FxFoto Tips by Susan White >>
Making a Layout in FxFoto
What you need
First, you need some basic materials - software, photos and a digital kit. For software, FxFoto Creative Edition is a great choice because it offers the all the tools and much more in one easy-to- use package. FxFoto Creative Edition comes with 9 digital kits created by designers at Scrap Outside the Box (www.scrapoutsidethebox.com) and by Clara Wallace of Matter of Scrap (www.matterofscrap.com)
FxFoto Requires Windows 98/2000/ME/XP, 256 MB Ram (512MB Ram recommended)
Please Note: If you have not installed the CD-ROM for the FxFoto Creative or Creative Media Edition, some of the graphics shown will not appear. Only the Creative Editions on CD-ROM contain extra scrapbooking kits and graphics. However, the commands described in this tutorial are available in downloaded Creative or Media Editions and most are also available in the Deluxe Edition. So you may still find this tutorial helpful without the CD, but you must substitute graphics from scrapbooking kits or other image files that you have obtained separately.
Importing Photos into FxFoto
Now, you need some photos. You may import photos into FxFoto from a number of different sources - your camera, a scanner, a CD or from other places in your computer. So if you have photos in My Pictures, you may easily move them into FxFoto.
from your Camera
5. Press the button and FxFoto reads available photo thumbnails from the camera
6. Choose the camera photos to be imported. Photos with green tags in their upper-right corner will be imported. Click on a photo to show it enlarged on the right. Click as needed to turn off or on the green include tag. Once a photo has been selected and enlarged on the right, click Rotate Left or Rotate Right if needed. You can also choose Keywords to be remembered for the photo by clicking on the desired words or phrases. Press the New button to add a new phrase to list of available keywords. Press Apply All to apply the current photo's keywords to all imported photos.
the button again and choose the photos
to be erased from the camera. Photos to be erased are marked with red tags. Some camera interfaces do not allow the computer to
erase photos and this step may be skipped.
Importing from My Pictures
Click on the Import button with the camera icon. Instead of "Camera or Device", click on "Scan Local Folders" at the bottom of the dialog box. Then click on Browse to locate the file that you want to import. Click on Scan. Your pictures will be in a folder that has the same name as the one you scanned. Don't worry you can rename and re-organize your folders later if you want.
Making the Layout Above
Now for the best part….making layouts! For our first layout, we will use just the basic functions of FxFoto. You will notice lots of options in many of the dialog boxes, but we won't be talking about all of them here. As you use FxFoto more and more, these instructions will become routine and you will find yourself wanting to explore some of those options. Go right ahead! You will find that there are lots of cool things you can do with FxFoto!
Start by clicking on the New button in the upper left pane. Now click on New Collage. Below is the dialog box you will see. For scrapbooking layouts, click on Multi-Photo Collage (Scrapbook Page) and then click on Next.
Now you will see the box below - Collage Settings. Click on 8x8 or 12x12. If you would prefer 8 ½ by 11, click on Printer Page Layout. You can do layouts in any size you wish by clicking on the Custom Page Size and then entering in the width and height, but for now let's just stick with 8x8.
Look on the right side under Background Color or Image. This is where you will choose your background paper. Don't worry about picking the perfect background paper because you can always change it later if you want. Check Image and then click on the button labeled Background Image.
Choose a Background
In My Pictures, there is a folder FxFoto_Clips which contains all the kits included in FxFoto. In the box below, the folders each contain one whole digital kit. Click on the folder you would like to see and then click on Open.
You are not limited to using just one kit. Go ahead and mix and match kits if you like. Since FxFoto supports partial transparency PNG files, you may use any digital kits that you may already own or ones that you have downloaded.
You can see the complete folder below. In this first layout we are using the School Days kit by Melyssa Connolly from Scrap Outside the Box which is included in FxFoto Creative Edition.
When you open the folder you can see all the papers and embellishments. Scroll through and choose a paper. Click on it and then click Open. You will jump back to the dialog box seen in step 2 above but with one difference - the Image box will be checked and the name of the background will be written there.
Here is the dialog box you will see once you have chosen a background. The Image box has been checked and the image is "redspeckled".
