How To Create A Polaroid Collage
Polaroids in some aspects are still kinda cool. You have something tangible
in your gasp and frankly taking pictures with a Polaroid camera is still pretty
fun. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to take an image and turn it
into a Polaroid Photo Collage. Basically it’s going to look like you took a
bunch of Polaroid and put them together like a puzzle to create the image. First
off, you want to find a nice quality photo to use. I choose:
Create a copy of your image. Drag the layer down the "Layers Pallette"
to to small square icon (geniously named, "Create New Layer".)
With you original image layer still selected, create a new layer between the
original and the copy. The new layer will show up has "Layer 2". Once
said layer is created fill it with black. To get through this turtorial, you
will need your foreground & background colours set to black & white.
If they aren’t, just press "D" on your keyboard and
they will magically change. You can use the paint bucket tool, the fill command
or Alt+Backspace (win) or Option+Delete (mac)
to fill the layer.
As you just did in Step 2, create another new layer above "Layer 2",
appropriately named "Layer 3". Do not fill this layer.
Now to the good stuff. Using your "Marquee Tool", drag a square somewhere
onto your image. You still should be on "Layer 3".
Once you have the selection that you want, fill it with black. You will not
notice any difference in the image because it filled the selection on "Layer
3", which is under your top layer (the original copy)
Next you want to create a "Clipping Mask". A "Clipping Mask"
is a small selection of a larger image that is used to create depth and lay
over top of another object. In other words, the only part of the image on "Layer
1" that will remain visible is the part directly above the section filled
with black. (You’ll understand in a moment.) The rest of the image will remain
To create the "Clipping Mask",
make sure that you have the top layer ("Layer 1 Copy") selected then
use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Ctrl+G (win) / Option+Command+G
(mac). You will notice that "Layer 1 Copy" is now indented and has
a small arrow pointing down in the "Layers Palette". This indicated
that a "Clipping Mask" is being used. Photoshop then clips the area
from "Layer 1 Copy" and it now the only thing visible is the selection
that you just made on "Layer 3".
Now to create the Polaroid look. You want to create a new layer above "Layer
2". Click on the "Create A New Layer" icon on the layers menu.
This will create a new layer between "Layers 2 & 3", named "Layer
4". This layer will serve as the white framing of the Polaroid.
So if you still have your clipping mask selected, deselect it. (Ctrl+D
(win) / Command+D (mac)) With your "Rectangler Marquee"
tool selected and on "Layer 4", draw a selection around the clipped
image. Remember that Polaroids have extra white space around the top, side,
& plenty of space at the bottom. Once you are happy with the shape you have
created, your ready to fill it with white.
Make sure that you are still on "Layer 4". White should also still
be your background colour, so we are going to sure the shortcut Ctrl+Backspace
(win) / Command+Delete (mac) to fill the selection. Once it
is filled, deselect the area.
Now we are going to add a "Drop Shadow" to the Polaroid to give it
a little depth. Click on the "Effects" icon on the "Layers Palette",
the one with the "f"in the circle, and select drop
Use these settings:
Notice that you cannot see your
drop shadown on the image. That is because it is on top of the black layer.
Once you start overlapping the photos, you will see the drop shadow.
Now we have a Polaroid created. If this is going to be a proper collage, the
Polaroids shouldn’t all be straight, we need to rotate them. First thing, we
need to link "Layers 3 & 4" together. With "Layer 4"
still selected, click in the square beside the eye on "Layer 3" in
the "Layers Palette". You should see a small chain appear.
This means wherever you move "Layer
4", "Layer 3" will follow & vise versa. Use the shortcut
Ctrl+T (win) / Command+T (mac) to "Free
Transform" the objects. To rotate it, all you need to do is drag the cursor
anywhere outside of the "Free Transform" handles. The mouse cursor
will change to a "Rotate" cursor with curved arrows on either end
of it. As you drag your mouse, the Polaroid rotates. Once you have the Polaroid
rotated the way you like it, hit enter and the change will take place.
Almost there. Next we need to create a "Layer Set". This will put
all three layers that we need together in a folder in the "Layers Palette
Menu". Click Layer, New, Layer Set.
Photoshop will ask you what you
want to name the New Set and "Set 1" is ok. Now you will drag "Layer
1 Copy", "Layer 3" & "Layer 4" into the "Set
1" folder. (If for some strange reason the clipping mask goes away,
don’t worry. Just select "Layer 1 Copy" and use the Clipping Mask
shortcut Ctrl+Alt+G (win) / Command+Alt+G
(mac), and everything will go back to normal.)
Now you are ready to duplicate your
In the "Layers Palette Menu", right click on "Set 1". Choose
the option, "Duplicate Layer Set". Rename it if you must then click
ok. This creates an exact copy of the three layers in "Set 1".
Open up "Set 1 Copy" or
whatever you named it by clicking on the "Small Triangle" to the left
of the folder. You will see a copy of the "Image", "Layer 6"
which is your Clipping Mask and "Layer 5" which is your white space
of the Polaroid. Hit "V" on your keyboard and this
will give you the selection tool. Make sure that "Layers 6 & 5"
are still "Linked" together and move them around the image. You will
notice that wherever you move the Polaroid, the image changes. This is the beauty
of the clipping mask. Once you have the Polaroid where you like it, rotate it
using "Free Transform". ( Ctrl+T (win) / Command+T
Rinse and repeat by creating "Duplicate Layer Sets" and rotating them
until you have something that looks like this:
I "Desaturated" the original image on bottom layer to give it a more
artistic look but feel free to play around. That is what makes Photoshop a never