Sunday, June 1, 2008

SoFoBoMo wrapup: Creating the PDF with Aperture

SoFoBoMo: Creating books in ApertureUsing Aperture to create my SoFoBoMo PDF was a natural, it's my photo workflow tool of choice. Hidden among it's asset management and photo editing prowess, it also has powerful book layout tool set.

Just as in iPhoto, you can create photo books using Aperture and get print on demand copies with just a few clicks all without ever leaving the application. Just as with many print on demand books you can only order from several pre-determined sizes. The aspect ratio I chose was non standard so I had to dig deeper.

I decided early on that I was not going to print a book, my project would live on screen in PDF form only. None of the books sizes provided by default in Aperture are the aspect ratio of a Apple Cinema display, so I had to make my own book template. Templates can be created in any size with any number of photos on each page.

SoFoBoMo: Creating books in ApertureI created a custom book template with the aspect ratio of my screen. I then created several page layouts, one, two and three up with a mix of portrait and landscape pages. After creating the layout all I needed to do was place the images in the appropriate places.

You can select an asset view in Aperture that will hide images that have been placed in a layout. This asset view came in quite handy for sequencing. I had many shots that were related, that may have been shot on different days. I was able to scan all of the assets in thumbnail view to drag them into the layout in a logical order, all the while winnowing down the visible set of images.

Generating the PDF was as simple, just print to PDF and viola!

SoFoBoMo: Creating books in ApertureThe major bump in the road was the text. I just did not take the time to learn text layout and design in Aperture. Instead, I opened the text pages of the book in Illustrator and added the text selections from there.

The last part of the process was compressing the file. I opened the PDF in Acrobat Pro, and saved it out in compressed form.

All tolled, from the start of book layout to finished PDF it took me about 5 hours, split over 2 days. Aperture made PDF creation simple and painless!

Link to the finished book blog posting

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