Digital Scrapbooking is gaining momentum as a craft at the moment and "hybrid" scrapbooking (a mixture of digital and traditional scrapping) is also growing in popularity.
I have been using PhotoShop Elements (PSE)
to dabble into the world of digital scrapbooking and photo manipulation. It's a good program, but not specifically built for scrapbookers, so
it can be a little hard to work out how to achieve certain effects.
However, recently I have had the pleasure of using the Digital Scrapbooking Software called "Scrapbook Max!" and I have to say that I can heartily recommend it!
A bit about the content
The program arrived packaged as a CD (although I believe it is possible to
download it) and it was very easy to install. I had already been onto the Scrapbook Max website and watched a couple of the tutorial videos before it's arrival, so had some idea of what to expect.
The program loads not only the software to make layouts, but it also comes with a huge pile of "almost done" pages, papers and embellishments - something you don't get with PSE !
The program was easy to open and jump straight in to making up a 5 page themed album! You can open a blank page (to whatever size you wish) or choose from an array of themed
albums. The one pictured here is called "Believe".
The reason I say "albums" is because when you choose one of the "almost done" layouts from the menu, it actually opens a file which includes 5 pages... all themed to match the font
page. Of course you can add as many pages to that as you like, and
this is no problem if you only want one page... you simply delete the other
The album's pages are tabbed at the top of the screen and so very easy to switch from one page to another.
All the elements can be moved around by clicking and dragging, and adding new elements is easy too.
You just click the “embellishment” icon which takes you to the embellishments
box and then choose an item to insert, or browse to your own files.
I have bought a few digital scrapbooking items online, but there are a lot of freebies available on the web, so I have downloaded and used a number of those for making digital/and
hybrid cards and scrapbooking layouts.
Once inserted into the page, you can resize
anything by dragging a corner of the box surrounding the image to the size of your
choice, so it's very flexible.
The Help guide is comprehensive and simple to understand... something I like (!) and there are tutorial videos on the SM website along with a members forum for hints and tips guidance.
Click the picture to see the album - it
will take you to a new window
Here is a 5 page album I made in about an hour!!! I just added the photos and some journaling.
(link will open a new window for you) I have added the odd extra embellishment
from the pre-installed elements too, which was really easy! The whole album can now be saved in various
formats - to upload it to this site for you to view I chose the
"html" option in "save as" and then just copied over
the folder automatically created.
Other formats include - saving as Images (to then print out), as a Movie, as a Slideshow, save directly onto a CD, save the file as a PDF, and also as a Screensaver!
I can recommend this program to both digital beginners and experienced scrappers alike.
is a recent Circle Journal layout (two 6x6" pages) made using the ScrapbookMax
program and some digital scrapping items I had already downloaded from the
internet. This CJ was posted on my blog,
which is where the list of credits to the Designers are. And below are the digital pages in detail... click on an
image to enlarge.
beginners, it is very easy to make a single page or multi page albums really quickly and I mean
a single page in half an hour or so... yes really!
For experienced scrappers, it's great for creating a scrapbook page really quickly. If you don't want/need to fiddle with your pictures and elements much then it can easily be quicker to make up a page in Scrapbook Max that it is in Photoshop (Elements or otherwise). And this is especially so, as you can use all your existing digi scrapping elements in this
program alongside the items included.
it is great for a quick card to someone too.
You can also add music to an album, although the formatting isn't the standard and you will need to find a program to convert your "WMA" files to "OGG" or "WAV" formats, but that's all a bit advanced, and for when you are
familiar with the
scrapping side first! LOL
For experienced scrappers - there are some limitations to the program - Shadows, or "drop shadows"
can be applied to papers and objects on the page to give a more 3D look, but there is no option to change the depth of the shadow, which means that a thin piece of layered paper and a thick button or flower end up with the same drop shadow which isn't as realistic as it could be.
I think the most fantastic thing about this program is the value for money... the cost is $39.95 (around £20-22 depending on the exchange rate) and for that price I would definitely recommend it to beginners.
It simplifies a lot of the process of digital scrapbooking and a complete beginner could create a lovely layout in very little time at all.
have been reviewing the "Classic" Edition of the program, which has a
bit of everything in it, but there are other Editions such as
"Wedding", "School" and "Baby".