Mouseprints

Photo Collage Toolkit

Latest Update

Photo Collages Toolkit Intro

This package is for Photoshop not Photoshop Elements. Elements ships with its own collage helper application which uses elements features. Photoshop has advance automation features not in Elements which this package makes use of.

If you Follow four simple rules contained in here while making Photoshop Photo Collage Templates PSD files, you will be able to use the Photoshop scripts in this Photo Collage Toolkit package. You will be able to make photo collage templates with ease and populate them quickly with your pictures. This toolkit provides both interactive and fully automated Photoshop scripts to populate your photo collage templates and an interactive script to test a template while you’re making it with Photoshop. These scripts use Photoshop's "Place feature" to insert your images into collages as smart object layers, therefore all Photoshop supported image file types can be used to populate templates. Using the interactive script you select which template you are populating, you select the images used throughout the entire process and you control image sizing and cropping. With the two batch Photoshop scripts, you select which photo collage template is to be populated. You set which folder contains images you want the collage template populated with and you set where the output collages are to be saved. These fully automated scripts places and transforms your images into the template and saves populated collages into the destination folder. All the scripts have options you can use to select an optional file name stamps, and select which font and layers styles should be used and applied by the scripts.

Populated Photo Collages are layered Photoshop documents which you can tweak and embellish. Most of the time the populated collages produced will be what you want. However populated collages are layered Photoshop documents which are easy to modify to change the appearance in dramatic ways. Let me try to demonstrate what I mean. I prepared two folders of source images, each having three images and I prefixed their filename with a sequence number# to order the way they will be populated by the automated batch script. I first ran the interactive script to populate one collage and then ran the Batch Multi Image Collage script twice. Each batch run produced a single populated collage because there were only three images in the source image folders and the photo collages templates I pointed the scripts at each time needed three images for population. If there were 6 image in the input folder, two collages would have been produced and saved as PSD files. The two collages produced were saved to a common folder. Here is what the untouched collages looked like.

The first two collages are the same. The first one was populated interactively and the second one automatically. Note the differences between the two.

[ Interactively Populated Collage 1 ] [ Automated Populated Collage 1 ]

Next I used Photoshop to edit the automated populated collages to make some changes. I saved some variation of the collages.

I turned off the image layers layer styles. Then deleted the layer mask for the train image layer, loaded the alpha channels as selections and feathered these selection before adding them as layer mask again. I also painted on the right hand train layer mask to blend the image in better.

[ Collage 1 Image Layers Layer masks tweaked ]

Next I double clicked on the train smart object layers smart icon to open these inserted PSD images into Photoshop. I turned on their image layer's layer mask and a clone layer in one and saved them so Photoshop would update the smart object layers. Then I moved and transformed the Stamped text layers. I also added two adjustment layers to the old photo layer.

[ Collage 1 smart object psd layers changed ]

Next I moved and transformed the train layers and reused the smart object layer's layer mask which was not needed for the extractions and used it to blend the trains into the old photo. I also added an empty layer under the train layers and painted away the trains in the old photo. Once again I moved and transformed the text layers.

[ Collage Image layers transformed and Layer mask reused ]

The Second collage had three landscape images automatically inserted into a three cutout pre made mat template. However one of the cutouts was a portrait cutout that the New Zealand landscape was inserted into..

[ Automated Populated Collage 1 ]

Turning off the variability of the mat group turned the collage into a three images over a white photo board collage. I changed the smart object image layers layer styles to look better and moved the stamped text layers..

[ Automated Populated Collage 1 ]

Next I Transformed the New Zealand portrait layer mask into a landscape layer mask and repositioned the New Zealand landscape into it. Then repositioned the other two images over the New Zealand landscape along with the three text layers.

[ Automated Populated Collage 1 ]

Next I double clicked on the two plane smart object layers smart icon to open these inserted PSD images into Photoshop. I turned on their image layer's layer mask and a clone layers and saved the changes so Photoshop would update the smart object layers. Finished off the collage by transforming the plane layers to rotate their tilt some.

[ Automated Populated Collage 1 ]

Photo Collages Toolkit History

Photo collages are mainly made two ways. One using precut mats with various cutouts for pictures. Images are placed under these mats. This type of photo collage is used for making things like cards, sports, special occasions etc and things like magazine covers and posters. The second way is to place images on top of something. The something can be a blank canvas, a photo-board or a large image. Small images are then placed onto this surface. These can be placed there orderly, randomly, in a shape, or they can overlay each other and have any shape.

It seemed to me that it would be fairly easy to come up with a set rules for making photo collage templates that could then be populated using Photoshop automation features to place images into these templates. Since Photoshop supports many images file types, images used to populate photo collage templates can even contain some transparency. For example, a png file or a psd file that contains a masked image layer extraction. With the set of rules I came up with, I was able to create a Photoshop actions set that could be used while making templates to see if they were conforming to the rules by populating partly complete templates and to interactively populate a photo collage template with a limited number of images in them once they were completed and saved.

Later on with a lot of work, I was able to support photo collage templates with any number of image inserts using Photoshop scripting. I wrote both interactive and fully automated script processors to populate Photo Collage templates. These scripts obsoleted the actions I had previously created and used. Over time this Photo Collages Toolkit has evolved. The package's main features are the four rules and three Photoshop scripts.

The photo collage template files rule I came up with are simple, easy to understand and not very restrictive

The Four Rules:

  1. Size the photo collage templates for the print size you want - width, height and print DPI resolution.
  2. Photo collage templates must have a Photoshop background layer. The contents of this layer can be anything.
  3. Photo collage templates must have alpha channels named "Image 1", "Image 2", ... "Image n".
  4. Photo collage templates layers above the background layers must provide transparent areas to let the images that will be placed below them show through.

