Photoshop montage

by Design Workshop Sydney

Photoshop montage techniques are used to seamlessly blend images together when creating web banners or posters. We show you how in our Adobe Photoshop courses. photoshop-montage
First create a new document in Photoshop: File > New > 2480 x 1240 px > 72 ppi, for example. Then open three images as in the screenshot on the right. Go to Window > Arrange > Tile to see them side by side.
You could copy & paste each image into your blank canvas, but an easier way is to use the Move tool and simply drag each image into your new file. Close the 3 images & hit F. Note you have 3 new layers > make them all invisible, then turn them on one by one. Rename them, for example Monster, landscape, girl. Rearrange the layers so that the left image is the top layer, the middle image is the middle layer and right-hand image is the bottom layer. And use the Move tool to rearrange them as above right. Use CTRL + T (Edit > Free Transform) to scale them to fit into the banner. Note that you need to ensure plenty of overlap – this is very important or they will not blend seamlessly, leaving white space between the images.
Now to mask out parts of each image so that they blend together. On the top 2 layers add a Layer Mask (note the button at bottom of Layers panel). Note also the new white icon on the layer icon – it’s white to indicate that nothing is hidden at this stage. Select the Brush tool (B) and choose a large brush size (400 px) > soft edge (Hardness zero) > colour: Black. You can use the square  brackets [ ] beside the letter P on your keyboard to change the size of your brush, or change the size on the top left drop-down arrow on the Control panel. Paint on the mask to hide that part of each layer. Note that Black hides and white reveals – this is the cardinal rule of layer masks. It’s best to use the edge of the brush not the centre.
If it’s not right, switch to White (X is the shortcut) > and repair the mask – note the black blob which appears on the Mask icon. At any point you can rescale the image – but make sure you select the image icon in Layers, not the Mask icon. And when you want to alter the mask, you must first select the Mask icon in Layers. Turn on visibility of the Logo layer > Magic Wand tool > select the white area > hit Delete key.
When you are happy with the result: File > Save > name it > Format: PSD. This file format will preserve the layers and enable you to make modifications in future. This will be your working copy. Then: File > Save for Web, if you’re creating a web banner. On the Save for Web process see another blog post.
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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