Show off your work! Your professionalism and creativity deserves more than a photocopy stuck on your fridge door. It is time that you learn how to present your work in a nice, professional way. In this Photoshop CS5 tutorial you will learn how to create a filmstrip composition, thus you can understand the idea of layout and design. We will be using five different images, basic tools, layer styles, and a logo. Let’s begin!


First at all, let’s choose five different images.

Look for any images you would like to add to your filmstrip composition and open each image in Photoshop CS5.

For this tutorial I am going to use the following images provided by


Select one of your images as the key background and the main file. I chose the following image because it has enough space to place the filmstrip:

Image zoomed out to 50%.
Save the image as a PSD file by going to File > Save as.


Within the LAYERS palette (Window > Layers) create a New Layer and name it, “Filmstrip”.
Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and make a rectangular selection like the one shown below:

Let’s fill the selected area with black. Go to Edit > Fill and choose Black:


Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), within its Options Bar enter 2px for its Radius, select White at its Color, and draw a small rectangle like shown below:

Next, select the Path Selection Tool (A), click on the small rectangle, and open the Free Transform by pressing (Mac: Command + Option + T / PC: Control + Alt + T). Click inside the small rectangle and press (Mac: Option + Shift / PC: Alt + Shift) to create a copy of the small rectangle, drag it downwards, and press the (Mac: Return / PC: Enter) key.
Instead of repeating this step, press (Mac: Command + Option + Shift + T / PC: Control + Alt + Shift + T) to automatically make more copies until you create a vertical column of rectangles.

We need one more column for the other side, press (Mac: Command + J / PC: Control + J) to duplicate the “Shape 1” layer and select the Move Tool (V) to drag the copied column to the other side. You should have the following:

Hold down the Shift key, select the two “Shape” layers and the “Filmstrip” layer, and press Mac: Command + E / PC: Control + E) to merge the three layers. Rename the layer as, “Filmstrip”.


Now with the Magic Wand Tool (W) delete the white area within each small rectangle.

Let’s add a drop shadow to our filmstrip. Go to Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow and click OK.


Now it is time to edit the images that we chose for our film strip. Select one of the images and with the Crop Tool (C) crop it about 145px by 171px.

Save it for web and devices by going to File > Save for Web & Devices.

Repeat this step to crop the remaining images.


In Your Filmstrip Composition PSD file go to File > Place and look for the images you cropped in the previous step. Select one of the images, click Place, to accept the placement select the Move Tool (V) and click Place. Repeat this step until you have the selected images placed in your Filmstrip Composition file.

Organize the images like shown below:


Select one of the images layer and go to Layer > Layer Style > Inner Shadow and click OK.
Repeat this step to add an Inner Shadow to each of our images.

In the remaining space of my filmstrip I am going to add the logo of the photographer, you can add your own logo, name, or a quote.

Final result:

This composition couldn’t be simpler; hope this tutorial helps you to be clairvoyant to create a nice masterpiece to show off your images.