How To Make a Geometric Collage using Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial Today we're going to make use of both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to combine their powers to produce a trendy geometric photo collage

This style of artwork has a somewhat retro vibe to it and it's the kind of art you'd see on album covers or as a series of abstract poster prints The process is quite simple, so hopefully this tutorial will be a good one for beginners We'll be using Illustrator for its powerful shape building tools to construct a geometric vector pattern, then we'll transfer the artwork over to Photoshop to use the image editing tools to digitally cut and paste snippings of a photograph into a cool looking collage It's pretty much the same thing we all did in school where we would cut things out of magazines with scissors, then stick them into a scrapbook, except with this technique you don't end up with glue in your hair I'll be showing you how to create this particular layout, but these other examples were made with the exact same process, just with different geometric shapes which use different compositions of circles and triangles

The great thing about this technique is you can follow the same steps and produce a different result each time just by mixing up the vector shapes or subject of the photograph So let's get started and I'll show you how it's made We'll begin in Adobe Illustrator in order to create the geometric pattern Select the Ellipse tool and click the red and white 'None' icon at the bottom of the toolbar to clear out the fill colour, leaving the default black stroke Click anywhere on the artboard to bring up the manual settings and enter 500px in both fields

Grab the Selection tool and Move the shape towards the middle of the artboard Select the Ellipse tool again and make a second circle, this time at half the size using 250px Go to View and turn on Smart Guides These little green tooltips will make it easy to snap and align the shapes together With the Selection tool active, move the smaller circle until it snaps centrally to the upper edge of the larger circle

Hold the ALT key, then begin dragging a duplicate of the smaller circle Align this one to the bottom edge Hold the Shift key while clicking the first smaller circle to add it to the selection, then go to Edit > Copy, followed by Edit > Paste in Front Hover around the corner handle until the rotate icon appears Hold the Shift key while dragging to restrict the angle to line up the duplicates at 90 degrees

Select one of the circles and make a duplicate by copying and pasting, then move it until it lines up centrally You could continue making a pattern purely out of circles, like I did with one of my examples, or you can mix in other shapes Select the Polygon tool from the toolbar and click on the artboard The size should still be set at 250px, then same diameter of the circles Reduce the number of sides to 3 to form a triangle

Grab the Selection tool again and move this triangle shape into alignment with the pattern by snapping the points to the main circle outline Copy and paste this triangle shape, then rotate it by 180 degrees and line it up symmetrically to form a star shape Drag out a selection around all the shapes, then copy them to the clipboard with Edit > Copy or the CMD+C shortcut That's the main vector work complete, so let's move over to Photoshop to compose the full artwork Open up a nice photograph, like this image of Lake Louise I picked out from Unsplash

com Images of landscapes always work well with this style, but you could also experiment with different subjects Paste in the copied shapes from Illustrator as Pixels in Photoshop Scale the artwork up while holding the Alt and Shift keys to keep the shape centralized and in proportion, then hit Enter Currently the linework is in black, so go to Image > Adjustments > Invert to quickly switch it to white

Rename the vector lines layer to make it easy to identify, then select the Magic Wand tool Check the Contiguous option is selected and Sample All Layers is off Click within the first segment of the geometric shape to make a selection With the Magic Wand tool still active, move this selection to a random area of the image Activate the background photo layer in the Layers panel, then go to Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste to make a cliipping of this area

Select the Move tool, then turn off the Auto-Select feature in the toolbar Move this snipping from its current position back to fit into the geometric segment It will snap nearby, but it might need nudging into place with the cursor keys Activate the Vector Lines layer again and select the Magic Wand tool Click the next segment to make a selection

Move it to a random place within the image and copy and paste the contents of the Background layer Move this new clipping back into place within the geometric pattern Continue following these same steps for every segment of the pattern It's a slightly tedious process but it's great to see the artwork come to life as you progress To speed up the process, introduce some keyboard shortcuts such as W for the Magic Wand, V for the Move tool, then CMD+C and CMD+V for Copy and Paste

Once your collage is complete, you might need to zoom in and double check the alignment of your pieces Turn back on the Auto-Select feature of the move tool to make it easier to select and nudge any individual pieces The composition looks great as it is, but there's a couple more steps that can really help transform it into more of a retro style piece of artwork Add a Curves adjustment layer to the top of the Layer stack Change the drop down menu to adjust the Red channel only, then begin tweaking the line to alter the colours of the image

Change the dropdown to Green and then Blue and alter the line to add more or less of each colour in the shadows near the bottom left, and the highlights in the top right of the graph The key is to make opposite splits between two channels, so if you have increased the Reds in the shadows, try decreasing the blues, but adding more blue in the highlights and vice versa No retro design would be complete without some grainy textures, so download my free Grungy Photocopy Textures and Dust & Scratches Textures from my website Open up one of the Photocopy Textures, press CMD+A to Select All, followed by CMD+C to Copy Paste it into the main working document

Press CMD+T to Transform, then scale the texture to fit the canvas size Change the blending mode to Screen to render the black background transparent Reduce the opacity to adjust how much of a distressed look is added to your artwork Repeat the process, this time with one of the dust and scratches textures to add an extra level of grain to the image The final result is an abstract piece of art with portions of the image cut out and recomposed into a collage effect

The geometric lines keep everything balanced while the additional texturing and colour adjustment finishes off the image with an aged retro style appearance You've seen my other examples where I used only circles and only triangles to create different geometric patterns Why not explore this technique further by creating a whole series of artwork prints? So I hope you found the tips in this tutorial useful If you did, be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay tuned for more If you fancy grabbing more resources like those texture packs be sure to head over to my website for more

If you're watching this on my website, be sure to check out my Spoon Grahics channel on YouTube for more video tutorials, otherwise thank you very much for watching and I'll see you all in the next one

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