Recently there has been a lot of talk on the Message Board about what size pages people choose to scrap. One of the popular sizes seems to be 8.5x11 inches, and there were many tips and ideas shared on this thread about scrapping in that size and finding albums to fit.
Barbara Crane, one of our members shared a tutorial on how she resizes 12x12-inch templates to fix the 8.5x11-inch size. Thanks for sharing, Barbara!
Some of us enjoy scrapping in 8.5x11-inch or 4x6-inch formats, but we still love the wonderful 12x12-inch products. While some templates can be resized without much damage to the design, many cannot be resized more than a tiny bit without destroying the artistic effect created by the designer. Because of a discussion on the Message Board, I've written a tutorial on how to resize border templates with little or no distortion of the original design. I hope you find this helpful.
Note: This tutorial is written for PC users; examples are in Photoshop CS4. Mac users will need to change Ctrl to the Command (Cmd) symbol for the commands.
Start a new document and drag in the square template of choice - I've chosen SNU_Fragmented_1_SSPaperTemplate from ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Fragmented. Name the document something different, so you don't overwrite your original, and save it as a PSD file.
Select the layer in your Layers Palette, and press Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer.
Click the Eye icon to make the top layer invisible. Click View> New Guide, then select Horizontal, enter "2400" and press "OK."
Select the entire bottom layer, and slide it up to snap to the guide at 2400 pixels:
Click the Eye icon on the Layers Palette, and turn the top layer on. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the bottom third of the image area and press Delete to crop it away. Then press Ctrl+D to deselect the area.
Since the layers overlap on the sides, they will look very messy; the top and bottom should look fine. Now your image looks like this:
At the bottom of the Layers Palette, click the gray square with a white circle in the center to add a layer mask.
Select the other layer, and add a layer mask to it, too. Your Layers Palette will look like this:
Click the white box (the clipping mask) next to your template thumbnail in the Layers Palette.
The foreground/background colors on your toolbox will be black and white. Click on the Gradient tool, represented by the shaded rectangle. If the Bucket Tool is visible, click the flyout (tiny triangle in the lower right corner) to select the Gradient Tool instead.
Zoom in on your image as large as your screen permits. Now we get to estimation and a bit of guesswork. Make the top layer invisible again.
Click the Mask square for the bottom layer. Click near the horizontal center of the image, about 45% of the way down from the top of the image area, press the Shift key and drag downwards about 5-10% of the height. This masks the top area with a reasonably abrupt transition.
The highlighted purple arrow shows an approximation of the click-and-drag action.
Make the top layer visible. Click the Layer Mask for the top layer, press the Shift key, and drag from about 55% down vertically, centered horizontally, up about 5-10% of the height.
Now look carefully at the overlap areas. There will be some grayish areas, or the design won't overlap gracefully. Sometimes you can solve it by re-applying the masks; experiment with the vertical starting point and the length of the drag. You may also find you get better results tuning the transition to somewhere higher or lower overall.
Other times you may need to select the layer thumbnail rather than the mask and erase a little bit of the overlap. You can also resize the template layers just a bit, or you can use a small brush on the Layer Mask, with black or white to tweak the edges of the mask, too.
In this case, just a little positioning and dragging adjustment with the layer masks produced a very good result, with only a little "gray" at the transition area. You can stop here, unless you think it will be noticeable. Sometimes it's easier to erase tiny, remaining, light-gray areas after the template is merged and completed. On a grungier template, it may be fine without cleanup.
Merge the layers by selecting the top layer and pressing Ctrl+E. Allow Photoshop to apply the mask before merging when it prompts you.
With the Rectangular Marquee Tool, select the top two-thirds of the image. Select Image> Crop> to Selection. Resize the image to 1200x1800 pixels, save the template as a PNG file to preserve its transparency, and your 4x6-inch border template is ready to go!
You may find this slow the first time, but you'll find you can get it done pretty quickly after you've practiced a little bit. I hope you find this technique as helpful and interesting as I do.
Sample by BarbaraC1977