How to Master Digital Collage in Photoshop | Natasha Smith | Skillshare

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How to Master Digital Collage in Photoshop

teacher avatar Natasha Smith

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (24m)








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About This Class

Hello and welcome to Master Digital Collage in Photoshop. In this class I will teach you the following modules:

1. Where to find copyright free modern and vintage imagery to use in your collage

2. How to cut out the subject of your chosen image from its background using the pen tool in Photoshop. As well as a brief overview of automatic methods of cutting out your subject in photoshop.

3. Adding gradient maps to your image to create colour tone in your collage.

4. Using custom textures from online resources to add depth to the background of your collage.

5. Chopping and changing your image to give it a collage style.

6. Using custom brushes to add stylistic flair to your collage.

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, I'm Natasha. A digital photocollage from the UK.

I'm a big believer in doing what makes you happy and teaching what you know. I learn't most of my skills from Skillshare and the University of Youtuber and i've now been working as a designer for 5 years, all from being completely self-taught

Now after years of experimenting with designs I have found my true passion of make digital photo collages in Photoshop and sharing my creations on my Instagram feed (@natashasmithdesigns)

I'm excited to teach courses based around the world of digital photocollage! Ihope you enoy


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1. INTRODUCTION: Hi, I'm Natasha Smith, a photo college artist that's going to teach you how to master digital collagen Photo shop in today. Schools share class. If you have a basic knowledge of photo shop and would like to push your creativity to the next level, then this is the class for you. Digital college is a great way to push your creativity. You don't have to have any technical drawing abilities and you don't need to be a master. Your photo shopped to push it to the next level. I'm going to teach you how to do that in this class. So the items you will need for this class a computer, adobe photo shop, Andi, a pen tablet like this, I use a welcome tablet. But this is just a handy extra and not an assassin. T. So by the end of this class, you will be able to muster digital collage from learning about where to find copyright free images to chopping up your image in photo shop and even adding custom textures and British to your work. So let's get going 2. FINDING MODERN AND VINTAGE IMAGERY FOR YOUR COLLAGE: Welcome to Module one in this first module are going to teach you where to find modern and vintage imagery for your collage online. The great thing about digital collage artwork is that you can take photographs off the Web and chop and change them for your collage work and photo shop. But there are some rules to using images that you find online. We can't just take any photo that we like the look off and use it in our car lodge First, we need to make sure that there are chosen images are in the public domain, copyright free and okay to be edited. So let's get going. So let's delve into modern imagery 1st 1 of the main sites that I like to use for this is on splash dot com. It's a collective off beautiful images where photographers can upload their shots for people to use online. But as I say, it's always good idea to check the license, which is just here under the search bar. So let's give it a quick So this is that all photos published on unspool ash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and non commercial purposes, which is great for us. This means that it's in the public domain. We can take any image on this website and editor Top Infraero shop. So that's the first webs that I like to use called unspool ash. The second website I recommend is pixels dot com. This is kind of the same premises unspool. Ash photographers upload the images for you to use. There's loads of beautiful shots that you can use on. Let's just double check the license on pixels dot com. Here we go. All photos on pixels are free to use. Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the photographer. OPEC's is not necessary. So again, that means it's in the public domain, and we can use it to our heart's content for Akale AJ. So that's two of the main Web sites that I use for modern imagery. But my personal style is to use vintage imagery in my college. That's just personal preference, but I like to use vintage imagery, and here's one of the sites that I use. It's called new old stock tumbler, so this is a collection of vintage images, which I really like to scroll through, and have a look for some great fines. The only problem with new old stock tumbler is the fact that it doesn't have a search option. So it is a case of just scrolling through and finding a gem every once in a while that you can use for your collage. But that's that's any problem of new old stock, but I do like using it on. Another option that I use is Wikimedia Commons, which is also a collective where talk for his post old images that they found online. Wikimedia Commons also has search option, which is good so you can put anything vague in the search