In this tutorial, I'll review creating the popular Polaroid effect for images used in web design with Photoshop CS5. There are many techniques for creating this effect, but I believe that the method I will demonstrate today is probably the quickest and easiest way to transform an image to make it look like it was taken using the Polaroid film and camera technology.( You can download the PSD file for this tutorial to help you follow along.)#1 First, you will want to find a portrait image, since most Polaroid cameras were used for snapshots of people in a portrait setting, in this case I found this clip art stock photo of a playful family in a park setting as shown in Figure A below.
Figure APolaroid-harbour-nuRetro 1, as shown in Figure B .
#8 Next, browse out to the family image family.jpg and select it from the file list, then click Place.
#11 Now add in some Polaroid coloring effects by creating several layers; the first will be a copy of the Family layer. Right-click over the Family layer and select Duplicate Layer..., then the "Family copy" layer is created. Set the mode for the "Family copy" layer to Soft Light.
#12 Now, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Choose a dark blue color; in this case, I selected #3327cd. Set this Fill Layer to Exclusion with Opacity of 40%.
#13 Next, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels, and slide the black slider (left side) to the right a little bit (53) to increase the intensity of the coloring, with the mode set to Soft Light, and Opacity set to 70%.
#14 Add another Color Fill layer; select Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Choose a light orange color, in this case I picked out #cd9883, then set this Color Fill Layer to Soft Light with opacity of 75%.
#15 If you are happy with the Polaroid effect of the image you can stop here, but if you want, you can add in another Color Fill layer. In this case, I went one more time to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color, and I selected a light pink color -- #f3d0e4. Then, set this Fill Layer to Soft Light with 45% opacity.
#16 Again, check your image, and if you are happy with the Polaroid effect of the image, you can stop here with the layers; however, if you wish, you can add in one more New Fill Solid Color Layer with a dark blue color set to "Exclusion" mode and Opacity of 100%.
This is our finished Polaroid Effect Image:
Download the PSD file for this tutorial here.
Ryan has performed in a broad range of technology support roles for electric-generation utilities, including nuclear power plants, and for the telecommunications industry. He has worked in web development for the restaurant industry and the Federal government.