This is the last post in the series of card design using Adobe Illustrator, Make-The-Cut, and Photoshop. The first post discussed design of the card in Adobe Illustrator (AI). The second post discussed printing and cutting out the design with Make-The-Cut (MTC) software. Alternatively, you can also click on my name – Elizabeth – on the sidebar to your right to bring all of them up in sequence. This third, and last post, will cover making the photo for the card using Adobe Photoshop (AP).
When we designed our card, we did so with the insertion of a photo in mind. When we created the snowflake design, the plan was to have the main picture in the center. Certainly we could have the other smaller cutout elements show part of the picture as well, but in this case, we are going to use a different color in those sections to make a stronger graphic statement.
Therefore, our final photo image for the card will be a circular main photo surrounded by a solid color that will show through the smaller cutout elements.
Let’s start by selecting a photo to use. I am not going to go into the specifics of Photoshop, as there are many great tutorials out there on the web that can tell you how to use it much better than I. But I will lead you through the steps that I used to create my final photo.
From a photo I liked, I cleaned up the background, exposure, contrast and tone.
Then I cropped it to fit the opening in the card. Remember when we created layers in MTC in part 2 of the tutorial? Remember the last layer we did after we had cut out the card, the one with the circle that was just a tad larger than the center circular opening, but not so big that it would go into the area of the secondary cutouts. We wrote that size down, right?
No? Oh well, we can always go back and look it up. And that is what you need to do. Open up and unlock your circle layer in MTC, and with the pointer tool, select the circle that you need to know the size of. In the top right hand corner of the toolbar, the size will show up, in our example 1.6. (double click on the image to enlarge to see detail better).
In Adobe Photoshop, crop the photo so that you now have a circle the exact size that will fit in the card, that is of your image section that you want. You may have to play around with the image size to fit in exactly what you want.
Now that we have our image the exact size that we want it, we need to place that image on our “canvas”. Image size and canvas size are two different things in AI, much like matt size and paper size are in MTC. I decided to print out the image on a 4×6 piece of paper. In AP, we make our canvas size 4×6. Next, go back to your physically cut out cards that are scored, and measure down from the fold to your center opening so that you can determine where to place your image from the top of your canvas in Photoshop. Since the cutout is centered on the cardstock, the image is then centered vertically, and adjusted horizontally to fit onto the card. Print out a few photos to make sure that you get the measurements correct. The photo sheet at 4×6 will then only need to be cut off at the bottom after it is printed, saving you a lot of time.
Once the image is centered, create another layer behind the image layer, and pick a color that you want to show through the secondary cutout images. In the example we choose green to contrast with the red of the paper, although plain white looks nice, too. If you have made the background of your top layer transparent, then the color of your second layer will show through.
Once you have printed out and gotten your image exactly as you want it to fit in your card, you can upload it as a jpeg to a photo house and have multiple images printed out for your use. When I did this, the cost for a hundred was under $15.00.
Now it’s a few days (or hours) later, and you have all your printed material in place. It’s time to assemble your card. Here’s what you need:
- your printed and cut cardstock, scored
- spray adhesive (my constant friend)
- scrap paper
- paper cutter
- glitter (optional)
- Using scrap paper to mask the inside bottom half of the card, spray your adhesive over the entire inside top of the card stock. Masking tape attached to the scrap paper and carefully aligned over the score line is helpful to prevent spray from straying where it is not wanted.
- Carefully place the front of the card over the photo, aligning the image perfectly inside the circle, so that image and solid color match their respective areas (sounds hard, but it isn’t). If you were exact with your image in AP, then the top of the photo sheet will line up with the score, and your entire inside top half of the card covered in glue will now be covered over by the photo. Brayer.
- With the card not yet folded, take to the paper cutter, and cut off the bottom of the photo that is sticking out. Optional is to dust a little glitter on the front cutout, the glitter will stick to any glue that my be hiding there, giving a nice touch.
If you would like to share a card you have made with this process, drop me a line, and we will get it posted for all to see! Here is how the final photo cards turned out when the green and white background were used.