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Creating Photo Books with Blurb presents three separate workflows for creating and publishing books that showcase photographs using the Blurb self-publishing service. The course starts with an exploration of photo bookmaking in BookSmart, Blurb's free desktop software, then shows how to make a simple photo book in Bookify, Blurb's online bookmaking service. The course also covers Blurb's PDF to Book plug-in for use with custom books created in Adobe InDesign, as well as information on ordering copies of photo books and selling them in the Blurb online bookstore.
Let's talk about how to put photos on pages in BookSmart. That's done from the My Photos panel here. The thumbnails that you see in my My Photos panel were imported in earlier movies in this chapter. If you're following along with the Exercise Files and for some reason you don't have these photos in your My Photos panel, import the photos from the 02_04 Exercise Files folder as I showed you how to do in an earlier movie in this chapter. To place one photo on a page I will first make sure that the page is showing up here in the work area by clicking on the page or its spread, and then I will go to the My Photos panel and I will select the photo that I want to bring onto this page.
Then I'll click on that photo again and drag it up onto the page and on top of that image container. When the image container border lights up like this I will release my mouse, and the image container is now filled with that photo. So that's how simple it is to put a single photo into an image container on a page. What if there's already a photo in that image container and I want to bring a different one in? What I will do then is go back to the My Photos panel, select the second image and then click and drag it up into that same image container and release my mouse, and the second photo replaces the first.
There's no need to delete the first photo yourself. Some people like the control that they have when they place one image in an image container on a page at a time, other people just want to get all their photos out there and then do the fine-tuning. If you're in the later group you will appreciate Auto Flow. Auto Flow is the same feature that we saw in the context of this setup wizard earlier in this chapter but here it's done from inside of the BookSmart interface. Let's say that I have a lot of images in the My Photos panel that I want to put on the pages of this book.
The first thing I'll do is click on the first page where I want to start automatically flowing the photos into the book and then I'll go back to the My Photos panel and I will select some images. I will click on one and I will hold the Shift key and click on another. Normally, I would select a lot of images for Auto Flow. I am just going to select three so that you can see how it works. When I clicked on this last image. the one in between got selected too. Now I will go up to the top of the My Photos panel and I will click Auto Flow. And you can see, if you look at the thumbnails, that those three photos have been automatically placed on these three pages.
So, as you can imagine, this can be a real timesaver, but it's really only efficient if you've done some sequencing of your photos in advance either before you bring them into BookSmart as I showed you how to do earlier in the course or after they are in the My Photos panel. And you can do that in the My Photos panel when Sort is set to Manual Sort. Then you can click on an image like this and you can drag it elsewhere in your sequence. When I have an image in a layout like this and I click on that image in its image container, notice that there's now a new toolbar showing at the top of the screen.
These are photo tools and they're for positioning images inside of their containers. There are a number of different tools like Rotate tools. Here is a Flip tool that will flip an image horizontally. There is a Vertical flip as well, and here is a Zoom tool. So when I drag this Zoom tool to the right with a container selected I am zooming in on the image and that effectively crops away part of the image, the part outside the image container. If I click Preview Book, over here I don't see the buildings that are actually in the image because I have zoomed in.
I will click Edit Book again and I will click in the image container. If I zoom out, the other content of the image comes back. So it's not lost, it's just outside the image container. If I go too far and there is some of the gray part of the image container showing, that's okay too because that part won't print. Again, if I Preview Book, you will see that I have the whole image here full frame but none of that gray image container is showing in the preview of the book. I will go back to Edit Book.
Now, what if I bring in an image that is too big for the container in one or both dimensions? Here is one here. I will drag it into the container and you can see from the thumbnail over here that this is a vertical image and that it shows the entire light pole. Here, I am seeing just a portion of this tall light pole. What's happening is the BookSmart is trying to fill the container. So, it's filling it from left to right, but from top to bottom parts of the image are being cropped away. There are a couple of solutions.
I could leave it like this if I like it. I can come up to the Zoom tool and I can drag to the left until I see the image full frame. And, as I said, the gray part won't print so this will probably look pretty nice, like that, when I print the book. Let me zoom back in again. So, if the image is like this, another thing I can do is come over to these alignment buttons, either the left- top align, the center align, or the right-bottom align. And what these buttons will do is zoom out until the whole vertical image is showing and at the same time align that image to the top-left, bottom-right, or center of the screen. And this can look nice too. If we preview how this looks, I just see the vertical image, not the gray container, and sometimes that's a nice effect.
There's also a Fill button in the photo toolbar. If I click that, then once again BookSmart tries to fill the container with the image and it zooms in until that happens. One more thing that I can do that's useful with the alignment buttons is if I have two images that are approximately the same size, (I will bring another one in over here) and I want to align them, I can select the one on the left and then click any of these buttons. I will choose center align and I will do the same to the one on the right.
And now you can see that they both have the same amount of gray space at top and bottom. They are both the same size photos and neither is tall enough to fill this entire container but because I have got them both center aligned in there containers and the containers are the same, now when I go to Preview book, they are nicely aligned with one another. But what happens if you try to put an image that is just too small to print well into a large image container? That's what we will take a look at in the very next movie.
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