How To Make A Collage Using Layers In Photoshop

By Ankit Gupta


About Photoshop
What Is A Layer
Making A Collage


Layers in Photoshop can be of immense help for making pictures or text look better. An example of this would be a collage made out of different pictures by making them into separate layers, superimposed on each other. This tutorial will guide you through the simple steps of doing so. Use the step-by-step instructions to learn how to use this amazing feature of Photoshop to create pictures that look great. Ideal for use by beginners!


About Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CS is truly what Adobe claims it to be "The professional standard in desktop digital imaging". This software has tremedous applications ranging from text effects, layer composting, color corrections, etc. to name a few. Besides, it can also be used to make pictures look great by means of applications such as red eye correction, adjusting contrast, etc. It has revolutionized the method of digital imaging. Easy access to the software has also added to its popularity and success.


What Is A Layer

While making a collage using Photoshop layers, each layer can be thought of as a sheet of transparent film with some picture on it. In a collage these sheets (layers actually), are stacked on top of one another, with each sheet having the desired orientation with respect to another. The painted portions of the sheets on top hide the portions of sheets underneath, however, one can still see through the transparent portions of each sheet. This helps one make images consisting of various images stacked on top of each other in the desired manner. This tool of Photoshop is really helpful in giving special effects to pictures and for making collages that look great.


Making A Collage

  1. Open the Photoshop CS software and open a new file by clicking on File -> New. This will be the background of the collage. This window will be referred to as the background layer in this tutorial.
  2. Open the images you want to work with in Photoshop. Click on Mode -> RGB Color.
  3. Resize each image to the desired size.
  4. Click on each image and then click on the corresponding layer in the Layers Palette. Then drag the layer in the background window. Repeat this for each image so that they can all be in the background window. Once an image is in the background window, it appears as a layer stacked on top of a white and grey checkerboard pattern in the Layers Palette. This checkerboard pattern represents that part of the background window that does not have any layer stacked on top of it.

  5. Once all of your images are in the background window, use the Move tool to move the images on top of each other as desired.
  6. Once the images are all the right orientation with respect to each other, you can switch layers by using the Layers Palette. It has all the layers listed out with the background image at the bottom of the list, with each layer on top of another in the list being the one overlayed on top of the other in the background window. To switch the order of layer-overlaying in the background window, just drag and drop corresponding layers in the Layers Palette in the respective order.

  7. The drop-down menu that says Normal can then be used to give different effects to your collage.
  8. Another very important control is th opacity control on the right hand upper corner of the Layers Pallete. It helps control the transparency or opacity of each individual layer, thereby enabling the viewing of layers underneath through the layers on top. This is a very useful tool for giving special effects to your pictures. The following picture shows a collage made by stacking the above 3 pictures as layers on top of one another with 100% opacity.

  9. Finally, once you are done, save your collage as a Photoshop file having a .psd file extension.


Related Links

Adobe Layers Tutorial
My Janee Layers Tutorial
Adobe Photoshop Website