Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blogging Technology 101: Making a Header Part 2 Using FotoFlexer

Blogging tech FotoFlexer Header

I am posting this today because I felt like I left ya hanging with a blank white header background. 
So if you are ready to get going on your own header, take this in to precaution...

Warning: This is a rather lengthy post! 
Please grab a cup of happiness and sit a spell!  

Welcome to FotoFlexer!

FotoFlexer is a free to use photo editing site!

Picture 1877

Let's roll up those sleeves and lets get started!

Please click on Upload Photo Button at the top right of your screen!

Then when the next screen appears select load photo again this time it will be over on the left of your screen and then click on the upload button. Choose your white background header when the window opens to you My Pictures and click on open.

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When the white background is uploaded to the screen you will not see it, trust me it is there!

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But first let me introduce you to the tool tabs:
  • Basic is the first tab that you will always see in FotoFlexer. It has well your basics of cropping, flipping, rotating, adjusting photo sizes, and so on! Oh, if you are looking to make a collage there is also the tab where you will find that feature as well!
  • Effects is where all your over lays are to enhance your photos. For example if you like that 1960's and 70's look for your photos that is the tab where you will find all the cool stuff.
  • Decorate is where all the fun stuff is such as your text, stickers, and photo borders.
  • Animations has more stickers that you can use and that is it. The difference between the stickers in decorate and animations are. The ones in animations are sparkly and that they move.
  • Beautify has smoothing , sharpening, blemish control, and  smoothing out wrinkles.
  • Distort is where you can give your photos that fun house mirror effect in five fun ways!
  • Layers is where you will find the tools that will merge all your work together so that everything stays in one place. It is also the tab that will help you undo some of your mistakes that you merged together as well.
  • Geek is where you will find all the smart tools suck as recoloring, smart cutting and so on.

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All right, now that you know what all those tabs do please click the effects tab.

Remember how I said to trust me that your white background is there... well it still is!

Using Overlays for a Colored Background

The next step is just going to be an exercise to add color to your header and if you click on the more buttons to the right or left of the effects tab until you find the Heart Bokeh icon. Click on the Heart Boken icon.

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As you can see your white background header is truly there!

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In the effects tab of the Heart Bokeh your will see a tool box that has sliding buttons for size, density, opacity, and tint. In the photo below I changed the tint to a blue and used the density button to the minimal (-) amount of hearts and then slid the button to the extremes (+) of over abundance of hearts.

Over lay 1

With the hearts set at the minimal (-) amount go a head and use the size button.
Also feel free to use the opacity button too! Opacity allows you to make the color of the hearts to be faded in the background or more prominent. Also if you had a real picture photo these heart can be used as an overlay too. Say you wanted to put little fades hearts around Ryan Gosling for the next "Hey Girl" photo, just use the opacity button to accomplish it!

Over lay 2

Anyway if the Heart Bokeh is what you would like to use as you background click the Apply button. If not click on the Cancel button to see of another overlay on the effects tab will work!

 Warning: Many of the overlays will not work on the white background. My advice is to start clicking on all the icon until you find something that you like. Also you do not have to use the overlays if you do not want too. They are just an option!

Since I am not a big fan of the Heart Boken I am going to use Pop Art instead.

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Pop Art does have advanced options that you are free to experiment with if you like. For this time around I am going to pass up on using them and just click on the apply button instead.

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Choosing and Placing the Text

Now that there is a color setting to my white header I am going to start adding the text or words to my header.  The nice thing about FotoFlexer is that they do have a wide variety of fonts to use. Please feel free to use any text that you want for your own header.
  • To get the text on to your header background go to the Decorate Tab and click on the Text icon.
  • A white tool box will appear with Enter Text Here
  • Type in one word or your entire title. Its up to you at this point. However if you want different texture or a appearance to your header do use difference fonts for your text. 
  • Once you have your whole title or one word written look to the right side of your screen and there will be another tool box that will allow you to choose your fonts, text colors, bubble backgrounds, and transparent check box to make that white background behind your text disappear. Please click on the transparent box! Note if you do want the bubble backgrounds leave the transparent box unchecked.
  • Now that you have your text the way you want it. It is now time to place the ext onto your header to the way you wan it. If you noticed in the last photo I have the word Isaboo in place and I want to move the & to a different spot.
Note: everything you choose to work with in FotoFlexer whether its text or stickers they will always appear to the top left of your screen.

