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A simple and intuitive solution for producing photo albums, SmartAlbums 2 from Pixellu is an application that allows you to quickly produce well-designed, ready-to-print publications. Using a drag-and-drop interface for much of the design process, you simply add your photos directly to the project, choose which and how many photos are used in a spread, and then cycle through a choice of page layouts to best suit your work. Imagery can be cropped, scaled, and re-positioned once inserted, and borders and opacity settings can also be adjusted. Albums can be formatted according to a wide variety of specs from popular printers, or custom sizes can also be used, and saved, for other output applications. Once your design is complete, a unique Cloud Proofing feature can be utilized to gain online approval or input from your clients prior to sending your finish album to print.
SmartAlbums 2 is a standalone application that is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It supports working within an Adobe workflow, with the ability to preserve Lightroom and Bridge ratings as well as seamlessly transition layered documents to Photoshop or InDesign for further image editing.
Drag-and-Drop and Timeline
A simple drag-and-drop interface allows you to quickly and intuitively add and organize the photographs within your project. You can drag photos directly into your project or, if you already have a predetermined set of images to use, bring them into the Timeline for faster organizing. Once files have been added to the Timeline, you can click between certain images in order to create spreads with the chosen number of images, which will automatically assign imagery to spreads, leaving you to cycle through templates for organizing the photos on the page.
Once the chosen number of photos has been added to the spread, a top template selector allows you to preview numerous templates for how the images are set on the page. You can also resize the photos, crop into new sizes, move the photos on the page, add borders, and apply text to customize the final appearance.
Albums Presets and Design
Prior to laying out your photographs, you can begin each album project using a choice of pre-installed templates depending on your output. A variety of profiles are integrated into the application, from more than 90 album printing companies, allowing you to have your finished design formatted exactly to the specifications you need to print. This also allows you to focus more on the imagery and layout creativity, rather than worrying about sizing, bleeds, and other printing-specific restrictions.
Included with SmartAlbums 2 is a 1-year subscription to Pixellu's Cloud Proofing feature; a highly efficient means for interacting with your clients during the product process of your album. Upon completing a draft of your album, you can export the project as it is to cloud-based storage for your clients to preview. Clients can flip through the design and make comments or give feedback on individual spreads or the project overall. After their review, the project comes back to you with the comments set within the application so you can easily make changes to the design and resend for final client approval.
This online process also provides you with a way to maintain your branding, set privacy controls, and preview the final album on either a computer or tablet. The subscription includes 50GB of cloud storage, or enough to store approximately 250 albums.
Projects can be exported to Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, in PSD and IDML layered formats, for further, more refined editing.
Adobe Lightroom and Bridge ratings and color labels are carried along with your imagery during importing, allowing you to sort photos by rating prior to inserting them into a project.
During the course of cycling through page templates, you can 'favorite' them to have them show up more often. Additionally, you can also 'reject' templates to hide them from appearing.
Each of the templates is designed by hand, rather than a computer-generated algorithm, in order to ensure more aesthetically-pleasing designs.
Albums can quickly be resized in order to accommodate any changes to the output style and formatting.
Gap Control helps to maintain even spacing between images for a cleaner, more consistent appearance.
When images need to be cropped, Face Detection will automatically recognize and re-position subjects within the new frame in order to avoid cropping faces.
Helpful warnings can be displayed to alert you to potential problems during the course of designing your album, prior to sending the album to print.
A variety of helpful articles and tutorial videos are available on the Pixellu website, along with access to customer support for any issues.
Supported Album Companies
SmartAlbums 2 incorporates pre-designed templates for the following album companies, which are configured to the printing specifications set by each of the printers. This allows you to make the design you wish and have it automatically formatted for printing.
Accucolor Imaging, ACI Lab, AG Photography Lab, Album Crafters, Album Epoca, Antal Photo Books, Artisan State, AsukaBook, Atkins, Azura Albums, Bay Photo, Black River Imaging, Blacksmith Albums, Blanche Prints, Blurb, The Boudoir Album Company, Burrell Imaging, Cihan Album, Couture Book, Cypress Albums, Design Aglow, Digibook Albums, Dream Albums (Russia), DreambooksPro, Encadernadora Premiere, Extrema, Finao, Floricolor, Folio Albums, Forbeyon, Foto Fayer, GF Smith, Go image, Graphistudio, GTA Imaging, Hitech Albums, Jiggy Albums, Jingoo, Jorgensen, Kala Albums, Kiss Books, Konpoli, Koy Lab, Laguna Albums, Leather Craftsmen, Leuxo, Lifethreads Albums, Loktah, Loxley Colour, Macdera Books, McKenna Pro, Miller's Lab, Momento Pro (AU & NZ), Nations Photo Lab, naturalBook, Neve Albums, nPhoto, PAFE Digital Albums, Phaloo, Photo Albums Direct, Photo Mounts & Albums (Aust), Photo Productions, PhotoShop Digital, Photostorie, PictoBooks, Pikto, Priscilla Foster Handmade, ProDPI, Purplest, QtAlbums, Queensberry, RedTree Albums, Renaissance Albums, Richard Photo Lab, Seldex Albums, SIA Albums, Signature Collection Albums, Silverbook Die Alebnmanufaktur, Sim Imaging, The Wee Album Co., Venice Album, Vision Album, Vision Art, West Coast Albums, WHCC, Wild Magnolia Design, Woodland Albums, and Zookbinders.
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Mac System Requirements
Mac OS X 10.8; OS X 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11 recommended
Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core i5 recommended
4 GB RAM, 8 GB recommended
2 GB disk space, 10 GB recommended
Active Internet connection