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Techniques: Drop Shadows, Stacking Elements, Color Brush (Transparent Brush), Attaching Text to an Element and a few mistakes I made.

This LO has many features that you might find on a paper page - charms, safety pin, paperclip and a slide mount - all of which can be made to look quite real with a few digital tricks.

Drop Shadows: To make most of these digital elements appear more real, I added drop shadows. The best time to do this is right after you add the element to your page, before you do anything. Once you add the shadow, it will move and rotate with the element so you don't have to worry about it being in the wrong place! To add a shadow, click on Info on the top toolbar. Then click on Image Placement and Shadow. Now choose Add Shadow and type in the number. What size to use? The smaller the object will be on your page, the smaller the shadow should be so use 5 for paperclips, brads, staples and safety pins. For photo mattes, journaling blocks and the large slide mount here I used 30.

Stacking Elements: For this LO there are lots of elements on top of each other - for instance, the lace then bears and then title. FxFoto does not use layers, but rather allows you to move one object on top of another by just telling the object to move to the top or bottom. Much like you would do with a paper page. So to make the title, I selected the lace and bears. Then I right clicked on the lace and from the drop menu I chose Show Image on Bottom. That way I could tuck the lace under the bears. For the title, I clicked Text and then New Text Object. I chose the font, size and color, and typed my title, then I clicked OK. I moved the text box to position it over the bears. If it wasn't on top, I right clicked and chose Show Image on Top. Same thing with the photo and slide mount, and with the embellishments on top of the slide mount.

Transparent/ Color Brush: To make the fancy paperclip look more real you have to remove the part of the clip that would be behind the paper if this was actually paper. Looking at this LO carefully, I can see that I could have done a better job but this was among my first LO and I didn't know what I was doing! To remove part of the paperclip, use the Color Brush. First click on Correct and then Color Brush. Don't worry we're going to make it an invisible brush by first choosing the square or circle brush and then moving the slider all the way over to 255. Now take your mouse and holding the left button down, drag the circle/square over the section you want to remove. This may take a little practice at first. And sometimes the hardest part is visualizing what should be made transparent! This works well for charms and safety pins too.

Mistakes (who me?): Since this was one of my early LO I'll point out some other mistakes! The charm which is supposed to be attached to the paper clip needs some Color Brush work. It looks like it was just laid on top (probably because it was! LOL). Ditto for the safety pin which was just stuck under the lace and for the fancy paper clip. Yikes! Oh and I used the same bear elements and just enlarged them for the title and lower border. However I got a little carried away with enlarging them and if you look carefully at the big bears, you can see a bumpy edge - I made them so big that the edge pixels show! Ooops! What was I thinking of? Hmmmm....

Attaching Text to an Element: Sometimes it is helpful to attach text to an element - here I attached Cute to each of the little bears so that when I move the bears, the text moves with them. To do this, first click on the first bear, then click Text and choose Overlay Text on Top of Selected Image. Now the usual text box will open and you type the text then click OK. Grab the text box and place it where you want it. Now click on the object (the bear) and move it - the text will be attached! Cool, huh?

Credit: Baby's Precious Punched Papers by Angela Sharrow of Scrap Outside The Box. Font is Block Party