Sunday, March 9, 2014

Making Collages with Picasa, a Complete Visual Tutorial

Today's entry is a lesson in using Google's free image editing software, Picasa, to make a collage. If you have not already installed it, go here and Google will download and install it for you for free.

Remember to click on the lesson's pictures so you can see the enlargements OR I use a free chrome extension called Hover Zoom so I don't even need to do that much. Hover Zoom blows it up right on the page before you as you mouse over each image on the web page.

Open your Picasa software. Locate some images you want to collage. You can use only two or three if you prefer. I typically have prearranged to put the images on my desktop.  Then I just enter the search word desktop in Picasa's search box (shown below), it shows me the desktop folder, and I am ready to begin.

Inside Picasa I open the desktop folder where I have placed all images to be used. I select all of the images using my cursor and then push the orange button to the upper left of the first image. 
That button looks like this: 

This is what results when I press the orange button. I get a light box or canvas upon which to make my collage. I can begin work or press further buttons below which will change the arrangement. I try each of those buttons on the bottom and for me none of these arrangements work any better.  

I need to make my own arrangement using the one and only tool, shown right.
This tool comes up on every image your cursor touches. The white and orange handle to the right is the control you put your cursor on.  You just twirl, spin, resize to your heart's content just by pulling and pushing on it.  This is where you spend your time with each image, getting each placed to your satisfaction.

I pick one image and get started by making it bigger and centered.

I move other images around. I use my right mouse button to bring up the context menu to force an image to the bottom or the top.

After much experimenting, I settle on two images for the left with the tool and resize them.

Then I move to the right side and start arranging those images.

I press the button to the left which says create collage, below.

It is done. I press the button to the top which says back to library, below.

I am in the library which shows me where the collage is located on my computer. I click my right mouse button bringing up the context menu so as to select show in finder  to be taken to the image in the folder.

 I am in the Collage folder in my Finder file cabinet on my Mac Air.  I usually drag it to the desktop to work on it further there.

Here is the resulting collage. If you have questions, please ask in the comment box on the bottom of this page and I will answer.

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