Polyscapes

We are going to create this awesomeness!

Student Examples

 

 

Setting up your document

  • Click on this photo so it opens in another window
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  • Drag the full size image into Photoshop
  • Make a layer copy (command j)
  • Make the bottom layer invisible
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  • We are going to add guides in the next steps (if you do not want your design to be symmetrical, you do not have to do this process)
  • Go to View—>New Guide
  • Set it to 50% Vertical
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  • Press OK
  • Go to View—>New Guide
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  • Your document should look like the image below
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  • Go to View–>Snap To and make sure ‘guides’ have a check next to it (this way the shape we are going to make is perfectly aligned and snaps to place)

Creating your first shape

  • Add a new layer- this is not a layer copy! Press command shift n for the new layer
  • Select the marquee tool (M) and hover the mouse at the intersection of the guides
  • Click and hold the mouse at the cross section
  • While pressing BOTH the ‘option’ and ‘shift’ keys, move the curser to make a large square shape
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  • Once it is the size you want, let go of the mouse, as well as the command and shift keys
  • Go to Select—>Transform Selection and rotate it to a diamond shape
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  • Press G on your keyboard to get to the Paint Bucket Tool (if the Gradient Tool pops up, click and hold on the Gradient Tool and then select the Paint Bucket Tool)
  • Hold your option key down and sample a color from your photo
  • Fill the diamond with a color by clicking the Paint Bucket Tool inside of the shape
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  • Go to your Layers Panel (the layer panel has all your layers on it)
  • Change your layer blending mode from normal to one of your choosing (I chose soft light because I like the way it looks with the photo…overlay, multiply, and a lot of the others work well to. Experiment with the different modes and find one that you like)
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  • Press ‘command d’ to deselect (or go to Select—>Deselect)
  • If you want to add a border around you shape, click on the ‘fx’ icon at the bottom of the layers panel and select ‘stroke’
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  • Make sure that the preview box has a check next to it so you can see what you’re changing
  • Adding a stroke and changing the blending mode will help separate your image from the background photo. Changing the color of the stroke also helps (I changed mine to white). I also increased the stroke size. This step is not mandatory.
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Adding more shapes

  • Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (also M on your keyboard…you’ll have to click and hold on the Marquee Tool to get to the Elliptical Marquee Tool)…this is the one that looks like a circle
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  • Hover the mouse at the intersection of the guides
  • While pressing BOTH the ‘option’ and ‘shift’ keys, click on the mouse to create a circleΒ shape that is around the size of the diamond shape
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  • Click on Layer 1 (or the copy of the original photo)
  • Press command j to make a layer copy of the photo
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  • At first glance, it’ll look like nothing happened. Go to your layers panel and move that layer to the top
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  • Go to Edit—>Transform—>Flip Vertical
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  • Hold the command key on your keyboard while clicking the layer thumbnail of the circle layer on the layers panel to load the selection
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  • Go to Select—>Transform Selection
  • Press shift and option to decrease the circle in proportion.
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  • When you are satisfied with your selection, press delete on your keyboard to take away the middle part of the photo
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  • Press ‘command d’ to deselect
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  • You can adjust the opacity and/or blending mode (I ended up making my circle thinner and altering the opacity
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Adding a third shape and photo

  • Press U on the keyboard to select the Polygon Tool (you might need to click and hold to get to the polygon
  • Look at the top bar and change the ‘sides’ to 3 (it’s on the top left)
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  • Hover the mouse at the intersection of the guides
  • Click and hold the mouse
  • While pressing BOTH the ‘option’ and ‘shift’ keys, drag the mouse to create a triangleΒ shape that is smallerΒ than the circle shape
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  • Add this photo to your polyscape document (you can copy and paste it in)
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  • Make sure it is the top layer (if it is not, drag it to the top)
  • We are going to create a clipping mask. Hold your option key while hovering the mouse over the line between the new layer and the polygon layer. When you notice it change from a hand to a square with an arrow, click the mouse
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  • I ended up cropping the image because it wasn’t centered
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Tips

  • Blur the background photo by going to Filter—>Blur—>Gaussian Blur
  • Add adjustment layers! It does wonders!
  • Make a portion of it black and white