Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a collage, part of Learning Photoshop CS6.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this movie we are going to create a really cool little project here in Photoshop and learn a lot of awesome tricks along the way. So, I'm actually going to start here in the Mini Bridge panel. If it's not showing, you could go to the Window menu. And under Extension choose Mini Bridge or you can just launch bridge if you prefer. But I'm in the chapter six folder of the execise files, and what I want to do is bring in a few files actually into Photoshop. I'm going to open up MetalTexture.psd. So I'm going to double-click to open it.
I'm also going to double-click SkyCables.psd and double-click StoneTexture.psd. By the end of this little project, we will have combined all of these objects into one document that is really awesome. (LAUGH) So, what I want to do is double-click the word Mini Bridge, the name of the panel to minimize it, get it out of our way. I'm actually going to zoom in, using spacebar and Cmd or spacebar Ctrl on the PC to this StoneTexture.psd document. And this is going to be kind of like home base.
This is going to be the actual document that we'll be using. We'll be bringing the other two objects, the other two documents in to this one. So, let's start with SkyCables.psd, I'm going to zoom into this one a little bit as well using the same shortcuts. Spacebar and Cmd or Spacebar and CTRL. And what I want to do is I want to bring in these cool power lines, into the stone texture document. I don't want the sky though, I just want a lot of this, kind of, busy texture. these lines, and stuff like that. So what we're going to do, is select just the blue.
We can do that in a couple ways. Underneath the Quick Selection tool there's the Magic Wand tool, and we can click and select and Shift+click and keep selecting, the different, shades of color. Which is what the magic wand does, it selects, all colors of, a given, area, and select blues for example, I can play with the tolerance, I can, increase the tolerance, and select more shades of blue, if I want. Or I can decrease the tolerance and select less shades of blue. The problem with the Magic Wand tool is that it usually leaves really hard edges that are kind of ugly honestly. So, I'm just going to hit Cmd+D or Ctrl+D to deselect that. And I'm actually going to go up the Select menu and choose Color Range. And with the color range dialog open, I'm going to click in a medium blue. So, I don't want to go too bright, I don't want to go too dark. I'm just going to select a medium one here.
And you can see that this gives you a preview of what is going to be. Select it. We'll actually want all the blues selected. So I'm going to select the plus eye dropper, then come back to my image and click to select more of these blues. Now in our case here, it doesn't have to be perfect. We're kind of going for a grungy, industrial look here, so it doesn't have to be ideal. It could be really rough around the edges and, again, in this case, that's totally acceptable, so, that looks pretty good. We can adjust the Fuzziness slider to get more or less of that selection.. And actually, having a grungy selection, with a little bit of stray pixels in there, might be kind of cool in this case, so we'll leave that down to five, and I'll go ahead and click OK.
And now we have all of this blue stuff selected. I actually don't want the blue though. I actually want everything but the blue sky. So I'm going to go to the Select menu and choose Inverse. Or I could use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+Shift+ I, or Ctrl+Shift+ I on the PC. So, select inverse and now some of the junk from the sky and all of these bushes and power lines are selected. So, now we want to combine this by dragging and dropping this into the StoneTexture.psd.
There's a couple ways to do that, probably the easiest way is to just press Cmd+C or Ctrl+C on the PC to copy. And then press Ctrl+V or Cmd+V to paste that into this document. But one of the things I like to do, is to click and drag this away. Just click and drag the tab away to create a floating panel here, and that way we can see both this document and the stone texture document. And with the Move tool selected.
Oops, I accidentally dragged that into another window here. I'm just going to float that again. With the Move tool selected, I'm going to just click and drag, and now you gotta make sure you're over part of the selected part of the image. So that you're getting the scissors next to your little cursor there. And I'm going to drag and drop onto this image. And there we have some cool power lines here, which are going to, it's going to add some really great texture. And actually I think I'm going to leave it about like that. We can't do too far left or right or we'll have cropped off edges, and we don't want that.
So, I want a lot of this power line, and a little bit of that power line, so I think that's a pretty good place to leave it. And I'm just going to click on the word layer one and rename this power lines. And I can't see that floating window anymore, so I'm going to go to the Window menu. And all the way down at the bottom of the Window menu, you can see all the open documents. So, I'm going to choose SkyCables.psd and since were done with it I'm going to go ahead and click the little x, the red x which'll be over here on a PC and just close that document without saving it. Now we want to blend the power lines into the background, there's a few different ways to do that.
