Category Archives: DIDP Posts

Yearbook Cover/Theme

When designing your cover, please be careful. Make sure we don’t end up like this school!

Come up with at least 20 words or POSITIVE phrases that describe our school or that you want people to think/know about through our yearbook. What makes St. James great? What do you enjoy most about it? What are we proud of here?

These are things that could help you come up with a cover and/or theme for the yearbook. You all have to submit a cover and a theme suggestion.

Hand in your yearbook cover. That can be used to create your theme, or you can come up with something different.

InDesign Yearbook Assignment

YearbookCover4Even though it’s my first year putting together the yearbook, and already, I’ve had enough! I quit! You take over!

OK, OK, you’re not going to get rid of me that easily, but you are going to design and layout your own yearbook to practice for the actual one! You’ll put your InDesign skills to the test by laying out your own version of the St. James Collegiate Yearbook.

You’ll use your photos you’ve taken of school events to fill up the magazine. OK, OK, I’m a joker, I know you haven’t actually TAKEN ANY PHOTOS, so you can use some of the ones I’ve taken/collected.

The first step is to decide on some content. This is going to be very important, because you’ll be marked on how realistic/interesting your yearbook is. It should look like something that someone might actually buy.

You have a fair bit of creative freedom here, but you have to make sure that your content is appropriate and that it makes a good yearbook. You also of course have to use all of the tools you’ve learned in InDesign to create this properly.

Start by going into Robson213Files/DIDP/YearbookPages. Inside that folder are the page templates that you should start with, along with different layout templates that you could use, as well as some clip art that you might want to consider.

  • Use the page template supplied by our yearbook maker
  • Come up with your own page design template FIRST!
  • There are some guides on the templates, but ADD YOUR OWN! Keep things lined up by using guides!
  • Use approved fonts! The fonts on the poster under the clock are the safest ones, so use them if you can!
  • Make your pages colourful and interesting!
  • Use the yearbook cover that you created earlier in the year or the actual cover that we chose to use.
  • Come up with the major sections that you think should appear in our actual yearbook. Look at some of our previous books or the other school books under the windows for tips.
  • Include actual school photos from my collection (I’ll share my iPhoto library)
  • All photos should be fixed in Photoshop first
  • All photos need to be 300 dpi! Important! (remember how to resize photos? If a photo is lower resolution, you will need to do this!)
  • All photos need to be “placed,” which means that the actual photo file must be alongside your InDesign file (create a photos folder and put all of your original or fixed photos in that folder, place them from there!)
  • Include some write-ups about clubs/activities (although those can be faked/copied/silly)
  • Pages must be numbered! No page number on the front or back cover! You can decide whether there’s a separately numbered table of contents page or index. InDesign must do the numbering for you! (ie you can’t just add a text box on each page and write in your own number – CHEATING!) If you did the previous assignment where you created a book layout, this should be easy.

This will take some time and effort to complete. You won’t get it done in one day, so take your time and do a good job. This is a MAJOR assignment this semester, so please do a good job. Ask for help as necessary. Start planning/designing or at least thinking about it ASAP!

Congratulations on your new position! I look forward to looking over your yearbook!


Ketchup? Everybody Loves Ketchup!

This week is class-wide Ketchup week! It’s your chance to ketch – up on work before your report card! Marks are finalized this week, and every one of you has assignments that are missing which need to be completed for your report card.

Check Powerschool for the most recent list of missing assignments. Those are your priority. I want those done before any more video tutorial samples. Check the list of assignments on the class page, or your PowerSchool account. Be working on those!

Homework club! Anyone at or below 50% is automatically signed up for Homework Club for the remainder of the week! You will be added to the lunch time Homework Club list and will be expected to show up until your mark is improved. It wouldn’t take long to get your mark back on track, so please be focussed and working on assignments.

Send me an email if you have questions. Come and see me Wednesday, and have some assignments finished before Thursday’s class!

D.I. Photo Challenge

Last weekend a few of us were here for the provincial Destination Imagination tournament, and it was a pretty fun time.

At the event, we took photos of each team against a green screen, and offered to put them into a new, fun environment.

Here are some photos from last year:

IMG_9691 IMG_9689

Your job is to do something similar with this year’s photos. There is a folder of photos in the shared folder:  Robson213Files/DIDP/06_MorePhotoshop/DIPhotos

I DO NOT WANT EVERYONE TO DO THE SAME PHOTOS! Don’t necessarily choose a photo from the top of the list. Browse through the list and find one that you find interesting. Take a look around you to make sure that nobody else is working on that photo.

You need to do a MINIMUM of 2 photos, but you can do more for extra credit.

The first step will be to use Camera Raw to adjust the photos. Some of them will need a fair bit of work, but all of them need some adjustment. Make sure they look good before proceeding. “Open Image” when ready to move on to Photoshop.

