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Creating a Montage Using Masks and Layers

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  1. Creating a Montage Using Masks and Layers
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  3. [Part 3 of 4]
  4. [Part 4 of 4]
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Overview: Create masks for the component photos in Photoshop or Painter; copy them into a single document; use a brush to edit the layer masks when compositing them; paint on the final image.

Excerpted from Chapter 6 of The Painter 6 Wow! Book, by Cher Threinen-Pendarvis

From the author of

WHEN CONTINENTAL CABLEVISION asked John Dismukes of Capstone Studios to illustrate a direct-mail piece, he and his team turned to Painter. He combined photographs and splashy color with loose airbrush and chalk brushstrokes to illustrate the theme "Can Summer in California Get Any Better?"

The original photos.

1 Gathering illustration elements. Begin by collecting all of the individual elements that you'll need for your illustration. Dismukes and his associates photographed separate images of clouds, a pair of sunglasses, ocean foam, palm trees, and a television on the sand. The photo negatives were scanned in Kodak Photo CD format.

2 Making a template from laser prints. Dismukes' team created a traditional comp by printing the individual elements, then photocopying them at different scales and assembling them using scissors and adhesive. They turned the completed comp into a template by scanning it at 72 ppi, opening it in Painter and sizing it to the final image size of 4 x 5 inches at 762 ppi, using Canvas, Resize. The template would act as a guide for Dismukes to accurately scale and position the various elements. If you choose to include this step, don't be concerned about the "bitmapping" that occurs when scanning the comp at a low resolution; when the composition is finished, the template will be completely covered by the source images.

The cut-and-pasted comp ready to be scanned and used as a template

3 Masking unwanted portions of the source images.Working in Photoshop, Dismukes used the Pen tool to cut masks for the sunglasses, ocean foam, palm trees and television on the

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