Gaekon Tutorial Series: Mixing Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop to Create Awesome Photomontage

Background is one of the most important elements in a photo. But if you’re tired of the beach, desert or other landscapes you’re used to seeing, let’s try creating your own background!

I use both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for this project. I use the former to create some geometric designs, combining simple circles, rectangles and triangles to make slightly more complicated shapes which will be duplicated, reflected and filled with different colors to make up a super funky backdrop.

1. Prepare a Photo

The first thing you have to do for this project is of course prepare a photo. Here, I use a snap I found randomly on the internet. To make things easier for you, choose a photo that has no background.

2. Create Some Geometric Designs

In Adobe Illustrator, make three scalene triangles using the Pen tool and arrange them like shown in the picture below. To give it a 3 dimensional effect, fill each triangle with three different shades of grey.

On the empty section of the artboard, draw two circles with one of them slightly smaller in size. Place the smaller circle atop the larger one, select both objects, and then go to Pathfinder > Minus Front. After you get something like a letter O, duplicate it.

Then make another scalene triangle, and arrange it alongside the two Os until they look like something you see in the following image. Afterwards, select all the three objects, click Pathfinder > Divide, and use the Direct Selection tool to delete all excess paths.

Later, make a copy of the triangle and reflect it. Then connect both triangles until they form a pyramid. To make the 3D effect, make another triangle, fill it black, reduce the transparency to 10% and place it on top of the right triangle.

On the other part of the artboard, make another letter O and duplicate it as many as you like. Arrange them as seen in the following image, select them and go to Pathfinder > Divide. Once again, use the Direct Selection tool to delete parts you don’t need.

For the next shape, use the Pathfinder feature to make another letter O. Then make a rectangle, place it over the circle, then hit Pathfinder > Minus Front.

For the details, make another rectangle and press A. Bring your pointer to one of the lower sides of the rectangle, and drag it down so you get something like the picture below shows.

Duplicate it , fill each shape with different colors and put then on top of the circles.

3. Finish the Project in Photoshop

After your Illustrator artboard is filled with shapes like these, then you’re ready to bring them over to Photoshop.

First, create a new artboard in Photoshop and place your background-less photo on it. Then return to Illustrator> select the objects you’ve made> press Command/Control + C. Press Command/Control + V in Photoshop, and you’re free to place the geometrical shapes all over the artboard. (dth/gaekon)

4 thoughts on “Gaekon Tutorial Series: Mixing Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop to Create Awesome Photomontage

  • May 26, 2017 at 7:10 pm

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  • June 26, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    You are so awesome! I don’t believe I have read through anything like this before. So wonderful to find another person with some unique thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  • June 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

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