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Create custom page layouts?

kenwood

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Does anyone know if it is possible to create custom page layouts on the book module? I am running LR 5. If not, any suggestions on what is an easy to learn tool to design a photo book?
 
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Not exactly. You can use the cells padding to edit existing ones and then save the result for reuse, but you can't start from scratch.

Who are you thinking of having print the book? Blurb's own software's not bad.
 

kenwood

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I m planning to put together some travel photo books for personal use. I don't want to restrict myself to one single provider by using their design tools. I would prefer to stay within LR because I have my photos there but looks like it is not doable.
 
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to create custom page layouts on the book module?
A "work-around" method for custom pages might be to create your page in the "Print" module as a Custom Package (eg 12x12inch collage of your design or you book size), then Print this to a JPG FILE. (not a printer). Now insert your "Custom" jpg as a full page image in the Book module process.
If you save your custom prints they can be used repeatedly as a template to insert any images of your choice.
The only downside to this method is that you create extra JPG files, but the upside is that you can create any custom collage of images possible.
 

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jjlad

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Thiis is interesting. Let's say I wanted to use another vendor that offered a 12x9 book size. Could I create a 12x9 single image jpg and 'insert' that as a full page image into the book module then using that, drop other photos into it and make new layouts with them to save as custom layouts for re-use to create books with that page size?

I honestly find it disgusting that Adobe would restrict this module to Blurb's book sizes in the first place. Even when switched to jpg or pdf the size choices are blurb's alone.
Someone at Adobe must be getting quite a kickback ...herding everyone to Blurb like cattle into a truck. Sure hope there's a workaround otherwise we're stuck with using other vendors online tools ...which aren't bad but certainly aren't as flexible as working in LR.
 
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It is open to other vendors to create page layouts for Lightroom.
 
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Thiis is interesting. Let's say I wanted to use another vendor that offered a 12x9 book size. Could I create a 12x9 single image jpg and 'insert' that as a full page image into the book module then using that, drop other photos into it and make new layouts with them to save as custom layouts for re-use to create books with that page size?
Exactly! BUT NOT USING the Lightroom Book Module!
Say you want to use Momento for your 12x9 book- Design your full page layouts in the LR print module, set the print page to 12x9 (User defined), save the image layouts as jpgs, save the pages as template presets for future use. Now use Momento software to design your book using the pages you have designed.
These three 12x9 pages were done in under 5 minutes, saved as jpg (and saved as templates).
 

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jjlad

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Thanks 'Lighty',
For the past hour I've been trying that too. You have nice overlaps on yours. I got to page 7 in mine and could not overlap. I tried the 'send backward' and 'send to back' and 'send forward' and 'send to front' and nothing worked. Finally on a page where I had a full size image in the background and 3 smaller ones in the foreground that got hidden again, I clicked on the large one and used 'send to back' and on the second try it revealed one smaller one, on the third try it revealed the second smaller one and on the forth try ...the third. Really wierd stuff here. Then I went back to a page where it had worked and found that they were no longer laid out that way as it seems trying to do it on that other page caused the one that had been successful ...to revert. At that point I was kind of thinking 'book' and hadn't saved anything as you describe because I was switching photos from one page to another etc.
I would also have expected to be able to ctrl-click on multiple images and simultaneously set the height on them but that doesn't work. (works in Excel or Word but not here??)
I'm very impressed at what you could do so quickly ...I just seem to be running into one snag after another. LOL ...just went back to the 7th page and it is totally screwed again. The layouts on the different pages are different but somehow the program is applying the 'layering' globally.
I have a feeling I'll just be uploading photos to my book vendor tomorrow. This is really frustrating. I also added some text using identity plates since there is no text box option in the print module ...and all those have disappeared ...and none of them were involved in overlaps so no idea where they went.
Aspirin sandwich and conceding this round!
 

jjlad

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Now selected one of the pages and hit the plus sign on the User Templates and named it thinking it was just going to save the page I was on as a template but instead it saved all 7
Then when I 'Create Saved Print' I'd like it to save the print in the Collection I'm in but the dialogue doesn't indicate that. I has a Location / Inside option so I select that but not all my collections show up and the one that I'm in does not.
So I just 'saved' it without worrying about the collection thinking it must default to the one I'm in. Ok ..did that. Now when I open that every image is mixed up location wise, size wise, layer wise etc. Absolute total chaos.
For sure that's it now.
 
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I got to page 7
It seems from this short quote that you are still in the BOOK module. All my suggestions are only in the PRINT module and creating a single "Custom" jpg image containing any number of images 2,3,4 etc.
No Book module in sight! I am not using the LR Book Module at all.
And you do not have to "Create a Saved Print", it is done with the "Print to File..." button. [Print Job panel is set so that "Print to: is JPEG File]
It is later you use the software from another company of your choosing (eg. Momento) to design all the pages for your book, using all your jpg images including the created 'full-page collages'.

And yes, when you click + to create a template it can always be used again to add any images from any folder of images in LR- then "Print" to another jpg file.
This is my 12x9 horizontal template created from the 'moss' images in my previous post.

 

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jjlad

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Thanks again. Actually I was in the PRINT module.

I kept hitting 'New Page' in the 'cells' section and worked my way to page 7 before everything fell apart. What I liked about adding pages that way is you can see all the pages and do a 'layout' then substitute photos etc., like in the book module. although I couldn't seem to find a way to view one page at a time. Six all displayed at once then the 7th went to another window.