option like a vintage image. Let's give that a go. And as you can see, it brings up hundreds, hundreds pages and pages off a vast array of images that range from anything you can use, um, or specific search option. But just for this tutorial, and just to show you, uh, that's quite a nice image. So here's a really nice portray uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. It's got that nice for us from an old camera, and it's a beautiful portrait, so I'm thinking that we might use this for a collage and I'll, I'll link it in the project description for you guys to use again. Let's just check. It's in the public domain, which is on sites like this. You'll pretty much always have the license information underneath the image where you can download it so we can use this one because in the public domain on there's always a bit more information for you to look through if you're ever unsure of the license or copyright information. So that's four different sites there that I've shown you that you can download images from for your collage. If you want to go down the modern route, please feel free to use on special pecs, ALS or, if you want to go down, the vintage Drew, recommend use in new old Stock Tumbler or Wikimedia Commons. But for this class in particular, I'm going to use this image. I'm going to download it and then we'll use it for the next module 3. CUTTING OUT YOUR SUBJECT USING THE PEN TOOL: in the second module. Alba teaching you how to go out the subject from its background, using the pen tal. So in this module, this is where I recommend using a wacko tablet. But if you don't have one, don't worry. I'll be given a brief overview on automatic methods to cut out subject from the background . But in this one, I do recommend using a pen tool for best practice. So for the second module, we need Teoh Open up Photo Shop, which will do not will set any documents ago to file new and my dimensions already preset to 1500 pixels by 1500. If you could set the same as that's the dimensions for photo. Sorry, the dimensions fit Instagram Onda a resolution of 72 cola mode RGB because we're just gonna blow this to the Web rather than print. If we were printing it out, we would set the column, go to CNN y que So let's call this collage skill share, as that seems appropriate press okay, and that's our document dimensions. So So now let's grab our downloaded image are downloaded portrait off the lady so we'll drag her over to photo shop and drop her on the outboard. So, as you can see here, that is his black square boxes around image. That means that we can transform the image by making it smaller or bigger. So let's click this corner and press shift, cult and drag, and then we could make it bigger and smaller. So to set the photo into place, just press the return key. So now that set and ready to go, then we need to go over to our layers panel right click on the photo layer because it's currently a smart object on. We can't edit a smart object, so we're gonna rest. Arise the photo to make it directly creditable, so you must arise the layer first. And as you can see, that little box has disappeared. So now we can edit the image. So my preferred method of cutting out a subject from its background is a manual method of using the pen tal, and that's where the welcome tablet comes into play. But I'm going to give a brief overview off some automatic quick methods if you don't have a pen tablet, so the first tool I would use is the magic one tool. So the magic, one told, is a really great, quick and easy tool if you have an image where the background color is a stark contrast to the subject, but as you can see in our image, we have a gray background on, and the woman is obviously in black and white. So this is not a stark contrast from background to subject. So, as you can see here will click Andi. It will click the background. I recommend playing around with the tolerance. So the tolerance here was really small at five. So say you went to 50 and then clicked. It would click a much larger section of the image. So if you're using the magic one tool, play around with tolerance. Andi keep experimenting and clicking to get rid of the background. Just press backspace. But others say magic Montel is better when you have a stark contrast background to the subject. Another tool that you can use is the quick selection tool. So if you press the bracket left right brackets are in the right bracket and press on, hold down and drag. This will grab your background and again backspace to delete. So that's another way to do a selection and delete process with the quick selection tool. Another process that I would recommend is the magnetic lasso tool, so the magnetic lasso tool, the clue is in the name. It's dicks to your subjects with anchor points like a magnet would. So if you trace around your subject, you can see the magnet points sticking to the outline obvious of your woman, basically, which is really handy on. Then you basically close, your anchor points up, so go back to your original square and a little circle will pop up there to say that they're connected and again backspace to delete. So those are three off the automatic methods you can use to delete the background from your subject. But now let's delve into my favorite method off the pen tal. Now it is looking to use in the Pendleton outlets. Object from my background to