Over lay 3
  • By keeping the "&" with the select box still around it, use your mouse by left clicking on the "&" and hold that left button down while holding moving the mouse to the spot where you want the "&". I moved the "&" to the middle of header. 
  • Once you have the text or in this case "&" release the left mouse button and unselect the "&" by aimlessly clicking your mouse somewhere else on the page.
  • The next word I choose to use was Blue and everyone knows of Blue the over sized ox that Paul Bunyan owned. With that said I want the word Blue to be huge and to make that happen make sure to select the word Blue by clicking on it.
  • With the word Blue selected use the little boxes that are on the select box surrounding the text. hover your mouse over the little boxes and when the single arrow appears left click and hold to move the select box to the size you want. Repeat the same process to even out the rest of blue.
  • The last photo in the collage below is showing the text you can choose from in case you do not like what you have chosen and to also point out mo matter what word you choose to type here in FotoFlexer, Cretino will always appear until you select another font.
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Layering Text to Add Depth

By laying your text you will add depth to your title. This allows your text to pop out or to be more highlighted. This part is a bit tricky in the aspect that you have to match the existing word exactly as it is. Featured in the photos below is the text/word Isaboo. In the first photo the text Isaboo is flat and there is nothing special about it. That is until another layer of the word Isaboo is added!

To add another layer to an existing text:
  • Go to the Decorate Tab again and click on the Text icon.
  • Type in the text 
  • Next drag the text over the existing text and stretch it to the exact size as the existing text.
  • Lastly move the top text or new text just slightly to whatever direction suits your fancy. 
  • Once you have decided exactly were you want the top text to be unselcet the text by aimlessly clicking your mouse some where else on the page.

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Removing Some Things or Everything

If there is ever something that you are not crazy about on your header just remember that you can always click on the "Undo" Button on the upper left side of the page in FotoFlexer. Or by selecting (left clicking) that item you no longer want you can then right click and a new window will appear with a set of options. One of the options will be to delete the selected item.

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By deleting or undoing all the items you will have a blank white header all over again.

If you can see this header... you can see because it is on a different mode in FotoFlexer.
This screen appears when you add a photo to the page and and then delete the photo. By going through the deleting photo process, it will be the only way you will ever see your white header in FotoFlexer.

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Adding a Photo 

At the very top of the page where it says FotoFleser there is a series of buttons. One of those buttons is Load Another Photo. Click on that button and then select a photo from any of your pictures files.

The photo I choose is a picture of our Isaboo. This photo happens to be a vertical photo and I have to be careful on how I shape or stretch it. The best thing to do is to keep the photo to its original portions. If not this photo will look like a fun house mirror photo. With this said when you do load another photo it generally appears larger and over takes the entire page. So you have to shrink it down to make it fit to your header.

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  • Once you have the picture shrunk down to fit your header, place it where ever you want. 
  • Deselect the photo once you have it set.
  • Now add your title text.
  • Remember the sky is the limit feel free to use what ever it is you want. If you are happy with this header save it. The save button it at the top of the page near the Load Another Photo Button  

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Using a Photo as a Header

This the part where you can ditch your white header background and use a photo of your own instead. But before you can ditch your white header background, make sure you upload the photo you want to use is on the page first before you can completely ditch that white header background. Reason to be said it that Fotoflexer can be a bit temperamental at times. Meaning you can be kicked off this page if you do not have something sitting there.

Once you have selected the photo that you want to use, keep in mind that you have to stretch it. The best photos I find that stretch well are photos that lay horizontally.

