Create a Photo Collage

In this Graphic tutorial you will learn how to create a photo collage design with various layouts using imported images and photos. Graphic can import images and photos from different file types, including PNG, JPEG, TIFF, etc., and has tools for cropping, scaling, and masking images within shapes.

Step 1 - Create a New Document

For this tutorial we'll create a new 798 x 600 pixel document. Choose File > New (Command + N) to bring up the 'New Document' panel. Set the document units to pixels, and the document dimensions to 798 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

Step 2 - Customize the Grid

To easily create our collage layout we'll first set up the document grid. Switch to the Grid pane in the Properties panel. Change the X Spacing and Y Spacing to 6 px and enable Snap to Grid (Shift + Command + ').

Step 3 - Draw the Background Shape

Next, we'll draw a shape that will act as our background for the collage. In this case we'll use a rounded rect, but we could also use a regular rectangle or other large shape, depending on the desired style for the collage.
Select the Rounded Rect Tool (Shift + M) from the toolbar and set the corner radius setting to 6 pt. Using the toolbar color wells set the fill color to white and the stroke color to none/transparent. Draw a rounded rectangle with a width of 786 px and a height of 588 px positioned at X: 6 px and Y: 6 px.

Step 4 - Create an Image Placeholder

To design the layout of the collage, we'll create placeholder shapes where we want the final images to appear. Using the toolbar fill color well, set the fill color to grayR: 128 G: 128 B: 128. The stroke color should still be set to none/transparent.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) from the toolbar and draw a rectangle with a width of 492 px and a height of 318 px positioned at X: 12 px and Y: 12 px.
This rectangle shape will designate the size and position of one of the images in our collage.

Step 5 - Create the Full Layout

Next, we'll create the other rectangles needed to complete the layout. Using the Rectangle Tool create the next three rectangles:

• Position: X: 12 pxY: 336 px, Size: 282 px width252 px height.
• Position: X: 300 pxY: 336 px, Size: 204 px width252 px height.
• Position: X: 510 pxY: 12 px, Size: 276 px width576 px height.

The layout should look like the screenshot below.

Step 6 - Set an Image Fill

Switch to the Move Tool (V) and select the top left placeholder shape. Using the Effects pane in the Appearance panel we can customize the placeholder shape's fill. Click on the fill item in the Effects pane to view its settings and choose Image from the Type popup.

Step 7 - Choose the Image

After choosing the Image fill type, the Open Panel will appear allowing you to select the image to use as the fill for the shape. Select the image you'd like to use for this placeholder. By default, the image will be scaled to fit inside the rectangle shape.

Step 8 - Scale and Position the Image

To scale and position an image within a shape you can double-click on that shape using the Move Tool. This will activate the Image Tool. With the Image Tool active, you can scale the image using the scale slider and drag the image within the shape to position it. Scale and position the image to fit nicely within the shape.
Note: you can also crop images by dragging the crop handles while the Image Tool is active, however this isn't necessary for this tutorial.

Step 9 - Add the Other Images

Using the same steps as before, set different image fills for each of the other placeholder shapes. By scaling and positioning the images within the shapes you can create a photo collage similar to the one shown below.

By using different shapes and sizes for the image placeholders you can create entirely different collage styles. For example, you can use rounded rectangles for the placeholders.

Other types of shapes can also be used to clip image fills to create dramatically different effects. Try different combinations to create unique artistic layouts.

Finished Design

Congratulations, you've finished the tutorial!

Graphic File: PhotoCollage.idraw