography, read on to find out how you can jumpstart your photographic creative process today.
__________________

Most days I think my kids think my camera is an actual appendage to my body.  It tends to go most places with us and it shows up when they would really rather it didn’t.  I really do try to leave it at home sometimes, but of course you know what happens…THAT is the day some magical moment happens and I miss it. Capturing the day-to-day moments truly makes my heart happy and is what makes my kids  love to look through our albums. It isn’t the posed cheesy grins and forced family photos that make us happy.  Instead, it is the everyday.

I am sure that most of you have heard buzz around the community about PROJECT 365. This is a documentary project where participants take a photo every day for an entire year. It is a really cool concept and you can read more about the original idea HERE. They give some tips on how to do it and some really good advice on how to keep going even when you get busy or bored with the project.

If you aren’t inspired yet, then you need to check out Jennifer Woodbury’s Project 365 for 2008.  I have stalked this photo album all year long, anxiously awaiting more of her color rich photos and witty commentary. I love how she varied the content throughout the year — you can tell that her two gorgeous girls take up most of her time but you can also look through the photos and see the love she has for her husband, glimpses of her life in and around NYC, and her love affair with a really good cupcake. Now when she gets the last few days of her album loaded I can say that I completed Project 365 (vicariously through her, of course).

So now that you are convinced you just have to do this project, don’t fret if you missed yesterday.  Take a photo of something that represents yesterday like a photo of yesterday’s newspaper with the date on it, a photo of something that represents what you did (like taking down the Christmas boxes), or even a picture of your camera to represent what you want to do this year. It won’t matter and might even make it more interesting.

A number of sites around the digital scrapbooking community have started up challenges and forums dedicated specifically to this project.

  • Sweet Shoppe Designs has a forum for Project 365 with some other informative links as well as free weekly templates.
  • Scrapbook Graphics also has a special forum for playing along and those that register will get free templates to help them document their photos.
  • Creating Keepsakes has a downloadable document to give you ideas for using their kit (which at the time of writing is sold out) and other ideas for things to photograph.
  • Sarah has created a cool blogsite just for us digi gals…you can buy some really cool templates as well as snag a piece of flair to state that you are doing it digi.

If this all just seems too overwhelming for you — just one more thing on the New Year’s Resolution list that won’t last — don’t worry.  There are other ways to achieve the same concept but on a smaller basis.  Why not try a “month in photos” or “a photo a week”? The idea is just to record the day to day and moment to moment things we do.

For other ideas on how to do this on a smaller scale, check out Ali Edwards’  WEEK IN THE LIFE project and her DECEMBER DAILY. They have the same focus but are on a smaller scale. The point is, try something new. Document the “every day”. You won’t be sorry.

janet_sig3

A new year and a new way to do digi…

january-1

I love fresh starts!  I always loved the first day of school, first chapters of books, the first morning light.  When something new starts there is a feeling of renewal, of freshness, of opportunity, and of dreams come true.

As we enjoy the fresh start of a new year, I want to introduce another kind of fresh start.  I want to show you a dream I have for a fresh approach to the way we do digi. The Daily Digi (TDD) wants to usher in a wave of freshness, of newness, and of fun and scrappiness.

After a few years of spending too much time online, there came a day when I just stopped. I just stopped surfing the net, stopped participating in message boards, stopped eyeing all the galleries.  It wasn’t because of a lack of desire — these are all great places to “hang out” and my passion for scrapping was still strong.  Instead, it came from a desire to spend less time in front of a computer and more time in front of the people I love.

The problem was, as much as I loved the break from the computer screen, I realized I was missing out on a lot of really cool stuff!  It was from the message boards, galleries, and blog-hopping that I learned so much over the past few years! It was in these places that I learned to scrap, that I learned how to use my camera better, and that I found out about the many, many amazing designers and scrappers in the digital community.  I didn’t want to be tied to my computer all day and yet I didn’t want to miss out on so much great information and inspiration!And one day I had a thought.  That thought turned into a dream.  And now that dream has  become a reality.

THE DAILY DIGI is going to be a place full of inspiration, information, and ideas that will come in easily digestible amounts.  In ten minutes or less each day you will find tips, tools, and tricks to help you in this digital age we live in.  I want you to feel inspired, to feel challenged, AND to feel the freedom to step away from the computer and start doing all those things that you have been dreaming of in your heart.

