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fucanon 64 posts
Feb 20, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

How to put a photo on a different background

Apr 2, 2012 5:29 AM

I have two photos and I want to put one onto the background of another.  When I make the selection in the source photo, do I have to save the selection or do I just close the window? If I have to save is it Cut or something else?  Or do I leave the window for the source photo (old background) open? Also, do I have to go to Window> Images to enable Cascade or Float in Window or Float in All Windows? If I do, which do I choose? Suggestions for how I can move a photo onto a different background? I know how to use the Move tool and the Transform tool. I don't know how to get to those steps.

  • 99jon
    12,821 posts
    Jan 6, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2012 5:52 AM   in reply to fucanon


    Open both images.

    Make your selection and click Edit à Copy

    Double click on your second image in the project bin

    Click Edit à Paste

    Then use the move tool to position and scale.

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    Apr 2, 2012 6:23 AM   in reply to 99jon



    It is desirable to have the resolution of the 2 pictures the same value, although that is not always possible.


    1. Open the source photo file, make the selection of the object with one of the selection tools, e.g. lasso, selection brush). You should see "marching ants" around the selection.
    2. Go to Edit>copy to put it on the clipboard.
    3. Open the destination photo, and go to Edit>paste. The object will be on its own layer.
    4. Use the move tool to position the object and to resize with the corner handles of the bounding box.
    5. At this stage, I like to put a blank layer between the background layer and the layer with the object, and fill the blank layer with as contrasting color. This allows you to tidy up the edges of the object with the eraser tool, for example. With the marching ants around the object still in place (indicating that the selection is active), go to Select>refine edge, and in the dialog you wil see sliders to feather, smooth, contract/expand.

    6. Delete the layer created in step #5



    TIP: If you need to make the selection active, press CTRL+left click the layer thumbnail of this layer.

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    Apr 2, 2012 10:09 AM   in reply to fucanon

    I was typing and did not see 99jon's post. Up to step #5 the methods are identical. Step #5 allows you to refine the selection as indicated so that the transposition does not look fake - adjust edges, feather, etc.

    I have difficulty understanding your work-flow. What are you inverting? Why are you using the mask option in the selection tool? When you copy/paste a selection, does it not show up on a separate layer? On the move tool's option bar, top left, uncheck the box to Auto select layer. That may help.

    If step #5 is an impediment to your progress, don't utilize it.

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    Apr 2, 2012 10:53 AM   in reply to hatstead



    Here is a print screen to show a typical layer structure in this type of exercise:



    I have the background layer, a cork bulletin board

    Layer 1 is a selection of the boats from the picture in the project bin, selection made with lasso tool

    Layer 2 is a selection of the tree from the picture in the project bin, made with the Selection brush, mode:selection

    Note the checkerboard pattern on layers 1&2, denoting transparency.


    I selected the pictures with these colors for visual contrast.

    Also note the halo around the tree, as I did not apply step #5 to refine the edge.



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