If the Alpha tool is my favorite tool, my most used Photo tool inside of iBooks Author has got to be the Crop or Mask tool. In this movie we're going to explore some different ways of using this tool. To begin, go ahead and add the condors_in_flight image out of the Chapter 06 exercise folder directly onto your document, onto Page 26. When you drop the image on, go ahead and place it so that the condors themselves float roughly about right there. Make sure it's a Floating image, and then click the lower right-hand corner of the image and drag it so that it fills the screen.
Sometimes doing this technique, it's helpful to change the view down to about 50%, so we can really see the whole image. Now that we have the condors image pretty much filling the screen, let's go ahead and apply a mask to it. We've already used the Mask tool from our Formatting bar. So this time let's go up to the Format menu, come down to Image, and select Mask. This does exactly the same thing, it's just another option for us. Now, we'll go ahead and resize the mask itself so that it starts from the very left-hand edge of the page and completely fills the page except for finishing at the end of the right-hand column.
We'll go ahead and drag the bottom down so that it completely fills the page as well. Next, we'll click one time in the Mask to select the image that's inside of the mask and then go ahead and move that so that it appears to fill the page. We'll go ahead and continue to adjust the size of the image, making the condors much larger, and moving the image around until we get the condors so that they're filling the side of the page, and then we'll click away to deselect. Now, we've taken an image that was not quite centered, and we've dropped it into a place so that the image looks greatly improved.
Let's go ahead and apply another mask in another way. We'll go ahead over to the next page, and then we'll drop in the image of the two condors. What would be really nice is if we used a similar technique to the Alpha channel that we applied on the first page of this article with the condor's face, only aligning it to the lower left-hand side of this page. The problem is that this condor that we want to add is facing in the wrong direction. Well, that's not a problem. All we need to do is close our Media Browser, click on our Inspector, and go over to our Metrics Inspector.
Then with the image selected, we can click the Flip button to flip the image horizontally. We can then click on our Alpha tool, click in between the two birds to select the sky, and go ahead and draw out an Alpha channel. Now, we're not going to worry about all of this detail down here, because we're going to crop that out of the way. We'll go ahead and make sure that we've got a Floating image, and then we'll go up to our Mask tool. With the Mask tool selected, we can then go ahead and select just the portion of the image that has the left-hand bird in it.
We'll go ahead and trim this down until the bird is properly centered inside of here. Let me go ahead and zoom in on this page so we can get a closer look at it. I'll go ahead and zoom in to 75%. Now the image is looking much better. I'll click away to deselect it, then click on the bird one time, and I'm going to drag him down into place. Next, I'll go ahead and grab the top right-hand handle and drag it up in order to stretch the bird out so that it looks better placed on the page. Now we can see that the text is easily flowing right around the Alpha area of this image, and by flipping it and cropping it, we've got the bird looking in the correct orientation.
I've included another image for you in our Images Folder called pelican2, see if you can go ahead and apply the same effect that we just did to that bird, only having the pelican sitting right here on the rock with its head looking inward. And in the next movie we'll check our work, and we'll apply another effect.
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