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In Picasa 3 Essential Training, Dane Howard demonstrates how the latest upgrade of this free program from Google will allow photographers to organize, share, and edit digital photos more easily and effectively than ever before. Dane shows newcomers and experienced users how to archive and share photos from a desktop or online. Exercise files accompany the course, but using personal media is encouraged.
The next share button I'm going to talk about is Collage and this is a really exciting way of combining a bunch of photographs into a single image. Now the default is that whatever is in your picture tray will be passed into the Collage. Now mind what folder you also have selected. So what will happen is a couple of new things. Notice in this new version that it allows you to tabulate between the Library and the Collage project itself. This is really helpful if you want to add new photos to the Collage itself. Another thing that you'll notice is that the settings are a lot more customizable.
So the default collage would be the last setting. So in this case you can see there is a lot of different layouts. This one's called Mosaic. Some other things that you can do is adjust the spacing, and that spacing the layout directly corresponds to the format that you want. So if I wanted to maybe show this on my TV I'd show something like a 16x9 format. If I wanted to show something that was more like something I wanted to print, I'd have a completely different layout. Now the layout I can't really control, but what I can control is how the pictures are actually laid out, and they can be shuffled around.
So this is pretty helpful, when I start to see all of my images together. Another thing that's really nice is the ability to go in and actually adjust the images. So I remember this one that was in black and white, or this particular piece here, and I can go in and View and Edit directly from the item. So if I wanted to undo something that I had done previously or undo some of the tuning, or even take out some of the glow, I can start to do all of those things, and get back to the original. Now if I go back to the Collage, you can see that that image no longer has the black and white capabilities in it.
Well, one thing that's nice is if I go ahead and create this Collage, I'll generate the new image asset. So what happens is that it generates the draft and gives you some feedback as it pulls all of these pieces together. Once it's finished, it gives you an update on what's going on here. It has generated the new asset, and it has re-imported that into Collage. So it's written it out as a new file. This little piece will hang around, in case you've been off doing another things. Go ahead and close it down. Well, with this is a brand new image.
It honors the layout and the aspects that you set prior. With that, you can edit it, like give the entire thing Sepia. Let's go ahead and undo that, or I wanted to adjust the entire image. Notice how this entire image adjusts. So what I've lost is the ability to edit the individual images, but this is a single asset. But where did it put it? Well, under your Projects, you have something called Collages, and it automatically creates the collage. If you want to know where that is on your file system, go ahead and open that up, and you'll see you've variety of different projects.
Here is one called Travels that we just created. Let's create another one. To create another one go ahead and go into Collage, once again, and it's going to inherent everything from the picture tray. So the picture tray allows you to create a starting point. Let's choose a different layout. Let's choose this one called Picture Pile. Picture Pile gives you little bit more flexibility than in previous versions. You can see that I'm starting to drag-and-drop the items around in this collage itself. Little bit about the controls. If I click on the image itself, I get the four arrows.
This gives me a chance to literally move the images from one part of the screen to the next. Some of them go in front and some of them go in back. Well, in order to reshuffle or re- layer them, let me just right-click on any selected image. When you right-click I have a bunch of options. I can set this image as the background, I can change the border, I can rotate it, or I can bring it to top. Use this to actually arrange some of your photographs, rotate them and enlarge them to the way that you like.
Other options that it provides, I'll show you on a white background, just by clicking on the Eyedropper, you'll see that the Drop Shadow is more prominently displayed. This is where I can turn Drop Shadows on or off. This is another type of collage that you can create. Again, the layout corresponds directly to the format that you want to export. In this case, if I wanted to show this via print, I keep it 8.5 x 11. If I wanted to show this via my monitor, notice how it reshuffled.
Basically honored my layout, but I might want to do some tweaks. So this is going to be an example of something I might want to show inside of a slideshow. So I can add this as a more complex image. Once I'm done, I'm doing the same type of thing. I'll go ahead and create the Collage. Once the collage is complete, it will right out a new version of the file, and it will re-import into Picasa. Go ahead and click on the X to remove the progress bar. Again we still have a new asset here. I'm going to click and you'll see that it's been added to my Collages project.
Use collages in a really creative way. Try putting a bunch of them together and creating a nice collage project where you can upload or create prints, posters or a whole variety of quick layouts that you can use to share, upload, or create a whole book of images. Combined with other projects and exports, you can export these as prints, books, projects, or blog accounts in a really interesting way.
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