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Ship of Dreams
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Ship of Dreams
Created by: Barbara Townsend

This study will teach how to prepare different-size images and merge them together to create one picture. We will use the Resize feature in Images, the Copy and Paste commands in Edit, we'll use layers to make new adjustments and the Dropper tool in the Add Borders feature. At the end of this tutorial I'll tell you how to add a frame using Borders, or you may make one of your own.

Download File Download File

In the zip file on the left you will find the two images used for this tutorial. One is a sketch of a ship and the other a photo of sky and clouds.

You will notice that these two images are different in style and size. When using this technique on other projects you will seldom find two or more images of the same size so we will work to make these equal.

Special Tip Always make duplicates to work with (Window || Duplicate or Shift+D) and close the original images. Remember to save often.

Open Image

Open both images in your workspace. Activate the first image of the clouds and go to Image || Image Information (Shift+I). You will see that it is 902 x 602 pixels. That is a very large image and could be beautiful as a desktop theme as it is, however, it is far too big for this project.

Activate the image of the ship and check its size. It is 150 x 216 pixels. This is much smaller than the first image. Now minimize the ship and move it down to the bottom of the workspace until it is needed.

1st resizing

Working on the clouds image, we are going to resize it twice. First we will be using Percentages and then Pixels. This is done to maintain the quality of the photo.

Go to Image || Resize (Shift+S), under "Pixel Dimensions" select "Percent" and then set:
– Width and Height = 60 (percent)
– Resample using = Smart Size
– Maintain original print size = uncheckeds
– Lock aspect ratio = checked
– Resize all layers = checked

2nd resizing

The image is now 541 x 361 pixels which will be difficult to work with, so we will resize it one more time but by Pixels instead of Percentages.

Go to Image || Resize (Shift+S), under "Pixel Dimensions" select "Pixels", uncheck the option "Lock aspect ratio" first and then set:
– Width = 450
– Height = 350
– Resample using = Smart Size
– Maintain original print size = unchecked
– Lock aspect ratio = unchecked
– Resize all layers = checked

Minimize the image, it is time to work on the ship. Maximize it into the workspace.


New Image


Open a new image 450 pixels wide by 350 pixels high, white background. We are going to copy the ship image and paste it as a new layer into this new image. Use the method you are most comfortable with:

  1. With your Menu bar:
    – Edit || Copy on the ship image, then – Edit || Paste || Paste As New Layer on the white image;
  2. With your keyboard:
    – Ctrl+C to copy the ship image, then
    – Ctrl+L to paste it as a new layer on the white image;
  3. With pop-up menus:
    – Right-click on the ship image and choose "Copy", then
    – Right-click on the white image and choose "Paste ||
       Paste As New Layer".

Select which method you prefer. With the ship image activated, copy and then paste as a new layer into the white image. This will create a larger background without changing the size of the ship. At this time you can close the original ship image. You should now have an image of the ship the same size as the clouds image.

Go to Layers || Merge || Merge All (Flatten). With both images open on the workspace, copy and paste the ship image into the clouds image.

Raster Layer 1 and the Opacity Slider

It will appear that there is only the ship in this image now, but it is layered on top of the cloud image. If you check your Layer palette, the ship is the 'Raster 1' layer and the cloud is the Background layer.

Highlight the 'Raster 1' layer and move the Opacity slider to 58. Now both images appear as one picture. At this point you can merge the layers (Layers || Merge || Merge All [Flatten]). Add a border and say it is finished.

Loved one's photo added plus a border Or you can clean up a photo of a loved one or two and add them as a new layer, adjusting the Opacity slider to fade them into the background. Then merge layers again (Layers || Merge || Merge All [Flatten]) and add your borders.

Dropper Tool

Image with borders added

Adding Borders

Select the colors for your border from the image itself, using the Dropper tool. The first border should be something very small like size 2. Sometimes the border bleeds over into the image and a small border will correct this.

Now, go to Image || Add Borders:
– Symmetric = checked
– Size in pixels (Top/Left/Right/Bottom) = 2
– Color = your choice (I had a dark greyish Blue:
   Red = 54, Green = 67, Blue = 90; #36435A)

Go again to Image || Add Borders for a second border:
– Symmetric = checked
– Size in Pixels = 10
– Color = your choice again (I had a paler greyish Blue this time:
   Red = 152, Green = 163, Blue = 187; #98A3BB)

Magic Wand Tool

Top right corner after Chisel effect
Use the Magic Wand tool on the outer border. Go to Effects || 3D Effects || Chisel:
– Size = 7
– Solid color = checked
– Color = White (Red = 255, Green = 255, Blue = 255; #FFFFFF)

Loved one's photo added plus a border

Now go to Effects || 3D Effects || Inner Bevel:
– Bevel = #7
– Width = 4
– Smoothness = 40
– Depth = 1
– Ambience = 4
– Shininess = 0
– Color = White
– Angle = 345
– Intensity = 39
– Elevation = 35

Deselect with Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D.


At this time you may like to save this bevel as a preset. I hope that you will find the techniques used in this tutorial to be helpful to you in many other projects. Have fun with PSP.

Barbara T.