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Learn How to Design a Charming Collage Composition Part 1

Today we’re going to learn how to create a super creative collage effect, using a range of photo manipulation, blending and compositional techniques. You’ll learn how to correctly extract your images, layer up various effects to create a sense of depth and detail, and create a cool sketchy hand-drawn effect for your photos.


Final Image


As always, this is the final image we’ll be creating:








Resources Used In This Tutorial



Step 1

Create a new file with a width of 1500px and a height of 2000 px at 100 dpi (Dots per Inch). Background Contents should be White.



Step 2

To start off we’ll use various textures to create a subtle distress background. First, add a group folder called “Texture”, then open “1.jpg” from these colored grunge textures . Place this within the folder, then hit Command/Ctrl + T and resize to cover the canvas. Name the layer “Texture 1″.


Reduce opacity to “30%”


Now add “8.jpg” as a new layer within the same folder, then hit Command/Ctrl + T and resize to cover the canvas and name it “Texture 2″.




Change the Blend Mode to Overlay and lower its Opacity to 65%.


Place “2.jpg” from the “source” folder as a new layer within the same folder. Resize and label it “Texture 3″.


Change the layer mode to “hard light” and reduce opacity to “45%”.:


Step 3

First off, let’s open the girl stock iii-Dxlogic in Photoshop. We will be using the girl from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.




Switch to your Channels tab and cycle through each channel in turn to determine which holds the most contrast – in this case it’s the Green. Drag its thumbnail over the Create new channel icon at the foot of the palette to duplicate it:


Now hit Command/Ctrl + L to access the Levels dialogue box and set the Input sliders as shown. Don’t sweat over the remaining background detail :



Now again hit Command/Ctrl + L to access the Levels dialogue box and set the Input sliders as shown.




Now activate Brush tool (B) choose black as foreground color and paint oner the remaning area :




Now load channel as selection:




Now first invert selection(shift+ctrl+i) now then activate vector mask .



Activate any selection tool, then hit the Refine Edge button in the options bar.

In the next window choose On Layers (L) from the View drop-down menu, then check the Smart Radius button and set the Radius field to 2.5 px. Now activate the Decontaminate Colors option and set the Amount value to 68% and hit OK.



When the Refine Edge command has finished you’ll notice an additional masked layer has appeared and the visibility of the original layer switched off. You can now drag the mask into the trash icon at the foot of the palette and click the Apply button on the following dialogue box:



Drag the girl onto your working file and the result should be similar to this:




Step 4

Now activate the rectungular marquee tool (m) and make a selction around the bottom of the girl.



Now hit Ctrl+t to activate transform tool and drag the encircled square in the red arrow’s direction.



Add a vector mask to girl layer.




Now, activate the Brush tool (B) and open the brush set “15 grunge ps brushes” by Sarytah. To load them, simply, right click on our canvas through any layer and then click on the drop-down button as shown below:




This will prompt the contextual menu to pop up and once you see that, just click on Load Brushes.




You will now be prompted to this directory: Adobe Photoshop > Presets > Brushes so make sure that you have put the brushes within this folder. Now locate the brush set and click OK. Right click on the canvas again using your Brush tool (B) and now you’ll notice that you have lightning brushes. Now, let’s choose a brush and start painting over the girl’s bottom part. See as below:





The result should be similar to this:




Step 5

Now,let’s open the WaterColor 33 in Photoshop. We will be using the texture from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.




Click the WaterColor 33 and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “Texture 1″.





Now change the layer mode to “Multiply” :




Now Again choose a brush and activate vector mask and start painting around the texture. See as below:



The result should be similar to this:




Now create new Color balance adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Texture 1 layer and Color balance) to make a mask.

When the Color Balance box opens, input the following:




The result should be similar to this:



Step 6

Now,let’s open the Blue diamond 2 in Photoshop. We will be using the Dimond from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.




Activate magic wend tool click on the white part of canvas then invert the selection (ctrl+shift+i) then move dimond to the main canvas.



Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd +T), then while the “Dimond” layer is selected and then resize it as shown below:




Now let’s work on it’s shadow so activate a new layer and name it “Shadow”.Then make a selection below dimond and fill it with black color.



Then goto Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur.When the Gaussian blur box opens, input the following:




Reduce opacity to 85%.



The result should be similar to this:


Step 7

Now let’s Draw some abstract shapes so activate a new layer and name it “Blue shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.


activate a new layer and name it “Pink shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.


activate a new layer and name it “Yellow shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.Reduce the opacity to 65%.


activate a new layer and name it “Orange shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.




The result should be similar to this:



Step 8

Now get back to girl layer and create new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .

When the Curves box opens, input the following:





Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Curves) to make a mask.



The result should be similar to this:




Now again create new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette.Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Curves) to make a mask.

When the Curves box opens, input the following:



The result should be similar to this:


Now create a new Hue/saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette.Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Hue/saturation) to make a mask.
When the Hue/saturation box opens, input the following:


The result should be similar to this:



Step 9
Now Let’s do some color adjustment with the Diamond. Now create new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Curves) to make a mask.

When the Curves box opens, input the following:


The result should be similar to this:


Step 10

Now,let’s open the Vector Line Drawing Flower Pattern in Photoshop. We will be using the vectors from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Vector Line Drawing Flower Pattern then activate marquee tool and make a selection around a vector image then press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “vector back 1″.


Change the layer mode to “Darken” :


Change the layer mode to “Darken” :Now create new Levels adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Vector back 1 layer and Levels) to make a mask.

When the Levels adjustment box opens, input the following:


The result should be similar to this:


Follow the same steps and add some more vectors. See as below:


Select all vector back layers and make them a group (Ctrl+G) then reduce the opacity to 80% .