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Designing a book layout

From: Lightroom 4 Image Sharing Workshop

Video: Designing a book layout

Over the years I've heard many photographers say that one of their dreams is to publish a coffee table book, but they follow that up immediately by saying it'll probably never happen because printing is so expensive. But now with a variety of print on demand services, suddenly printing a photobook has become much more affordable. One of those print on demand services is Blurb. And now, you can produce a photo book directly within Lightroom 4. I've selected a folder that contains some images I'd like to include in a small photo book. And so, I'm going to switch to the Book Module in Lightroom. The Book Module as you can see at the top of the right panel, allows you to produce a book as either a PDF or a Blurb printed book.

Designing a book layout

Over the years I've heard many photographers say that one of their dreams is to publish a coffee table book, but they follow that up immediately by saying it'll probably never happen because printing is so expensive. But now with a variety of print on demand services, suddenly printing a photobook has become much more affordable. One of those print on demand services is Blurb. And now, you can produce a photo book directly within Lightroom 4. I've selected a folder that contains some images I'd like to include in a small photo book. And so, I'm going to switch to the Book Module in Lightroom. The Book Module as you can see at the top of the right panel, allows you to produce a book as either a PDF or a Blurb printed book.

I'll go ahead and switch to the PDF option here for moment. You can see that some of the options are different, but the basic concept is the same. We are able to create a layout and define perimeters for that overall layout, and then produce the final book. For this lesson, we'll go ahead and use the Blurb option, but you could produce a similar result with that PDF option. I'll start off by producing the basic layout that I'd like to use for this book. I'll click the Size pop-up. Here I can choose between a Small Square size, a Standard Portrait size, Standard Landscape.

Large landscape or Large Square, you can see the dimensions for each of those sizes. For this particular book project I'll stick with the Standard Landscape size. I can also specify a cover type, whether I want a hard cover or soft cover, and with the hard cover I have options for an image wrap or a dust jacket. To help keep the price down, I think I'm going to use the softcover option for this particular book. I can also choose the paper type, and here we have premium luster, premium matte, and an uncoated and pearl version of the ProLine paper. I'll go ahead and stick with luster, that's a semi-gloss surface, I think that'll work nicely.

At the back of the book, by default there will be a Blurb logo included. And you can remove that if you prefer. Just be aware that if you do remove it, there is an increase in the price of the book. Since I'd like to keep this book a little less expensive, I'll go ahead and leave that logo page turned on. You can see that based on our settings, we have an estimated price that will obviously change as we increase or decrease the number of pages within the book. I'll go ahead and scroll down. We can choose the layout, this allows to choose whether we want the left page to be blank with a photo and caption on the right page. Or a left page blank and right photo with a photo with no caption. I'm going to opt for one photo per page, I can still add caption information later if I'd like to but this will just default me to having a single image on the page. With that option selected, I can click the Auto Layout button if I like. And then Lightroom will create a book for me that uses that layout, and includes all of the images on the film strip in the book. Of course, that means it automatically selects images for the front cover and the back cover.

But I can very easily change those settings if I'd like to, for example by dragging an image from the filmstrip to replace one of the images. I'm going to go ahead and click the Clear Book button so that we can get back to our original starting point, and I'll simply create a very basic book from scratch. The concept here for the book is Some Color in California, a collection of images that I captured in California, that demonstrate some of the more colorful subjects that I've observed there. I will go ahead and drag a cover image into the front cover space.

You will notice that the image obviously gets cropped to fit the available space. If I click on the image I can adjust the Zoom. I can Zoom In if I want to see just a smaller portion of the image. If I have zoomed in I can Click and Drag the image around to change which portion of the image is currently visible, and I can also zoom out. Just bear in mind that if you Zoom out too far, then you might see outside the image itself. That can be fine but you might want to be sure the image fills the available space in some cases. I think I'll Zoom just a little bit and then adjust the position, that looks pretty good. You may notice that I have an exclamation point, a warning icon up at the top right of this particular image.

And that is an indication, if I click on it I see the error message that this photo will not print well at this size. But that's simply because I'm not using my original photos, I'm using lower resolution versions for purposes of this lesson. And so this is not normally the image collection that I would actually be printings. So, if you see that message, it's probably an indication that you didn't drag one of your master images into a photo frame. I'll go ahead and click OK here, since I don't need to be concerned about that for the moment. I'll go ahead then and also add a back cover image, and that looks like it fits reasonably well just like that.