use the pen tal quick p on your keyboard, and I always suggest starting at an end point on your subject rather than, say, the middle of the neck. It's Norway, always good to start, say, here at the end of the arm now using the pen. Tal is basically based on straight lines or curved lines around the subject of your image. I always think of the pencil is like a doctor dot game used to play where it would just be key points around the subject, and you trace around it. So, for example, if I click on point, that creates straight edges. And if I click and drag on my pencil that creates curved edges, so let's trace around our subject. Now let's all stop here and click and drag to create a cup of and click on drug to create curves. As you can see now, it's starting to look more like a doctor dark while we're pleasing anchor points on key areas of the neck. So if you have an old image like this one, you can see around the outline of her face. It can look a little fuzzy like here, so I always tend to go a couple of millimeters on the inside off the facial features that zoom in here to see around the cheek. I click and drag to create a kind of line. Now the great thing about Ka Lodge is you can be as neat or as messy as you like. It doesn't have to be amazingly perfect. The way out your subject, because we're going to add brushes, flourishes along the outside as well. If we carry on making anchor points around our selection around the hairline here, remember, keep just clicking and dragging for curved edges. We're coming towards the end now, so to close your selection actually go back to the first anchor point you made. Wait a little circle pops that out there on your pencil, click it and then go to paths next year. Layers panel quickly started Little circle here at the bottom Press command J. On that takes your selection onto a new layer and then click the eyeball here. And as you can see, a background layer is now gone so we can delete that. And that's how you go out the subject from the background 4. USING GRADIENT MAPS IN YOUR COLLAGE: So first of all in this class, we learned how to find marginal vintage images for a collage. Then we learned how to cook out subject from our background, using the pen tal. And now we're gonna learn how to add photographic toning toe what images by using radiant maps in photo shop. So let's get going. Now that we're photo shop, let's go over to our layers panel at the bottom of the layers panel. You'll see this half circle icon if you click it and then go to Grady and maps, a Grady Int mouth dialog box will pop up. So what I used to do when I first light I didn't Grady A maps I used to cook on this arrow . Here, add a color from my swatches panel like this on. Then add. Add another color here like that, so I do it all manually. But what I learned afterwards were, if you click on this little cog here, it will reset the the stock. Grady amounts basically on. If you think on here, there's a list off different Grady. It maps preset by photo shop on. The ones we're going to be using today are the photographic toning Grady. It maps if you cook there and then press OK to reset the crazy Grady amounts there, so protect press okay, and then, as you'll see a load off really nice vintage toning. Great, it maps a preset for you, so let's go through a couple of these. We were quite looking, really, because our image already had a really nice vintage toning to it. But you can play around with ease and pick your favorite. I would usually go for, like, a sepia tone, so I'm going to go with this one. Click OK, and as you'll see here, there's a Grady, a map layer above the woman. So if we so if you click on this top layer right click and select, create clipping lask. This will make sure that your Grady a map sticks toe, only the woman in the image. So, for example, if we make a background layer, so make sure the layers underneath the woman on will create a background color. So let's go for this one. Press command G to set the background of your image. You can change your clothes with your swatches panel, but I'm going to stick to the cream on. As you can see, the Grady amount only sticks to the woman, which is what we want. So let's stick with that. And that is basically how easy it is to add a Grady a map to your subject to create really nice tone to your collage. 5. USING CUSOTM TEXTURES TO ADD DEPTH TO YOUR COLLAGE: in this module, we're gonna learn about using custom textures to our death to your collage. So in this class will be using a vintage paper texture that I found online from this website called Bash Corpo. They have a few different options, but specifically for this class will be used in texture number seven. So we've chosen section of the seven, and I've linked this in the project description for you. I've saved to my desktop, so let's drag this along to our photo shop document and place it. So let's shift and all to transform the size off the texture and press return to place it. So let's drag the layer toe underneath the woman. Come on, T. I'm gonna move that. So the line of the paper is next to her face a little bit Robin and hidden behind places and then a key part of using textures in our collages to play around with the blending modes. So the blending most can be found here in the layers panel. Click on it and using blending modes YSL down to personal preference. I'm gonna go through them now. So, for example, this is dark and multiply Taliban so, as you can see, they all have a different effect on your background. Then we can move on to blend in rows like light and screen and color dodge, and they basically make the texture lighter than the background color. But because our background color is a creamy color, it won't really work very well. So I'm gonna go back up to linear burn, and if you think you textures too harsh, you can play around with the opacity. So is that 100% now and quite hot, So I always use around a 50% capacity range 55. But feel free to play around with this. So in this class, guys feel free to play around with the blending modes, see which one you like best and have fun and experiment, and that is basically how you add custom textures to your collar. 