Aperture 3 Tip Of The Day

A post I did a little while ago on Aperture 3 and why I use such an old and outmoded tool has proven to be quite popular. I guess it's due to this shout out over on Aperture Expert (thanks). I took a look at that post this morning and all the wonderful comments and was shocked at how positive they were as well as how many folks actually like the light table feature - I thought I was the only one.

One of the commenters talked a little bit about image collage's and how he uses a light table to plan them etc. Most people probably already know this but I thought I would do a quick post for those like me that are lazy and don't want 19 pieces of software involved in doing such things. Here's a quick and dirty way to do something akin to all those fancy-schmancy little multi-image layouts you see all the wedding guys do on their blogs. No need for Photoshop or anything else. Just use a light table directly.

The image at the top was done this way. Of course it's the same light table I through together for that last post. I probably would jamb them all together with no spacing if I were to put any effort in to it but for illustration purposes it will have to do. Okay here's how to do it really quick and dirty.

  • Chuck together a light table
  • Go to the File menu and choose "Print Light Table…"
  • In the dialog use the "PDF" menu at the lower left and choose "Save PDF to Aperture"

After the PDF renders you will get a dialog that allows you to choose the project where the result is stored as well as the image format - I use JPEGs. If you are of the really precise bent you can use custom paper sizes to get just about any aspect ratio you would like. For this I just used 8.5"x11" and cropped the resulting JPEG using the Aperture crop tool in unconstrained mode to chop the white edges off then exported it to 1024px on the long size. Works great and with a tiny bit of creativity you can make some really good looking image collages.

On use for it is you composite a bunch of portrait oriented images into a horizontal/landscape. Very useful as portrait images look like shit on blogs in a browser that is widescreen 16:9. Much better to put 3 of them together or one and a horizontal or or or… to make your blog look pretty and use up the entire display when opening up a lightbox window or whatever.

Note to self - I should do this - need to be less lazy.

Try it. It just might become your favorite way to do this.


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