Friday, June 29, 2007

Final Installment of The Cheater's Guide to Fast and Awesome Mini Albums

See How Easily You Can Create

With Paint.Net

by Featured Scrapper, Christine Smith

Copyright 2007, used with permission

What are you waiting for? -->Picture this! Use this free software to create a stunning mini-album simply, easily, and most beautifully. Use Julie Ann's Mini-Albums from Scrapquick for all your mini-album needs. Scrapquick is the new revolution for quick and easy mini-albums for yourself and especially for gifts! A testimonial from a user writes:
"I have two children under 3 and find I don't have the time to put all the elements of a full kit together and produce a great looking page at the same time. Your quickpages are PERFECT! I may FINALLY catch up on my scrapping and finish their 1st year albums." - Marianne W, Ontario
Here are 7 steps to getting started with and Scrapquick!!!


  • 1 digital photograph
  • ScrapQuickArt™ Signature sample page (your choice of page sizes; for this tutorial, you will see the 12"x12" page size used) This should be downloaded and unzipped.
  • Paint.Net software. This should be downloaded and installed.
We have created video tutorials that demonstrate some of the steps to complete your scrapbook pages. These Windows Media player-compatible files are linked on this page for you to download and view on your home computer.

Step 1 - Start

Your screen will look similar to the screenshot below.

NOTE: The screenshots and tutorials are shown in a reduced window size so they will download faster for site visitors but all the main elements of the window are there. You may see a rainbow color palette in the lower left of your screen but it has been hidden from view in this series of tutorials to save space.

Click on image to enlarge

Step 2 - Open ScrapQuickArt™ with
Click "file" and then "open" from the menu and find the ScrapQuickArt™ file you want to work with. Next, click the "open" button. Now your ScrapQuickArt™ will be visible in your workspace as shown in the screenshot below.
Click on image to enlarge
Step 3 - Add photograph to ScrapQuickArt™.
This step has a video tutorial. Please click here to download it.

Summary of steps


  • From the menus at the top, choose layers-> import from file
  • click on the photo you want to use
  • click open


  • click blue arrow in layers palette


  • click on photo and drag it over so it shows behind the "hole"

Step 4 -Make Adjustments to photo if desired
This step has a video tutorial. Please click here to download it.

Summary of steps


  • place mouse over one corner of photo until it turns into a "hand"
  • click and drag diagonally to resize photo


  • From the menus at the top, choose adjustments -> B&W


  • From the menus at the top, choose adjustments -> Sepia


  • From the menus at the top, choose adjustments -> Brightness & Contrast
  • Use sliders to adjust as desired or type in the number you want to use


If your chosen photo has a red-eye problem, it can be quickly fixed with one of's photo effects. This step has a video tutorial - please click here to download it.

Summary of steps


  • pick up tool that looks like magnifying glass


  • use elliptical selection tool to select pupil/iris area of eye


  • use menus adjustments -> red eye remover
  • adjust sliders; tolerance usually must be moved left


Step 5 - Add Alphas for Title
This step has a video tutorial - Please click here to download it.

Summary of Steps


  • From the menus at top, choose layers - > import from file to bring individual alpha letters onto your page
  • drag the alphas into place on your page


  • when you have all the letters placed as desired, click on the topmost letter in the layers palette and then click on the merge layers down icon at the bottom of the layers palette; repeat until all alpha layers are merged so you can move them around as a group if you want.
  • use the selection tool to outline the group of alphas to move as one piece after merging

OPTIONAL: ADD DROP SHADOW For an advanced treatment of alphas, you can also add a drop shadow. You can see the difference by comparing the alpha on the left (no drop shadow) with the alpha on the right (with drop shadow). This step is very easy but has more steps than the other tutorials on this page. This step has an additional video. Please click here download.

Drop Shadow Summary of Steps
* duplicate alpha layer (layers->duplicate layer)
* convert to B&W (adjustments -> B&W)
* adjust brightness (adjustments -> Brightness & Contrast: move both sliders to the left)
* blur (effects ->blur ->gaussian blur: 3 px)
* layer style (layers->layer properties: blend mode - multiply; opacity 100)
* move down one layer with blue arrow in layers palette
* nudge duplicate layer down and to the right 3px each using arrows on keyboard

Step 6 - Add Subtitles/Fontwork and Journaling

Note: because is strictly a graphics editor and not a digital scrapbooking program per se, it does have a shortcoming in terms of text treatment. Because of that, you can not do word-wrapping like you can in a word processing program. In addition, text that has been typed in is immediately rasterized and cannot be edited after you are done putting it on your page. However, we just use a little work-around for that by typing our journaling into Microsoft's WordPad or Notepad (available from your start menu under all programs -> accessories). This step has a video tutorial please click here to download it.

Summary of steps

SUBTITLES - if text is only one line long

use menus: layer ->add new layer


  • select text tool (looks like a letter A)
  • choose font size and fontface
  • click on layout where you want to add the subtitle
  • type it onto your page

JOURNALING - if text is more than one line long


  • type in the text you want for your journaling and do all editing for typos, etc.
  • select all text with your mouse and CTRL+C to copy it to your clipboard


  • create a new layer for text (layer ->add layer)
  • select text tool (looks like a letter A)
  • choose font size and fontface
  • click on layout where you want to add the subtitle
  • paste your journaling (CTRL+V) onto your page
  • hit enter key on keyboard where desired to force text to next line

Step 7 - Save your Page

The last step to finish your scrapbook layout is to save your page. IMPORTANT: You should always save your scrapbook layouts with a different filename than your original ScrapQuickArt™ download so that you can reuse your original, unmodified downloads in the future, if you choose.

In addition, we recommend that you save two versions of the file - one as a layered .pdn file ( format), and one as a flattened, .jpg format. Why save two files? First, if you ever need to go back and make a change in your .pdn file (a typo, for instance) you can open it, click on the layer that needs editing and fix it. Second, a .jpg will be compatible with printing and sharing.

Save your original file

In the menus, click on file->save

type in the filename you want to give to your finished page.

To make a .jpg version for printing

In the menu, click file -> save as
Just below the box where you type in the file name, there is another box that says "save as type" - use the drop-down menu arrow to choose "JPEG" as shown in the screen shot below:
Click on image to enlarge

On the next screen, leave the "quality" setting at 95 and choose the "flatten" option on the next screen where it notifies you that it will flatten your layout to save it - in other words, all the layers will be merged into one. This is not an issue because you have already saved a copy of the layered .pdn file.


Once you are back in the regular workspace, you can now resize the file to share it online OR simply close it. The resizing step has a video tutorial. Please click here to download it.

Summary of Steps

* use menus - image -> resize
* set width at 600

* use menus - effects -> sharpen - choose between 1 and 3 as amount

* use menus - file -> save as
* change file type to .jpg and give it a new name
* adjust quality to control page size


Now you know ALL the basics for creating custom scrapbook pages using ScrapQuickArt™!

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1 comment:

Daniela said...

Oh wow! This can be the beginning of a big addiction. I had never tried to digiscrap because my computer is too old to run Photoshop or PSP, but this can be the solution I was waiting for! Thanks for the tutorial! I will sure try!