Make a Digital Collage Using Photoshop

This is a really simple tutorial that will cover two features of Photoshop, the Quick Selection tool and SmartObject manipulation, which will be useful for creating You In (Digital) Collage Form! There are many ways to approach this task, and this tutorial uses a method I’ve found useful.

Obviously, with this specific assignment, you’ll need to do some brainstorming. What are your hobbies and interests? Anything significant about your childhood? Your favorite place to be? What makes you, you? Take a minute to think about this and write a list, then search for relevant images that convey whatever you come up with. The more images to choose from, the better. Once you’ve saved all of your images in one folder, open an image you’d like to use as your background into Photoshop. This will serve as your working project.

For my example, I chose to incorporate my family, pet and hobby. Ideally, you’d have more images, but for the sake of this tutorial I kept it simple.

Open an image you’d like to incorporate into your collage. Select the Quick Selection tool on the left menu bar and adjust your brush as needed using the settings at the top of the page. The + sign will highlight your selection, while the sign will reverse the selection. Select a specific piece of your image by dragging the brush on it while the + sign is active. If you go past a border, you can reverse it by switching your brush to the sign and cleaning the parts you don’t want selected.

Once your desired section is selected, right-click it and select “Layer via cut” or “Layer via copy”. Your isolated selection should then appear in the Layer list on the bottom right. To place it in the image you chose as your background, simply drag that new layer over to the tab that contains the background image and release over the canvas. This transfers the layer to your working project.

The images you collected will probably vary in size, so you’ll want to manipulate this by converting the layer into a SmartObject. I like to resize images/layers this way because it’s easy to use and you don’t lose quality in the process. In your working project, select the image you’d like to resize from the Layer list, right-click, and select “Convert to Smart Object”. Resize and move your image however you’d like against the background image.

These tools make it easy to build a unique digital collage. You can play with scale, placement, and incorporate as many images as you want. I hope this tutorial was helpful!

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