Step-by-step tutorial on how to collage (slice) images in Photoshop

To collage the photos in Photoshop, we first divided the whole photo into several small squares, then added a frame around each square to be seen separately, and then changed the position of the squares. 

Finally, we changed the background color and cast a shadow behind the squares. Just as easily.

original-image.jpg

Collaged photo result:

photoshop-square-photo-collage.jpg

Step 1 – Crop your photo

First of all, you need to crop your photo. To do this, use the Crop tool:

photoshop-crop-tool (1) .png

Then in the top bar, set the Aspect Ratio to Square.

initial-crop-border.jpg

In the menu at the top of the page, check the Delete Cropped Pixels option.

delete-cropped-pixels.png

Now you can crop your photo to any size you want. If your photo is a portrait, it is best to crop it so that the person’s face is in the center of the frame.

resize-crop-box.jpg

Finally, press Enter (on Windows) or Return (on Mac) to crop the photo.

initial-photo-crop.jpg

Step 2 – Get help from the guidelines

To divide the photo into smaller squares, you need the help of several guidelines.

Add the first horizontal guide to the photo

To do this, go to View> New Guide.

new-guide-command-photoshop.png

In the page that opens, select the Horizontal option and set the Position value to 33%.

new-guide-hor-33.png

Well, the first horizontal guide line was added to your photo.

first-guide-added.jpg

Add a second horizontal guide to the photo

To do this, go to View> New Guide.

new-guide-command-photoshop.png

In the page that opens, select the Horizontal option and set the Position value to 66%.

new-guide-hor-66.png

A second horizontal guide was added to the photo.

second-guide-added.jpg

Add the first vertical guide to the photo

To do this, go to View> New Guide.

new-guide-command-photoshop.png

In the page that opens, select the Vertical option and set the Position value to 33%.

new-guide-ver-33.png

This will add the first vertical guide to the photo.

third-guide-added.jpg

Add a second vertical guide to the photo

To do this, go to View> New Guide.

new-guide-command-photoshop.png

In the page that opens, select the Vertical option and set the Position value to 66%.

new-guide-ver-66.png

The last vertical guide line was added to the photo. Now the photo is divided into nine small squares.

fourth-guide-added.jpg

Step 3 – Create a new layer for each of the squares

In this step you have to copy every nine squares in a new layer. To do this, we need the Rectangular Marquee tool.

rectangular-marquee-tool-photoshop.png

Then go to View> Snap To> Guides. With this tool, your tool does not go out of the guidelines and selects exactly the square that is inside the guidelines.

snap-to-guides.png

Select the first square

We start with the first square in the left corner of the photo. Select that square with the Rectangular Marquee tool.

select-square-top-left.jpg

Copy the selected square to a new layer

To do this, follow the path Layer> New> Layer via Copy or you can use the shortcut key Ctrl + J (on Windows) / Command + J (on Mac).

new-layer-via-copy-photoshop.png

In the Layers panel you can see the new layer.

layers-panel-first-square.png

Select the background layer

Click on the background layer each time before copying the next square to the new layer.

select-background-layer.png

Copy the second square to the new layer

select-second-square.jpg

Use the shortcut key Ctrl + J (on Windows) / Command + J (on Mac). Now in the Layers panel, there are two new layers of squares.

second-square-copied.png

Copy the third square to the new layer

Before selecting the third square, you must first click on the background layer.

select-image.png

Now select the third square.

select-third-square.jpg

Use the shortcut key Ctrl + J (on Windows) / Command + J (on Mac).

third-square-copied.png

Repeat these steps on the remaining six squares to finally have nine new layers of squares.

all-squares-copied.png

Step 4 – Hide the guidelines

From this point on, you no longer need guidelines, so go to View> Show> Guides to hide it.

hide-guides-photoshop.png

Step 5 – Add more space to the photo

We need more space to move the squares, so we need to create more space around the square. To do this, use the Crop tool.

