I would recommend to use Photoshop. Get the trial.
Thanks so much.
I used to do collage work in Photoshop, but I've switched to using InDesign for arranging separate images, which may or may not have been masked in Photoshop. I find it better for text (Photoshop can't do the wavy text you want, for example), but be advised that both programs have fairly steep learning curves.
Thank you very much,Peter. I appreciate hearing about your experience with both programs and also about the complexity of learning them.
It is very easy to open a new document 48" by 36" with a 300DPI resolution in Photoshop and then place in images. Where you size them and position them over the 4' x 3' canvas. However placing in 200 image manually where you size and position them on a canvas that is only 4' x 3' means that image will be about 3" in size. Manually placing,sizing and positing 200 image will tedious and very time consuming and difficult.
You should seriously consider automation I do not use indesign so I know nothing about its automation. I do use Photoshop full not elements and i know a lot about Photoshop automation.
Elements has a photo collage feature but is not as good as you want. Photoshop does not have a built in collage feature but has features that make making collages very easy. Photoshop also has Automation features Actions and Scripting.
While it is possible to create action to create collages actions would need to be created for each collage type you want to make. Scripting is more powerful then actions and with a proper collage template design. It would be easy to make Collage Template PSD file with great creative freedom. As long as the PSD adheres to a few simple rules. The Collage Template PSDs can be populated using a few scripts. Scripting is programming the average Photoshop user will never write a Photoshop Script however they will use scripts. Photoshop ships with some scripts. The Image Processor, Load image file into a stack, Photomerge and others.
I came up with a simple flexible template design and created scripts to populate collage psd template the follow my design. However because my design relies on Alpha channels for mapping image shapes and locations my template can only handle 53 images. For photos only supports up to 53 alpha channels.
Photoshop supports up to 8000 layer so I have also included a script to tile image onto a canvas. Images will be size for the tile size and masked to the tile aspect ratio. You can tile out up to 8,000 images however that process would take an extremely long time to run.
Photo Collage Toolkit
Photoshop scripting is powerful and I believe this package demonstrates this A video showing a 5 image collage PSD template being populates with images:
The package includes four simple rules to follow when making Photo Collage Template PSD files so they will be compatible with my Photoshop scripts.
- Size the photo collage templates for the print size you want - width, height and print DPI resolution.
- Photo collage templates must have a Photoshop background layer. The contents of this layer can be anything.
- Photo collage templates must have alpha channels named "Image 1", "Image 2", ... "Image n".
- Photo collage templates layers above the background layers must provide transparent areas to let the images that will be placed below them show through.
There are twelve scripts in this package they provide the following functions:
- TestCollageTemplate.jsx - Used to test a Photo Collage Template while you are making it with Photoshop.
- CollageTemplateBuilder.jsx - Can build Templates compatible with this toolkit's scripts.
- LayerToAlphaChan.jsx - Used to convert a Prototype Image Layer stack into a template document.
- InteractivePopulateCollage.jsx - Used to interactively populate Any Photo Collage template. Offers most user control inserting pictures and text.
- ReplaceCollageImage.jsx - use to replace a populated collage image Smart Object layer with an other image correctly resized and positioned.
- ChangeTextSize.jsx - This script can be used to change Image stamps text size when the size used by the populating did not work well.
- PopulateCollageTemplate.jsx - Used to Automatically populate a Photo Collage template and leave the populated copy open in Photoshop.
- BatchOneImageCollage.jsx - Used to Automatically Batch Populate Collage templates that only have one image inserted. The Collage or Image may be stamped with text.
- BatchMultiImageCollage.jsx - Used to Automatically Batch Populate Any Photo Collage template with images in a source image folder. Easier to use than the interactive script. Saved collages can be tweaked.
- BatchPicturePackage.jsx - Used to Automatically Batch Populate Any Photo Collage template with an image in a source image folder
- PasteImageRoll.jsx - Paste Images into a document to be print on roll paper.
- PCTpreferences.jsx - Edit This File to Customize Collage Populating scripts default setting and add your own Layer styles.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to provide me with so much highly useful information, advice and "how-to instructions". The collage templates and auto collage are fantastic tools and will allow me to proceed with making the collage that I want in the most efficient way.
I'm sorry I was unable to reply to you through the discussion page or to mark your answer as correct for some reason but I am very grateful for all the information you provided.