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Layers Collage
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Making a Collage Using Layers
Created by: Charith Carne

Paint Shop Pro version 5 and higher has some additional features which are very useful. We will be using these new features to make a collage.
 
Download this tutorial file Download file
The download file has the four graphics you will need to work through this tutorial. The graphics are in a ZIP file. You will need to unzip the file to your hard drive before using them.
 
Open the file called "col1.psp". This will be the background graphic since we will be working with layers.

Once the image is open in PSP, you should have the Layer Palette and your Control Palette showing. You will be using both palettes frequently throughout this tutorial. Notice that the image is showing as the Background in the Layer Palette. This is the first of our layers, the other graphics we add will each be added to a new layer.

In PSP 6 the Control Palette is called "Tool Options Palette". The functions have remained the same.

 
Open the image called "col3.psp". You want to add the image without the background to a new layer of your other image. To do this, we will need to select the USA.
 
Click on the Magic Wand tool. In the Control palette, set:
Match Mode = RGB Value
Tolerance = 50
Feather = 0
 
Click on the black background of this image to select everything but the USA.

In the menu bar, click on Selections || Invert to change the selection to the USA.

 
Click on Edit || Copy. Now close this image.

Our first image, "col1.psp", is now the current active image.

 
      We will use one of the methods of adding a layer to this graphic. In the Layer Palette, in the lower left corner, there are two icons. One has a paper with a folded edge on it, the other is a garbage can.

In PSP 6, these two icons are in the top left corner of the Layer Palette.

Click on the first icon with the paper on it to add a new layer. You will get another window, just click OK in this window.
 
Click on Edit || Paste || As New Selection. Notice that this image has now been pasted to Layer1. There is a floating selection around the USA. This image is still a selection and can be edited.

Move this image where you would like it to be and then deselect it by right-clicking on the image with the mouse button.

 
Open the image called "col2.psp". We will do the same thing we did before to select only the dollar signs.
 
Click on the Magic Wand tool. In the Control Palette, change the Tolerance to 65.
 
Click on the black background of the graphic. Then in the menu bar, click on Selections || Invert. Now the dollar signs should be the only part of this image selected.
 
Click on Edit || Copy. Close this image.
 
We will use a different method to add this image as a new layer to the graphic we are working on.

Click on Edit || Paste || As New Layer. Notice that the image is now pasted to a new layer called Layer2. There are no floating selections with this method, and the Mover tool has been activated in your tool palette.

Move the image around so that the dollar signs are where you would like them to be.

 
Now we are ready to add the last image and we will use a new tool! Open the image called "col4.psp".
 
Using the Magic Wand with the same settings as before, select the white background of this image by clicking on it.
 
In the menu bar, click on Selections || Invert so that the dollar bill is selected.
 
Click on Edit || Copy. Close this image.
 
Click on Edit || Paste || As New Layer. Move the image on this layer where you would like it to be. We will now use the Deformation tool to slant and reshape this image.
 
Click on the Deformation tool in the tool palette. You will now see a grid as shown below.
 
Notice there are boxes on this grid around the image. When you move your mouse over a box, the pointer changes to a double arrow. When this happens, you can hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse to reshape the image. Experiment with this using different boxes until you get the shape you want.
 
Move the mouse over the box on the right end of the center line until you get two half circle arrows. Hold the mouse button down and drag the mouse until your image is slanted the way you like it. Release the mouse button when you have it where you want it, then click on the Apply button in your Control palette.
 


Now we will add some transparency to each layer of this image. Looking at the Layer Palette (top image on the left: PSP 5, bottom image: PSP 6), you will see there are slider bars to the right of each layer. This will change the opacity of the image on the layer. Click on the Layer3 button to select Layer3. Slide the bar over to the left until you have a transparency you like.

Click on the Layer2 button, and slide the bar over to change the transparency on this layer.

Click on Layer1 and do the same thing.

 


Now, looking at this image, I think the dollar bill looks terrible as the last image placed on this graphic. Let's move it to another layer. This is easily done!

Click on the Layer3 button on the Layer Palette and hold the mouse button down, drag the button over on top of the Layer2 button and release your mouse button. Layer3 has been moved to Layer2 and Layer2 has been moved to Layer3!

Change the opacity settings to adjust the transparencies of the layers again. Your image is now ready to save!
 
Saving the image also has it's own set of options. You can choose to save this image so that the layers will remain intact for editing the next time you open it in PSP. To save the image for editing later with all its layers, just save in the PSP format (*.psp).

To save this image as a regular graphic completely ready to use for the web or other graphic work, we will need to merge all the layers into one layer. In the menu bar, click on Layers || Merge || Merge All. Notice that in the Layer Palette there is now only one layer called Background. All the layers are now one layer and no longer can you edit each individual image. The graphic is ready to save as a JPEG ( recommended) or a GIF!