Polaroid Collage Effect

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This Photoshop tutorial will add a collage of Polaroids effect to a photo.

1.  Open your image in Photoshop and duplicate it. Name your duplicated image, e.g. “polaroid”, and place it on top of your Background layer.

2. Create a new layer between the Background and polaroid layer. Name it “bground”. Press “D” to load the default Foreground and Background colors. Fill the bground layer with black by pressing Alt + Backspace.

3. Add a new layer named “photo” between the polaroid and bground layers. Press “M” to fire up your Rectangular Marquee tool. Make a square selection anywhere inside the image. Fill the selection with black by pressing Alt + Backspace. Press CTRL + D to deselect. Here’s a selected portion of my image and how my Layers Palette looks like after the third step.

Marquee Selection

Marquee Selection

Layers Palette

Layers Palette

4. Select the polaroid layer. From the menu, click Layer > Create Clipping Mask. You may also use CTRL + Alt + G as a keyboard shortcut. Notice that only the portion where our filled selection (photo layer) lies is revealed. And on the Layers palette, the polaroid layer is indented with an arrow pointing to the layer under it.

Clipped

Clipped

Indented Image

Indented Image

5. Select your photo layer. From the menu, click Layer > Layer Style > Inner Shadow… Play with the settings a bit to get a somewhat engraved photo. Here are my settings:

Distance – 4px
Choke – 1px
Size – 9px

Inner Shadow

Inner Shadow

6. Click on your bground layer and then create a new layer. Name it “border”. Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, make a rectangular selection around the photo layer. This will be the Polaroid’s border. Fill it with white by pressing CTRL + Backspace. Press CTRL + D to remove the selection. From the menu, click Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow… to add a shadow effect. Play with the settings. You won’t see the results immediately because of the black background. This is how I set mine:

Opacity – 40%
Distance – 1px
Size – 4px

Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow

7. Select the photo and border layers, press CTRL + T to bring up the Free Transform tool. Rotate your Polaroid in any direction you like. Press Enter to apply the changes.

8. Select the polaroid, photo, and border layers and press CTRL + G to group them as they compose the Polaroid. Notice that in the Layers palette, they’re contained in a folder called Group 1.

9. On the Layers palette, select and drag Group 1 to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the palette. After you release the mouse button, your group folder will be duplicated giving you a second polaroid. This will be named Group 1 Copy by default.

10. Expand your Group 1 copy folder by clicking the triangle beside it. Select its own photo and border layers. Make sure your Move tool is active, press “V” to make sure it is. On your canvass move and rotate the second Polaroid anywhere and anyway you like. Below is a screenshot of my Layers palette and canvass with the second polaroid.

Second Polaroid

Second Polaroid

11. From this point, we’ll just have to repeat steps 9 and 10. We duplicate the group folder, expand the duplicate folder, select the photo and border layers, move and rotate to reveal other parts of the image. We’ll do that until we have revealed the image. If you want a polaroid to overlap a certain polaroid, select its group folder in the Layers palette and drag it on top of the other groups. You may also change the black background. Create your own custom background or download any background you like and place it on top of your bground layer.

For questions, you may eMail me at email me.You may download the PSD file here. A printable version of this tutorial is available on Scribd.

Polaroid Collage

Polaroid Collage

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Out Of The Border Effect

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This will show how to create an effect that will make a subject pop out from a photo.

1.  Open up your image in Photoshop.  Right click the Background Layer and select Duplicate Layer. Give the duplicated layer a name e.g. “popout”.

Duplicate Layer

Duplicate Layer

2.  Create a new layer and name it “frame”. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, create a rectangle then fill it with white by pressing CTRL+Backspace.  Remove the marching ants by pressing CTRL+D.  Press CTRL+T and right click inside the bounding box and select Distort. Modify your frame to look as if it’s tilted. Press Enter to apply the transformation. Here’s how mine looks like.

Tilted Frame

Tilted Frame

3. Press CTRL and then click the Layer Thumbnail of the “frame” layer in the Layers Palette. This makes a selection of the distorted frame image. Select your “popout” layer in the Layers Palette, click Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection from the menu. Drag your “frame” layer under the “popout” layer.

4. Click the Layer Mask Thumbnail on your “popout” layer. Press “D” to load the default foreground and background colors. Press “X” to switch them which makes white as the foreground.

5. Using the Brush tool, trace the edges of your subject. You’re able to do this since the Background layer is still visible. Zoom in to make tracing easier. After brushing the edges, click the Visibility icon (the eye image) of your Background layer. You’ll see that the parts that you brushed were revealed. The following image is how my work looked like after this step.

Revealed Edges

Revealed Edges

6. Reveal the other parts by brushing inside the image. Make sure your Background layer is now invisible, white is still your foreground color, and Layer Mask Thumbnail is still selected.

7. After revealing the subject’s complete image, press “X” again to make black as the foreground color. Brush out the unneeded parts – those that came when the edges were revealed. Here’s how my work looks like after I brushed the said parts out.

Brushed Out

Brushed Out

8. Create a new layer and drag it between the “popout” and “frame” layers. Name it “border”. Press CTRL and click the “frameLayer Thumbnail to create a selection. Select the “border” layer and from the menu, click Select > Modify > Expand… and type in “6” to make the selection expand by six pixels. Press CTRL+Backspace to fill the “border” layer with white. Press CTRL+D to remove the selection.

9. With the “border” layer still selected, click Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow from the menu. Play around with the options to add a shadow on the image. Here’s how I set mine.

Opacity = 70%
Angle = 60˚
Distance = 7 px
Size = 14 px

Shadow Settings

Shadow Settings

10. Download any image that you can use as background. I got one free from Vector Jungle. Open it on Photoshop and add it as a layer on your work. Place it below the “frame” layer. Here’s how my finished work looks like.

Out of the Border Effect

Out of the Border Effect

Here’s another example.

Pop Out from Photo

Pop Out from Photo

For questions, you may email me at eMail me. You may also download a PDF version of this tutorial from Scribd.

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First Web2.0 Icons

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Yay! I just created my first ever web 2.0 icons! I’m using them for this blog site. I’ve created three icons with shades of blue only. One is for RSS, Twitter, and WordPress. I’ll add more from time to time.

I’m no graphic designer actually. I do have a hard time creating web graphics – the design, color combination. Whew! If you’re a graphics/web designer, maybe you could give me tips or tutorials on how to improve my work. It would be great to learn from you. Thanks.

By the way, here are the icons.

wordpress twitter rss

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