You’ve probably seen images of the new Facebook Timeline which will be replacing your profile in a few weeks. You may have also tried it out yourself. But there was something niggling me about having a Cover image and a Profile pic. I like the idea, but I was wondering if I could combine the two into one composite image. As you can see, I managed it.
So let’s look at how I did this, and some useful info I learned along the way. By the way, I’m assuming some knowledge of Photoshop here…
The first thing I had to do was to take a screen grab of the Timeline display – as it never resizes I knew what I was up against… I then pulled this screengrab into Photoshop.
Finding a photo to use
To do this effect you’ll ideally have a photo of yourself where you are small and to the bottom left of an image, and a wide letterbox shaped one at that. What about that pic of you wistfully looking out across the sun setting on the sea? Or a family picture with you on the extreme left. This is because your profile picture part of the image will obviously continue to be your profile picture across Facebook, so it would be good if it was meaningful when viewed on its own too. I didn’t have such a photo really, and had to make use of something I had kicking around on Flickr.
Composing your image
You might get away with not starting with a screengrab but I found it helped, take a grab of the whole Cover and profile pic area, with some space round the edges. Put your screengrab in Photoshop, and in another layer dump your photo. If you put it on top with blending mode of Multiply it will help you position the top image so it lays over as you want. You can see in my screengrab where I’ve got the closeup of me on top…
Cutting out the Profile pic
I then zoomed in around the square profile pic part of the screengrab, and used the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the square shape from the screengrab. Then selecting the photo layer, I copied this small square from the photo layer into a new layer. At this point if you start a new Photoshop file it should be to the dimensions of the square crop, hit paste and it will dump it in, as shown.
The dimensions of this small square crop are 125 pixels by 125. You will then unfortunately need to enlarge this (losing some quality) to 180 pixels by 180 in order for Facebook to allow you to upload it.
Cutting out the Cover image
You now need to do the same with the wide letterbox Cover image. Select the shape from the screengrab layer, then copy and past that part of the image from the photo layer. This image you don’t need to resize, and it’s 851 pixels by 314 pixels, by my count (I’m guessing it might actually be 850 pixels by 315…?)
Export both images as jpgs. Now in your new Timeline, add the wide Cover image, and do not reposition it, it’s fine as it is. Then add the Profile pic. And voila!
You might liek to play around with the idea. Maybe use the profile pic part as if it’s a magnifying glass zooming into the larger image? I’m sure thre will be lots of people juxtapositioning various images for maximum effect…