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Tiny Photoshop

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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


3 Panelled
Photographic Cube


Fill A Cube With Photographs
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 & CC
Skill Level - Intermediate

Wendi E M
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This tutorial demonstrates how to fill a cube with images. To work along exactly, you are welcome to download the Start Images Here.  Unzip the file and open the images onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Understanding Layers

Understanding Blending Modes
Understand The Workspace And Palettes

Positioning images onto cubes utilising the Distort command is relatively simple; once the corners of a photograph are lined up with the cube’s corners, the photograph snaps into
position.  The Vanishing Point command can also be implemented. 

Resizing Photographs Notes
When working with your own photographs, resize them so they are slightly larger than the cube - Image then Image Size: the size of the cube’s canvas is 1296 Pixels X 1759 Pixels.
However, bear in mind, when resizing your own photographs, the Document Size settings are entirely depended on your photograph’s size and its Resolution. With this in mind, experiment with the Document Size settings, and discover new dimensions that are suitable for your photographs and their Resolutions. To avoid unsightly image distortion after resizing your photographs, it is advisable to choose a fairly symmetrical (square) photograph, and mark the Constrain Proportions box.

For example, if I were to resize the
Water Drop Photograph Available Here - so making it slightly larger than the cube - I would choose the following Document Size settings. (Just enter your choice of Width, and the Height will automatically change - retaining your photograph’s original Aspect Ratio).

Crop Tool Tip
An additional way of reducing an image’s size is to activate the Crop Tool.

And crop an interesting area of your photograph into a square shape.

This technique quickly improves with practise.

Undo and Navigation Steps
Two ways of undoing steps are from the top menu, Edit then Step Backwards.
Alternatively, click a previous snapshot in the History Palette.

Navigate (zoom in and pan) your image using the Navigator Palette,
or the Zoom Tool.

Activate The Hand Tool by tapping the Spacebar, keeping the Spacebar pressed, pan your image in the usual way.

To open your Start Images, (and Cube) onto Photoshop’s workspace: - from the top menu, choose File then choose Open - Ctrl then O. Now, navigate to the folder where your Start Images reside, and highlight each image individually, then click Open. Your images will then open onto Photoshop’s workspace. Position your images as illustrated below, by dragging their top menu-bars: then activate the Cube image, and slightly extend its grey workspace by dragging out one of its corners.

Quickly Open The Start Images Tip
Position your opened Start Image’s Folder over Photoshop’s workspace - as illustrated below. Then click press Ctrl and simultaneously left-lick to highlight each image. And then click Open. The highlighted images will then open onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Ctrl-click to highlight all images then click Open

Important Note: Photoshop CS4 Tabbed Images
In order to open your images separately: first, close Photoshop. Then from the top menu, choose Edit then choose Preferences then choose General. From the subsequent Preferences dialogue box, click Interface, and from the Panels and Documents menu, unmark Open Documents as Tabs - as illustrated below - then click OK. Now, open Photoshop, and your images can now be opened in the usual manner (and this time they won’t be tabbed together) - as described in Chapter 1.

Now, activate your first image, and ensure it has been Cropped to a square (ish) shape. Then activate the Move Tool.

Then left-click, and drag your first image onto the cube. To save PC resources, delete the original (first) image.

Working with the first (poppy) image, from the top menu, choose Edit then choose Transform then choose Distort. Your image will then be surrounded by a vector transformation bounding box

Now, to resize the image, so it fits inside the right-side panel, left-click the following square repositioning box, then gently tug it, so it lines up with the cube’s bottom-right corner - as illustrated below.

Then left-click the (photograph’s) bottom-left square box, then drag it - so it lines up with the cube’s bottom-left corner.

Now, tug the top-left square box, and line it up with the cube’s top-left corner, as illustrated below.

Then line up the top-right square box, with the cube’s top-right corner, as illustrated below.

Now, zoom into your cube, and readjust the photograph, so it fits the panel, snugly. When you are satisfied with the fit, press your Enter/Return key to effect the change. 

You can make final adjustments, later.


Now, activate the second image, then drag it onto the cube; and Distort it, so it fits inside the top panel - exactly as you did with the first. (Remembering to take your time, and position your image, one corner at a time).


After you have positioned the top panel’s photograph, drag the third image onto the cube, and position it into the remaining panel - using the Distort command.


If you notice part of the cube displaying through the photograph, activate the corresponding layer (in the Layers Palette), then carefully line the photograph up, utilising either the Distort command, or the Free Transform command (Ctrl then T).

Press Ctrl then V to activate the Move Tool, then nudge a photograph into position (pixel by pixel) by tapping your numerical keys.

Experiment with different Blending Modes, to see how the photograph’s pixels interact with the cube’s.

When you are completely happy with your cube, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Merge Visible. Then drag your cube onto a different background - or (prior to flattening the layers),
fill the transparent background with either a Solid Colour, Pattern or Gradient, (top menu, then Layer then New Fill Layer).

When you are completely happy with your work,
it is ready to save.

Wendi E M Scarth.
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