photoshop-crop-tool.png

Hold down the Alt / Windows key / Option (on a Mac) and click anywhere outside the box you want, then press Enter / Return.

drag-more-canvas.jpg

This will add more space to the photo.

extra-canvas-space-added.jpg

6- Blacken the background of the photo

By default, the space added to the photo is white. To change its color, you must first click on the background layer in the Layers panel.

select-background-layer-canvas-size.png

Then go to Edit> Fill.

edit-fill.png

In the page that opens in front of the Content, select the color you want (black).

fill-contents-black.png

This will darken the background of your photo.

image-background-black.jpg

Step 7 – Add a frame around the first square

In order for the created squares to be seen separately, you must add a frame around the nine squares.

How to add a frame

In the Layers panel, select the first layer.

select-top-layer.png

Click the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

layer-styles-icon.png

Select the Stroke option.

choose-stroke.png

Change the color of the frame

To do this, click on the fx icon and select the Color Swatch option in the page that opens.

stroke-color-swatch.png

Then select white.

color-picker.jpg
Adjust the size and position of the frame

After clicking on the fx icon, select 32 in front of Position, Inside and in front of Size.

stroke-options.png

Now around the first square, a white frame was added.

border-first-square.jpg

Step 8 – Add a circle around the remaining eight squares

A quick way to add a frame to other squares is to right-click on the first layer and then select Copy Layer Style.

copy-layer-style.png

Then click on the second layer.

select-layer-2.png

Then hold down Shift and click on the other layers.

select-other-squares.png

Now right click on one of the layers and select Paste Layer Style.

paste-layer-style.png

This will add a white frame around all the squares.

stroke-effect-pasted.jpg

Step 9 – Move the squares

To improve the collage effect, it is better to move the squares a little.

Select the Move tool

photoshop-move-tool.png
Select the Auto-Select option

In the top bar, check the Auto-Select option and place the opposite phrase on the Layer. By doing this, you can change the position of each square by clicking once.

auto-select-layer-photoshop.png

Click on the first square

select-square-upper-left.jpg

Move the first square

To do this, follow the path Edit> Free Transform or use the shortcut Ctrl + T / Command + T.

free-transform-photoshop.png

This creates a box around the first square.

free-transform-first-square.jpg

You can move the first square by clicking inside the created box.

move-rotate-first-square.jpg

Then press Enter / Return to record the changes.

first-square-moved-rotated.jpg

Repeat the above steps on the other squares

Click the next box and follow the path Edit> Free Transform again or use the shortcut Ctrl + T / Command + T. After moving the square, press the Enter / Return key to record the changes.

square-photo-collage-black-background.jpg

Step 10 – Change the background color

If you want to change the background color, you must first click on the background layer in the Layers panel.

change-background-select-bg-layer.png

Then click on New Fill or Adjustment Layer.

new-fill-adjustment-layer-icon.png

Then select the Solid Color option.

choose-solid-color-fill-layer.png

After selecting the desired color, click OK.

photo-collage-new-bg-color.jpg

Step 11 – Add a shadow to the photo for collage 

To shade all the squares at the same time, you need to form a Layer Group.

To do this, click on the first layer and then hold Shift and click on all layers.

select-all-square-layers.png

Then go to Layer> Group Layers.

new-layer-group-command-photoshop.png

This will put all the layers you selected in one folder.

new-layer-group.png

Now click on the fx icon.

add-layer-effect-photoshop.png

In the menu that opens, select the Drop Shadow option for collage .

choose-drop-shadow.png

This will open a page.

drop-shadow-options.png

By clicking on the screen, you can adjust the distance and angle of the shadow for collage .

adjust-shadow-from-document.jpg

Then you can reduce the shadow by reducing the Opacity value for collage .

drop-shadow-size-opacity.png

Then click OK to finish collage  editing your photo.

photoshop-square-photo-collage.jpg

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