We could take down the opacity and kind of blend it that way. But then it kind of weakens this power of the image, the power lines and the background is already a really strong image anyway. We, a lot of powerful contrast and really grungy texture, so we kind of lose it and it just doesn't look that pleasing. So I'm going to take the opacity back up to 100%. Another way to blend objects is by using the Blend mode. See where it says normal here at the top of the Layers panel, we click that, we get a list of blending modes. And this basically determines how the currently-selected layer will blend into the layers beneath them.
So, we're not going to get into all of these right now, but I want you to be aware of basically what's going on here. This group darkens the current layer and gets rid of all white. This group lightens the current layer and gets rid all black and, this interesting group gets rid of middle gray. And has a tendency to brighten the highlights and darken the shadows. So let's say, for example, we chose multiply. Well we instantly get rid of all that little extra blue, which is kind of awesome. That works out really nicely and that just looks like a more artistic image.
It's almost like we're just blending the shadows here, which is really cool. We can also choose Overlay, which is an interesting look, and you can see that we're now getting some of that texture from the stone image. In our power lines, which is also kind of fun, soft light is similar, but just a little bit more soft effect in that actually looks pretty cool in our case. What I'm going to do is I'm going to choose multiply. And then what I'm going to do, with the Move tool selected, I'm going to hold the Option key on the Mac, or the Alt key on the PC. And you see that when I do that, I get a little buddy arrow and that indicates that I'm going to be copying this image. So I'm just going to drag and drop and make a copy of the power lines. And this copy I'm going to put in the softlight blend mode. There we go.
And then finally, I'm going to make one more copy. I'm going to drag that, again, and this time, I'm going to free transform this. So, this time, I'm going to press Cmd+T or Ctrl+T on the PC, to get a free transform bounding box so I can scale this image up. And I want to zoom out by using space bar+Cmd+Option or spacebar+Ctrl+Alt on the PC, and click to zoom out. You can see all of our bounding box here. And then by clicking on the corner here, I'm going to re-size this.
And notice that we can kind of squash this image. And I don't want to do that. I want to make sure that it stays proportional. So I'm going to hold the Shift key scale this up. It's just going to be in the background. Usually, I wouldn't scale up an image like this, because it would degrade the image quality, but in this case, we're just going for a texture that's going to be in the background, so it's okay. So, scale it up, click and drag, and move it back, so it's just kind of like, faint in the background here, and I'll click Enter to accept that. I'm going to put this into the overlay blend mode so it's a little bit more prominent and then fade it down a little bit. It's interesting texture in the background.
So, we kind of have the main power line and then kind of like an, these echos on the side, here. I'm going to zoom back in by pressing space bar and Cmd or spacebar and Ctrl on the PC. And one last step, is that we want to go over here to the metal texture, and I want to copy and paste this on top of our other collage images. So I'm going to press Cmd+A or Ctrl+A on the PC to select all of this document, and Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the Mac to copy it, back over here and then I'm going to press Cmd+V, or Ctrl+V on the PC to paste that in.
And then we can take this into a different blend mode. We tried one of the brightening blend modes, like Screen, we could see the, we brighten up everything, that's not what we want here. We tried Multiply, that's kind of cool but a little bit on the dark side and we can try Soft Light. And that's looking pretty good. We can see some of these metal edges. And again, we can move this around so we can see where that texture is. It does provide some cool grit and some, kind of, industrial vibe with these extra little bolts and what not.
It's a little intense for me so I'm going to dial this back. The opacity. We can see the before, and the after. Definitely adds a lot of cool chaos here. And the final thing that I want to do, is play around with the colorization of what's going on here. There's a lot of ways to color this, to kind of put like a final touch on this collage. What I'm going to do is go down to the bottom of the Layers panel. And I'm going to create a color balance adjustment layer. And color balance is a little complex. Basically it allows us to adjust the shadows, midtones and highlights separately, and play with the colors it eats.
The color balance. So, let's say for example, the mid-tones, I want to make this a little bit more cyan. Look at that, that's kind of cool. Then we can go over to the highlights, and just to give a little bit of contrast maybe we could add some yellow in the highlights, and maybe some green a little bit? And then we go to the shadows and maybe let's add some cyan and some blue in the shadows. And when all is said and done, we have a pretty cool little, industrial grungy collage.
- Getting images into Photoshop
- Creating and navigating documents
- Working with layers
- Cropping and straightening images
- Color correction
- Making selections
- Fixing image problems
- Working with effects
- Creating and editing text
- Exporting and printing