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Images in Panels or Polyptychs

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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it


Object Align -Part of KrisVDM Pack

Mirror - Part of Evanolds pack

Gaussian Blur

Drop Shadow - also part of KrisVDM Pack

What you are aiming for:


For this one we will make it a wallpaper. I will use 1280 x 768 as the finished size.

Step 1:

Open a new image to 2560 x 1536 so that it is twice the finish size. At 4 times my computer will crash but I usually work at 4 times the finished size if doing 800 x 600.

Step 2:

Make a new layer.

Step 3:

With black as you colour, select filled rectangle. Draw a black rectangle approximately in the centre, approximately 600 pixels wide and 1000 high. It really doesn't need to be exact. You can make more panels or adjust the size, width, height to suit yourself.

See image below for the method:


Step 4:

Use Object Align – Center Both

Step 5:

New layer

Step 6:

Again make a rectangle about 400 x 700 on the left hand side. When moving elements, always use the ellipse or rectangle select. Magic Wand will leave pixels behind – not a good look.

Step 7:

Move the image so that it is about 50 pixels to the left of the centre rectangle.


Step 8:

Object Align – Vertically

Step 9:

Mirror left half over right.

Step 10:

New layer and make a rectangle about 300 x 500. Move the image so that it is about 50 pixels to the left of the previous rectangle.

Step 11:

Object Align – Vertically

Step 12:

Mirror left half over right.

You can make the rectangles any size you like, have more or less, alter the alignment etc.

You should now have something that looks like this. The white is just so you can see it better.


Step 13:

Merge all the rectangles down.

Step 14:

Duplicate the layer. (Ctrl + Shift + D)

Step 15:

New layer between the two rectangle layers.

Step 16:

Open any image you like and paste into the new layer. You will probably have to resize it. The black rectangles will indicate what you will be left with. Experiment! :D

Step 17:

Magic Wand at 50% (default) the top rectangle layer anywhere outside the black.

Step 18:

Go to your image layer and press Delete on the keyboard.

Step 19:

Move the image layer up one.

Step 20:

Select all of the bottom black rectangles layer with Rectangle Select tool. Select Move Pixels or press ‘m’ on the keyboard.

Step 21:

Using your directional arrows on the keyboard, press once to the left.

Step 22:

Hold down the CTRL key and press the right arrow key 3 more times and the down key 3 times.

Each time you hold down the CTRL key & press the arrow key it moves the selection by 10 pixels at a time. Without the CTRL key it moves them 1 pixel only. If you don’t do it once without the CTRL it copies as it moves. We don’t want this to happen.

Step 23:

On the layer you’ve just moved, run a Gaussian Blur @ 40 or so.

You can stop at this stage, depending on the look you want and just add a background. I’ve used both on different images.

This is what you should have now.


In the example I’ve duplicated the blurred layer to give it more “pop” on the background. The white background again is to show the work.

Continue for a thicker panel…

Step 24:

On the picture panels, run a Drop Shadow at default.

Step 25:

Turn off or delete the unblurred layer.

Step 26:

Run Trail as shown below.


Step 27:

You may have to duplicate the blurred layer depending on the darkness of your background, as I did.

Step 28:

Add a new layer to the very bottom of your image & create a background of your choice.

Step 29:

I always save as a .PDN first and then as a .PNG

Step 30:

Resize the image to 50% and save. Done!

Please post your result & any questions as I am happy to help.

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I think the outcome works very well. I have always loved the tile effect. Yours is great!

The idea of course is to remove the rest of image that you started with but your idea works very well too. Goonfella did a different take on it too.

I know but the idea just popped into my head when i was going thru the tutorial. i have took several of my wallpapers and put the effect to it. if you want i can post them.

Edited by gekkoutora23
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  • 2 months later...

I was talking about this as a 10 min pict!


The stock image should be few more complex but it is too older for me to recall the process...

I could give a try.

Edit (10min after):

The stock image is

. a gradient with 2 colors (not black)

+ Tile reflection (large to have as less as cell as possible, curvature 20-25)

+ Tube oblique (x & y to +max or -max, quality to max)

+ Seamless texture (default)

+ color flip/rotate

You should have something near...

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  • 2 months later...

Very nice outcome barbieq25. :) I was wondering if you or someone else can help me out a bit here? You sort of lost me after step 12. After Where you say "Mirror left half over right". Are we then suppose to be on our own and make a new layer per rectangle then use the MIrror effect according to the rectangles' position? Then once we're done with our complete images of rectangles we go to step 13?

But then again on step 13 you say "Merge all the rectangles down.", but then on step 15 you say "New layer between the two rectangle layers." Which two rectangle layers are we talking here? I thought we already merged all the layers down in step 13? Sorry for the noob questionss, I'm just a bit confused.

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