This tutorial was writen using PSP 9, but it should be equally applicable to Photoshop 7-CS3 and Elements 2-5. The screengrabs are necessarily small to fit the webpage, but if you click on each one you can download the bigger, clearer version. We also have a version of the original image that you can download and follow the tutorial with before trying the process out on your own images. Download the starting image by right clicking and selecting Save Target As here
STEP BY STEP
1. In this project we have a picture of a pineapple that we are going to slice up and arrange in a new image, then give each layer a 3D style effect. First of all load in the pineapple picture. If you go to Image/Resize you'll see that the picture is 2152 pixels high (and 1540 wide). If we divide that by 8, which is the number of strips of pineapple that we are going to cut it into, we get 269 pixels per slice. And no, it's not a co-incidence that it's a whole number, I made sure the height was divisible by 8.
2. Create a new image so that it can sit next to the pineapple. Give it a vertical size of 3000 pixels by 2000 wide. This is higher than the original so that we can tilt the slices and wider because the slices will take up more space when titled. Create the new image with a white background and as a raster image.
3. Now, there are two ways of doing this. One is quick and easy, but not very accurate and entirely dependent upon you guessing the sizes, though you can use the rulers which helps. The Selection tool does not provide precise pixel control. The other way is more laborious, but is precise and that's what we're going to do. Now get a calculator out if you need it. Choose the Crop tool and mark the bottom of the image, all the way across. Set the Height to 269 then note the Top and Bottom sizes.
4. Click on the tick to activate the Crop then press Ctrl-A to select the slice and Ctrl-C to copy it to the Clipboard. Now click on the empty fruit cocktail image. Press Ctrl-L to paste it as a new layer. Use the Move tool to move it down to the bottom of the screen. Click back on the original picture and press Ctrl-Z twice to undo the selection and the crop, leaving you back with the original, whole pineapple.
The reason why each slice needs to be selected before applying the buttonise function is that otherwise it will be applied to a layer the size of the whole image, rather than the actual content of the layer, despite the fact that there is nothing else in the layer. This is a shortcoming of PSP 9.
5. Now click back on the Crop tool and the previous selection will appear which makes life a lot easier. Change the Bottom entry to the value in the Top entry, which is 1883. Then, subtract 269 from the Top figure to get 1614. As you enter this value the Crop area will change to the next slice up. Click on the tick as before to crop, press Ctrl-A to select what's left, Ctrl-C to copy it. Click on the new image and press Ctrl-L to paste as a new layer as before, and use the move tool to move it down into position above the first slice.
6. Switch back to the original pineapple and press Ctrl-Z twice as before. Select the Crop tool and carry out the process outlined in the previous step. The next Crop takes place at Top: 1345, Bottom 1614. Repeat until you have gone all the way up the pineapple, cropped slices and pasted them into the new composition. Then close the original as we don't need it any more.
7. Now, this is easier if you click on the eye icon in the Layers palette for every layer except raster 1, which is the first slice. Select the Magic wand and click outside the area that the slice occupies. This will select the transparent area. Now go to Selections and pick Invert to select the slice. Go to Effects/ 3D Effects and select Buttonise. Enter 50 as the Height and Width and ensure the Transparent option is set. Apply it. Press Ctrl-D to remove the selection. Then, turn the visibility of Raster 1 off, and Raster 2 on and select it. Repeat the process for each slice in turn.
8. Click on the eye symbols for each raster layer so that you can see them and the background. Click on Raster 1, which is at the bottom of the screen. Click on the Deform group and select the Straighten tool. Now line the tool up along the slice and move either end downwards. Now, the direction you move the guide in is the opposite to which the slice will be moved - this is because it is a straighten function. Apply it. Now use the Move tool to ensure there is enough space at the bottom and for general repositioning. Move up the layer stack, moving slices so that they edge this way and that all the way up. Do final repositioning then merge and crop any spare space to finish.
Want to see this project actually being produced - download the video podcast and watch it on your computer or MP4 player. You have to be quite methodical and ordered for this project, but it isn't actually that difficult to do and it can give great results. Follow it through in the tutorial. Right click and select Save Target As here to download to your computer. The file is Windows AVI format and is 50Mb in size so if you have a 2Mbit/s download speed it should take around 3mins 20secs.