Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Let's design a Christmas card in Pages: Santa's Cap (5) - put it on the head

for step 6 click here
Now the exciting stage. Take the photo and import it into your Pages document. Next drop in Santa's cap.

As you see there is a white backgroud around the cap. We need an alpha image, with no background (or transparent background). That's where the Instant Alpha tool comes in. It is under Format menu. Or, depending on how your Pages are customised, in the tool bar.

Select the cap, choose Alpha Tool and your cursor turns into crosshairs (little plus sign). Drag it over the white background several times - and presto, it becomes transparent. Hit return to save Alpha's work.

Now we move the cap on top of the head. If for some reason the image slides under the photo, use Arrange menu to Bring it to Front. Drag the image with cursor or move it with keyboard arrows. Press Shift to move ten points every time you hit an arrow.

When the cap is roughly in position, resize it or the photo, or both to make it 'fit'. Try flipping the cap from left to right in Metrics Inspector. If you have two people in the photo, you may want the pompon pointing in opposite directions, use flipping to achieve this.

To rotate the cap, press Command and drag one of the 'handles' of the selected image.

Here you may find that hair, jewelry or the background of your photo gets in the way. Use Mask or Mask with Shape (under Format menu) to hide parts of the photo you don't want on your card. If you choose Mask with Shape, remember that Masking Shape can be made editable (Format>Shape>Make Editable) - red dots appear, move them to mask exactly what you want, rotate and extend the 'propellers' on each dot to make the mask contours curve how you want them to.

When you are satisfied with the results, save the file  - and let's see what we can do next.

To go back to Step 4 click here, link to next step is at the top.

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