Stained Glassy Collages?
June 9, 2009 11:30 AM   Subscribe

What software can I use to make a photo collage using non-rectangular photos?

I'd like to make a photo collage similar in layout to the cover of Sims 3 using triangles instead of diamonds. I currently use PhotoScape and have access to but haven't used PaintShop, but I am willing to try some other software if it can do what I want.

I'd like to be able to create my own layout using triangles (or any other non-rectangular shape), select pictures to insert and be able to resize and rotate to get exactly what I want aligned in the triangle. It will look a bit like stained glass with pictures instead of a solid color between the leading.

Is there some Windows compatible software that will let me do this easily? If it's spendy but has a free trial, I'll try it. I'd be willing to do the cropping and rotating before trying to insert the pic into the layout.
posted by soelo to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps one of these programs might be of use to you after a bit of cropping?
posted by litterateur at 11:39 AM on June 9, 2009

What you want is a mask layer (terminology depends on what software you're working with). I don't know PaintShop, but google found me this, which looks right. You'll want one triangular mask per photo, and then you'll manipulate the photo to reveal the desired section. This is even easier to do in Illustrator (vector masks!) and I think the free Illustrator equivalent Inkscape should do it.
posted by Alterscape at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Adobe Indesign will do just want you want to do - Download the trial version here.

To do this, you will do (roughly)
New Document
File>Place (to place your images in the document)

With the solid arrow tool, change the angle to 45 degrees (this angles the frame)
With the hollow arrow tool selected, change the angle back to 0 (this angles the contents of the frame)

This gives you a diamond - to make it into a triangle, select the "Delete anchor point tool" found in the Pen Tool flyout (left click and hold the Pen tool to select the "Delete anchor point tool"

Click the anchor on whatever corner you'd like to "remove". If you use the hollow arrow tool, you can move the anchor points wherever you'd like in order to make the exact shape you want to. You can even add anchor points using the "Add anchor point" tool.

To resize the frame, use the black arrow tool (hold down shift to keep proportions).
To resize/move the image inside the frame, use the white arrow tool.

To put an outline on the frame, select a stroke on the Stroke panel - right hand side of screen.

I whipped up a quick screengrab to show you where some of this stuff is.
posted by davey_darling at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2009

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