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Thread: When using many elements?
12-17-2007, 06:56 AM #1
When using many elements?
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 (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 was the layout I saw (by Helen) that these questions really started running thru my mind.
12-17-2007, 07:44 AM #2
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.
We do not stop playing because we grow old...We grow old because we stop playing.
12-17-2007, 11:20 AM #3
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.
12-17-2007, 01:43 PM #4
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.Elaine My Blog
12-19-2007, 05:05 PM #5
I just made a layout 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.