Nov 26, 2014

How to Make a Polaroid Framed Picture in Photoshop

Polaroids for All!

Polaroid film is becoming harder and harder to come by (*tear*) but what if you still want that retro look? In today’s episode, we show you how to make a polaroid framed picture in Photoshop!

Just a Few Simple Steps

To achieve this fun and retro effect, you will need two things: a picture of your subjects, and a picture of an actual Polaroid.

Click HERE to download the same Polaroid image used in this episode!

Move one photo onto the other by simply using the move tool! Click and drag while holding the shift key. Next, select the center square of the Polaroid. In this case, we use the magic wand tool, but you can use any selection tool of your choice. Next click the layer mask button, and your subjects will only show up in the middle of the polaroid.

Give your image an aged and stylized effect by using a hue/saturation layer. Choose a hue that you like (we chose a sepia color) and make sure that the colorize button is checked. Clip it to the underlying layer, and feel free to lower the opacity if the effect looks too strong.

Another step we take is to further the believability of the edges. Put a gaussian blur around the edges to blend the two images in together.

If you’d like to “write” on the Polaroid, it’s best to do so with a tablet, or to actually write on it with a pen and scan it to your computer. Also, make sure to utilize Blend-If. Double click to the right of the layer, and adjust the sliders (at the bottom of the dialogue) while holding down the Option key. This will make it seem like the text is blending into the Polaroid.


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    Evan J. M. Smith

    I’m Addicted to PHLEARN!! I love what you guys are doing here, keeping everything fun and informative at the same time haha I had a quick question, how do you go about Calibrating your displays? I had a look through the archive, but I didn’t find anything. I’m currently using a late 2012 15″ MBP if that makes a difference. Keep up the great work Aaron!! Cheers!

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    Barnia Scruggs

    Aaron, your teaching has been Phantastic. I have now been part of the Phamily for quite a while and I would love to get into high end retouching. I have seen your episodes on frequency separation and watched your appearance on Creative Live where you handled the compositing and retouch to the beer and liquor ads for another photographer. What are some other secrets or tricks of high end retouching that you may not have touched on before? Thanks.

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    This is great for reviving some polaroid love for all of us.
    Just a heads up, the polaroid image you used as the frame is an image of the back of a polaroid.

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    Hi! I love PHLEARN and Aarons funny way to teach. English is not my native language, but that´s not a problem, i learned a lot and “the main thing” i had fun.

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    Chad M.

    Thanks for the video. I just purchased your action packs. Wow Keep up the great work

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    John T Wylie Jr

    Check out The Impossible Project , they are bringing back Polaroid Film !

    Great tutorial.

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    great stuff but i have original polaroid still works i use it for before n after while holding newspaper date /now will people think its photo shop n not real …… ? can you photoshop a real polaroid picture

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    Just curious — some of your recent tutorials do not have a control bar at the bottom to allow full-screen view, play/pause or re-play. Is this intentional, an oversight, or a technical glitch?

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      Hey Dick! YouTube tends to change their embed formatting from time to time as they update, and sometimes those changes don’t push through automatically. We try to catch them, but sometimes we miss 😉

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    Great trick, but for those who know what a polaroid looks like, you used the back of the print, not the front, a great give a way that this is a photoshop mash up