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Any collage mavens out there?

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2004, 09:50 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Any collage mavens out there?

Hi Everyone!

I am wondering if anyone is up on the best way to do the kind of collage I am attaching?

I know this kind of project can be done fairly easily in Quark Express with picture boxes and preset columns but it seems that Quark only lets you make documents up to around 8.5x11 and how do you get it to be a psd file?...

I recently did a similar collage by using lots and lots of ruler guides for the size of each picture and also for the white borders and then resized and re-cropped lots and lots of times..But is there a better, much less time consuming way???

Diane
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File Type: jpg smMicrosoft collage.jpg (96.4 KB, 78 views)
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:15 PM
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ExclamPt ExclamPt is offline
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I spent a weekend at a friend's farm in Kansas last week, took some photos, and gave him the attached collage as a thank you gift.

I'm not saying this is a good example of a collage, but I'll share my experiences.

It was done in PhotoShop, using a grid and guides for alignment. Each photo was on its own layer with layer masks to crop the images so that I could resize or change the cropping later.

First, I sized all photos to the maximum size I thought they might be in the final collage. Then, I moved them around to test various placements. Finally, I did the sizing, alignment, and cropping. Of course, there were last minute changes.

It seems to me, the more elements there are in any layout, the more complex the task becomes. I wish I'd had more usable photos than I did have in order for flexibility. So, my first bit of advice is to have plenty of images and a willingness to leave many on the cutting room floor.

There are so many considerations when doing a layout (color, sizing, content, gutter "rivers," centers of interest, scaling, eye movement, etc., etc.) it seems miraculous that a layout can ever be done successfully.

I suppose I'm saying this: "There's just no easy way. Some tools might make it easier, but it's not a walk in the park for me."
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File Type: jpg Kansas Euphoria.jpg (94.9 KB, 75 views)

Last edited by ExclamPt; 04-29-2004 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:06 AM
dipech dipech is offline
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Hi Exclaim,

I really like the collage you did!! The black border gives it a very nice final touch. I bet your friend loved it!

Some questions:

What did you mean about using a grid? Is that something different than the ruler guides?

How do you crop an image using layer masks??

What final size did you make yours?

Like you said, doing these kinds of pieces takes time, thought and also inspiration. But you have some very helpful techniques!

Thank you!
Diane
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:09 AM
dipech dipech is offline
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Exclaim,

I'm also wondering about how much time it took you to do yours?

Thanks,
Diane
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:45 AM
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ExclamPt ExclamPt is offline
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Diane,

Thanks for the kind words.

To answer your questions...

Grid: In PhotoShop - View>Show>Grid The grid spacing can be changed via Edit>Preferences...

Cropping using masks: Use the rectangular marquee tool to "crop" the image. Invert the selection and fill this area with black after selecting the layer mask

Final size: 8 x 10, but that's only because I didn't want to impose a larger collage on my friend's already well-decorated home.

Time: About 2 hours for layout - this was after correction of the photos (contrast, saturation, etc.).

Hope this helps.


Last edited by ExclamPt; 04-29-2004 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:03 PM
rondon rondon is offline
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Another way

If you often remove folks from their background and save those layers (i call'em clones") you can make this sort of collage...

You just start with a large white background like 8x10 at 500ppi and drag the layers onto it... adjust them with the transform tool (ctrl-t .. windows) and use the layers pallet to position them depth wise.

if anyone enjoys this a good habit is to save a full sized copy with the layers to add others later.

when you finish just flatten it and change the dpi to the file size you like.
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File Type: jpg cutout-collage.jpg (60.7 KB, 60 views)
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2004, 01:15 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Hi Diane,

This is the first one that I have ever done (March of this year - for a funeral), it took 3 to 3.5 hours and was pretty intense. We charged;

-8x$11=$88 to scan, includes global correctsion and light spotting
-$150 for art work to combine into collage
-$70 for 11x14 printed on our Epson 2200

$308 total plus tax

I found out who the people were and some about his personality and his relationships with the people in the photos to help me figure out where and how to include them.

I am hoping the next one is a little quicker

We also used Photoshop and layers, etc.

Roger
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File Type: jpg Collage_Final.jpg (42.5 KB, 59 views)
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Old 04-30-2004, 06:36 PM
dipech dipech is offline
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Exclaim,

Thanks for the info on the grid and cropping with masks. These are very good things to know about and may help save alot of time...

Roger,

Thanks for being brave enough to post the first collage you've ever done! I love the way you did the boy in the center! It really gets your attention to the piece.

I would never have thought of the layout you used. I see that it enabled you to not have to reduce the size of some of the pictures. I probably would have had the boy in the center with the other pictures in a circle around him, but then many of the pictures would have had to be reduced.

I am wondering about your $70 charge for the 11x14 print...Assuming your customer sees this breakdown, I worry that it discourages the customer from ordering additional copies.

I've been using some of the online labs (Photo Access and Shutterfly) where I can have a great 11x14 matte print made for under $10 including shipping. The quality has been excellent

Take care,
Diane
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Old 04-30-2004, 08:51 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Here's one I just finished recently, and it's kind of like Roger's excellent work. It's only the second collage I've made, and I made it for friends. My wife and I remember the subject when he was born, and there was no charge for the work. It was just a way of presenting our friends with something that they might cherish. The large head shot in the center was a heavy crop from another picture on a horse, like the one at the bottom left, and that's about the best I could do with it. But I thought it worked.

I don't know if this helps or not, but I just played with a layer for each photo, and used layer masks to put everything together. That's the beauty of layer masks. You can play with it forever, and undo or redo whatever you're concerned with. This thread shows that there are many ways to make a collage, and it's up to the individual to do whatever it takes to make it work.

Ed
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File Type: jpg collage.jpg (97.6 KB, 53 views)
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2004, 09:39 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Diane,

Thanks - I grouped images together to make them 'one shape' to each grouping instead of a lot of little shapes to simplify the composition. Regarding:

Quote:
I am wondering about your $70 charge for the 11x14 print...Assuming your customer sees this breakdown, I worry that it discourages the customer from ordering additional copies
The customer doesn't order photos they don't need just because they are cheap - but they do order the number that they want at the best quality. It is kind of like paying for good art work - they are paying for us to manage the printing because they know it will be the best.

Ed,

Great composition on yours, love the leg over the hat, how eating is kitty-corner, and the riding is kittty-corner. My first impression is that the two large heads together in the bottom right corner is a little off balance grouping wise, but I am not sure what to do about it.

Roger
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