Now click Finish.
Now you have your page (also called a collage in FxFoto) all set up and ready for you to create your layout! Look below to see it!
The background is from the School Days by Melyssa Connolly and is one of the kits included in FxFoto Creative Edition. It is hard to see in this screen shot below, but the background is bordered by a thin green line which marks the edge of the collage.
Photos and Elements
Now for some photos and embellishments!!
Scroll down the left hand folders until you find a folder with a green background labeled School Days. In the screenshot above, you can see the open School Days.
In the folder you will see the first box is beige and labeled Collage. This is the kit preview.
The next three boxes are pre-made pages in which you may just drop your photos. You may add embellishments, journaling, text and titles if desired.
You will also notice some embellishments like a paperclip and letter tiles have been added to the layout above. In the folder they appear to be on white paper, however when you move them onto the page, the background will be transparent. Take a look at them in the right pane - the white background is gone. These elements use partial transparency PNG files, a standard used in all digital scrapbooking kits. Since FxFoto supports partial transparency PNG files, you may use any kit to create layouts in FxFoto. You are not limited to the kits FxFoto provides.
Adding Photos and Elements
To add elements and photos to your layout, simply click on them and they will appear in the right pane. If you would like more than one of the same item, click on it as many times as you want. You can click on any element in any of the other kits to add it to your layout. You don't have to just stick with the School Days kit. In fact, we will add some ribbon from Colours of Heritage by Katie Mann to our layout.
If you would like to add elements from kits not included in FxFoto, you can certainly do so. The directions for doing so are later in this booklet.
Moving and Resizing Photos and Elements
In the layout you may move an element or photo by dragging it. If you are not familiar with drag and drop, here is how you do it. First, click on the element to select it. You will see the move sign … a + sign with arrows pointing in all directions. Hold down your left mouse button and move your mouse to move the element. Once you get it where you want it, release the left mouse button and it will stay there.
To make an element or photo smaller or bigger, move your mouse over one of the corners until the standard pull box appears. An arrow pointing in opposite directions will appear. Once you see it, just hold down on the left button and pull with your mouse.
To rotate an element or photo, simply point to the rotation circle at the top left corner and turn the element. You can also rotate by precisely 90 degrees. To do it, select the object and then right click on it. A drop down box will appear. Look for Rotate Collage Image Left and Rotate Collage Image Right and click on one. The image will turn 90 degrees exactly! Take a look at the apples below:
Deleting a Photo or Element
To get rid of an element or photo, you can delete it from your collage by selecting it. Then right click on it and a drop down menu will appear. Click on Delete Image from Collage. A dialog box will appear to make sure you want to delete it. Click on Yes.
Adding shadows gives your layout a 3D appearance and makes the elements look much more real. In FxFoto, it is best to add the shadows when you open the elements. Why? Because then you won't forget! What happens to the shadow when you rotate an object? FxFoto automatically changes the shadow so it is in the right place. Take a look at the apples in the layout below. As the apple is turned the shadow turns with it!
To add a shadow, click on the Info button in the upper toolbar. Now click on the tab that reads Image Placement and Shadow. You can see that dialog box below. Click on the Add Shadow and type the number for shadow height you would like. Then click Apply. If you don't like it, click on Undo.
How much shadow is up to you! Look at the screen shot above and you will see examples of shadow heights of 100 and 50. Here are some suggestions for shadow height for various elements:
Photo: 30 to 50
Mat: 30 to 50
Small elements like paperclips, buttons, brads: 2-5
Medium elements like tags, titles: 10-20
Cropping and Editing Photos
You can either edit and crop photos before adding them or edit and crop your photos while doing the layout. The ability to crop and edit is one of the great things about digital photography. And one of the great things about FxFoto is that you can crop in many different shapes and use all sorts of filters to make your photos really pop!
Here I am going to assume that you have done the basic photo editing already - that you got rid of red eye, used auto improve etc. FxFoto contains a Quick Start Guide which you can find in the Help file which is located on the top toolbar. There are lots of tutorials in there which go over all the editing features. And you will find a Help button in each command box that will take you directly to the area of the Help file that explains that command or box.
