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DiamondDesign
12-17-2007, 06:56 AM
I have seen a lot of pages that are "messy" with a lot of elements. Usually a bunch of buttons or flowers piled under a picture. When I decided to post, I couldn't find a layout with as much as I've seen, but I found a tidier version here (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=17281&cat=all&limit=last14) (by yvonnew).

My questions. Do you keep all of the elements as separate layers? How do you work with so many pieces? How long does it take you?

Okay, here (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=5425&ppuser=1176) was the layout I saw (by Helen (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=22)) that these questions really started running thru my mind.

Helen
12-17-2007, 07:44 AM
I have seen a lot of pages that are "messy" with a lot of elements. Usually a bunch of buttons or flowers piled under a picture. When I decided to post, I couldn't find a layout with as much as I've seen, but I found a tidier version here (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=17281&cat=all&limit=last14) (by yvonnew).

My questions. Do you keep all of the elements as separate layers? How do you work with so many pieces? How long does it take you?

Okay, here (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=5425&ppuser=1176) was the layout I saw (by Helen (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=22)) that these questions really started running thru my mind.


Hi there - excellent questions - I use Photoshop CS2 so here's how I do it.
First - it depends on how many clustered elements I'm using.

If a few clustered elements - then I might just have them in my layout as separate layers. I've had some layouts with 50+ layers. I save those in a PSD or TIFF file format - so I have the individual layers to edit layer if I want to. I also flatten the file and save it as a jpeg for uploading.

If a lot - as in the layout by me - I saved the wreath in a separate file (with individual layers for each flower). I saved the quilt in a separate file (with individual layers for each block). When I added them to the main layout, I added them as a merged file - so the clustered element only appears in the layout as ONE layer. Example, the wreath was only one layer in my layout. But I have the wreath with all of its components in a separate fie.

I usually try to keep the layout file down to a few manageable layers and keep the clustered elements in separate files - I've heard some people have over 70 layers in their layouts - but personally I don't like that many layers - hard to manage in one file - size is huge - computer clocks when you make a small change/edit - and it's harder to find the object unless you have each layer's properties changed to describe the layer.

Most of the time - if I start creating something in a layout and find it's getting clustered too much - I will open a new file and move all of the elements in the cluster to it - example - above. I didn't plan the wreath - it started to happen and I then created it in its separate file - easier to manage and edit. I then just added it as ONE layer to the layout - so I could move it around and size it the way I wanted to.

There is a feature in PSCS2 that lets you group layers together instead of merging them - that allows you to still edit the individual components - and I use that feature sometimes. I also use the Photoshop 'merge layers' feature - this feature lets you merge highlighted layers into one layer.

As for how long it takes - depends if I'm on a roll or not. Sometimes minutes - sometimes a few hours. The wreath took me about an hour to do. I've done some wreaths in 10 minutes - some several hours. Quilts take me from 1 to 6 hours - just depends on how picky I am about the colors, stitching, binding, etc. Also depends on the amount of objects in the cluster. And HOW BIG your computer is. If you have a lot of power, then you can do it all in one layout - BUT I recommend you change the description of each layer so you can find it easier. Nothing's worse than having 50 layers in a file - and trying to find that ONE item you want to edit - sure is a pain in the you know you what.

hope this helps. Everybody does it different - but I find it harder to manage a layout when there are a lot of individual layers. That's why I usually keep my clustered components in separate files - and then just add them in as one merged layer. It keeps my layout files smaller and easier to manage - but that's just me.

Antje
12-17-2007, 11:20 AM
Well, I am one of those that keep separate layers in their layout, but I change the description of each layer as I go along.
I find that my notebook clocks when I open too many psd files, so I find it easier to have the layers all in one file.
When using alphas though, I put the words togehter in a separate file and add the words as a merged file. Somehow I find that easier to manage.
As for the time - I usually don't need longer for one layout than 30 minute to 2 hours. But that is for the whole layout.

emst
12-17-2007, 01:43 PM
I usually keep them in separate layers until I see that I want them a certain way then I'll merge them all together this way if I want to move the photo I can and then just move the cluster as one piece rather than moving a number of layers.

DiamondDesign
12-19-2007, 05:05 PM
I just made a layout (http://www.godigitalscrapbooking.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=17606&ppuser=7040) using 29 swirls. I made them seperate groups of 4. The groups made it easy to move the pieces around.

It is nowhere near what I had envisioned it to become, but I am very happy with the final page. I am going to keep trying to go "messy" on some pages, but still find it difficult.