Polaroid Collage Effect on an Image #GIMP

So are you ready for the next lesson?

I encountered a tutorial online that will put life on your boring image. Imagine a picture with several polaroid photos on top of each other but still shows your image. That’s what we’re going to create!

Once you’ve opened your GIMP, you may either (Step 1) create a new image with the same size of the original image and start working on that or you can place the original image in the background right from the start.

(Tip: If you’re planning to use an image that has people in it, it is best to work on the original image right from the start so that you can position your polaroid frames showing the people’s faces.)

In this lesson, I worked on an empty background same size as my original image (Figure 1). (Step 2) Hide the background layer by clicking on the ‘eye’ image on the left side of the layer.  Create a transparent layer which is 300px wide and 400px high and name it as ‘frame’ (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Creating a new image with the same size as the original image

Figure 2: Creating a transparent layer called 'frame'

As you can see above, the yellow lining shows your ‘frame’ layer. (Step 3) Now add an off-white borders to the layer. Make the borders 10px wide on top, left, and right sides and 30px on the bottom side. You can use the rectangle select in making the borders and the bucket fill tool in filling the borders with the off-white color (Figure 3). This will be your polaroid frame.

Figure 3: Creating your Polaroid Frame

Now, (Step 4) create another transparent layer and name it as ‘collage’. Then another one called ‘buffer’. We will use a ‘buffer’ layer to temporarily put a frame, rotate, position, and distort it; and then put on the ‘collage’ layer.

Okay! Let’s work on our first frame! (Step 5) Select the ‘frame’ layer hit Ctrl+A to select the frame that we made then Ctrl+C to copy it. Select ‘buffer’ layer and hit Ctrl+V to paste the frame onto the ‘buffer’ layer. A floating layer will appear on top of the ‘buffer’ layer. Don’t merge down the floating layer yet. Select Filters -> Distort -> Curve Bend. Slightly bend the upper curve press copy button to copy the same curve to the lower part (always have the ‘automatic preview’ to see the changes) (Figure 4). Press ok to apply the changes. Figure 5 shows the curved frame.

Figure 4: Putting some curves on your frame

Figure 5: Now your frame is curved!

After which, (Step 6) select the ‘rotate’ tool and rotate the floating layer with some random amount depending on how you want it (Figure 6). Then select the ‘move’ tool and drag your frame where you want to position it. Select Filter -> Light Shadow -> Drop Shadow. I made the x-y offset as 5 and blur radius as 8, opacity as 80 (Figure 7). It will initially show you something like the one in Figure 8.

Figure 6: Rotating the floating layer

Figure 7: Applying the 'drop shadow' effect

Figure 8: Your Drop Shadow will initially look like this

After applying the drop shadow, (Step 7) merge down the floating layer on the ‘buffer’ layer by clicking on the ‘anchor’ icon at the bottom of the ‘layer’ window. Rearrange the layers (from top to bottom) as ‘buffer’, ‘drop shadow’, and ‘collage’. Then merge down the ‘drop shadow’ to the ‘collage’ layer. (Step 8) Select the ‘buffer’ layer, take the ‘fuzzy select’ tool and click inside the blank area of the frame. Now merge down the ‘buffer’ layer to the ‘collage’ layer and press ‘delete’ to delete the selected area. Now you have 1 polaroid frame on your collage!  =)

As you can see, the ‘buffer’ layer disappeared. To add more polaroid frames on your collage, create another “buffer” layer and repeat the steps 5-6-7-8 several times, with frames rotated with different angles, distorted with different amount, and pasted at different places. Figure 9 below shows my image filled with polaroid frames.

Figure 9

Now, just place the original image in the background (Figure 10). As mentioned in the beginning of the lesson, you may place the original image in the background right from the start then put the frames according to the image.

Figure 10

And voila!  We now have an image with a polaroid collage effect!  😉

Finished Product

I thank my source for this tutorial! Thanks a lot!  =)


6 Responses to “Polaroid Collage Effect on an Image #GIMP”

  1. hi,
    this is a nice effect, is it possible to use another shape besides the frame?

    • itsmeela Says:

      thanks! i haven’t tried it with other shapes yet but i believe you can use other shapes besides the polaroid frames.

      just follow the same steps..u can use a heart shape! i visited your site..nice one too! can i add u in my blogroll? thanks again!

  2. great, I am going to try it! ~thanks.
    sure you can add my site…do you mind if I add yours to mine?

  3. This is a pretty good idea, i will implement this.

    • itsmeela Says:

      hey! thanks for dropping by… glad you liked it!

      you have good tutorials too.. i’ll be trying them as well. 🙂

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