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Creating a photo collage

From: Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 10

Video: Creating a photo collage

Photoshop Elements 10 allows you to take several photos from the organizer and generate a photo collage that can really accentuate the photos and create a great project. I'm going to begin this video with the Elements 10 Organizer already open on my computer. And I want to find some images of my son playing baseball because I'd like to create a collage of his spring baseball season. Now, I've already got a baseball keyword tag that I created down here in my Keyword Tags panel. And if you haven't created one for this particular subject yet, you could simply select a couple of the images in the Media Browser to use to follow along. But I'm going to show all of the baseball photos that I have tagged with this keyword tag.

Creating a photo collage

Photoshop Elements 10 allows you to take several photos from the organizer and generate a photo collage that can really accentuate the photos and create a great project. I'm going to begin this video with the Elements 10 Organizer already open on my computer. And I want to find some images of my son playing baseball because I'd like to create a collage of his spring baseball season. Now, I've already got a baseball keyword tag that I created down here in my Keyword Tags panel. And if you haven't created one for this particular subject yet, you could simply select a couple of the images in the Media Browser to use to follow along. But I'm going to show all of the baseball photos that I have tagged with this keyword tag.

And I'm realizing that there's one more that I want to add to this. So, I'm going to turn off this filter, and I'm going to scroll down to this particular image here, I want to add that. So, I'm just going to drag the baseball keyword tag on top of there. Now, if I show that filter, you can see that that photo is one of the photos within that keyword tag. Now, this looks pretty good, I'm going to expand these version sets. And we can see that we have several photos within there, but I don't want all of them. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to hold down Cmd on Mac, or Ctrl on Windows, so, select about five photos that I want to use for my photo collage. Now, to create the photo collage, I'm going to come up here to the Create tab, and I'm going to click on the Photo Collage option.

And when the Photo Collage dialog appears, you can see that I can choose from three different sizes over here in the left column. I only have a basic theme to use here, but we can change that later. And then, it gives me an idea of what the collage is going to look like. So, that looks pretty good, we're going to go ahead and click OK. And I will point out that Auto-Fill with selected images is already selected. So, that's going to use the images I selected in the Organizer to populate my collage. So, I'll click OK and Photoshop Elements is going to do some processing and then it's going to switch over to the Elements Editor and show me the collage as it initially appears. And here, you can see this is my initial collage that has been populated with my images.

Now ,this particular collage layout requires that I have more photos. And I could delete them if I want to, and use this Move tool to click on these, and I can hit the Delete key on my keyboard, and it asks me if I do want to delete that layer. So, I can say yes, and it will remove that item. But still, it really doesn't work with this few of images. So, I'm going to come over here to the Layouts tab and I think my collage is going to look best with this five side by side vertical. And you can see we have several categories to use but I think this one's going to work the best.

So, I'm going to drag that and drop it on top of my collage. And now, Photoshop Elements is going to reprocess these images using this new layout. And you can see now what this layout is going to look like with that configuration. Now, I'm not really a fan of this background, but that's okay because I can fix that. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to double-click on the Project Bin tab, if yours is collapsed like mine. And in this filter, I'm going to Choose Show Files Selected in Organizer, and there are all of my files that we initially selected.

I'm going to drag this image, and I'm going to drop it right here on the background area. And you're going to see that it drops this photo onto my layout. So, I'm just going to position this and then I'm just going to drag one of the corners and it's going to automatically constrain the proportions and scale it proportionally. So, once I've scaled it up to fit the background, I click the green check mark. And now, with the Move tool selected I can slide this over to see more of the photo, kind of like that. Now, because of the fact that I placed this image last, it's on top of all the other photos.

But that's okay because I'm going to click the Arrange drop-down here, and Choose Send to Back. And now, we can see that all of my photos are revealed and the main photo that I dropped in becomes the background. So, that looks pretty good but I do want to change some of the cropping of the photos cuz you can see some of these are cropped in an awkward fashion. So, let's do all of them. I'm going to grab my Zoom tool and I'm going to click and drag to zoom in on the top photo. Now, we can collapse the Project Bin by double-clicking on the tab and then I can use my hand tool to reposition this where I want it to appear.

