How to Cut Up Photos for an Instagram Collage

cut up photo collage tutorial how to for instagram with photoshop slice tool

You’ve seen those Instagram Photo Collages, right?

As in.. a large photo cut up into a bunch of little squares and then posted one by one until they form the whole photo across the squares of your Instagram. When people visit your profile, they’re like “Woah! So Impact. Great. Amazing”.

Anyway. Posting these giant photo collages on Instagram is a really great way to add some creativity to your feed.

It looks like this…

Instagram Feed Large Photo Collage
@wondernoteblog

But the best part is when you spam everyone else’s feed with enlarged photos of your right ear, then your left nostril, and last but not least– your line-free (thanks, Facetune!) forehead.. all the parts that make up a giant photo of your precious face.  When your right eyebrow gets more double-taps than your left, you’ll know that they know that your left arch is struggling (as you suspected) compared to the right arch.

So without further ado, let’s learn how to slice photos for an Instagram Collage, so you can find out which feature of your face your friends like the most.

Tools Needed:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC

For this tutorial, I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop CC, and specifically the slice tool. You can easily recreate this in older versions of Photoshop, but the steps may look slightly different.

And if you prefer to watch instead of read, check out the full tutorial in my Youtube video.

How to Cut Up Photos for an Instagram Collage Step #1: Decide your Aspect Ratio

How to Cut up photos for Instagram Collage: Decide your aspect ratio

A note before we begin cutting/slicing the photo:  you need to decide on a size for your Instagram collage. The photo has to be cut into equal little squares across and down.

As you might’ve guessed, we’ve got some math to do. So if you’re one of those people who complained in Geometry/Algebra class, wondering when we’d ever use it in real life, this is the moment, my friend.

Instagram only displays 3 squares across, so you know the width of the photo needs to be divisible by 3. That’s a given. But now you need to decide how many rows (length) you want it to span. Technically you can make the photo as many squares in length as you’d like, but the best practice is to keep it between 3 – 4 squares in length. That way people will be able to see the whole picture at once when they arrive to your profile or scroll through your feed. Some phone screens are larger, so for example, I can see 5 rows at once when I start scrolling. But not everyone can.

Ratio Guide:

3:3 or 1:1 Ratio = 9 squares

This means the photo is a perfect square. If it’s 900px wide, it’s also 900px height.

900px/3 (width) = 300px and 900px/3 (height) = 300px

This ratio will post the photo over 9 squares in your profile.

3:4 Ratio = 12 squares

For this size, you need to be able to divide the width of the photo by 3 and the height by 4 and get the same value for each. If the width of the photo is 900px, the height should be 1200px.

This is because 900px/3 (width) = 300px and 1200px/4 (height) = 300px

This ratio will post the photo over 12 squares in your profile.

3:5 Ratio = 15 squares*

For this size, you need to be able to divide the width of the photo by 3 and the height by 5 and get the same value for each.  We need to find a number that is divisible by both 3 and 5. (Are visions of least common multiples haunting you right now? Don’t worry, I’ll do the thinking for you.) If 900px is the width of the photo, the height is 1500px.

This is because 900px/3 (width) = 300px and 1500px/5 (height) = 300px

This ratio will post the photo over 15 squares in your profile.

______

After you decide which ratio you want to use, either crop or resize your image to the correct size.

*As I mentioned above, I wouldn’t choose a length any greater than 5 rows or your collage won’t be visible all at once.

How to Cut Up Photos for an Instagram Collage Step #2: Choose the Slice Tool

Now that you’ve decided your ratio and either cropped or resized your photo to the proper size, let’s move on to the slice tool.

Choose the Slice Tool from your Toolbar. It should be nested with your Crop Tool (click and hold the lower right hand corner on the slice tool in the toolbar to bring up more options). If you still don’t see the slice tool, check the 3 dots at the very bottom of the toolbar. The slice tool may be hiding in there. Mine was.

Once you have the Slice Tool selected, right click on your image and choose Divide Slice.

How to Cut Up Photos for an Instagram Collage Step #3: Set the Horizontal and Vertical Values

How to Cut Up Photos for Instagram Collage with Slice Tool PhotoshopThank goodness we did the math and got our photo cropped or resized already, because this is the part where we plug in our aspect ratio numbers.

Divide Horizontally Into will give us our HEIGHT. Divide Vertically Into will give us our WIDTH. Technically they are out of order from the way we did our math, so make sure you don’t put the numbers in backwards! Depending on which aspect ratio you chose for your Instagram Collage, use the values below:

3:3 or 1:1 Ratio = 9 squares

Divide Horizontally Into: 3 slices down, evenly spaced

Divide Vertically Into: 3 slices across, evenly spaced

3:4 Ratio = 12 squares

Divide Horizontally Into: 4 slices down, evenly spaced

Divide Vertically Into: 3 slices across, evenly spaced

3:5 Ratio = 15 squares

Divide Horizontally Into: 5 slices down, evenly spaced

Divide Vertically Into: 3 slices across, evenly spaced

Note: this step will not work out for you if you did not get your image sized right, so if needed, return to Step 1.

How to Cut Up Photos for an Instagram Collage Step #4: Save the Images Individually

Divide photo into even squares for instagram collage

Great! We’re nearly done. The last step in Photoshop is to save our Instagram Collage as individual photos.

Go to File > Export > Save for Web

Zoom out so you can see the whole image. By default, only the first square is selected, so hold down Shift and click on all of the squares so that the whole image is selected.

I’m choosing Preset: JPEG (High), then Press Save.

How to Cut Up Photos for an Instagram Collage Step #5: Post to Instagram!

Navigate to where you saved the images. They are all numbered and ready to post to Instagram! Congrats.

Divide photo into even squares for instagram collage

If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to check out more Graphic Design tutorials on my Youtube Channel!

How to Slice Photos for Instagram Collage in Photoshop

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