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  • With the photo chosen that you are going use for your header; start to stretch it horizontally. 
  • Once you have the width of the header. Start to shape the header vertically. Remember be sure not to succeed past four inches. 
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Using Opacity on a Photo Background

Opacity is a feature that fades the photo in to the background, which allows your fonts/text/title to be more legible. Believe me when I say I love photo headers but to be honest depending on the photo, the photo can over power the fonts of your title. Using opacity allow you to still have a photo header in a softer way.
  • Select your photo by clicking on it.
  • Go to the Layers Tab and click on the Opacity Icon
  • Click on the opacity slider button and drag it to the desired opacity. For the photo below I stopped at 40% or four notches from zero.
  • Click on done when you have the opacity that you like.  
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Add your desired text for your title.

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Tilting Text

Tilting the text is something that gives your header more visual effects. To accomplish the tilt select your text. Notice the green arrow that is in a curve?  Left click and hold with your mouse. Then slightly move to the left or right to tilt. Or you want to you can even turn you text upside down. Also notice in the second photo a bubble appears and says 0 Degrees. If you tilt to the left it will go (-) negative degrees and if you tilt to the right it will go (+) positive degrees. If you like the look keep it and save it when you are done with your header.

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Merging Everything

Merging everything allows all the work you put into your header to stay in place.

To merge:

  • Go to the Layers Tab
  • Click on the Select All icon.
  • Then Click on the Merge icon
  • If you like what you see and you are completely finished then save it to use for you header.

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 Even though merging is not necessary this is what happens if you do not merge your final product.

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Adding Stickers

I know...STICKERS!!!!! Saying the word alone takes me back to being a six year old all over again with that big sticker collection that I used to have. Anyway, FotoFlexer offers stickers, and you can find them in the Decorate Tab and the Animations Tab.

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Although the thought of using stickers on your header sounds silly, but its not. Stickers add decorations and texture to your header. Take a look in the photo above.

  • To get your stickers click on the Stickers icon in the Decorate Tab.
  • Select a sticker
  • Not to crazy of the sticker's color? Feel free to change it by clicking on the color box.
  • Not to crazy about the color you choose? Click on Reset Color button.  

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  • Click on the color box again and choose another color in the color choice tool box.
  • Like the color? Then click on the Add Sticker button.

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Once your sticker is ready, you will find it in the upper left of your screen.
  • Left click to select the sticker
  • Hold with the left mouse button and drag the sticker to the desired placement on you header. 

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  • With the sticker still selected. Position (tilt) it, stretch it to any which way suits your fancy.
  • Once the sticker is in place, unselect it.

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Add More Stickers and Layer Them

If one sticker will not do add more if you like! They can be any size or color! For those of you who remember my butterfly...this is it in the photo below!

Layering stickers is the same process as laying your text. Just simply adjust the top sticker to the bottom one.

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Wow easy right???

Making a Collage Header or a Collage in FotoFlexer

When making a collage in FotoFlexer from the intro page or their home page you may have to upload a photo to get the collage start. If that is the case, simply click on the Upload button and upload any photo. 
If you are all ready working in FotoFlexer just click on the Collage icon in the Basics Tab. A pop up window will appear and clic on Don't Save.     

Making a collage FF

After clicking on Don't Save a new window will appear.
Choose a collage setting

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And start uploading photos!

Making a collage FF 1

If you do not like the order of your photos you can left click on the photo that you want moved, hold it and drop it in the area you want it to be. Notice how the gh moved where the car is?

Making a collage FF 2

Next is the tools.
You can change the spacing color or make it transparent.
Make the spacing close or far apart.
 You can even shorten or heighten photos with the Proportions button

Making a collage FF 3

Lastly you can move the photos to off center them if you like

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Once you have your header collage the way you like it, save it. Then upload it again to decorate it the way you want to.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read thought this post. I hope that it will be helpful to you in the future. The next post will go over the same techniques in PicMonkey. I think that many of you out there may agree that PicMonkey will be a lot easier to use than FotoFlexer.



Mary said...

Thanks for posting- I have been a little lost since picnik shut down.

Linda in Calif. said...

Thanks. I think I can do this - now it's off to play for a while.

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