We idea was to create the collage that could look as the travel agency advertisement, in which different photos
illustrated some beautiful places were placed in separate puzzle pieces or a group of pieces.
Special Note: A Travel Agency's Ad is the gallery sample "inherited" from the older version
of our puzzle maker. And we must say that it was one of the... or maybe even the most time consuming sample. For this
tutorial, we've recreated it using Puzzle Pro 3.x. Thanks to the features provided by the new version of the plug-in
(such as the Image Overlay and automated preparing the hexagonal layouts) it took almost NO time to create the
desired effect, in comparison with the older version. It can be said that reading the tutorial takes longer than
preparing the effect. :-)
First of all, we should prepare the appropriate layout. Let the puzzle pieces be the hexagons. Once the layout is
prepared, we will use the Image Overlay
option of AV Bros. Puzzle Pro 3.x, for completing the task (placing various
images into different puzzle pieces).
For your convenience, we have prepared the ZIP file with the source images and the Puzzle Pro 3.x layout settings file.
Click here to download it.
- Create the new RGB document (600x600 pixels). Set the foreground and background colors.
(The colors are not critical, so let it be blue and white accordingly.) Add the new layer and fill it with, for example,
white color. Make this layer active and start AV Bros. Puzzle Pro 3.x.
- Make sure that the Cutter window is active and specify the Path as the straight line by deleting all anchor
points located on the orange line in the Path palette. Then, specify the Splitter thickness equal to 6 pixels using the
Knives Thickness slider.
- Click the Auto Layout button and then, when the Auto Layout window appears, select both the "Hex. Type 2"
radio button and the Regular check box. Then, set the number* of the Rows to 7 and Columns to 11 and click the OK
button located in the Auto Layout window. In the Main Preview area of the plug-in you will see the basic hexagonal
layout (see Fig.1).
* In fact we will need only 5 rows and 9 columns, but the greater number will let us
remove the boundary knives for perfect appearance of the resulting Splitter.
Note: the number of the columns and Rows that you specify in the Auto Layout
window has NO relation to the number of Columns/Rows that is specified in the Cutter window.
- Click on the Apply button of the plug-in. By this you will employ the Draw Splitter option of
Puzzle Pro 3.x and will obtain the Splitter drawn inside the host. But this is the intervening result, because we
just wanted the plug-in to remember the prepared layout. (Since the current Splitter's appearance is NOT the final,
using the Apply command is more convenient and prompt way to remember the settings, than using the Save command of
- Put the images from the ZIP file into the separate layers beneath the layer with the intervening
Splitter and allocated (approximately) these images within the canvas according to the future design (see Fig.2).
- To make the process of creating the Splitter most convenient, we recommend that you add an additional
layer (it's a good idea to make it the topmost in the layered structure). Fill it with white color and merge with the
copies of the layers with the images and then, run Puzzle Pro 3.x (see Fig.3). (Pay attention that we have hidden all
blue squares that represent the knots by making the Main windows or the plug-in active and then, using the Ctrl+H (Win)
or Cmd+H (Mac) shortcut, for most convenient viewing.)
- Select all boundary knives and then, hide them by clicking on the OFF button (see Fig.4a on which,
these, already hidden, knives are marked with pale red color). Then, hide some internal knives to obtain the
desired appearance of the Splitter (see Fig.4b). The Splitter is ready! Click on the Apply button to obtain the
Splitter drawn inside the host (see Fig.4c*).
* If you see the intervening Splitter, rather than its final look shown on Fig.4c,
then this means that you have just forgotten to turn OFF the layer beneath with that intervening Splitter.
- Now it's time to precisely position the images for further inserting them into the appropriate pieces.
For that, make the layer with any image is visible, but the layers with all other images are not. Adjust this image's
position, scale and rotate it, if necessary. Make sure that the particular image fully covers its future piece
(or a group of pieces). Make this operation for each image (see Fig.5a-5d).
- Add a new layer (the topmost in the layered structure) and fill it with say white color and then,
start the plug-in. Since Puzzle Pro 3.x remembers the last used settings, you will see the prepared Splitter in the
Main Preview area. Click the Cut button located in the Cutter window of the plug-in. Once the process of cutting is
over, our Photoshop plug-in switches into the Puzzle mode and this time in the Main Preview area you will see the
already cut image (see Fig.6).
- It's time for a "magic": click the Image Overlay effect button, located in the Main window. By default,
the "From Document Layer (Auto)" option is used, so you just need to check the LCD-like display for the
"From Auto-Selected layers" title. If you have correctly positioned the images within the pieces layout, then in
the Main window you will see that all images are places onto the appropriate pieces* (see Fig.7). Just a
click and it is ready - what a great option! :-)
Well, one of the images (swimming pool) was also put into two "wrong" pieces
(see the red arrows on Fig.7). This occurred because we had not selected the pieces, which we wanted to be
affected by the Image Overlay effect, beforehand. As a result, the plug-in's engine used ALL pieces and the
swimming pool image has covered some additional pieces in addition to the "main" ones. In our particular case,
this is NOT a problem, because we had a plan to fill these pieces with a solid color. But if you want to avoid
that, you just need to select the specific pieces before using the Image Overlay built-in effect. We also
recommend that you look thru the How to employ the Image Overlay effect?
topic of the on-line user Guide.
- And some more finalizing actions... use the Color Overlay built-in effect and fill 3
pieces (one by one)
with different colors and also hide (turn OFF) the bottom right piece (see Fig.8).
- Select the large piece that surrounds our main pieces and turn it OFF (hide). Then Select the
Splitter and do both, turn OFF its bevel (This will make the Splitter flat and, as a result, will make pieces look more
relief.) and color it (using the Color Overlay built-in effect) to light grey color. This completes the design!
Click on the Apply button (see Fig.9*).
* We've also added the Drop Shadow effect using Photoshop layer effect for perfect appearance.