When you eventually happen upon the perfect visual, please remember the following: Image transfer is the result of combining variations of paper, texture, time, and temperature to create an image similar in appearance to a watercolor. All you have to add is that essential ingredient of greatness. Unpredictability.
What you'll need
If you are using Fuji films the following process will NOT work very well. In the future there will be a section dedicated to using Fuji films for transfers, but for now only Polaroid films will work with the following steps.
Fuji has posted a PDF where they experimented with their films!
Step 1: Expose the instant film
Don't pull it through the rollers yet. Different techniques can be used to expose an image onto Polaroid film. When the exposure is made in the camera, a 20cc red or 30cc magenta filter with an increase in exposure of 1/2 stop is recommended. Another method is to shoot onto positive transparency film, then project the image onto Polaroid film. This can be done with a Polaprinter, a Vivitar Instant Slide Printer or a DayLab/Daylab Jr. Slide Printer, an enlarger equipped with a color head or printing filters (cold light sources are not recommended). A copy stand can also be used to photograph a print.
For best results, use Polacolor ER (108, 669, 59, 559, 809).
Most likely you'll be using 669 film as its still available cheaply.
Step 2: Prepare the receptor sheet
Prepare the receptor sheet. Soak the paper in 100°F water. Distilled water is recommended for consistency and to prevent the need to add chemicals to counteract pH.
Remove and drain. Place the paper onto the rolling platform and squeegee until all the excess water is removed. This will "laminate" the paper to the platform.
Step 3: Process the exposed Polaroid film
Process the exposed Polaroid film by pulling it through the rollers. After 10-15 seconds (based on a room temperature of 70°F, add more time if colder), peel away the negative. Quickly and carefully place it onto the receptor. If you peel sooner than 10 seconds, the negative may become fogged by light and prevent the image from transferring.
For 3x4, 4x5 pack and 8x10 formats, you may want to remove the developer trap with an exacto blade prior to peeling to reduce brown stains on the receptor paper. With a 4x5 sheet, cut off the metal end cap prior to opening the envelope.
Don't touch the negative during this time. The heat from your fingertips will create fog marks. Roll the negative with the Brayer 4 to 6 times in one direction. Use medium pressure; heavy pressure will distort the darker areas, and too little pressure will create tiny white spots.
Step 4: Allow to transfer for 2 minutes
Keep the negative warm to prevent the image from lifting off when you peel back the negative.
Different methods are:
At the end of the 2 minutes, slowly peel back the negative diagonally from a corner.
Step 5: Allow to air dry
Enhance with watercolor paints, pastels, dyes, pencils, and inks if desired.
Flatten in a warm dry mount press and spray with a protective lacquer.
Protect from UV exposure for stability.
For more intense colors & blacks:
For brighter whites and colors:
For images on fabric: