Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tutorial - Building a Doodle Book

This tutorial was written by Veronica, one of my DoodleDragon Crew, and I thought I would share.  We would love to see what you can do with it.  Feel free to post a link to your creation!!

It seems to be getting that time of year when I need to have something little handy to distract my little monsters. Sometimes it is in the car, a doctor's office or even a break from an afternoon of boredom. Angry Birds only works for so long and then I have to resort to other measures. It has to be something small, portable (fits in my purse) and fun. What's more fun than a doodle book and a pouch of colored pencils? My girl monster loves it when I pull out a new doodle book for her coloring pleasure.

Doodle books are quick and easy to make, particularly when you snag a group of images like the 100 Days of Christmas special Dustin is offering up. Grab your images, load up Photoshop Elements and let's get busy! Don't have Photoshop Elements? You can download a free trial of the new version 10 from the Adobe Website ( )

I will be using Photoshop Elements 9 for this tutorial, so if you download the free trial, keep in mind that things might be in a different location.

Let's get started making Doodle Books!  Start by creating a new file for your doodle book.

click FILE -> NEW


Set your Width, Height and Resolution. The resolution by default is 72, change this to 300. The files you download from the Doodle Dragon site are 300 pixels per inch (or DPI), so you want your starting resolution to be the same. When I'm making Doodle Books, I prefer my background to be white rather than the default transparent. You can go either way.
Choose a name for your file and click OK.

Now you have a nice blank page the size of a regular sheet of paper. To make a quarter page doodle book, I start by establishing some guides. Guides are lines that will appear in your file, allowing for easier layout of your images. These lines won't print.

Click View -> New Guide
First set a horizontal guide at 5.5
Click Okay.


Repeat the process to set a veritcal guide at 4.25


Your page is now divided into quarters


Your page should look like the image above. At this point you're ready to add your images. If you have never combined images into a single file, it is not as hard as it sounds. Start by opening the first four images from the 100 Days collection.

In the file for image 001, click Layer –> New –> Layer From Background.


Give the image a name. I used 001 so I could keep track of my images as I go along.
Click Ok.


The image in the LAYERS bar to the right will name change name from “background” to 001 (or whatever name you used.)


Now you're ready to drop your image into your doodle book file. Once again head back to Layer. This time, select Duplicate Layer.


The image name starts out as XXX copy until you select a file other than the one you are currently viewing. Once you select your Doodle Book file, the image will drop the “copy” moniker.


Select the doodle book file name you created at the beginning from the document drop down list and click OK.


Check out your Doodle Book file. There is image one in the upper left hand corner of the page.
Not an ideal location for binding, however. Click on the image and drag it so that it is centered in the square created by the grid lines. Remember to give yourself enough room at the top of the area to bind the book later on.


This image still looks a little small to me. Click on one of the corner boxes that appears when you click on the image. You'll see a box outline appear with a check mark and a circle. You are now ready to alter how your image appears. Just under the top bar, you have some new options.


W is width, H is height of course. Type in a number, any number and the image will resize by that percent. If you type in 25%, your image shrinks, type in 125% and the image grows. The 'Constrain Proportions' keeps the file square.


I adjusted to 125%. You can keep playing with the numbers here until you click either the green check mark to accept the settings, or the red circle to discard them.


Now that you have the file in place, repeat the steps to add in images 002, 003, and 004. Move the images to the spot on the grid by dragging them to the location you want them.


Check out image 004, of the snowman and the beaver. Does it look a off compared to the other images? Let's rotate it and fill the space a bit. There is no fast rule that every image has to be in the portrait orientation.

Click on the image. This time, we're going to adjust the rotation.
Rotation is done in degrees. Remember basic math? There are 360 degrees in a circle. To turn the image on its side, go 90 degrees.


Click the green check mark and the image rotates. Resize and rotate the other images as needed.


Print and trim. You have four Doodle Book pages! You have two options at this point, you can start at the beginning and repeat until you have the number of pages you want, or you can try out the magic of layers.

I mentioned the Layers box earlier when we were creating a layer from the background image. If you 'll notice down the right hand side of your Doodle Book file, there are five images listed now. The four 100 Days images and an image for the background. Let's build page two right in the same file. Open images 005 through 008 and add them to your Doodle Book file using the steps we've done above. Go on. I'll wait.


Ready? Do you have them all stacked up looking a bit like this?
That happens when all of your layers are visible. Doesn't work very nicely does is? Head on over to the Layers panel on the right.


In the Layers Panel, you'll find your list of images. The little thumbnail even shows where the image is sitting on the page. See the teensy little eyeball on the left? Click on it. The eyeball goes away and the image disappears from view in the file.


You still have the thumbnail in the Layers panel, but the image no longer appears and will not print. Go through and turn off images 001, 002, 003, and 004. Rearrange 005 through 008, resizing and rotating as you like. Your page should now look like this:


And you're ready to print another page.

Turn off 005 through 008.

Open images 009 through 012, add them to the file. Once again, rearrange, resize, rotate, print.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Keep it up until you have printed all the pages you want, or you run out of images for your doodle book. Don't forget to save the file as you go. Any time you want to reprint a page of images, or even the whole book, all you have to do is open the file and view/hide images until you have printed what you need.

Congratulations! You've learned many of the things you need to start combining images into a single file. We'll save binding our Doodle Books for another day.

Don't use Photoshop Elements? What programs do you use for printing your Doodle Dragon Studios images? Leave a post telling me what program you use and why you like it. I'll check them out and maybe cover your program in my next tutorial!


Lisa said...

For some odd reason I LOVE Microsoft Word. I have found a way to use that program as a graphic program. I also like Microsoft Paint. Its easy and quick. ~Lisa Manderachia

Gram's Treasures said...

What a great idea. I usually just set up pages in word, but I like this better....with the hidden layers.

Gramma said...

I have a confession... I have PSE9 and still use Word to print my images. PSE9 scares me silly. I keep saying I'm going to sign up for a class, but haven't done it yet. Thanks for the tutorial.. I may try this technique soon.

V said...

@Gramma - Go for it! PSE9 can be your friend!!!

@ Gram's Treasures - Hidden layers are a great way to keep a file of lots of images. It's quite handy when you want to reprint a couple of images that may not have been printed on the same page to start with.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [18 Nov 02:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria