Working with templates
Working with templates is easy once you know some basics. The templates I create include clipping masks which I will explain to you below. They are also easy to customize – you can change backgrounds, edit the text, change the fonts, and even change the colors to suit your needs. Some of my best selling templates this year have been the 5×7 calendars so we will use them as the examples for this tutorial. The calendars are fantastic for everyone – whether you are a professional photographer, artist, or just a creative consumer – these will allow you to showcase your art in a new way to sell or give away as gifts! Something I’d like to point out because some people just don’t know – Fonts are copy write protected and do not come with the templates (mine or anyone else’s) so you need to download the font to your computer before you open the template or just know that you will need to re select the font once you have the template open.
We are going to be working with the calendar template below in this example. This is French Brocante calendar 2 located here: http://2lilowls.com/2013-french-brocante-calendar-2-template/
You want to start off by opening your template in Photoshop. You will see several layers in the layers pallet. I have the background, Photo mask, your photo here, and then a text layer (the text is easy to change- it is the layer with the “T” on it – you simply double click on it and type anything you’d like it to say). To place the photo in the template you will highlight the “place photo here” layer by clicking on it. This layer is “clipped” to the layer below it. It will contain your photograph with in the area it is clipped to.
Now you want to go to the menu up top and select “file” and then go down and select “place”. This will open a window up for you to get your photo you will be adding to the template. Select your photo.
You will notice that the photo appears in the template ready to slip into place and re-size if necessary. You will also notice that you can only see the photo on the area where the grey box is located – that is because it is clipped to the grey box – that is what I meant by you will only see the photo within the area it is contained to with the clipping task. Once you have your photo in the position you want it in, then click on the enter button.
You might decide at some point that you want to change the background of your calendar template. This is very easy, you would simply add a texture to your template on the layer above the background layer and that is it – you have changed the background!! Once you are finished with your template, you simply flatten it as a JPEG and you are now ready to print!
I hope this inspires you to try out a calendar template! Just imagine all the gifts you could create for people with your wonderful photography!! Cards, albums, and marketing templates also work this same way.
Are you using elements? That is okay – I have elements 11 – and I followed all the steps above exactly and got the same result. I have not worked in older versions of elements, I don’t believe the ones that are older than 9 have the same masking abilities so the templates probably won’t work for you as easily in an older version.