Since in 2014, I saw inspirational works combining geometry and photography, I wanted to try myself in this unusual art direction.
Finally, I found time, and, using Photoshop and Illustrator, I came up with a way to transform a photo into an abstract collage of geometric shapes. We will begin work in Adobe Illustrator – there we will create our figures – and then we will move to Photoshop and make an interesting composition. Applying a range of textures and adjustment layers can give the image a retro effect.
The image that I created in this lesson is reminiscent of an old retro collage in which the pieces of the photo were cut and rearranged.
Translator’s Note: all the same actions you can repeat in Adobe Photoshop. Use tools Ellipse (Ellipse) to create circles, and Polygon (Polygon) to create a triangle. If you have Photoshop CС, then use these tools in the “Figure” mode, without filling and with the “Stroke” option turned on, Stroke. If you have an earlier version of Photoshop, then use these tools in the “Contour” mode, then apply to them Editing – perform a stroke. For the greatest convenience when placing figures, you can enable Rulers (Rulers) in the menu View(View), as well as Grid (Grid), by clicking View – Show – Grid (View – Show – Grid).
You can skip the step of creating geometric shapes and download the psd-file with shapes.
We will start working in Illustrator – here we have to create a pattern of geometric shapes. Create a new document and select a tool. Ellipse (Ellipse). Remove the fill, but leave the black outline. Then in the artboard, set the size to 500 pixels in the box. Width (Width) and Height (Height).
Create another ellipse, but this time in both fields, set the size to 250 pixels. Use Smart guides (“Smart” guides) (Ctrl / Cmd + U) to evenly position the second circle, as shown in the image below.
To duplicate a small ellipse, hold down Alt and drag the ellipse to the side. Then position it so that it fits perfectly into a large ellipse, as shown in the image below.
Select two small ellipse, click Ctrl / Cmd + C, to copy them and then Ctrl / Cmd + F, to paste to the fore. Hold Shift and rotate these shapes 90 degrees.
Copy and paste a small ellipse, and using Smart Guides (“Smart” guides), then center it as shown below.
Choose a tool Polygon (Polygon) and click on the artboard to bring up an options window. In the Radius column, enter 250 pixels and change the number of sides to 3 to get a triangle.
Note: in photoshop you can also use the tool Polygon (Polygon).
A triangle with this size will fit perfectly inside a large circle. Pinch Shift, to select a large circle and a triangle at the same time, then release Shift and click on a large circle to make it a key object.
Use the panel Align (Alignment) to align the arrangement of the triangle. It should turn out as in the image above.
Copy and paste the triangle, then expand the duplicate 180 degrees. Reuse panel Align (Align) to position the top of the triangle at the bottom of the circle, and you will have a six-pointed star.
Click Ctrl / Cmd + A, to select all the shapes that create the geometric pattern. Insert your pattern in Photoshop on top of a beautiful photo. Click Ctrl / Cmd + I to perform the inversion so that the lines become white.
Select the shape layer in the layer list, select the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand) and select the first piece of the geometric pattern.
Go to the layer with the photo in the list of layers, then select the tool Rectangular marquee (Rectangular area) so that you have the opportunity to move the selected element in the image.
Anywhere in the image, copy and paste the selected area, and then place the resulting element back into place in the geometric pattern, as shown below.
Select the layer with lines again and select another piece with Magic wand (Magic Wand), then switch to Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee) and move the selected fragment to any random place. Copy and paste this piece, and then move it back to its place in the pattern.
Continue to work in the same way, choosing new pieces of the pattern, and moving parts of the image to their place. Speed up the process using hotkeys – W to Magic wand , M for Rectangular area, Cmd / Ctrl + C and Cmd / Ctrl + V to copy and paste, as well as turn on Snapping (Snap) in the menu View (View) to easily fold our picture.
Soon we will get the effect of an unusual collage: despite the fact that the pieces of the photos are now in a variety of places, the clear geometric structure maintains a balance in the image.
Let’s add the final touches and give our collage a retro effect. Paste one of my grunge textures and change the blending mode to Screen (Screen) so that the black areas become transparent.
My dust textures also add a special atmosphere to the image. Reinsert the texture into the image and change the blending mode to Screen (Screen) to line up texturing.
On top of all layers, add a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). We can pull curves to create a retro-film effect. In the drop-down menu, select the Red Channel (Red) and tweak the curves, adding more red in the shadows and less in the highlights. Curves Position the Green (Green) and Blue (Blue) channels in the opposite direction, using a preview to achieve a beautiful shade.
We have a beautiful abstract collage in retro style: the lines retain structure and balance in the image, and the color and texture give it a beautiful effect of an old photo.
Why not experiment with this technique and create a whole gallery of unusual collages using different photos and geometric patterns?