Photoshop Creative way

The basic filmstrip construction

1. Create the strip

The first part of the process is to create a basic image and then add in a rectangular block 160mm by 28mm. Within this 5 rectangles of 30mm by 20mm were placed and the backgrounds removed.

The exact size and spacing here is important as everything must be the exact same size with equal spacing between them.

A square paint brush of 18px was then created with a 200% spacing and the top and bottom rows of smaller squares was made with it to represent the holes the film transport mechanism would use. Again, these were transparent to allow any background that may applied later to show through the holes.

Obviously if the final background is already in place then the transparency of the holes as applied in the last step is not required.

Adding cropped images into cells

2. Get some images

I went and grabbed 5 images from one of my galleries. I chose our recent trip to Paris as shown here to be included into the filmstrip. These were cropped and resized as neccesary to allow them to fill the 30mm by 20mm slots.

At this point I also increased their brightness and contrast by about 20% to make them look a bit brighter as images loose brightness when shrunk to a much smaller size.

Duplicate layer, move down and flip vertically

3. Duplicate and flip layers

To enable changes to the originals later if required I then duplicated the layers containing the filmstrip and the 4 images. This was done because the next step was to merge these 6 layers together and once done there is no going back.

With the layers merged it is then duplicated and moved down so the copy sits below the original.

The last action in this phase was to flip this layer vertically to make it into a mirror of the first one.

4. Use a layer mask to create the reflection effect

Add gradient and merge layers

With the duplicate layer selected you add a layer mask and use the gradient tool to make the duplicated filmstrip transparent.

The final transparency changes greatly here and it will take a bit of messing around to get the exact level you require. The effect is also greatly dependant on the colour of the background you intend to use.

The example shown here is on a lightish background and looks about right but if the background were to be darker then more transparency would be required to get the same effect.

5. Bend the whole image

For the next step you have to merge both of the filmstrip layers. Again I duplicated these to enable me to redo it as many times as I felt fit.

Use a transformation warp

Once merged it is time to bend them and this was done with a warp transformation. This step again is one where you will have to play with it a lot to achieve the desired effect.

I must admit at this point that it was this warping that I had most trouble with and was the reason I then went and did a different way.

All done

As you can see this gives quite a nice representation of a filmstrip and introdues quite a lot of Photoshop techniques to those trying to get used to this software.