in Digital Image Pro 9 & 10
The make a montage similar to this you will need to start with at least 3 to 5 pictures that are similar in shading and a backgound (or you can make your own background to match your pictures)
Crop your photos and arrange them on your background page in a manner that is pleasing to the eye. You want them to overlap. This is important so that when you begin to blend them together it looks seamless. Notice in the example I have two backgrounds papers (one that is cropped smaller) and all my photos overlapping.
Now the fun starts. Select the photo you want to start blending. Then click on Effects > Transparency. Select the transparency brush. I set my brush to a very large size (400). (with Digital Image Pro 9 you do not have the slider, just different sizes of circles to choose from, start with the largest)
Set the brush style to soft edge and set the transparency to about 40-50. Start with a low number and play around with this until you get comfortable with how it works. Remember to use the undo when ever you do not like your last move. Change the amount of transparency as you go.
The undo function will be your best friend. Click on done to accept the effects on the photo. Select the next photo and begin to use the transparency brush on it. Another fun technique is to use the transparency gradual effects.
Play around with the different settings. You do not have as much control with gradual gradients. But it is fast and fun. You can always flip the direction of the gradient if you want.
This is the look using the circular gradient.
If I flip the gradient then I get this effect
I find that I tend to go back and forth from picture to picture as I work to get the blend I am looking for. I like to make small changes at a time.
You may need to change the size of your photos while you work to get the look you want. For example I have enlarged the lower right hand photo to have it blend better into the layout. I need to crop off the extra. This is easy to do with the crop tool.
To cut off the excess use crop canvas. Select the entire canvas and click done. This will cut off the excess. This will keep your file size down.
Keep playing around the transparency modes until you get the look you like. I used the circular gradient on the close up picture of my son's snow covered face. You can even add some wordart to your layout, I used wordart from the 2004 Winter Wonderland CD and applied the "Even" gradient to fade the words into the background.
Copyright 2005 Angie Svoboda