Photoshop collage

by Design Workshop Sydney

Using Photoshop to combine elements into a collage is a easy process, involving layers, masks, blending modes and colour adjustments. We show you how in our Photoshop coursesphotoshop-collage
This illustration was put together in about 15 minutes from three downloaded source images: a planet scape, a space suit and a model’s head. First create a new document in Photoshop, for example A4 at a good printing resolution of 300 ppi. Then copy the three images into the new file – this creates three new layers.
Use Ctrl+T to Free Transform each image – this allows you to move, scale or rotate an image – press Shift as you scale to keep it proportionate. In this case the head had to be scaled down & the suit scaled upwards – this will vary according to the size and resolution of the original images.
Then layer masks were added to the head & suit layers. Use a black, soft-edged brush to mask away the parts of the image you don’t want to see, for example the girl’s hair and the suit’s background. Use a white brush to further adjust your mask. The rule is black hides and white reveals. Use various sizes of brush for various details of the mask – use the square brackets beside the letter P as a shortcut for brush size.
Then adjust the colour and saturation of the 2 top layers to blend better with the background space scape – this can be done either in Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, or by clicking on the Hue/Sat Adjustments panel. The latter method is better in that it allows you to later edit the adjustment.
You could also experiment with the layer blending modes, although this was not necessary in this image. And the Lighting Effects in Filter > Render. Save the file as a PSD (Photoshop Default) for future editing, then save as a JPEG, PNG or TIFF for online and printing.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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