Now, I'm going to go back to the Move tool, I'm going to double-click on this photo. And you see this little widget that appears in the upper left corner, that is the size of the photo. So, I can drag that slider down to fit more of the photo within that frame. To change the cropping, I can click and drag to reposition it within the frame. Once I'm happy, I'll just click the green check mark to commit the change. Now, I'm going to hold down the spacebar on my keyboard, which will temporarily activate my Hand tool, and just drag up to the next photo. I'll double-click on it, reduce the size, and then just change the cropping to what I like.

Click the green check mark, and I'm just going to repeat that process for all of these photos until I get them all looking the way that I want them to. One more, Perfect. Now in the Zoom drop down menu, I can click the drop down menu and reduce the size of the layout overall. So, I get a idea of what the overall layout looks like.

That looks pretty good. Now in addition, I can come over here to the art work category. And this allows me to adjust different properties such as the backgrounds if I choose to use one of these, the frames and you can see I have a long list of frames, and then I even have graphics that I can insert in this image as well. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go back to the frames category, and I think what I'll do, is I'll alternate a couple of these, by dragging and dropping a blue frame on a couple of these photos.

I like the way that looks. Finally, we can add some text to our collage. So I'm going to click on the text category, scroll up to the top and I can click on the Add Text Block button. So I'm going to do that and this allows me to type some text in my layout. Now I'm going to point out that the text may appear very small at first but that's okay. Just type your text and then we'll increase the size in a second. So I'm going to type spring, 2011 baseball season, that looks pretty good.

Now with the same tool I'm just going to double-click to select the word and triple-click to select the line. And then quadruple-click to select all of the text. And while that's selected I can hover my cursor out here and click to reposition that text. And we'll highlight that text again, up here in my options bar I can change the font, the face, I'm going to make sure I'm using a bold face here.

We can change the size, go up to about 48 point if we choose to, and we can even choose the color. So up here I can click on this Option, and we can pick a different color to use here. So I'm going to pick, let's go with maybe, see what that tan looks like. Go ahead and click OK. Now if we click off it we can see what that looks like. That's a little light, so I'm going to go ahead and go back there, and let's just drag this down to darken that text.

Click OK, that looks a little bit better. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to highlight that text again and then down here at the bottom of this first section, I'm going to click on the Warp Text button. And for the style, I'm going to choose Arc. And we can see that creates a pretty intense arc for that text. But I'm going to drag the bend to the left to just make it a little more subtle. I'm going to click OK, and I think I went too big with that text. I'm just going to change the point size by highlighting the field, let's go with 42, and I'll press Return, that looks a little bit better.

So I'll click the green checkmark, and now I can go back to the Move tool, and I can reposition this text, where I want it to appear on my collage. I even have styles that I can apply to the text down here. So if you want to try these out, you can simply double-click and it will apply that style to the text. I'm going to undo that, cuz I really don't want to apply that style to the text. So I'll just click the Nilsy sign there, and it'll go back to what it was. And when I'm finished, I'm going to go ahead and click the Done button. Now, Photoshop Elements immediately wants me to save this, so I'm going to click the Save button.

And because I have many Layers in this document, it wants to save it as a Photoshop document, and I'm going to leave it that way because that's going to be the most versatile format when I have Layers. So I'm going to call this one baseball_collage, I'm going to click the save button, and that's going to close it, and if I go back to the organizer, you should see that if I click the show all button, I will now have that collage ready for me to use anytime I want.

As you can see, all you need to create a photo collage is a couple of photos and a little imagination. Try creating a photo collage with your own images and I think it will become one of your favorite features.

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Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 10

39 video lessons · 752 viewers

Chad Chelius
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