Digital Collage Technique



Melvis, you're right about transparency - another one of the really fab things about working in layers.

I didn't think I'd use it much on Golden Tarot since I was trying to avoid modern-looking effects. But then, even on that project I found invaluable uses for it - for example, in making the skin on the faces and hands of characters more even.

Since I was working with source material such as frescoes, often sections of the original image were in poor condition - crumbled, cracked. By pasting over a semi-transparent layer copied from a small area that had good skin, I could do a repair but still have the original cracks etc showing subtly. This made it look a lot more genuine than if I'd been stuck with pasting a solid patch.

You can also use a very transparent layer of crackling over a whole finished collage to 'bring the picture together' and make it look like an old fresco/oil painting. Subtly, of course :)

If it makes you feel any better about starting from scratch - I was very overtired one night while working on GT and managed to overwrite my layered version of with a flattened version without realising. When I went to back it up the next day, I realised the file size was way too small. No layers! My stomach sank. After desperately trying to restore it somehow, I realised I HAD to do it again from scratch. At least it was a bit quicker the second time as I knew what I was aiming for. *sigh* Like you, I didn't make that mistake again. I backed up every layered file to CD as I finished, before making a flattened version for print.


this thread is really helping me. i'm learning in class but i'm understanding terminology that you use! it's giving me more self-confidence. my mother wants me to take a picture of her father(long deceased) and put it in an old picture. when i learned about scanning and layering, i got really excited b/c i know i can do that for her.

then today a friend who is writing a book called asking if i knew anyone who could do a book cover for her. i told her that i probably could using photoshop. i suggested she got thru magazines and personal photos and put together a collage of what she wanted. then i would scan it and make adjustments with photoshop. even if i have to completely redo it, i think it will help me understanding what she wants this way.

i told my instructor about the paintshop site and she told me it was a good program. i could tell she still prefers photoshop but i was impressed by what i saw at the site.

i have a version of photoshop that came w/ my scanner but it's not as sophisticated as paintshop or photoshop. when i was working on my cards for the FACT deck, i used that photoshop but i was never totally satisfied w/ my results. i like what i was trying to express but there's some improvements i'd like to make to the drawings.

maybe one day i'll do my own deck. i have ideas but nothing is written in stone.

Major Tom

Retrokat - It's really great to get these tips from someone who's getting published. :) Like my friend Kayne I thought I knew *everything* about Photoshop and PaintShop.


Share your own tips!

I'd appreciate any tips from you guys too. Just cos my deck's getting published doesn't mean I'm any more expert than you :)

As I say on my unrelated website - "The more we learn, the more we realise how little we know..."