Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Circle Collage

Today I decided to make a circular collage on my layout.  I'll show you how I did it.

1. Right-click on the Custom Shape Tool.  It's near the bottom of the tool panel. From the pop-out menu choose the Ellipse Tool.

2. Go up to the tool options bar and click the down arrow next to the ellipse graphic, to open the Ellipse options.  You can see I chose a fixed size of 8 inches by 8 inches to create my circle.

3.  Click just one time (for fixed size shapes) on your layout in approximately the area where you'd like the upper left corner of your shape.  You will see your shape using the current foreground color and its new layer in the layers panel.

4.  Switch to the move tool, if necessary, to move the shape exactly where you want it.

5.  Right click on the shape layer in the layers palette and choose Simplify Layer.

6. Now, to make the collage shapes, the grid lines will help.  Go to the View menu and choose Grid to make the gridlines show up. I moved my circle to one inch from the right and left sides.  

7. Making sure your circle layer is the active one (highlighted in the layers palette) and using the gridlines, grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (fifth one down) and make a selection of one quarter of the circle.

8. Type Control/Command - J to copy the selection to a new layer.  See how it appears in the layers palette:

9. To make the new selection visible on the layout, select a new color in the Color Picker and then hit Option-Shift-Delete.

10.  Now, to have a mat border showing under the pie slices, we can reduce their size by trimming them.  Control/Command-Click on the thumbnail of the pie slice (not just the layer, but the thumbnail!) to get the selection marching ants around the pie slice on the layout.

11.  Go to the Select menu, point to Modify, and then click on Contract.

12.  In the Contract Selection dialogue box, enter 20 pixels and click OK.

13.  Do not deselect yet!  Inverse the selection, either in the Select menu or by hitting Command/Control-Shift-I (the capital letter i).  Now the marching ants are selecting everything outside of the original selection.  Press the delete or backspace key to trim your pie slice and allow more of the black circle to show behind it. Hit Control/Command-D to deselect.

14. Repeat the above steps to create the remaining three pie slices. Remember to select the full circle layer in the layers palette before hitting Control J for each selection.  For interest, make the pie slices differently sized.

15. But wait! Now the horizontal and vertical borders are 40 pixels wide, while the curves are only 20 pixels! There are multiple ways to fix this.  I used the same selection procedure as above, command-clicking on the circle thumbnail, then expanding the selection (Select>Modify>Expand) to increase my selection by 20 pixels. Then I just dumped more black into that selected area with the paint bucket, making sure I was on the circle layer.

16.  Now the circle collage template is ready for clipping papers or photos.  Just drag your photo above the shape layer you want to use and hit Control/Command-G. You can resize and move around the picture until you flatten the two layers together. To flatten the photo layer to its clipping mask, hit Control/Command-E.

Here's how my layout and layers palette looked after clipping a paper to the circle and one photo to the collage.

Here's my finished layout, using papers from Jeanine's latest paper kit, Mellowish.

Have fun making shape collages on your next layout! ~Michele