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Rewatch the video that showed you how to remove a background using a mask: Robson213Files/DIDP/06_MorePhotoshop/10_Masking/

Save your file with “DestinationImaginationTeam1” (and 2, 3, etc.) in your Drive or DropBox folder! (Drop off when complete, not right away!)

Properly name your layers as you go!

Create a layer that is a copy of your photo. I want to see the original underneath your work!

Create a new Layer Mask


Refine the edge

Take your time to paint in new parts of the mask or remove parts

Check to make sure that you haven’t left out any little details (bits of clothes, hair, costumes, etc.). ZOOM IN!

Go online and find an interesting/funny background image. MAKE SURE IT’S HIGH QUALITY (Large Image)! SAVE THAT FILE ONTO YOUR COMPUTER. Open it FROM YOUR COMPUTER (not from the web site!)

Add that file into your Photoshop project as a layer between your mask and the original photo



Move the team around, resize, etc. Crop the photo if you need to.

Save your file, close it, and then move it into your completed work folder for me to take a look at. Make sure you are dropping off a .psd file!


STJATA Billboard Contest

Our teachers’ union, StJATA is hosting a billboard design contest, where you can win $100 cash!

Billboard Design Contest:

To all St.James-Assiniboia School Division High Schools,
Re: Billboard Design Contest, open to all students of the St.James-Assiniboia School Division

Following our very successful logo design contest of 2012, StJATA is pleased to announce our Billboard Design Contest. Students of our school division are invited to design a billboard that will be used by StJATA in their yearly advertising strategy.

The billboard must contain the following elements:

  1. the StJATA logo (see attachment)
  2. the StJATA contact information

    b. c. 204-888-1314

  3. an original slogan
  4. a graphic design of your choice (photograph, drawing, painting, etc)

In addition:

  1. The design must be submitted in “pdf” form.
  2. It must fit an 8 ft wide by 4 ft tall foam board.

Completed billboard designs must be submitted by April 30th, 2014.
An honorarium of $100.00 will be awarded to the designer(s) of the chosen billboard.

Communications Committee St.JATA

Include: St. JATA Logo

Samples of your competition:

tumblr_n0ztczdnYq1t5y86yo1_1280 tumblr_n0zvoiVJWm1tt4ebho4_1280 tumblr_n1avl580K31rtjxf0o1_1280 tumblr_n1ctwykIEp1t6vpc4o1_1280 tumblr_n1ctwykIEp1t6vpc4o2_1280 tumblr_n1ctwykIEp1t6vpc4o3_1280 tumblr_n1iamb2muq1t5yas1o1_1280 tumblr_n1ibevjvl11rtjxf0o1_1280 tumblr_n1k4ni86TX1t6vpc4o1_1280 tumblr_n1m2yjsUcn1s0t8a7o3_1280 tumblr_n2smo4UKrD1s0t8a7o1_1280 tumblr_n28k6eGIEa1tuidhco1_1280 tumblr_n177n3lTyt1t5y2jwo1_1280 On the Road

Yearbook Sales Advertisement

Part of our job as the yearbook committee is to encourage students to buy their yearbook, and it’s time for us to do another “push” to try and get some more books sold.

Your job is to come up with a poster, a web ad, and/or a video that we can use to promote yearbook sales. Use Tyler’s yearbook cover and/or Kristin’s endsheet design to show people what they’re in store for. Use photos from the year so far (available from Mr. Robson) to get people excited about what they might see in the book. If you want, we can try to come up with some kind of contest or incentive to get people to purchase.

Use Photoshop to create a poster. Make it 11 inches by 17 inches (or 17 x 11), with a resolution of 300 dpi.

Use Photoshop to create an advertisement for the school website. Make it “Web” size in Photoshop (800 pixels by 600 pixels, resolution of 72 dpi).

Do a video only if you know how to use iMovie or Final Cut Pro well enough to do a good job. This isn’t about trying to learn how to make a movie, but it also needs to look good. If you don’t know how to do things like turn off the Ken Burns effect, add titles & transitions, adjust timing, etc., DON’T DO THIS!

Yearbooks are available in the office for $30.

Remind people that this is the one book that most people keep for the rest of their lives, and you will look at it regularly over the years to remember the people and events that happened during this important time of your life. High school is a big transitional time for you, and one that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. This book provides the best way of keeping track of this school and this year. It truly provides a lifetime of good memories, and is a great investment.

Use the text effects, borders, masks, adjustments, and other fancy tricks you’ve been learning. Make your poster vibrant, interesting, and appealing.

The more tools we have to promote the yearbook the more successful we’ll be. Consider making more than one project. You have to come up with one promotional item, but if you do more, you’ll get marks for that as well.

Portraiture & Retouching

Capturing and editing portraits are huge parts of the job of most professional and practicing photographers. We’ve looked at a number of tutorials now discussing how best to capture portraits (posing, interacting with subjects, etc.) and how to edit those photographs later on. Now it’s your turn!

