Creating a Multiple Photo Layout

I’ve had several requests for directions on how I created the “All Greek To Me” collage I created to Karma’s last photo challenge. 

assorted Greek houses from the Cornell campus - with the added bonus that I learned how to make a collage!

 
So here goes!  The following directions are taken from The Photoshop Elements 8 Book by Scott Kelby, pgs 408-411.  The screen shots will be PSE 8.0 but I’ve found that the screens and commands are usually similar with other Adobe products – you just might have to hunt around a little for some things.
 
1.  Open a new blank file in PS Elements Editor – choosing whatever dimension you wish for your final project.  I’m going to make mine a square.  Then create a new layer and select the Marquee Tool.  Before you start painting in your square I recommend going to your View menu and turning on your rulers and your grid.  This will help you line things up in a second.
 
2.  Now press-and-hold the Shift key, click you mouse in one corrner and drag out a square selection (continuing to press the Shift key ensures your selection will indeed be square).  Set your foreground color to black (press D) and press Alt-Backspace to fill in your selection.  Do not deselect.
 
3.  Get the Move tool and while pressing Ctrl-Alt-Shift, click and drag a copy of your original square over to the right.  This is also a test of your coordination – I didn’t say this would be easy!!!
 
4.  Repeat step 3 until you have 4 aligned boxes in your collage.  If you wish to save this blank template to use over and over I would do so here. 
 
5.  Open the photos you want to include in your collage.  Get the Move tool again and drag one of your flattened images onto one of your squares – don’t worry about aligning things just yet – just get the two images in the same file.  Then press Ctrl-T – this is where you do your lining things up.  Shrink your image until it is slightly bigger than your black square and then press the green checkmark.
 
6.  Now this is the cool part.  Press Ctrl-G to mask your photo into your square.  Don’t worry if part of your photo overlaps into another square – you’ll be placing other photos over top.
 
7.  Repeat steps 5 & 6 with your other photos and the other squares.
 
8.  Finally, scroll down to in the layers palette to your background layer – this should be your bottom layer.  Select the color of your choice and Alt-Backspace to fill in the background in that color.    Your collage is now complete. 
 
 So now you know!  You can make your collages with any shapes any sizes you wish.  One thing to note it is helpful for your square to be the same ratio (or at least close) as your squares and it is also helpful that all files have the same ppi.
 
I hope to see collages on everyone’s blog in the future!!
 
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One thought on “Creating a Multiple Photo Layout

  1. Thanks very much Deb! I have PSE 7 and Scott Kelby’s book, so I will definitely look for these directions. I always end up using something like BigHugeLabs, or this time I used Snapfish, but sites like that don’t give you many options. And your flower collage is lovely!

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