I must have been too mentally exhausted last nite because now I see that when I reopened I inadvertently opened another file with a similar name that I'd created in the Book Module, and when it opens in the print module it scatters everything all over the place.

That 'print module' project open now. Same problem with the 'layers' on pages where images overlap one another. On page 7 they won't move at all and changes to one page screw up the others.

Not only that ...now I am unable to save a page as a jpg. Perhaps because it is being viewed as a 'project' rather than a page? I'm not able to select an individual page with all its images and save it separately. So, this won't work anyway because I can't send the 'project' to the vendor. I don't really want to save everything until done but can't imagine creating a 30 page book with the print module saving each page as you go and not being able to visualize the overall book. Not practical at all for a guy with limited memory capacity.

I am so ticked that Adobe has made this so difficult. Does Blurb 'have the goods' on someone at Adobe ...or is someone at Adobe or Adobe as a whole ...being nicely compensated in another manner to impose this insanity on paying customers? This is totally freakin' ridiculous.

My next attempt will be to see if one can select a larger page size like 13x11 in the Book Module and put a global border or margin to all pages to reduce the working area to the size wanted ...then create the book within those confines. It would mean having to build layouts for everything I guess. Presumably the book could then be saved as jpgs, those imported into LR in a collection and then synced so that cropping could all be done at once. Then the images could be exported to the vendor as full page jpgs ...to their specs. At least that way the book module could be used to create the pages.

I've totally given up on using the print module for this. Having to use identity plates to add text is another Romper Roomish feature. Crap ...I can do pages easier than that in Excel or Power Point ...do it all the time for reports at work with 100 or more images in them, but using Excel to create 'photo books' just doesn't have any romance to it and I've never tried it using those business apps at resolutions necessary for published books. One thing for sure though is Excel and PowerPoint can handle images, borders, multiple layers and overlaps, text boxes and text manipulation...etc., etc., etc. Amazing that Adobe has left us even thinking about a spreadsheet program as an option to a cripplingly vendor-restricted Book Module. When will that insanity end??

The print module was actually looking promising until I hit so many glitches. Thanks again for your help and have a great day!
 

jjlad

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Ok ...so in Photoshop I created a transparent layer 13x11 and stroked it in dark black leaving a 12x9 blank center section
Saved that as a jpg and copied it into all my collections that are for 12x9 books.
Placed that as the 'background' image in the 13x11 book with 100% transparency and applied it to all pages. That gives an unmistakable boundary to work within. I tried one page of 4 images, exported it as a jpg and imported it into LR. There I cropped off the stroke to end up with my 12x9 jpg that can go to the album vendor.
I doubt many pre-built layouts can be used because they are extremely fussy to work with to try and get them sized within that border ...but at least I can make new ones and see what I'm doing. If the module had rulers etc. it wouldn't be so bad but this will work to an extent. Not sure if it will save much time though. This morning I ordered 2 albums from my vendor after uploading far fewer images than I would like to have uploaded to select and experiment with. The creation once they are there is as good or better than using LR so the only real drawback is having to upload them and work on someone else's system like that. I'd much rather work on my own system with access to all photos.

Another little project I had to do just now, was create a poster for a Silent Auction that I'm donating a shoot to. For that I used CS6 and Bridge and 'Placed' photos into the image as smart objects.
On that I used 3 photos ..different sizes ...fanned them out on angles overlapping one another ...which I have no idea how to do in the Book Module.
I added strokes, drop shadows, 3 text boxes, a background, a border ...emailed it for approval, got that and printed it. Now I have myself wondering if that is the way to go for books too, since there is so much more flexibility. I just have to figure out how to 'view' a 30 or more pager as it is being created. I can save each new layout as a template for re-use ...something like the print module in LR and doing it that way allows for complete design freedom. I suppose Illustrator would be better but I just want to use the tools I already have. At the moment LR appears to be the toughest system due Blurb being the Book Module's 'Godfather'.
 
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It has been good corresponding with your and in the end the answer to your very first post in this thread is- no. And I have to agree Lightroom is just not up to the job when you want to use your own ideas for book creation because of the 'Blurb' association and page size limitations. I have had Blurb books printed and have been satisfied to conform to their page sizing. Your experience is a step up from mine.
I also see the problems you had with multiple pages in the Print module- I only every imagined that each page would be designed individually and saved as a single page, obviously a laborious task but the only work-around I could think of, along with Photoshop to add text.
Brings to mind the old sayings- "Horses for Courses." , "Jack of all trades, master of none" and "Never send a boy to do a man's job"
All the best in your future design endeavors.
 

Jknights

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I am experiencing the same frustration or disappointment that the page layouts are not user customizable.
I wanted to produce a custom wedding album for a friend/customer. I wanted to make the first 10 pages full A4 pages and the next 20-30 pages as multi-photo pages (4 images/page).
I cant see a way to do this in the Book module I like the results shown by I-See-Light but I dont think I could stand the pain of doing it in the Print module.

So disappointed with this as my first effort.
I guess I need to use a DTP software like Quark.
 

jjlad

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I'm still experimenting with using a background image that essentially masks the page to the page size I want, then after saving the pages as jpgs, going to the develop module and simultaneously cropping all of them to the size required, then exporting to jpgs again.

Still a funky process and the projects I'm working on at the moment I'd doing in PS ...with 2 images open side by side at once and using the 'Place' command to insert the different photos. It actually offers lots of freedom but probably isn't as good as a DTP program or something like Album Builder
 
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