You can crop both photos and papers so you can make your own journaling blocks and mats. And you can choose from a huge variety of shapes - blocks and ovals with edges, shapes like stars and butterflies, alphabet stencils and torn edges. You can make all sorts of interesting elements by yourself by cropping paper and applying filter effects.
Cropping: Select the photo or paper you want to crop and click on the Crop button. Take a look at the box - you can crop in a rectangle or oval by clicking on the button. Then go to the selected image. Your cursor will now look like a + sign in a dotted box. Left click on the upper right corner where you want the crop to start and drag the mouse down to the right. A box or oval will appear as you drag your mouse. Stop and release the mouse where you want to stop. Did you get it just right? Great! Click on Crop Image.
Not quite where you wanted or the edges aren't quite right? You can move or adjust the crop. Move your cursor along the dotted crop edge. You will see it change to a double pointed arrow or to the move symbol. Once it does, left click and hold and use your mouse to move it.
Want to try a fun shape? Click on Pull or Adjust Pattern, then click on the down arrow to produce a drop menu.
Here is a partial list of the shapes you can use to crop photos or papers in FxFoto:
And many more shapes including the Alphabet.
Feathering: You can create a feathered edge when you crop. Find the Feather at Outline Edges slider and use it to give a professional edge to your photo. In the example below, the red oval has a feathered edge. In our layout, we will use feathered edges on the photo and the apple mat. We used a feathered edge of 20 on both the apple mat and the photo. Be sure to set the feathering before you crop.
Making Mats: So now we can crop some paper for a title, crop the photo of the girl, and crop some photo mats. To make the photo mats, we have cropped the photo of the girl and the mat paper with the same shape. Then we adjusted the mat by pulling on it to enlarge it a bit beyond the photo.
You can do this by using the Keep Crop Rope box. Here is how we did it: Select the photo. Click on Crop. Click on Pull or Adjust Rectangle and pull your rectangle. Adjust if need be. Click on the Keep Crop Rope box. Move feather slider to 20 an click on Crop Image. Now your photo is cropped. Move your cursor so the move symbol appears, then holding down the left mouse button, move the photo from under the blue crop rope.
Now click on Correct. The crop rope will remain. Find the paper you would like to use as a mat, click on it to select it and then move it so it is under the crop rope. Switch back to Crop and click on Crop Image.
Below you can see we have cropped the photo and apple patterned paper and we are about to crop the black paper. You can continue to do this several times if you like to create several mats. We will do in once more with the black paper but without any feathering at all. Now add a shadow to each cropped item.
We also cropped some plaid paper using the rectangle crop with no feathering and then laid it on top of the background. Finally we cropped some beige paper using the Bumps Box which we will use under the title.
Arranging your Layout.
Now let's put the photo together with the mats and put the title on top of the plaid paper. To do this we need to get the various items to go either over or under each other. In FxFoto, you can have any object go over or under any other object, much like you do with paper.
First, click on the item you want to go over or under to select it and then right click. A drop down menu will appear. Look for Show Image on Top or Show Image on Bottom (both have blue arrows) and click on whichever action you wanted. Your selected item can now be moved over other items or tucked under. For example, we first laid the black mat on the background. Then we selected the apple mat, right clicked and chose Show Image on Top. Then we moved it on top of the black mat. Lastly, we selected the photo, right clicked and chose Show Image on Top. Then we adjusted all three layers using the pull arrows and moving each mat or photo.
We did the same thing with the apples on the top. First, we clicked on the apple in the School Days kit five times. Then we selected an apple, right clicked and chose Show Image on Top. Then we lined them up. If you want to make sure they are in a perfectly straight line, you could go turn on the grid scale and make sure. To do so you would click on the Settings button, then on Collage Settings. Click on the Page Guides tab and select Grid Scale.
Here is how it looks now:
What else did we do? We put five apples on the beige paper and we will use those for our title. For journaling, we added the cork board. For fun, we added some photo clips, paperclip, tag and some other elements including ribbon from another kit, Colours of Heritage by Katie Mann which is also included in FxFoto Creative Edition.
