Extracting Autographs

As everyone knows, one of my favorite things to do at Disney is meeting characters. If a character signs (check out my post on which characters sign autographs at the parks), I like to include the autograph on my scrapbook layout. I've always gotten questions on how to do this, but it's really easy!

Before you meet your first character of the trip, you want to make sure you are using the best pen and paper to get that autograph onto your scrapbook layout later. I always use a clickable sharpie. Thicker markers like Sharpies show up easier than pens when scanning. For many of the characters, they have an easier time holding thicker pens like sharpies, and when it’s clickable, they can open & close it themselves. I’ve even had some cute interactions where the character plays with clicking it on and off!

THE most important thing is to get autographs on a plain background, so it’s easier to extract the autograph after signing. If you are going to buy your book at Disney, they sell several different kinds of autograph books. One has plain white paper inside, which is the one I recommend. Others have color paper and lines on them. This will make the extraction a bit tougher. If you are making your own book, make sure the part the character signs is a plain background. The color doesn’t really matter, but I just find white easier.

First, scan the autograph. I used to do this once I got home on our computer scanner. Lately, I've used an app on my phone called Scanner Pro, so I'm able to just scan quickly either in the room at night, or once I got home. It's even easier than dealing with a scanner! Either way, once you have your scan, open it in Photoshop.

Crop the scan so only the paper and autograph is showing.

Next I duplicate the background layer, and turn off the bottom layer so that after the next step, the background will be transparent

Then I use the magic wand and select the background. This is why having the background be plain & all the same color is so important! To get inside closed parts of letters, such as the inside of the “a”, hold down the SHIFT button and click. Continue doing this to all closed parts of your signature, so that the entire background is selected.

Then, hit delete! It’s ok if you missed any of the closed parts of the signature in the above step. Once you hit delete, you can see what you missed, and go back in with the Magic Wand or eraser and delete it now.

Then I go in and fix the layers, to color correct my scan, so the autograph looks more black. You may not have to do this step, if you decide to change the color of the autograph once it’s on your page.

Delete the bottom layer, and save as a png so you can use your autograph whenever you want. Here’s the layout I scrapped with this autograph:

Credits: The Mane Event Bundle by Chelle's Creations. Let Down Your Hair by Britt-ish Designs. Half Pack 21 Templates by Cindy Schneider.

One last tip about character autographs. The longer you are interacting with the character, the more pictures you will be able to take. I always like to get a picture of the character signing my book. Those pictures are especially cute when using the signature on your layout! You can see I included these photographs on my layout, and I think they really help to tell the story.

Heather is an annual passholder that loves coming up with excuses to take a trip to the World. Follow her adventures at Disney on twitter , instagram, and facebook. Visit her website, I Love Characters, to see pictures of the over 200 characters she's met at Disney World and Disneyland.