My way

1. Scan a negative

Basic scanned negative

The first major departure from the tutorial. A scanned image of an old negative was cleaned up and used for the basis of my filmstrip.

I have literally hundreds of these tucked away from my old 35mm film SLR days so I thought it would be a good idea to use one. The colour this would introduce would be a welcome aspect to the final image.

If you don't have any old negatives or a scanner I am sure you could find a suitable image on the internet somewhere (or nick this one!)

2. Clean the scanned image

Clean the scanned image

Because I wanted the background to show through I had to remove the areas from the negative to allow this to happen. These areas were all of the tractor holes, the outside area including the semi-circular cut-outs and the actual images themselves.

Great attention was paid to the last bit to ensure the 4 holes for the images were exactly the same size and spaced exactly the same distance apart. This was to ensure that the final image had the correct proportions and in this instance all of the images were 429px by 293px which was determined by the scan resolution of 300dpi.

Add images

3. Add images

I went and grabbed 4 images from one of my galleries. For this version I chose the 2008 Status Quo concert at Rochester Castle as shown here to be included into the filmstrip. These were cropped and resized as neccesary to allow them to fill the 429px by 293px 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

4. 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 5 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

Bend the whole image

Once merged it is time to bend them. In the Photoshop Creative tutorial they used a warp transformation which I think was not the best way.

My version used a shear filter. To use this the image has to be rotated clockwise through 90°. Once rotated I selected Filter>Distort>Shear to get the shear dialogue and played with the setting to get the desired effect. Once done I turned it back anti-clockwise through 90° to get it back to the way it was.

This method was far more controlable for this type of image and gives less distortion to the scaling.