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  • Digital Collage Photoshop Tutorial

    For those who do not have access to, or cannot use 3D programs, there is a way to create semi-realistic perspectives in Photoshop. Digital Collage is an extremely effective way of creating new images from several different sources. In a similar way to 3D programs, you can manually map materials onto defined planes and add gradiants and shadows to portray a source of light. If you know how to use Photoshop a little, you will have no problem going through this tutorial as I will explain everything.

    Creating your background framework

    1. Go to File > New (CTRL+N) on your Photoshop program
    2. Make the new document 900px Width and 300px Height. You may do any size you wish, but try to make it nice and wide.
    3. Make a new layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N)
    4. Fill it with white (ALT+BACKSPCE)
    5. Double click the layer to bring up the Blending Options. Go to Gradients and change the gradiant to 180 degrees and click on the rectangular gradiant bar as shown here:

    6. Modify the two different colours as shown:

    7. Change the left colour to #3d1704 and hit OK. Then go to the right colour and change it to #7f4300 and hit OK.

    8. Now your canvas should be completely covered by a brownish gradient. Now to add a colour balance to it. To do this go to the bottom of your layers and look for a circle. Click on it and go to 'Colour Balance':

    9. Slide the bottom bar towards yellow and the top one towards red and do the same for Highlights, Midtones and Shadows:

    10. Now go to the line tool (U). Draw a horizonline by clicking once on one side of the canvas and clicking on the otherside. Hold the shift key to make it straight. If you want you can label the horizonline and the two vanishing points.

    11. Begin to draw your lines for the shape of the ziggurat. Use this image below as a guide. Remember that everyline must return to the vanishing point.

    12. The framework for your digital collage is now complete.

    Cladding the ziggurat

    1. We will be using this image by Fort Photo, Feb 15, 2008. Use the rectangular marquee (M) tool to select a building facade. Copy to clipboard (CTRL+C).

    2. Paste onto your background (CTRL+V). Use the Move Tool (V) and hold the ALT key.
    3. Press on the pasted building and drag a duplicate from it. Make three more.
    4. Select all three layers and merge them together (CTRL+E).

    5. Go to Edit > Transform > Skew and manipulate to your perspective lines as shown below:

    6. You can use the same image, or find different ones from other photos to cover the rest of the building. Just keep to the perspective lines and use Skew. You should end up with something like this:

    7. You have succesfully cladded your ziggurat!

    Creating the pillars

    1. For the pillars, add a few persepective lines with the Line Tool to help you figure out where to place them.

    2. Go to the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L). Click to begin your outline and using the perspective lines as a guide, draw the first pillar. Join the lasso where you started for it to become a marquee. Fill it with black (ALT+BACKSPCE).

    3. Make the rest of your pillars:

    4. Clad with building facades using the skew tool.

    5. Copy and paste a different facade. Make a few duplicates and merge the layers.

    6. Use the skew tool and make the facade in line with the black shape. Lower the opacity of the image and using the polygon tool cut away the excess.

    7. Do for all pillars.


    1. Now for the best part. Creating light and shadow in Photoshop just like a 3D program!

    First determine your light source. In this tutorial it will come from the left. For each face of the building that will be hit by sunlight, double click the layer and go to blending properties. Add a gradient with similar specifications as this:

    2. Right click on the layer that you just applied the gradient. Go to 'Copy Layer Style'. Go to all other layers that are hit by the sun, right click on the and go to 'Paste Layer Style'. This is the effect that you will get:


    1. To determine your shadows, simply visualise where the light source is and angle your shadows accordingly. The process is intuitive and fun, so experiment to see what looks right for your ziggurat.

    2. Use the Polygonal Lasoo Tool (L) and draw your shadow as a whole or in parts. Complete the loop to get a marquee. Fill it with black (ALT+BACKSPCE) and lower the opacity to about 43%.

    3. Cover all areas that are facing away from the sun, or are obstructed by the sun from the pillars and fill with shadow. This ziggurat is now complete.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Digital Collage Photoshop Tutorial started by Shards View original post