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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.
You really don't have to spend time worrying in advance about the size of the photos that you bring into BookSmart for inclusion in a book, particularly if you bring in photos directly from your digital camera. That's because most digital cameras shoot JPEGs that are large enough for most of the image containers in BookSmart, and if you try to place a photo into an image container that is too big for that size photo then BookSmart will warn you that the photo won't print well at that size, and it will even downsize the photo so that it does print well.
I brought in a couple more images to my My Photos library to show you this. I am going to start with this large image, which is the same size at which it came out of the digital camera. And I am going to bring it into this page layout. This is the starter page layout that was created by the startup wizard earlier in this chapter. These layouts contain relatively large image containers. If I drag this large image into this large image container, I get no warning from BookSmart because there is enough information in this photo to fill this container.
Let's see what happens when I drag this smaller image into an image container of the same size over on the right. This image is one that I made smaller repurposing it for use as a Facebook upload. These are the kind of images that you have to keep an eye on because they may not print well in a relatively large image container in BookSmart. I'll click on this photo and drag it over to this image container and when I do, I get this orange Image Warning from BookSmart. I am going to click the Image Warning to see this message, which is basically telling me that the image is too small for this container.
So if I have Blurb print it at the full size of this container, the photo may look blurry; it just won't print well. At this point I have several choices. I could click Cancel here and go out to my hard drive and see if I had a bigger copy of this file, bring that into my My Photos panel, and then bring the image into the book. Or I could go over to my My Photos panel and see if I have another photo that is big enough and bring that into this image container. Or I could choose a different page layout with a smaller image container.
The easiest thing to do is simply to click Resize Image here. When I do that BookSmart resizes the photo so that the photo is no longer filling the entire image container. That's okay because the gray part of the image container won't print, as you know. To confirm that, I'm going to click Preview Book and you can see how this spread will print. The image on the left will print to the full size of the image container. The image on the right will print to a smaller size than the image container. The gray part of the container won't print, and I think this looks just fine.
At this size, the image on the right will print well; it won't be blurry. I am going to click Edit Book to go back into Edit mode. I want to show you that you can find out the size of a container and the size of the photo here in BookSmart. Now, I'm not recommending that you do this for every photo in advance, but I am showing you this for teaching purposes, so you understand why this photo is too small for this container. To find out the size of any image container on a page, I'll click the image container to select it, and then I move my mouse near its border. And I get this tooltip that tells me the size, in inches, of the image container and the Optimal Size of the photo, in pixels, that will fit in his image container, if 300 pixels are allocated to every inch when the page is printed.
That tooltip only stays up on screen for a moment. If you want to see it again you can move out of the container and then back in. So, as you can see, the Optimal Photo Size here is about 2300 pixels in width and, rounding off, about 1600 pixels in height. So, let's see how big this photo is in pixels. Back in the My Photos panel I'll select the photo and I'll expand the My Photos panel by clicking the blue button on the top of the panel. And here I can see the dimensions of this photo. They are much smaller than the Optimal Dimensions for this image container, only 800 pixels wide by 533 pixels tall.
I am going to close the expanded My Photos panel. To remind you that if your photos aren't the perfect size for BookSmarts image containers, you don't have to try to fix the size in advance. Instead, you can just bring your photos into your BooksSmart library, drag them onto an image container, and let BookSmart do the resizing for you.
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