Getting Started with DigitalPapercrafting: Helpful Hints and Top Tips

November 14, 2012 | By | Reply More
Permission to be Creative from

Permission to be Creative from

Our best bits of advice – in no particular order:

DigitalPapercrafting Software

Get software that works for you. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to do certain things: support layers, png images and, ideally, abr files. We have used and can recommend Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and GIMP (the free choice.) Learn about the program you’re considering and take into account your level of software expertise. For example, while GIMP is free as open source code, you may have to do more “techie” stuff to install and use it. The Adobe products both work very well with Photoshop Elements being the more user friendly and less expensive version.

Take it Easy

Start slow and get to know your software. Try out a few small projects to learn how to get around in the program and learn the basic principles of manipulating digital images. Use our getting started projects to see what you can do.

Back it Up

Give some thought to your backup plans. You’ll amass a visual library of images and finished works and you won’t want to lose them to a stray power surge. Either invest in an external hard drive and the resolution to keep it up to date or sign up for a remote backup service. We use (and have been saved more than once by) Carbonite.

Organize It

Think about storage and organization before your library gets too large. Photoshop Elements has a built in Organizer that may be very helpful. The program ACDsee is a stand alone photo organizer and manager and the Picasa system offers the same functions. Or, you can spend some time tweaking the file structure and display settings on your system.

Scan It

To fully integrate paper and pixels, you’ll eventually want a scanner. We’ve used the Canon Pixma and had good results, but you can find a good machine online and in stores for under $150.  Having it lets you scan projects and bring them into the digital world for embellishment and finishing.

Print It

Think about how you’ll print your digital creations to bring them in to the real world. You can print them yourself or use a service. If you DIY it, you’ll have complete control over the choice of paper and can tweak the printer settings to get just the effect you want. Using a service, either local or online, may cost less in terms of equipment and ink/toner. Weigh the cost vs. convenience and control of printing your own or having it done.

Let it Go

Don’t worry about doing something “right.” One of the best parts of digital art is the ability to “undo” something. There’s no one right way and you’ll learn more about your own taste and style as you experiment. You have our permission to be creative – and here’s your badge to prove it!

I am Creative Badge from
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Category: How To

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