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 Six: Adding Digital Elements
Replacing template blocks with digital elements may seem intimidating, but it’s as simple as adding photos to the collage!
1. Open the collage template you’d like to use in your image-editing software.
2. Place your digital element—in this case, digital paper from the free Citrus Blitz kit featured in the October issue “Digi Fusion” column—in a new layer above the collage template. Choose Layer>Create Clipping Mask (or Layer>Group With Previous) to drop the paper into the collage block.
3. (This is the new step I mentioned in week 4 for the Adobe Photoshop CS4 users.) Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a box around the template block, then go to Select>Inverse. In some version of Photoshop, you may need to then go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object.
4. Go to Edit>Clear to delete the digital paper from the other template blocks.
5. If you want to add text over the template block, all you have to do is select your Text tool, draw a text box over the template block, and start typing.
I hope you enjoyed the Quick Collage Basics blog series! If there are any other techniques you would like info about, or other topics you think would make a good blog series, let me know!
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