Your job is to capture at least 3 good portraits of 3 DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Spend time posing and interacting with the people in your photos. You will have to explain your thoughts/process.

Then spend a good deal of time in Photoshop editing/enhancing your photographs. Use camera raw and adjustment layers to make the colours vibrant or interesting. Use the various techniques you’ve learned about removing blemishes and wrinkles. Remove any “hot” (bright) spots on the photos, and brighten up any unwanted dark areas.

Use your skills to modify the background of the image. Remove items, change the background altogether, or make modifications to make it less distracting so we can focus more on the person in the portrait. Use masks so that you can modify your changes later on.

Add a custom frame around your photo. Choose a technique that doesn’t detract from the portrait, one that’s subtle and makes sense, and adds appeal to the overall image.

You will need to write or present to me a reflection, explaining your choices and techniques for each step (shooting the portrait, fixing it up, adding effects/elements.) This should explain why and how you did what you did, step by step.

You are responsible for 3 portraits, each will be worth a fair bit of your mark for this term, so take your time, do a good job, and ask questions as you go.

March 5 – Photoshop for Photographers tutorials

Sorry I can’t be with you today but I’ve got a nasty flu.

You’ve been working on tutorials that are teaching you how to fix up your portraits (and just to remind you – you need to TAKE SOME PORTRAITS to fix up!) If you happen to have completed the sets of tutorials in the Robson213Files folder (or your Dropbox/Drive), you will need to download the new set(s) to work on now.

Click here to download Chapter 3 – Making Creative Image Adjustments

Click here to download Chapter 4 – Improving Skin

Clicking those links will take you to a DropBox page. From there, you need to download the files. The files will likely end up in your Downloads folder, or you may have selected a different location.

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In Firefox, there is an arrow icon next to your address/search bar, which will show you your downloads:

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.54.15 PM

You can also use the shortcut: Command + J

In Chrome, the shortcut is Shift + Command + J or can be found on the right side of your window under the box with the lines or in the Window menu:

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In Safari (boo!) the arrow looks similar and is in the same place:

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.54.54 PM

Use the View menu to find them if that doesn’t work:
Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.55.10 PM

You will need to double click the downloaded file to decompress the files inside and access those.

Yearbook Cover Concepts

This week we will be deciding on the cover for the school yearbook. It’s important that everybody hands in a cover concept as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who got it in on time.

Below you will see the covers handed in so far. Hopefully this will inspire the rest of you to get them in today. These covers will be worth a lot this semester, so it’s important that you do a good job and get a good mark on this.

It’s also important that we make sure that our template is the best it can be, and that we’ve all had some input into the cover. While we may use one student’s initial design, we should also include ideas and feedback from the rest of the class to make changes and improvements to the design. With that in mind, I want you to take some time to look over the designs that have been submitted so far and offer any feedback that might help us to improve (or reject) a design. Your job is to look at each design and comment on it. For each cover, you need to tell me what you like about the book (how it works) and what could be improved (what doesn’t work yet.) Some things to consider:

  • colours
  • fonts
  • sizes
  • image(s) – are they clear, high resolution, interesting?
  • layout (where things are placed)
  • the spine of the book
  • is anything in the “gutter?”
  • does anything spill into the wraparound, when it shouldn’t?
  • Does this cover appeal to you? Why?
  • Does this cover do a good job of representing this school, this year, or the fun nature of a yearbook?

Your response to most/all of these questions needs to be submitted here, as a comment on this post. You will need to number your comments so that I know which cover you are referring to. You need to write in clear, effective sentences so that we understand what you’re trying to suggest. You need to be positive, but also critical, so that we can make this cover look as good as it can be.

All of these covers are good. I’m really impressed. But all of them could be better! You will also take each file and MAKE CHANGES TO IT. The Photoshop files are available in the Robson213Files folder, or from Mr. Robson. You will use your Photoshop skills to manipulate the covers and come up with something new, based on what’s been submitted.

You will be judged on your Photoshop skills, the effectiveness of your changes, and how much of a change/improvement you made. You don’t necessarily have to come up with something better than what’s there, but there needs to be something different, even if it’s just to give the designer something to think about/consider. Please take your time with this and provide as many suggestions as you can, and as much feedback as possible










Technology at St. James Collegiate

Here at St. James, we’re pretty proud of how our students use technology to learn and create amazing things. We provide you with high quality tools, give you the best instruction we can, and let you take care of the rest; and you do! Below is a short movie highlighting some of the technology courses offered here, as well as some of the amazing work created by our students.

The St. James Collegiate Open House is coming up on Monday, February 10 at 7pm. If you know anyone in middle school or who might be interested in coming to St. James, please encourage them to join us!

And if you’re currently a student here, we’d love it if you’d consider signing up for one of these courses. Feel free to stop by Room 213 if you have any questions or want to see more!