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Creating Custom Book Pages in Photoshop
Using a Pre-Defined Page Layout
(2/16/2008)  

Open the Template for your Book. Then before doing anything else do "File>Save As" ... I recommend naming the spread based on the number of the left hand page, for example "Page22.psd". (Left-hand pages always have even numbers.)

Spread

Next open the file with the page layout you want to use. In this case the file I opened was called "4pPg-2H2V.psd". The name is short for four per page with two horizontal and two verticle images without any bleeds. (If there had been bleeds my name contains "bleed".)

Spread

Select ALL the clipping mask layers for the page you want to use. Here I selected those on the left hand page (you can see the position of each clipping mask if you look closely at the little thumbnail next to the name of the layer).

Layer Pallet

While ALL of the clipping mask layers are selected, right click and choose "Duplicate Layers...".

Layer Pallet

This brings up a dialog box with a pull down for the name of the document where you want to put the layers. Pull it down and select the name of the file with the new page you are creating.

Dialog

If you now go back to the window with the new page (Page22.psd here), you'll see the clipping masks have appeared and their layers are also selected in the new file. Note: the layers will go into the new file above whatever layer was originally selected in the new file. If this isn't where you want them, it's easy to move them around.

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Spread

Layer Pallet

The next step is to select the layer with the clipping mask for the position on the page where you want to place your first image. Here I selected the top horizontal mask (on the left). Then use "File>Place..." to create a Smart Object on a new layer which will be just above the one you selected. (You notice in the screen shot below that I hid the rule-of-thirds layer which is visable in the screen shot above. It is only useful when working with full page images.)

Layer Pallet

Spread

Menu

As you can see the image is quite a bit bigger than the hole we're going to place it in, but this is not a problem. Transform is automatically selected as the image is placed, so just grab a corner, hold down shift and resize the image. Notice that there is a big X across the image indicating it is a smart object. You'll also note that any clipping masks for layers above the one you selected are on top of the image; ignore this, it's a problem that will automatically go away.

Spread

Below you can see that I have moved the image to the left and made it smaller. Once I pressed Enter/Return or clicked on the check mark, the transformation was completed and the big X went away. But remember, this layer is still a Smart Object so we can reposition and/or resize more later.

Spread

Next I turned on the clipping mask by right-clicking on the layer and choosing "Create Clipping Mask".

Layer Pallet

At this point we're getting close. It still needs to be repositioned and maybe resized. I'm also not happy with the lion walking off the page, so maybe I'll turn him around. The layer with the image is still selected, so all I need to do is choose "Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal".

Spread

Menu

And now with Ctrl/Command T I can turn transform back on to move and resize. Because the clipping mask is now active you see exactly how the image will print. (Always look for the big X, if you loose it you no longer have a smart object and need to undo some steps.)

Spread

Spread

Let's try placing one more image. Select the layer with the clipping mask corresponding to where on the page you want it to go. Choose "File>Place..." and select the image you wish to place. It will be on a new layer just above the one you selected and Transform will be active.

Spread

Layer Pallet

Do an initial resize and position to get a little closer to the final size and position where you want it.

Spread

Right-click on the layer with the image and choose "Create Clipping Mask".

Spread

Then a quick Ctrl/Command T and a little re-positioning and re-sizing and you're done.

Spread

How easy is that?

But now let's suppose that after you duplicated the layers with the clipping masks for the page you would have liked to have a vertical (portrait) image in the top left corner instead of a landscape image. A piece of cake. All the clipping mask layers you just dupicated are still selected on the new page, so choose "Edit>Transform>Flip Verticle" and you have have it.

Spread

Menu

Spread

It couldn't have been easier! Just don't forget you need to do the flip before you start placing images, otherwise all your images will be upside-down and you won't be happy.

Hope you learned something else.

-Wren

Download 4 per Page Clipping Masks (They are the ones created in the next two parts, where you'll see how to create your own).

Back to List of Custom Book Page Lessons or onto Part 5.


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