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Photo Booth Tutorial:
Building a Custom Layout (4 Up Mirrored, 4x6 page)

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5/06/2011

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Today we will cover how you can create custom layouts for SnapShot Studio Photo Booth, Allen Christopher's professional photo booth program for Mac and Windows Systems. If you don't have a copy, jump to our download page and get your trial copy. Don't worry, we'll wait for you.

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Creating Your Layout
We're going to create a fairly easy layout to build: a 4 up, mirrored layout on a 4x6 page. SnapShot Studio requires you to tell it the image width, height, and the starting points of each image from the top and left edges of the page. SnapShot Studio's measurement unit is always in inches.

Finished Photo Booth LayoutWhen building a layout is duplicated or mirrored, you only need to create one half of the page. In this case, we'll be creating a 2 inch wide by 6 inch high layout. The math for this particular layout is easy:

Each of the four images would have a maximum size of 2 inches by 1.5 inches, but you may want a little bit of white space surrounding your photos. To do that, we would revisit our image size to allow for even spacing. For this, we will adjust our image width to 1.8 inches and the height to 1.375 inches. This will leave an even .1 inch white frame around your photos.

Designing Better, VisuallyPhoto booth Layout with Max image sizes
If you are uncomfortable with designing a layout by crunching numbers alone–you're not, well, alone. Fire up Photoshop (or your favorite design app) and let's get started.

Create a document that is 2 inches wide and 6 inches high. Make your rulers visible, have your info palette handy.
Start by dividing your Photoshop image into four equal parts, from top to bottom with guides. You should have marks at: 1.5", 3", and 4.5". Next we'll use the marquee tool to select a single 2"x1.5" section and fill with the color of your choice. Duplicate this layer 3 times and place each move the solid color block in each layer to line up with the guides you created earlier.

Select one of your four layers and use the Free Transform tool (Edit>Free Transform) to resize an image. When resizing, use the shift and option (alt) keys to keep the resize proportioned and centered. Pay close attention to your info window, which will tell you the percentage of your resize. You will apply these figures to the next three images, repeating the Free Transform for each layer.resize photo strip image

You have your new image size, you have your even framing around the image–what now?
We're going to use our guides again, this time marking the top and the left sides of each image. When you do this, you may want to zoom your view all the way in to be sure you've nailed the guide to the edge, right down to the pixel.

With edges marked by guides, it's time to turn on your caps lock and start reading the top and left coordinates for each image. With caps lock on, our cursor turns into a cross hair, making it much easier to read the position of our mouse.
Start with the first image. Zoom into the top left corner of the image and place your cursor over the top/left intersect. In your info window, you'll see the x (left) and y (top) coordinates. Write them down.

Create the Layout in SnapShot Studio Photo Booth
If you wrote down the correct numbers, creating this layout will be simple!
Launch Snapshot Studio and go to the Preferences Window. Click the photo booth page creatorplus (+) button to create a new layout; the Page Editor Window will appear. In the Page Editor Window, click the New Layout button.
In the Page Creator, you'll be asked to name your page layout, the size of your page (4in x 6in), and if you want to duplicate (mirror) your design (yes!). Click the continue button.
Next, you'll be asked to enter information about your first image. The width and height are 1.8 and 1.375. Also, you'll have to enter the left and top starting points of this image which are .1 for both. Click Continue.
You'll have to repeat this 3 more times. The left point for all of the images are the same: .1. The top points are different and you will need to add the height of each image as you go to get the correct top starting point. To make it easy for you, they are 1.575, 3.05, and 4.525.
When you've finished, click the save button.

Permanent Template
You've gone through the trouble of all of this work and will probably want to recall this layout from time to time. No worries, you've created a permanent template. From this point forward, your layout will appear in your preset list.

Even though this seems like a long and difficult process, it can be done very quickly and easily. Without Photoshop and relying on math alone, I had created this layout in less than a couple of minutes. As you create more and more templates, you'll find yourself quick with the math and relying less on laying your project out in Photoshop. More intricate designs will naturally take a little longer, but the results are well worth the effort.

In the next tutorial, we'll cover a more advanced layout with image rotation, overlays, and backgrounds.

Help us make SnapShot Studio™ better. Join us in the SnapShot Studio Photo Booth Beta Forum. There you'll find the latest news, downloads, tips, and tricks. Report a bug, request a feature, find or share a tip- it's up to you.

SnapShot Studio™ Photo Booth requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.5 or later, Intel Processor, 1GB RAM
  • Windows XP or later, 1.6GHz Processor, 1GB RAM
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