6. CHOPPING AND CHANGING YOUR IMAGE: Here's where we can really start having some fun by chopping up and changing the woman in our image to really make it look like a collage. So let's chop open. Change the lady in our collage with the lasso tool, grab the lasso tool from the toolbar and start tracing around the main features of the woman's face. Basically, what we're gonna do is duplicate this section of the face by pressing command J and putting it on a new layer once is on a new layer. Press command T to transform that part of the face and move it slightly across press return to place it on. What the heck? Let's just double a face to begin by doing command J in command T ah, one more time Command J in command T We've duplicated the face now three times. Now double click on the layer below and head over to the color overlay section in the dialog box. Now I'm going to pick a yellow color from my swatches panel, but you can decide to pick any college you wish. Now that we've made this alteration, it's starting to look more like a collage 7. USING CUSTOM BRUSHES TO ADD STYLISTIC FLAIR: so far in this class, we've already used custom textures, toe add depth to the background of our image. Now it's time to use costume bushes to add stylistic flair to the collage. So in my collage that I personally use Kyle T. Webster Bushes, I think with the day BCC Kyle T. Webster brushes off free and part off the aid every see CPAC. My social version is a little bit older, and so I had to buy my pack and I bought the dry media Bush pat from quality Web stuff. If you don't have access to CC or you don't have Carty Webster Porsche's I recommend using brush easy dot com. They have a few free brushes, free sample packs, or you can have a browse around and see which. But she liked the look off and make a purchase. Um, but Bush's He is a great additional tool if you don't have County Webster bushes. So now we're fresh out guys, let's play around with close to brushes, so the first thing I'm going to do is add a new layer. Above are subject layer press, be on the keyboard to get my brush up on to have a look, our different brushes. You need to go to window, appear Andi, then tool presets, and I have a lot of brushes on. I don't keep him very tidy. So here's how you can pick your different bushes from your tool presets Dialog box. I'm gonna get my yellow swatch go full a dry brush. I think that goes for a drive for Shia. What we do is trace around this background layer so that it creates almost I kids yellow repetition around the skin. As you can see, I'm assuming it's kind of messy and kind of coming over the skin layer. So what I'm gonna do is go to my layer on my layers panel. Right click. Until that create clipping mask on average can see has got rid of those messy edges connived in that I'm going to create a new layer above my background layer. It's always a good idea. Teoh create new lays for any brushstroke you dio, and here's the part where we can just go crazy. I'm just picking colors from my swatches panel. Obviously you do not need make the same kind of cool is that I'm making free reign for you guys and then another one. Maybe I'm gonna go for a anti kind of and change my brush. So to create a straight line, this is a good little tip to press down your pen. Hold down, shift on. Then it creates a straight line for you saying again? Yeah. Obviously, this is just like a case of trial and error. Now, guys, experimenting on going a little bit crazy. I'm gonna change my bushes now to a soft brush and change my cool it to a more common trusting collects. I'm going quite bright with Michael is And that is pretty much how you add custom bushes to your artwork. And this is where you can go crazy. And this is the last module on our class. So I hope you enjoy on Get creative, guys 8. CLASS PROJECT: so I hope you enjoyed the class and ready to put your skills to the test in the project gallery. Here's what I'd like you to dio First, have a search on the Web and find a copyright free image that's in the public domain for you to use in your collage. Second, use the pen tal or the automatic methods. Well, it in this class to cut out the subject of your image from its background. Three. As some cool grainy it maps to give a nice stylistic effect to your collage. Four Fires and Textures online and add it to the background of your college toe that's in debt. Five. Use custom brushes like the Kyle T. Webster brushes over. She's found on the Web light bashiti dot com ad stylistic flat Your car large Can't wait, see what you come up with and have fun