Create a Polaroid effect

This one is pretty simple, and the effect can be applied to just about any image you have. Start with a new document 500 px by 500 px. Now open your picture, we will be using just one for this example. Go ahead and drag it into your new document and set it to invisible by clicking the eye on the layers palette, we will get back to those in a bit.

Create a new layer (ctrl+N) and then grab your shape tool (U). We are going to make a rectangle with a fill color of #f8f8f8. Dimensions aren’t too critical, but just make sure it resembles the shape we are going after. This will become the frame for your Polaroid.

Polaroid 1

Go ahead and Rasterize the layer by right clicking in the layers palette and selecting rasterize. Grab your selection tool (M) and make a rectangle in the interior and press delete, this is where your photo will be going.

Polaroid 2

Next we will apply some layer styles by double clicking your layer. Apply the following styles.

Polaroid 3

Let’s revisit our photo we imported earlier. Select and restore its’ visibility. Move the layer directly below your Polaroid layer in the layers palette and position it into the Polaroid “window”.

Polaroid 4

Now select your Polaroid layer and grab the wand tool (W). Now pay attention, because this may be a bit advanced for some users. Make a selection INSIDE the Polaroid window. Now select your photo layer and click the Add Vector Mask button in the layer palette. Hey now, its starting too look like a Polaroid now isn’t it!

Polaroid 5

Just a few more steps and you’ll have a clever stack of Polaroid’s. In the layers palette, click the group button. Now move your photo and Polaroid layers into your newly created group. Still with me? Great, because we’re almost done! Right click the group and click Duplicate. Now, press CTRL-T to bring up the transform tool, and give the box a little rotation. You should have something that looks like this.

Polaroid 6

And there you have it, a nice stack of Polaroid’s. Feel free to repeat the process to increase the size of the stack. You can also experiment with the drop shadow sizes to help create the effect you are after.

Polaroid 7

This tutorial was written by Brett Adams, web developer and new venture blogger.

Leave a comment