How to Make a Montage in Photoshop
Photoshop is the standard for graphic designers > and many more people that work with images on computers. One job that photoshop is often used for is the creation of montages. While some steps may vary between different versions of photoshop, the basic premise will remain the same. By using this article, you will be able get started making montages on just about any version of photoshop.
First, decide which photos you plan on using in your montage. These can come from scanned images, family photos from digital cameras and other sources. Open these pics and save them all to the same format. Such all a generally same size, same color breakdown such as RGB or CMYK, all same DPI - Dots Per Inch. Most of these terms come from the printing industry. For computer use such as email pics, images will often be RGB and with a lower DPI. Most web images are around 72 dpi or less. If you plan on printing later, you will need to save you images at a higher DPI. I do this regardless because you can change the DPI later on your finished image while keeping a separate working file.
Working files and finished files. Once again, this depends a bit on your version of Photoshop. You will now start your working file. Start a new image with nothing in it, or open what you would consider your base image. Make the canvas a size that is slightly larger than you plan on your final image as being. Save as My Montage Working or a similar name to let you know which file this is. This file will contain your image layers and will most often be saved as a "psd" file. This type of file can be reopened over and over again, worked on and saved without using your layers. UNLESS you save it in a format that combines all of the layers. In newer versions of Photoshop you can save as a tiff file and still work in layers.
Now you have a main file saved as a PSD file and other image files ready to go. Open the images as needed and by using your tool bar select the lasso tool or square-round selection tool. Select the part of the image you want to add to the montage, select, copy click on the working file to activate, then paste. Your selected image should now paste onto a NEW layer of your working PSD (or for newer versions a layered tiff file)
This is the fun part. Now you have layers. Before you go any further use your layer effects options from either the drop down menus or from the layer menu in your layer window. You can play with different shadows, effects, text and more. AND you can go back and change these options and effect for each layer as needed as long as you don't combine the layers. Once your combine layers, or flatten layers, your image is turned into a ONE layer image and you can't go back and make layer changes.
Now you have a working layered image file and you are ready to save and email to all of your friends.Save the file as is as a PSD file. Don't make any changes. THEN "SAVE AS" a new file separate from the PSD file. Most often this will be a gif or jpeg. This will flatten the layers in your new image. BUT, you will still have your other PSD Working image in case you need to go back and make changes.
Try a few samples. You can use your lasso tool or even eraser tool to trim up layers and then add effects. Play around a bit and soon you will be knocking out montages like crazy.
Once again, these tips will vary slightly from version to version. I use a newer version of photoshop and save many images as tiff images with working layers. But this option is not available in older versions.