So there you have it…a wave of freshness to the way we approach digital scrapbooking and the community that loves it.  I want to seek out and find the very best that the “digi world” has to offer and bring it to people in the forms of daily posts.  Each day (at approximately 7:00 am EST/EDT) TDD will post great information and inspiration.  Although the posts and content will vary tremendously, we will be focusing on these main categories:

  • Check it Out: products, sites, and information you don’t want to miss!
  • Computer Tips and Tricks: anything from keyboard shortcuts  and shadowing vellum to defragging your hard drive
  • Crafty Corner: cool ways to use your digital scrapbooking supplies for crafting and home decor
  • Holiday Happenings: special focus on holiday products, events, crafts, and gift ideas
  • Hybrid Help: where pixels meet paper and us digi gals learn to get our hands dirty!
  • Just for Beginners: information geared towards digital newbies
  • More with 4: a cool product challenge that helps us grow our creativity with simplicity of product
  • Photography Class: artistic and technical info to help you capture on your camera what you see in your heart
  • Sponsor Spotlight: shining the light on great digital designers in the community
  • The UN-digi: the place for all things worth mentioning that aren’t necessarily about digital scrapbooking
  • The Write Way: finding the stories in our hearts and getting them onto our layouts
  • Truly Inspirational: be inspired with the art of the talented digital community

In addition to all of the great information mentioned above, each month we will bring you THE DIGI FILES.  This “grab bag” of sorts will be filled with new and never-before released products from a variety of designers from around the digital community.  THE DIGI FILES will allow you to sample new-to-you designers as well as getting new product from the designers you already love.  Watch for more information as we approach January 15 and the THE DIGI FILES debut!

Over the next two weeks (January 1-14) we will be slowly introducing the site and the vision behind it. You will get to read a little more about the categories we will be focusing on and see sample posts. January 15 will launch the “regular” posts, the DIGI FILES, the sponsor spotlights, and a whole bunch of fun and prizes.  Check back here every morning to find out about all the amazing things we have planned. And while you are here, be sure to check out our amazing team, our beginner section (that will continue to grow!), and ways that YOU can be involved in the site!

Wishing you a fresh start to a new year and a new way to do digi.

janet_sig2

computerbooks

This is the area where we will be adding information for those of you that are just starting your digital journey and those of you who have been traveling it for awhile now.   We have topics on the right hand side that link to even more tutorials, tricks, and resources.  If you have suggestions for things you would like to learn, you can email me steph@thedailydigi.com.

What is digital scrapbooking?

At THE DAILY DIGI we define digital scrapbooking as any memory keeping using technology or a computer.  Blogging, Facebook, Flickr, all the way through creating actual layouts on your computer…it all counts!  You can listen to episode 1 of The Paperclipping Digi Show where we discuss this.

 

For a great overview of digital scrapbooking, Ali Edward’s has these posts on her site:

Scrapbooking With Your Computer: Day 1

Scrapbooking With Your Computer: Downloading, Unzipping, and Organizing Digital Elements

Scrapbooking With Your Computer: Opening, Recoloring, Adding to a Photo, Loading Brushes

Scrapbooking With Your Computer: Digital Product Definitions & Suggestions

Scrapbooking With Your Computer: Creating Layouts With Layered Templates (video tutorial)

 

Doing My First Layout

wheretostart3

Are you thinking that digital scrapbooking might be a good fit for you, but you aren’t sure where to start? Well, the best way to learn to digi scrap is to just dive in and try it!! I (Steph) learned to use my photo editing software (all of them…haha) buy using the wonderful tutorials online and a couple really good books. Janet started digital scrapping with a “Photoshop Elements for Dummies” book at her side. There are many on-line tutorials out there to help you get going. We also have a few books linked below that can teach you a lot about your chosen program. Although there are not many books written specifically for digital scrapping, there are many techniques in the books that can be applied to digital scrapbooking. Remember, that your library is a great resource for these books!

Here are some links for tutorials to help you out with that first layout:


Photoshop Elements (PSE)

Hummies World

Misty Cato

Atomic Cupcake

The Shabby Shoppe

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive the free stater pack and free mini-kit)

Jessica Sprague has a self-paced beginners class that you can start at anytime.


ACDSee

Digiscrap Info.

Digi Scrapping Tutorials


Photoshop Creative Suite (PSCS)

Digi Scrapping Tutorials

Atomic Cupcake

The Shabby Shoppe

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive a starter pack with tutorials and free mini-kit)

Jessica Sprague has a self-paced beginners class that you can start at anytime.


FotoFusion

Your First Layout in FotoFusion

FotoFusion on YouTube

FotoFusion on YouTube

Paint Shop Pro

Digi Scrapping Tutorials

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive starter pack with tutorials and free mini-kit)


Gimp

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive starter pack with tutorials and free mini-kit)


Books we like:

Photoshop Elements for Dummies

Photoshop Elements Classroom in a Book

Photoshop for Dummies

Photoshop Classroom in a Book

PaintShop Pro for Dummies

steph_sig

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