How can I create a Diptych/Triptych or any collage for that matter with the individual photographs not in a regular rectangular shape. An example may be say 2 photos intersecting at the diagonal. Example below.

The image below is the traditional diptych with images lined up side by side.

sample diptych

This is how I want them to be lined up.

Sample required diptych

  • 2
    I am (apparently) unable to understand what you are trying to achieve. Can you cut out pieces of the picture and rearrange them to show us what you want to achieved? How is the above not consistent with what I did? - eg are the pictures of two people to be cut triangularly or distorted or ??? What is the requirement? How DO you want two rectangular scense to fit into 2 triangular areas, or do you ? Mar 20, 2012 at 11:59
  • @Russell McMahon Check the answer below, that is what I wanted to do. Sorry if the question wasn't clear :( Mar 21, 2012 at 7:33

4 Answers 4


You can do it fairly easily in the GIMP. I'll demonstrate with these two photos of a hawk and a bison:

enter image description here enter image description here

I'll put the bison in the lower-left. I'll start by cropping the picture to put him in the lower-left of the frame (cropping out about the left third and the bottom quarter of the image), and then I'll delete the top-right of the picture. I use the "free select" tool, click at the top-left, then the bottom-right, then draw the rest of the selection around the top-right of the picture:

enter image description here

I select Layer | Transparency | Add Alpha Channel, so I can make that top-right section transparent, then I press the Delete key to delete the selection I just made. Now I have a place to put the hawk:

enter image description here

The easy way, now, is to open the hawk photo as a layer, and move it into position. I use File | Open as Layers... and select the hawk photo. The hawk photo is the only thing visible, so I need to lower its layer. I go to Windows | Dockable Dialogs | Layers to bring up the Layers tool (you can also press control-L). The hawk layer is on top, so I move it down by clicking the "lower this layer" down arrow.

enter image description here

After that, the hawk appears "behind" the bison. Now I select the Move tool, and move the hawk picture around until the hawk is where I want it:

enter image description here

Now, just save (GIMP will prompt you to export the photo because JPEGs don't support layers) and you're done:

enter image description here

The more time you spend framing the photo (before you take it), calculating pixel locations, and so on, the better the output will be (for example, this photo ends up with that ugly empty spot in the top-left corner). This technique will also work for more than 2 pictures (you just use more layers and delete the same parts of each picture) and for different designs (use the "free select" or any other selection tool to draw whatever shape you want, then make that transparent).


It is not obvious what you want information about. The requirement seems straight forward so it is likely that your point has not been understood. eg the answer "cut an image into two pieces diagonally" is probably not going to help :-).

Assuming it IS just the diagonal cutting that you are asking about.

  1. If possible, use a tool that allows random selection and cut and drag.

  2. If only a rectangular selection tool is available, you can rotate the picture so that the desired diagonals become vertical or horizontal, do a rectangular cut and paste or f=drag and then rotate the picture back "Square" or to the next diagonal.

The following, which claims NO artistic merit at all, was done in a few minutes with Irfanview using only whole picture rotates plus rectangular cut and paste at a new location

enter image description here

Is this what you are trying to do?

0 Get top left corner block out of the way.
Rotate so diagonal 1 is horizontal
1 Move bottom wedge down and
2 Move white block up and Rotate back "square" again and
3 Move top right block up and across.

Top left block may get in the way around step 1 & 2 and need to be moved further away and then brought back last.


If you want these at highest resolution, take photos covering desired part and mask as required and combine.


Get an editor that can move arbitrary shaped blocks.

enter image description here

"For extra points":

Resolution is suffering as I started with a tiny image and the rotates make a bigger canvas which then gets cropped back. Start as hi res as possible. Rotated corner is achieved by copy / rotate whole picture / paste. Again done only with the fabulous Irfanview free download from here .
Again, no artistic merit claimed :-) !!!

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the reply, but that is not exactly what I was trying to achieve. What I wanted to do was to merge 2 or more images in one picture as a collage, but instead of lining them up horizontally or vertically, have them lined up in different shapes. Mar 20, 2012 at 10:50

I don't have Photoshop so I can't post screenshots or accurate descriptions.

  1. Start by creating a new document of a suitable size for the collage.

  2. Put the images you wish to include in the collage as separate layers in the document. I think you can do this easily with File --> Scripts --> Load into stack, if not you can open the images and drag-and-drop.

  3. If you have many images, hiding all but one would make the job easier. Click the eye-ball in the layer palette to hide/show a layer, shift-click (I think) to hide all but the one you clicked.

  4. Scale the layer to the size you like, with e.g. Free transform (Ctrl + T, if my memory serves me right)

  5. Make a selection of the area you want to keep. There are many ways of making selections, for the case you sketched the polygonal lasso would work fine.

  6. Add a layer mask with Layers --> Add Layer Mask --> Reveal selection. (There is also a button in the bottom of the toolbar, but I cannot remember exactly how that works with regards to selections).

  7. Make the next image you want to place visible, and repeat 4-7 for that.

You can scale/move the mask and image independently if you unlink them by clicking the chain icon between their thumbnails. That could make later adjustments easier.


I used the free GIMP to do this but you can use any software that supports layers.

  1. Take the two wonderful source photos

  2. Choose one image, increase canvas size (so the rotated image fits into it)

  3. Rotate so the "cutting line" is horizontal or vertical

  4. select the are you don't want and delete it

  5. Rotate the image back

  6. Change the canvas size back

  7. Insert the other image into a new layer and position it below the layer you worked on

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