Welcome to Quick Collage Basics, a six week blog series sharing basic techniques for our free photo templates. Each week I’ll post a new tutorial featuring a technique readers frequently ask about. All of the tutorials will be in Adobe Photoshop, but leave a comment if you have questions about adapting the instructions to the software you use.
Week Four: Deleting Excess from Shape Collages
When you delete excess photo from square or rectangle templates, it’s easy to use the Rectangular Marquee tool to select all of the area that needs to be removed. Some of the shape templates are a little trickier.
1. Open the collage template in your image-editing software.
2. Place your photo over the template block you would like to fill.
3. Go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask (or Layer>Group With Previous, depending on the version of your software) to drop the photo into the template.
4. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to carefully select a large amount of the extra photo. Press the Delete key or go to Edit>Clear.
5. Zoom in on the area you’d like to delete. Switch to your Eraser tool, adjust the brush size as needed, and carefully erase the excess.
6. Zoom back out, admire your work, and then repeat the process to fill the rest of the template blocks.
Edited to add: I just discovered that when using the collages in Adobe Photoshop CS4, you need to rasterize smart objects before you can erase the excess. To do this, go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Objects. If any other versions of Photoshop have slight variations, please let me know!
Do you have another method for deleting the extra? Have you discovered any awesome tricks for using the collages? Leave a comment and share your experiences with other scrappers. Then check back here next Tuesday for Week Five: Recoloring the Background.
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