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Creating a photo collage

From: Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 9

Video: Creating a photo collage

With all of these great images in your organizer, you may feel the need to create a collage of related images for friends and family. Or just to display somewhere for everyone to see. Photoshop Elements 9 can help with its photo collage feature. Let's take a look at how this works. I'm going to begin this video from the Elements 9 Organizer. And what I thought I would do is, I'd like to create a collage of all of the big cats that I have images of. So, I'm just going to go through here. And you can use any images you like for this lesson. You can use the ones that I am.

Creating a photo collage

With all of these great images in your organizer, you may feel the need to create a collage of related images for friends and family. Or just to display somewhere for everyone to see. Photoshop Elements 9 can help with its photo collage feature. Let's take a look at how this works. I'm going to begin this video from the Elements 9 Organizer. And what I thought I would do is, I'd like to create a collage of all of the big cats that I have images of. So, I'm just going to go through here. And you can use any images you like for this lesson. You can use the ones that I am.

I'm just grabbing all the images of the tigers and lions in here. But once again use the images of your choice, whichever you feel comfortable with or passionate about. And so, I'm going to select these five images and I'm going to come over here to the Create tab. And you can see that we have a choice of creating a variety of different projects here but I'm going to choose the one called Photo Collage. So, I'm going to click that option and Photoshop Elements is going to launch and show me the Photo Collage dialog. And I'm going to let it autofill with the selected images that I'm using. You can choose from several different sizes.

I'm going to leave it set to a standard eight and a half by 11. And I'm going to go ahead and click Okay. And Photoshop Elements is actually going to autogenerate this layout for me, and it's going to place all of the photos into individual areas so that I can adjust them later on. And when it's completed laying out these images, it's going to display my collage in this orientation here. Now, you know, currently it's trying to fill all the images and the collage layout is set to have more photos than I have.

So, I can always drag them and drop them on here if I want to. But I can also click on these areas and that'll actually allow me to open another image, but I'm going to cancel that for now. With this selected, I can also just press Delete. And that will allow me to delete that area. It says, do you want to delete the selected layers? I'll say yes, and then I can just continue deleting these empty areas. And now I can even refine the existing layout. So, you'll notice that I have a limited toolbox over here, I have the Move tool, the Zoom tool, and the Hand tool. So with the Move tool, I can click on this image, I can drag it to reposition it.

I can enlarge it by dragging an handle and holding the Shift key. And I can even rotate it some more by hovering my cursor outside of one of the corners. And I'll get to Rotate tool so I can rotate this a little bit more. Once you're happy, you can click the check mark, and that will commit the change. Now, for an example like this, you know, it's actually cropping off, you can't even really tell what this is. So, I'm going to click on this, let's move this over a little bit. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to double-click on it. And this allows me to increase or decrease the size of the image inside of the frame.

So I can kind of change how this is being cropped so I can fit more of the tiger inside of here. That looks pretty good. I'll commit that change. And once again, you can refine these as much as you want. In addition, commit this change, I will click on this image. And you also have an Arrange menu over here. So, you can click on this and I can say bring to front, if I wanted this one on top. Maybe I'll even crop this one a little bit more, rotate him that'll be good for now. And you know what, this is such a good shot, I'm actually going to bring him to the front as well.

So I'll click Arrange > Bring to Front. That looks pretty good. Let's move this one on top of that, there we go. That's looking pretty good. So, there's my layout. And you can adjust these to your heart's content and once you're satisfied, we can come over here to the Create panel and we can go to the Next Category which is layouts. Now, we actually could of gone here first because it was using the default layout. But you'll see the different layouts that we can apply to our selected images and you can simply double-click on a layout and it will apply that layout using this theme.

Now, I'm going to stick with the layout that I have. I'm going to go ahead and click Artwork. And once the Artwork category displays, we can choose from a bunch of different background colors. You'll notice we have a scrollbar here that we can change and adjust. We can see all the different options in here. But I actually like this green color, so I'm going to leave that alone. I'm going to click and drag and now I can adjust how the frames are applied to these different images. So, if I want to choose a different frame type we could double-click on one of these.

And it will apply a different frame to the selected photo. So, I'm actually going to undo that last operation. I like the white frame, but if I wanted all of 'em to change I can just Shift+click to select multiple images at a time. So, I'm going to go ahead and drag the slider down. We can adjust the frame color. A lot of frames in here to choose from. And that's pretty much it. So, if we come over here to the text category, we can add a text block to our image as well.

So, as you scroll down here, there's a couple of styles that have been applied. What we can do is we can simply double-click on one of these. And this seems like an appropriate style to use. So, I'll double-click on it. It's going to add some text in here. I'm going to type, big cats. And we can highlight this text. We have a bunch of different text options in here. So one of the things we might want to do is make sure that we have a nice bold font chosen. We can increase the point size if we want to.

I'm going to commit this change here. We can also select this text and we can move this around using the Move tool. So, I might want to move this around to an area that's not obstructing any of the tigers or lions or big cats that are in the background. And you can scroll down a little bit further and see all the styles we can change this to. And you can also adjust some of the other options in here as well. If you want to edit the text, you can simply double-click on it, and we can now change the size of the text. So, I'm going to go ahead and maybe increase this to 130. That looks pretty good.

And if we want to, we can also warp the text. So we'll click on the Warp Text button. And now we can apply different warp styles to it. Maybe I'll try a bulge in this case. There we go. And you can adjust the bend, you know, how far of a bend is going to be applied to this text. You can adjust horizontal and vertical distortion, one way or the other. So, you can experiment with that on your own. I'm going to click OK and I'm going to commit that change. And that looks pretty good. When we're all finished, we can click the Done button or we can click Print. So, if you want to print this.

We can print it right now. But even by clicking done, this gives me the opportunity to save this and by default it wants to save it in the Photoshop format because we have all those layers in there. So, if I rename this, I'll call this big cats and I'll put this in my assets folder. And I'll return to the edit tab and we can always open this by going back into our assets folder. And you can see this is a pretty large file right now but I'm going to go ahead and open this anyway...

And I just want to show you that in your Layers panel, you can see how everything is completely editable. Even thought the Collage does all of that work for you, you can always come back in here and you can add features and enhancements in here that might not even be available in the Collage feature. So, if you don't see something that you're looking to perform, you can always open it in the full Photoshop Elements application, and make your edits there. As you've seen in this video there are multiple choices to choose from when creating your collage. With a little bit of time and effort, you'll be creating amazing collages to proudly display for all to see.

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Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 9

31 video lessons · 880 viewers

Chad Chelius
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