How to Make a Filmstrip in Photoshop: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Photoshop is a widely used program that gives you great creative freedom. Although it is most often used for professional photo editing, many use it for personal projects.

Today we’re going to show you how to make a Filmstrip in Photoshop. If you want to do something creative with your photos just follow.

Step 1: Create your canvas

The first thing you need to do is create your canvas. hurry Ctrl + NOT on your keyboard or go to To file > New. A small window will appear; this is where you will specify the details of your blank canvas. You can give your canvas a name, specify width, height, resolution, etc.


Photoshop creating a new canvas

For this project, it is best to create a 350x260px canvas.

Step 2: create a film strip

We only need to create one filmstrip to get started; there are several steps to follow.

Add separate layers

Each new canvas will have a default background layer. The first thing to do is to create a duplicate of this layer. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + J on your keyboard, or right click on the layer and choose Duplicate layer.


Photoshop duplicate a layer

Color layers

Both layers should be white by default, but you should make the bottom layer black. To do this, just click on the layer titled Fund and press Ctrl + I. You can also color the layer with the Paint bucket Tool, which you can find in the left panel.

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Resize layers

Select the layer above and press Ctrl + T to activate the Free transformation tool. You can also go to Edit > Free transformation.


Free Photoshop Transformation

Once the tool is activated, you can freely transform your canvas by clicking and dragging the edges. Click on the upper central part of the canvas and drag it while holding Change + Alt on your keyboard. This will move the top and bottom edges.


Photoshop resizing the object

Move the top edge down until the height reaches about 75%. Repeat on the left side until the width is about 90%.

Now you need to merge the layers; select the layers while holding Change and pressing Ctrl + E. You can also select the layers and then right click on any of the layers and choose Merge layers.


Photoshop margin layers

Step 3: combine the wrap

Once you’ve merged the layers, tap Ctrl + A (Where To select > All) then press Ctrl + VS (Where Edit > Copy). Next, create a new canvas of approximately 2300x1000px. Once you are on this canvas, press Ctrl + V twice (or Edit > Pastry Twice).


Copy and paste Photoshop filmstrips

This will paste the film strip you just created twice onto the new canvas. You will be doing everything on this new canvas from now on, so you can close the old one.

You can move each filmstrip by clicking and dragging them with your mouse, or by using the arrow keys on your keyboard. Move the two layers to combine them into a longer filmstrip. Then merge the two layers.


Photoshop align filmstrips

Now press Ctrl + J twice to duplicate the layer twice, and again, combining the layers to create an even longer filmstrip. After that merge the three layers again. The result should look like the image below.


Photoshop Combination Filmstrips

Related: How To Simulate A Snowy Scene In Photoshop

Step 3: add details

As you may already know, filmstrips have small holes at the top and bottom of each strip. The easiest way to create these holes in Photoshop is to use the Eraser tool. But first, you need to customize it.

Switch to square brushes

Start by clicking on the Tool to erase. By default, all brushes are shaped like a circle. To transform them into square shapes, click on the small The arrow at the top, then click the settings icon and select Legacy brushes.


Photoshop in search of legacy brushes

Then click on the arrow again and scroll through the brushes until you find the Legacy brushes case. Click on the little arrow next to that folder to open it and scroll down until you find the Square brushes case. Double click on this folder to activate square brushes.



Photoshop switches to square brushes

Now we need to adjust the brush settings. Go to Window > Brush settings or press F5 on your keyboard. Click on Brush tip shape, set the size to 14px and the spacing to around 300%.


Photoshop brush settings

Once you’ve customized the Eraser tool, it’s time to create the holes.

Create the holes in the film

Taking Change, click where you want the first hole to be, and then drag the mouse to the end of the filmstrip. Repeat on the other side of the wrap.


Photoshop adding details

Step 4: add your photos

It’s time to finally add your photos to the Camera Roll.

Remove background

Before you can add images to your Camera Roll, you need to get rid of the white parts. First, hide the background layer so that you can clearly see what you are doing. To hide a layer, just click on the small eye icon next to this layer. When the background is transparent, it should look like the image below.



Photoshop hiding a layer

After that click and hold the Tool to erase until several options are displayed. Select the Magic eraser tool and click on the white squares in the filmstrip. This should remove the white background.


Photoshop selecting the magic eraser tool

Add your photos

To add images to the Camera Roll, simply drag the images onto the Canvas from your PC. The film layer should be on top of all other layers. You can change the position of any layer by clicking and dragging it.

While importing the image, select the layer where this image is located and press Ctrl + T activate Free transformation. Now you can resize the image to fit the filmstrip.


Photoshop resizing images

Once you are done importing, positioning, and resizing the images, merge all layers except the background layer.


Photoshop Filmstrip Merged Layers

Step 5: make it look 3D

If you just want simple film, you can skip this step. For those who want to add a 3D effect to their filmstrip, it’s pretty straightforward.

Click on the newly merged layer, navigate to Edit > Transform > Chain. This will allow you to play with the shape of the wrap as much as you want.


Photoshop transform warp option

You can change the shape of the filmstrip by clicking and dragging the edges.


Photoshop adjusts the distortion manually

Photoshop also comes with customizable default string shapes.


Photoshop Custom String Shapes

Create a cool film strip for your photos

If you have a bunch of footage on your computer and you don’t know what to do with it, try making a filmstrip. The guide above is a bit long, but simple to follow. You can get creative and use your own settings and effects to make it truly unique.


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