Album Design (an update !)
Back in February Fundy Software released their latest version of Album Builder. Up until this point it had been integrated in to Photoshop which made it easy to customise albums and use the whole range of options available in Photoshop for design and editing. The latest version came away from this and became a standalone product. I could see why they did this but the product in my view was not as good as the old version. I wrote a blog post about it at the time….
What I didn’t know at the time were some changes that Adobe were busy making to Photoshop and when Photoshop CC 2014 was released it became clear why funny had needed to move to a standalone product. In Photoshop CC 2014 Adobe dropped support for Flash Panels. So, you may have noticed mini bridge vanishing…. and several plugins that you use stopped working (unless the manufacturers released updates). So, what Fundy have done is to remove their reliance on a third party company (Adobe) who *may* change their minds at any time quite what support they have for third party products such as Album Builder.
During the year Fundy have been busy developing their products and all the initial bugs and niggles seem to have been ironed out and the product is so much better now that the first version back in February. This week has seen the latest version released that includes exporting your design to PSD (Adobe Photoshop) files. This now means that the last 10% of design changes that you can’t do in Album Builder you can now do in Photoshop.
Having spent this year working with several different album design products including Smart Albums I do prefer the Fundy method of export. With some companies like smart albums the files that is output has the images and image borders as separate layers within separate groups. This makes it more difficult to move a single image and it’s border together… and if you want to add in something and have the same “style” as everything else it becomes really difficult. But with Fundy Album Builder each image is on its own layer and has a layer style attached to it. This means that you can easily copy and paste layer styles to maintain consistency within your album. Because of the masking method they use you can also add gradients to the masks to blend two images together.
This first screenshot shows the layers created by Smart Albums… As you can see there is no link between the image and the frame…. and if you want to add something you then have to create your own frame..
This screenshot shows the layers created in Fundy Album Builder. As you can see each one contains the image as a smart object, a layer mask and then the layer style. Far easier to manipulate ! The groups relate to each “drop zone” in the album design.
This screenshot shows the Album Builder window; it is easy to see your trim margin, safe zone and guides for each spread (these can also be exported in to the PSD files). The planner view makes it really easy to see the whole album and to move spreads within it. My sample album on the Album Epoch stand at the SWPP Convention in January was designed with Fundy Album Builder and I will be talking more about it in my masterclass.
I must admit I’m really excited about this latest release and using it again has been a bit like catching up with an old friend 🙂