(See Figure 2 Layer Masks smooth the transitions from one snapshot to the next).
After your first version is flushed out, you'll probably want to make some substitutions from your collection of snapshots. At this stage I swapped in a different picture of my mom and used a Layer Mask to integrate it into the composition.
(See Figure 3: Along the way you can replace any elements with alternate snapshots.)
Depending on how you'll be using the final image, at some point you might need to consolidate your composition. Make certain that your image is saved before you try to radically modify it. Use the Layers palette to hide and show various layers, and if you want to move multiple layers simultaneously, click in the Links column to link layers that you want to move together.
(See Figure 4: Moving layers and elements around so that the composition was closer to the right size.)
Then I checked the actual proportion that I needed for the screen and decided the best way to make the adjustments at this point was to increase the vertical canvas size. Choosing Image > Canvas Size, I located the thumbnail representation of the image in the center top and added the correct amount of space below the image
(See Figure 5:
using Canvas Size to set the actual proportions for the image and making more adjustments to the composition.)
With the canvas sized to the correct proportion, I moved things around a bit more to better fill the space.
To change the color cast or value of your image, choose an Adjustment Layer from the Layers palette and make any changes you want. I chose a Levels Adjustment layer to make the colors warmer and a bit lighter. If you want to include something in your image that you don't have in your collection of snapshots, try to fake it first to see if you really need it. To simplify my image, I wanted to eliminate some of furniture and try a rug in the foreground instead. Because I didn't have a snapshot of a rug handy I just used patching techniques to assemble a fake rug out of different elements.
(See Figure 6)
Next: Transforming snapshots into a more painterly look.
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