I can scroll down then and see the page layout, and just as easily I can drag an image into the page layout. I'll go ahead and drag this puppy image, for example. But I have a second puppy image and maybe I'd like to include two of them. I can very easily change the layout. I'll click the arrow at the bottom right of the image, and you can see that we have a variety of options for that layout. In this case I'm going to choose two photos, since I want to include two images on the page. And then I can scroll down to choose which particular layout I'd like. You can see that I have some layouts with text and some layouts without text. Some of them are a little bit more graphical.

I think I'd like to give the images even weight and maybe have them fill the available space as much as possible. So I'll chose a layout there and then drag the second image into place. And that looks pretty nice. Just to illustrate one other concept here, I'm going to insert a page. So I'll click the Add Page button, you can see that gives me a new spread. I can change the layout to a single photo option, and I think I'll go ahead and include a caption in this case. I'm probably going to use a vertical, so I'll choose this option here. And there's a space for text over on the right-hand side. I'm going to drag one of the images, I'll take this vertical image and drag it into place.

But I want to demonstrate a feature whereby you can automatically add title or caption information for an image. With this image selected, I'm ging to switch back into the Library module. And then I'll scroll down to the metadata section, and I'm going to find the caption information, and then I'll just type new caption for this particular image. So that becomes my new caption, I'll press Enter to apply that.

Now, if I go back to the Book module, in the text field that I'm using for this particular flower. I can simply right-click and then choose Auto Text and choose either Title or Caption from the pop up. In this case I added a caption, so I can click on that Caption option. And you can see that that text that I added as a caption is automatically added to this box. I can add additional text in the box if I'd like to or modify the text if I need to, and that gives me additional option for being able to automatically add title or caption details.

I'll go ahead and add one more image into my frame here, and that gives me a complete layout. Now in this case obviously, a very short book, but just being used to illustrate the concepts of creating a page layout. You can also adjust a couple of other settings in the guides section. For example, you can specify whether or not you want the guides to be displayed. In other words, do you want to see the boundaries for the page etc.? Or do you simply want to see the images as they'll actually appear in print? I generally like to have those guides displayed. I find it to be a little bit helpful in laying out the page.

We can also specify how much cell padding we want. So, for example, in each of the images here I'll scroll down so that we can see an entire page here. And if I increase the value for padding, you can see that the image will have some padding around it. In this case, I think I'll leave it as a full bleed image, though. Scrolling down, we can see that we also have options for photo captions as well as page captions. And if we turn on photo caption for example, we can choose once again the title or cation field from the metadata.

So you would need to update that metadata before you add the title or caption. We could then also adjust the offset, in other words how far into the page will that caption appear. And we can also determine weather we want that caption to be alligned with the photo. We can also turn on the Page Caption option if we'd like to add text at the bottom of the current page. We can then click and type a value into that text box and adjust the offset, that position of that text as well. And also specify whether we want it at the top or the bottom of the page.

As you've seen, we're able to add text to the images. In the Type section we can adjust the overall style for that text. Here's your Standard Fonts Parameters. We can adjust the font face, the style for the text, the color for the text as well as the default size and opacity. And then we also have some alignment options for that text. And if you'd like you can also add a background to each page. In this case my background is simply set to white. You can drop a photo to be used as a background on every page, or you can turn on a background color. You can also change that background color for all of the pages if you'd like. And you can also determine whether you want that background to be applied globally, in other words to effect every single page within your layout. As you're working on your page layout, at times you might want to look at individual pages.

We can look at individual spreads, in order words, two pages at a time, or one page at a time. And we can also look at the overall pages where we're able to scroll through the entire book project. Once you've created a book layout that you're happy with, you can click the Create Saved Book option if you'd like. So that you can save this book, in order to access it later, perhaps modify it a little bit later. Or after you've gotten a copy of the book printed, if you decide there's anything you'd like to change, you can very easily get back to that project so I'll just call this California Color. We'll make that a top level book.

I don't need to save it inside of a folder. I will only include the photos that are actually used and I'm not going to make virtual copies of those photos. I'll go ahead and click the Create button, and then we can see in collections which we can also access in the Library module. We have that California Color book collection, so we can very easily get back to that collection in order to go back and modify the book as needed.

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Lightroom 4 Image Sharing Workshop

34 video lessons · 584 viewers

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