What would a layout be without text for a title, journaling and word art? You can use any font you have installed on your computer in FxFoto. In addition you can use alphabets too. There is one included in the Colours of Heritage kit but you can use any other ones you have available.
Click on the Text button in the upper pane. In the Text box you will see several choices for adding text. You can add it above or below the layout like a title or caption but what we want to do is add text to the layout - we want to write our title or journaling. If you want the text you type to be attached to a selected object then click on Overlay Text on Selected Item. That means when you move the item, the text will go with it. This would be great for our title because we want each letter to be attached to an apple. That way if you have to move the apple, the letter will go with it. But if you would rather, you can have the text in a free text box that you can move anywhere. We will do that for the journaling.
Title: select the first apple by clicking on it. Then click on Text, then Overlay Text on Selected Item. A dialog box will open up as you can see below
Here you can choose a font, change font size and select font color. Select a font (here we used Batik Regular in black with a font size of 72) and type A then OK. Go to next apple and type P. You can move and adjust each letter if you need. Then we rotated each apple and each letter although you can just leave them straight if you want.
Journaling: Click on Text, then click on New Text Object. Choose your font (we used Kristen), color and size (64). Below, you can see our journaling in the blue text box below the lower left corner of our layout.
But the text box is way too big for the journaling block. You can shrink it the same way you would shrink an element but to preserve crisp text, you should first change the font size. Click on Edit and then click on Text Font. Pick a text size (28) then click Apply. Now above, you can see the font is the right size but the box is still too big. To fix this, click on Edit. You will see the dialog box below. Notice the two + and - buttons with arrows just below the R in Kristen. Clicking on these will widen or narrow the box in steps so you can make it fit the journal block
Here is what it looks like now:
Some elements come in groups. For instance the photo clips above come in a package of 3, one of each color. And there are 4 ribbons too. So you will need to crop out the clip or ribbon that you want.
Ribbon: Here we cropped on the ribbon with the words Tradition on it. Then we selected it, right clicked and chose Show Image on Bottom. That allowed us to tuck in under the tag and the cork board.
Photo Clips: We cropped the color we wanted. Then we moved and rotated them. Finally we shrunk them to the size we wanted.
Tag: We added text just like we did for the journaling. Then we rotated the tag and text. Finally we took the bottle top and shrunk it to use as a brad.
Paperclip: to make the clip really look like it is holding paper, you need to take away some of the clip. In paper scraping this part of the metal clip would be behind the paper. But in digital scraping, we just make that part of the clip transparent.
First, click on the paper clip to select it and then zoom way in on it as shown below. Now click on the Correct button. Then look for the Color Brush. Choose the Square Color Brush and your mouse cursor on the paperclip will be a small blue square as you can see below.
Now look for New Color bar which is in the middle section of the Color Brush tab. Below the bar is the Transparency slider. Move the slider all the way over to the right (255) and your brush will make whatever it touches transparent. With this amount of zoom, we chose a Brush Width of 15.
Move your cursor to the section of paper clip that would be behind the paper - that is the middle section. Hold down the left button and move the brush along the area you want to make disappear. In the screenshot below, you can see we have removed part of the clip. Just keep going until you have erased the middle of the paperclip.
Saving your Layout
In FxFoto you may save your layout as either a collage or as a static image (jpg file) or both. If you save it as a collage, then you can go back and edit it later but you cannot edit a static image.
To save as a collage, click on the Save toolbar button. Then click on the sixth button down which reads Save Collage Wizard. Decide whether you want to save it as a new collage or if you are replacing an old one and name the folder where you would like it saved. Then click Next. Make sure the Multi-Photo Collage button is depressed and then click Next. On this dialog box, there are a number of options which you may want to play with later but for now just click Finish.
To save as an image, click on the Save button and then choose Save Image As, the fourth button down in the Save Wizards. In the Save Image dialog box, click on Entire Collage and then click Next. Decide whether you are replacing an old image or adding a new one and also select the folder. Then click Finish.
Congratulations on your first layout!
