Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quick cards sets using Variations...

This tutorial was made for my April post on the blog at Scrapbook Graphics. I've actually already done the May post there, which I'll post here today as well, but I wanted to get this one up first. This is a digital technique you can use to make a complete set of cards using just one card design.

First you need to create one card design that you like. Here is a screen shot of my design; it was made using Rosey Posey’s One More Day Kit.

Next, I made a copy of all of the layers in my design and collapsed these copied layers into one layer. This lets me retain my original layers separated in case I want to change something later. This new merged layer will be the first card for the set. I’m making a four-card set, so I made three more copies of the merged layer. Now, I’m just going to adjust the colors on my copies using the Variations tool. In Photoshop CS you can find this tool under Image, Adjustments, and then click on Variations. In Photoshop Elements you find it under Enhance, Adjust Color and then click on Color Variation. Here is a screen shot from Photoshop CS of what you see when the Variations tool first opens. The tool lets you clearly see what the graphic will look like if you add more of one color or another.

You can select to edit the Shadows, Midtones, Highlights, or Saturation. I only edited the Midtones on my images. The next screen shot shows what it looks like after I clicked More Yellow twice. The top two images in the screen shot show the original and what the new color edited version looks like in comparison.

That’s it, you just color edit as many copies of your design as you want to include in the card set. As you can see, once you have your design done, making the variations for the additional cards is very quick and simple. Here is a screen shot of all four of my card images.

The next step is to print them out. The finished size for my cards is a 4″ square. So, I need to place my card design on a rectangle that is 4″x8″, which when folded in half will give me a 4″ square. The screen shot below shows an 8.5×11 page set up for printing, everything that is light grey will be trimmed off. I find it easiest take the final card design as one layer and put it in to place all four designs into this one print file and just turn on each card design individually for printing.

Here an image of my final cards. I added rub-on greetings after they were printed. You could also hand write the greetings or add them digitally before you print. I love giving little card sets like this as thank you or hostess gifts. Just stack them with some envelopes and tie it all together with a ribbon.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  I'll be back later today to post some more hybrid projects.    Patty


Carol said...

Hi Patty!
Thanks for reminding me about this method. You made beautiful cards with it.
I enjoy looking at your blog and seeing your inspiring work :-)
Juno's Place
Cards by Carol

pei fang said...

Hi, I just found your blog and am new to hybrid cards. I don't really understand your tutorial, can you elaborate please? Really appreciate it. And your blog's got the most beautiful hybrid card. Thanks for sharing

Patty K said...

Pei Fang - thanks for the comment, could you let me know which part you are having trouble with? Is it merging the layers, changing the color, or setting up the print sheets?

pei fang said...

Hi there! I was wondering how u merged the first card sample layers tog and yet was able to keep the layers separated. And also, how did u get the layout of the paper to show as an actual size vs the size of your project. Lastly, did u resize all 4 cards to show on one screen or is there a tool help you? Thanks again!

Patty K said...

pei fang - thanks for the clarification...

for the first question (layers) - I made a duplicate layer of each layer in the design and then merge all of the duplicate layers together, leaving the original layers seperated.

second question (paper size) - I always work with two files. One file is the size of the card I'm making (usually 5.5"x5.5", but in this case it is a 4"x4" file). You can see how that looks in the second image of the post. The other file is what I call my 'print file' (usuallly 8.5"x11"). You can see how that looks in the sixth image of the post. I copy the final card designs over to the print file, arrange them on the sheet how I want it and print onto standard letter sized cardstock.

Third question (resizing) - If you are taking about images 3 and 4 in the post, that is just how the variation tool displays your options, those are just screen captures of what I see on my monitor when I'm using that tool. If you are talking about image five in the post, I just made a 8.5"x8.5" file and arranged my 4" square cards onto it. No resizing of the cards. I didn't use this file for anything except to show all the cards together for the blog instuction.

I hope this helped, let me know if I didn't clear it up for you.

- Patty

pei fang said...

thanks, will try to play around with it.