Album Building Basics

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The following is a quick tour ofsome techniques to quickly build albums in FotoFusion.

Start your project…

On the Start Tab, begin a new project.

Choose Blank to start with a clean slate.

Pick your album size by clicking on a product. Change to a different manufacturer on the left side, or use some generic settings.
You can adjust the precise sizing later.

A new page will appear – a right-facing album side – on the Create tab, set to the selected dimensions.
Notice the grey line on the left edge – this indicates the location that will go into the book’s spine (the gutter edge), indicating the page’s left or right orientation.
Always consult your printing company’s specs to ensure you have the correct values set for your page sizes.

Add pages to your project

Click on the Pages button to see all the pages in your book. Your new project will have a single album side, and a placeholder to show the inside cover- this is not a page you can design or print.

Add more pages to your book by clicking on the + icon. Choose Album Two Page Spread. Note: an album usually is composed of a first and last album side (single) with double pages in-between.

Duplicate the Album Two Page Spread as many times as you need, then add one final Album Side for the last page in the book.

Add a Cover

If required, add a cover page. Click on the first page of your book, then Add a new page (+), this time choosing Cover Sheet.
Cover pages will show a 1×3 symbol on them. They are not including in your page sequence, should you choose to add page numbering.

If you have chosen a generic book size, the cover may appear as shown below. This cover is set as a dust cover format – with two side flaps and a very wide spine. Adjust the cover according to your printing company’s specs.

Adjust the page size

To adjust the page’s size, double click in the grey area around the canvas – the Canvas Settings window will appear, allowing you to change the dimensions and guidelines for your page or all the pages in your project.

In this example, the album will be a thin-spined hard cover book, set to our printer’s specs. The safe margins have been changed to 1″ on all sides, and the bleed inflate values have been set to 0. The dust cover flaps have been removed, and the spine adjusted. The overall canvas dimensions have also been changed. When the settings have been adjusted, click APPLY TO THIS PAGE to resize the current page.

Creating layouts by drag and drop

Adding color and texture to your canvas background is a good way to customize your album. For the cover, we will use a Paper texture.

Click on the Papers button to open the hover, and scroll through the selection of backgrounds. When you find one you like, drag it from the hover to the grey area around your canvas. It will snap to the background frame.

To add a photo, click on the Images button. The Images hover will open. Click on the V button to navigate to the folder holding your images.

When the images appear in preview, drag and drop one to your canvas. It will appear in a frame with default border and shadow properties.

Images on your canvas will display with blue & gold handles around the edges. Pull and push on the blue handles to resize the image frame. Use the gold handles to zoom in and hour of the image.

Adjusting frame properties

Adjust the frame border properties via the Toolbox. Click on the Border portion of the toolbox icon to open the Frame Border editor, and the shadow portion of the toolbox to adjust the properties of the frame’s Shadow.

In this example, we will turn off the border and the shadow, so the image will cover the canvas without framing or layering effects. The frame inset has also been turned off, to expose the entire image as much as possible.

Adding text

Add a text frame. Select an image or the canvas itself, and click on the T button on the toolbox. An empty text frame will appear. Reposition it in the same manner as an image frame, and customize it by accessing the Text editor on the toolbox.

Continue to customize your cover. In this example, two additional text frame have been added – this time with an effect added to them.

Gradient effects

To move to the interior pages, hit PAGE DOWN on your keyboard, or use the Pages hover to select the next page.
In this example, we will customize the first album side. A photo is dragged and dropped to the canvas via the Images hover.

From the Frame Border editor, you can access the Gradient tab. Checkmark the Enable button to turn on a gradient effect.

In this example, we’ve also inverted the direction of the gradient, to highlight the correct portion of the photo. To complete the look, we’ve repositioned the image to cover the entire canvas.

Complete the customization of the page as desired. In this case, a text frame has been added, to display song lyrics.

Creating layouts by autocollage

For the first double-spread, we will use autocollage to quickly get images onto the canvas. To assist this process, we will change the safe margins, so the collage region will appear with a lot of negative space around it, to frame the photos better.

Double-click outside the canvas to open the Canvas Settings editor, then change the safe values. In this case, we’ve added a 2″ safe on the top and a 3″ safe on the bottom. Apply the changes to the page when done.

To create an autocollage, open the Images hover, select multiple photos, then click on the Autocollage button on the Image hover. Notice how the layout appears within the new confines of the safe margins.

Customizing your images

More customization options are available under the Image editor. Select the autocollage region, then click on the Image editor portion of the tool to open it.

In this example, we’ll make the images black & white by turning up the B&W slider on the General tab.

Adding color block elements

To add more visual interest, we can add a color block element to the page. First, add an empty frame to the page. With your left-mouse button clicked, drag an empty frame across your canvas. Release the mouse button, and choose the type of frame to add – in this case, an image frame.

Select the empty frame, and open the Image editor. To fill the frame with a color wash, click on the Fill tab, then the color chip. Select a color, then increase the fill opacity.

Last, you can optionally turn off the “Drop Photo Here” text on the frame. This checkbox option is available under the Image editor’s General tab.

Reposition the color block frame, and send it to the back of the composition by dragging down on the Arrange icon on the tool box. Click on the icon to access all the arrangement options.

Creating layouts with splitting and merging

On the next album page, we will make an arrangement of empty frames before adding photos to them using splitting and merging. Begin by adding a single large frame to the canvas. Next, with the frame selected, drag up/down and side-to-side over the Toolbox’s splitter tool. The frame will shatter into equal-sized smaller frames.

Merge frames back together – multiselect two or more frames, then right-mouse select the group. Choose Position > Merge Frames to glue them into a single frame.

Continue to split and merge frames until you are satisfied with your composition. Drag and drop images from the Images hover into the empty frames.

Resize and move frames in a group

Multi-select two or more frames, and then right-mouse select this group. Choose Position > Grouping > Group to create a region from the selected frames. The group will have a single set of resizing handles, allowing you to change the size, position, and rotation of all the contained frames in relation to each other.

Add an image to the background

Drag a photo from the Images hover to the grey area outside of your canvas. On a double-page spread, you can target the left or right side frame uniquely, or drop across the entire spread by targeting near the centre line.

Image effects

Select one or more images on the canvas to add effects to them. From the toolbox, open the Image editor, and access the Effect tab. You can add a premade filter effect, or create your own settings.

Add color to the background

To add color to the background, click outside the canvas, then open the Image editor via the Toolbox. Choose the Fill tab. Click on the color swatch and select a color. In this example, we’ve clicked on the eyedropper tool, and selected a color from one of the photos. Dial the Fill opacity up to add the color to the background canvas.

Add a decoration

FotoFusion contains a collection of decorations that are accessed via the Search hover. To search for a decoration, click on the Search hover. Type a keyword into the search to see if there is a matching item.

In this example, we’ve typed in “swirl” and set the type to “decorations.  Drag your selection to the canvas, reposition it as required.

Using these layout options will allow you to build custom pages very quickly. Don’t forget to save your project (File > Save) frequently to ensure your progress is retained. When completed, you can create a web album for proofing, or render your project to a flattened file type to send to a printing service.

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