● All templates are enclosed in ZIP file to save on bandwidth and also to speed up download times.
● In order to extract the contents of the ZIP file, it is advisable to install a program like 7-Zip, Winrar or Winzip. Newer operating systems my have a utility bundled with it that can handle the extracting of compressed files.
● Once your download has completed, right click the ZIP file, and select extract or extract here.
● It’s in your best interest to back up all downloaded files as soon as possible. If ever the files get lost or become corrupt, you will still have a backup from which to work.
● It is also advisable that backups be stored on a different hard drive from the original download and/or CD/DVD. CD’s and DVD’s have a limited lifespan, and that should be taken into account when deciding on a backup location.
All ZIP files will have the following files in its contents:
– PSD Template
– Copyright Notice
– Usage Rights
– List of fonts used
Working with the Template
● Templates are in PSD format and the Adobe Photoshop program is needed to work with the file.
● The template can either be opened by double clicking the file in it’s saved location or by opening the file from within Photoshop.
● Upon opening the file, look at you layers tab in Photoshop. If it’s not open, click on “Window” and then click on “Layers”. You will notice that there are a number of folders that are colour coded. The colour coding has been standardised across all templates, this is done in order to get you accustomed to way the templates are layed out. It will also make it easier for you to locate the various elements within the design and should make it less confusing.
● The standardised colour coding is as follows:
● The contents of each folder can be viewed by clicking on the arrow
located on the left hand side of the folder icon.
● Expand the folder to view its contents.
● Editable text has the “T” symbol on it’s layer. To edit it. first click on the layer to select it. Choose the Type tool from the tool palette, select the text in the template itself by dragging from either end of the text and letting go when all the text is selected. You can now type in your new text.
● If you need to change the size of the text, you can do so by selecting a new size or typing it in on the context aware menu that’s located on the upper tool panel above the work area.
● It’s advisable to not change the font, as it has been specifically chosen for that template design.
● The photo that you are going to insert into the template will be visible in the flat grey coloured region of the template.
● A folder based mask has been specifically created for your photo. It is for that reason that you should only place you photo within the
green coloured folder.
● If your specific template has more than one region for the placement of a photo, the Photo folder will have a separate sub-folder for you to place each photo. Each folder has a grey layer with the words “Place photo here”.
● There are two methods to add your photo:
1. Select the grey layer in the layer palette, click on “File” and the click on “Place”. Navigate to where you stored your photo, select it and click “Okay”.
2. Click on the grey layer in the layer palette, open you photo file in Photoshop. Using the ‘Move” tool (shortcut “V”), drag you click on your photo and hold down the left mouse button. Drag the photo over to the template file and let go.
● Once the photo is in the template, it is now to time to resize it to better fit. This can be done by clicking on “Edit” and then “Transform”, the keyboard shortcut is “Ctrl/Command + T”.
● A bounding box will now appear around your photo. Press “Ctrl + 0 (zero) on you keyboard to zoom out to all elements.
● It’s very important to hold done the “Ctrl” button you keyboard before attempting to resize your photo. If you don’t, the proportions of you photo will not be constrained and will result in it being distorted.
● Hold down “Ctrl” and click on one of the corner squares of the bounding box. Make sure to keep the left mouse button depressed and drag inwards to make your photo smaller.
● Once you photo is at the correct size, you can move the photo around to get the best view of the elements within your photo. Once you are satisfied with it’s placement, hit “Enter” on your keyboard.
● To change the colours of editable text, click on the Type tool in the tools palette (shortcut “T”), select the text layer that you want to edit, click on the text in the template and while holding down the mouse button drag across it to select it. Once you have selected it, you can change the colour of the text by clicking on the colour well located on the context sensitive toolbar above the work area. The colour picker will pop up where you choose your colour, then click OK to make the change to your text colour.
● To change colours of graphic elements, you can do so by using the layer of the graphic element as a mask.
● In order perform this task, select the layer of the graphic element you want to change in the layers palette. Then click the “New Adjustment Layer” button at the bottom of the layers palette. Select either “Hue/Saturation” or “Colour Balance”. Both work, but if it’s a solid colour that you are changing, I suggest using “Hue/Saturation” and put a tick next to “Colorize”.
● To make the graphic element layer a clipping mask for the “Adjustment Layer”, hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard, hover the mouse pointer on the line between the graphic element layer and the adjustment layer. Once the mouse pointer changes to a white square with a right angled arrow point down , click the left mouse button. The adjustment layer will move a little to the right and have a downward pointing arrow next to the adjustment layer icon.
● To change the colour, of the graphic element layer, click on the adjustment layer that’s clipped to it, a context sensitive fly-out menu will show with the slider controls that you will use to make the colour changes. If you are choosing a colour that’s drastically different from the original colour, it’s best to start moving the “Hue” slider first. Get an approximation of the colour you want and then fine tune it with the “Saturation” and “Lightness” sliders.
● Because you had clipped the adjustment layer to the graphic element layer, you will notice that the colour change only affects the graphic element layer.
● By default the template’s colour profile is set to Adobe RGB. If you printer requires a different colour profile, you can change it by clicking on “Edit” in the top menu and the clicking on “Convert to Profile”. A dialogue box will pop up and you change the colour profile by clicking on the arrow in the “Destination Space” part of the dialogue box. Select the profile you require and click “OK”.
● The template must be flattened and either saved as a JPEG or TIFF before printing, depending upon the requirements of your professional photo lab.
● The template should also be flattened and either saved as a JPEG or TIFF if you are selling the digital file to a customer.
● You flatten the template by clicking first on “Layer” in the top menu, then click on ‘Flatten Image”.