Twelve Scripts

  1. TestCollageTemplate.jsx - Used to test a Photo Collage Template while you are making it with Photoshop.
  2. CollageTemplateBuilder.jsx - Can build Templates compatible with this toolkit's scripts.
  3. LayerToAlphaChan.jsx - Used to convert a Prototype Image Layer stack into a template document.
  4. InteractivePopulateCollage.jsx - Used to interactively populate Any Photo Collage template. Offers most user control inserting pictures and text.
  5. ReplaceCollageImage.jsx - use to replace a populated collage image Smart Object layer with an other image correctly resized and positioned.
  6. ChangeTextSize.jsx - This script can be used to change Image stamps text size when the size used by the populating did not work well.
  7. PopulateCollageTemplate.jsx - Used to Automatically populate a Photo Collage template and leave the populated copy open in Photoshop.
  8. BatchOneImageCollage.jsx - Used to Automatically Batch Populate Collage templates that only have one image inserted. The Collage or Image may be stamped with text.
  9. BatchMultiImageCollage.jsx - Used to Automatically Batch Populate Any Photo Collage template with images in a source image folder. Easier to use than the interactive script. Saved collages can be tweaked.
  10. BatchPicturePackage.jsx - Used to Automatically Batch Populate Any Photo Collage template with an image in a source image folder.
  11. PasteImageRoll.jsx - Paste Images into a document to be print on roll paper.
  12. PCTpreferences.jsx - Preferences Use in several of the above scripts. Edit this file to change default settings and add layer styles.

I want to also thank Diane Ramsey for proofing this making it read better.

Send Bug Reports and Feature Request to JJMack

Links to more information and some examples

Video Demos

Use the pause and rewind buttons to slow down these demos to catch what being presented.
  1. Automaticly Populate a Photo Collage Template
  2. Automaticly Populate a 911 Photo Collage Template
  3. Create a Photo Collage Template using a prototype image layers stack
  4. Interactively Populated the Photo Collage Template Created above
  5. Replace a Smart Object Image in a layered Collage with an other image
  6. Action driven Interactive Snow Globe

Photo Collages Toolkit Package

Photo Collages Toolkit files are packaged into a single zip file PhotoCollageToolkit.zip Free Download.

  1. TestCollageTemplate.jsx
    Photoshop script used to test a Photo Collage Template while you are making it with Photoshop.
  2. CollageTemplateBuilder.jsx
    A modified version of Rags Gardner www.rags-int-inc.com Copyright (c) 2006 CollageBuilder script that builds Templates compatible with this toolkit's scripts.
  3. LayerToAlphaChan.jsx
    Used to convert a Prototype Image Layer stack into a template document.
  4. InteractivePopulateCollage.jsx
    Photoshop script used to interactively populate a copy of a Photo Collage template.
  5. PopulateCollageTemplate.jsx
    Photoshop script used to populate a copy of a Photo Collage template without user interaction after they competed the script's dialog, when done leave the populated copy open in Photoshop.
  6. ReplaceCollageImage.jsx
    a Script to replace a populated collage image layer's Smart Object an other image correctly resized and positioned.
  7. BatchOneImageCollage.jsx
    Photoshop script used to Batch Populate Photo Collage templates that only need one image.
  8. BatchMultiImageCollage.jsx
    Photoshop script used to Batch Populate Any Photo Collage template.
  9. BatchPicturePackage.jsx
    Photoshop script used to Batch Populate Any Photo Collage template like a Piture Package containing a single image with multipal print sizes.
  10. PasteImageRoll.jsx
    Paste Images into a document to be print on roll paper.

  11. HelpPhotoCollageToolkit.jsx
    Photoshop Script to open Web Help.
  12. JJmack's Photo Collage Toolkit Scripts.atn
    Photoshop action set to access the Photo Collage Toolkit scripts from the actions palette. Load it into the actions palette.
  13. Photo Collage Styles.asl
    Photoshop layer styles. Loaded, these can be used on image layers inserted into photo collages.
  14. Photo Collage Text Styles.asl
    Photoshop layer styles. Loaded, these can be used on filename text layers stamped by the photo collage scripts.
  15. CollageTemplates.zip
    Photoshop PSD files. Some sample photo collage templates.

    There is also an optional download file.

  16. CollageTemplatesLarge.zip
    Photoshop PSD files. Optional download file with more sample photo collage template PSD files. These are large size files Optional Download.

    Additional Collage Templates can be downloaded from my Mouseprints Photoshop Tools page for various print sizes.

Note: Photoshop scripts can be run from any folder on your system. I use to store mine in "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Scripts\My Scripts".This folder was made by me not Adobe. I use some of my scripts in actions and do not want to have to re-record the actions for each release because Photoshop's folders are in different folders for each release of Photoshop. However Windows 7 with 64 bit Adobe began to install two versions of Photoshop a 64bit version and a 32bit version. Scripts should be able to run is both. However when you put a link in to the folder something in widows or Photoshop changes "Programs Files" to "Program Files (x86)" If your using the 32bit Photoshop exe. The link is broken. So I moved my Photoshop Script tree to "C:\Photoshop Scripts" "Program Files" is no longer in the path to insure the link to it will not get broken. I just add a shortcut link to "C:\Photoshop Scripts" to both the 64bit and 32Bit Photoshop versions .../Presets/Scripts/ folder.

Update History