(from April 8, 2004 collage chat.
Click here for
the chat transcript)
This is the second part of the beginner tutorial
for creating a collage in Photoshop. This tutorial is a basic
overview and only covers the use of the Apply Image function and
Layer Masks. There are many ways to complete the steps outlined
below, but I have tried to provide the basics steps that will
get you started. Collage design is totally unique, and doesn’t
have a “set” way of doing things. I am giving you
this tutorial as a starting base, but you will want to play with
the various settings to find a look that is right for you! Be
creative and have fun!
APPLY IMAGE allows you to take
photographs of the exact same size and merge them together to
create unique designs. This sample was made with this feature
and includes 3 photographs. This feature is great for making backgrounds
and artistic designs. One of the greatest benefits to using this
function is that uses a lot less disk space than any other methods
you may use for this.
1. Open the photographs you would like to use
and size them so that they are the EXACT same dimensions (this
feature will not work if they are not the same size). Keep these
photographs on separate canvases for now.
2. Make sure you have one of your photographs selected, (doesn’t
matter which) and go to IMAGE>APPLY IMAGE.
3. With the dialog box open you will see SOURCE
as the first option. If you click on the arrow for this option
you will see a list of all open photographs that you can use for
this function. This means that all the photographs have the exact
same dimensions. So if you have three photographs open you should
see three choices in this option, if you do not see al three listed,
you need to resize one image.
As you can see in this picture I have 2 photos open in the background
and 2 photos showing in the source box so both of these photos
are ok to use.
4. In the source box choose a photo you would
like to apply to the image you have selected, you can even use
the same image if you would like and add a blending mode to really
make something cool!
5. Scroll through the blending modes to get a look you like. You
can also play with the opacity too.
6. When you are happy with the way this looks you can back to
the source box and apply another image and repeat the process.
You can add as many layers as you would like.
7. When you are happy with the results you can save the image.
This is a great “fun” tool, so go ahead and experiment.
Try changing which photo you select first, change blending modes
and opacity, add more layers, and have fun!!!!
Last week we learned how to use “quick masks”
and the lasso tool to create a soft edge photo to use in collages.
This week we will learn a more efficient and accurate way with
layer masks. A layer mask is basically a layer that is placed
over your selected photo that allows you to make changes to the
photo, without actually affecting it. So if you are not happy
with the results you can delete the mask from your layer and your
image goes untouched. There are several uses for layer masks,
but we will only use them this week for the purpose of blending
1. Create a new layout in the size you would like
your collage to be and fill the background in with white.
2. Open all the photographs you would like to use in your collage
and copy/paste them into your new layout.
3. Resize and arrange them close to how you would like to see
them in your final design.
(For my sample I have used 3 images as seen in the following image)
4. In your layers palette select the 1st photo
you would like to begin your collage effect on, this is the first
layer you will place a mask on. Use the add layer mask icon on
the bottom of your layers palette as shown in the sample screen
5. Make sure you have the mask selected in the
layers palette and not your photo. (You should see a small white
outline of the layer mask icon showing it is selected)
6. Set your foreground color to black and your
background to white. Black will erase portions of the photo you
have the mask on and white will restore any portions you may have
7. Choose a brush that you feel comfortable with.
I usually choose a standard round brush with a diameter of about
250 to start and a hardness of 0. Sometimes I will use the airbrush
also for an even softer effect. The bigger the brush the softer
the blend. You will have to experiment here to get a feel for
what works for you.
8. Again, make sure your mask is selected and
begin to brush out the areas of the photograph you would like
to remove to create a soft edge. In my sample I have brushed away
the area around the feet image, you can see on the mask icon in
the layers palette exactly what I have taken away from the image.
If you accidentally erase more than you would have liked, change
your foreground color to white and brush over the area you would
like to bring back, you will also see this change on the mask
9. You will repeat the above steps on all your
images to get the collage look. Here is my sample after blending
all three photos together. You can move the photos and keep editing
your mask until you get the exact look you want. For my sample
I have enlarged the center photo and rotated the hand image just
a bit, and then used the masks again to blend them a bit better
and here is my result:
10. Once you are happy with your results go ahead
and save your project!
11. At this point is where I get creative by adding textures and
playing with colors and filters. For this sample I changed the
background color, added a stroke, added a couple of flower brushes
and added a texture to my background layer.
You should now have enough information to create
some wonderful collage style layouts. Do not be afraid to experiment
with the different tools and functions above, that is the best
way to learn your program. Some of my best designs come from “accidents”
from my experimentation!
For a printable version of this
Quick Class, click here