Changing Your Collage Settings
If you ever want to change the size (like you decide you would rather do 12x12 than 8x8) or you don't like the background, you can change these things and more by using Collage Settings. Click on the Collage button in the upper left corner. From the drop menu choose Collage Settings
Once you click on Collage Settings, you will see the dialog box below:
Change the Background If you would like to change the background, click on the Background and Theme tab. Click on Background Image and you can navigate as you did before to a folder and pick a new background. Here we changed the background to "Chalkboard".
Change Collage Size If you would like to change the size, click on the Page Guides tab. You can see that tab in the box below. Click on the size you would like and then click OK.
Grid Lines Some people like to use a grid to line up items or to make sure things are straight. There is a grid scale in FxFoto which you can turn on and off anytime while you create your layout. It is located on the Page Guide tab of Collage Settings, on the bottom right side. Click it to turn it on or off, and then click OK. You can see it in the box below.
Using Other Kits
Since FxFoto supports partial transparency PNG files, you are not limited to using just the kits that came with FxFoto Creative. There are a large number of websites offering kits as freebies and in their store.
To use another kit in FxFoto, you would first need to download to your computer. Often they are stored in My Pictures or in My Documents - either place is fine.
To use another background, go to College Settings and then Background and Theme as in the dialog box on the bottom of the last page. Check Background Image and then navigate to the folder where the kit is stored. Open the paper then click OK.
To add elements from a kit to your layout, click on File on the top tool bar. Then click on Open or Add Image. In the dialog box that opens, navigate to the folder where the elements you want to use are stored. Select the item you want and click Open. You can add multiple items from the same folder using File > Open Multiple Images. Then click on Browse to locate the folder and click OK.
Printing Your Layout
On your printer:
Click on one or more left-pane photos to open them. Press the Print button and a thumbnail of the collage page will appear. Select your layout by clicking to add a green tag and press Next. Choose various Printer Settings, such as title and caption text to print at the top and bottom of each page, and press Next again. Choose the "Entire Collage" and you will see previews of the page. Press Finish and the final printer control dialog appears.
On a Print Site:
Upload makes it easy to send photos to online printing and sharing sites. Click on one or more left-pane photos to open them. Press the Upload button and thumbnails of all open photos appear. Select one or more to be uploaded by clicking to toggle on their green tags and press Next. Choose the upload service from the available list. FxFoto can automatically send files over the Internet to most listed services.
The Generic choice places your selected photos in a special folder to make it easier to manually upload them to other services. This folder is called FxFotoUpload and is located in My Documents. After pressing Next again, choose the style of the images to be uploaded and see them previewed. Also choose whether to Deresolve for faster uploading (but too much deresolution can make prints fuzzy). Press either Next or Finish and follow the instructions for the selected service. For most services a browser window appears after selected photos have finished uploading so that you can organize them online or order prints.
When you print your layouts, you need to make sure that elements, titles, photos etc are not right up against the edge of the layout. If they are you may find they are cut off when they are printed. Here is what Mpix (www.mpix.com) says about this problem, "Digital printers have what is called oversizing. Oversizing is a process in which the image being developed onto the photo paper is magnified by a certain percentage in order to counteract paper shift within the printer. Photographic paper is loaded into the printer in rolls. As the paper travels from the roll through the machine it can drift up to 1/8 inch by the time it reaches the lasers that expose the paper with the image. No amount of calibration on the paper path can prevent this drift." They therefore recommend leaving a margin of about ¼ inch on your layout edges.
Click on your scrapbook page collage to open it. Press the EMail button and thumbnails of all open photos appear. Select one or more to be e-mailed by clicking to toggle on their green tags and press Next. Choose the style of the images to be e-mailed and see them previewed. Also choose whether to send Small or Large images. Smaller images have less detail but are faster to send. Press OK and your default e-mail client is called with the chosen photo images already attached to a new message. Just address and add any message text before sending.
Installing the Digital Kits in FxFoto
To install the Creative CD Extras, you must have have entered your Creative or Media registration. You need to install FxFoto from the CD-ROM to install the clipart. The clipart is embedded in a special FxFoto_Clips.tsz file on the CD. When you run FxFoto's Setup.exe on the CD, you must leave "Install sample data in My Pictures folder" checked. Then soon after you press "Install", a popup dialog will ask you a special Yes/No question: "Install Scrapbooking Clipart?"