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Using a Picture to fill a Drawing...

May 21, 2012 1:28 AM

How to use a JPG picture to colour in a drawing I have made? - Instead of fill colour use the actual photo?


I have drawn a crystal in photoshop...with seperate layers, there is 2 of them,What I want to do is use a photograph of a proper crystal, and use this to fill the actual drawing.


I have seen this done before I just cant remember how.


It adds the actual JPG picture behind the drawing and I can drag the image around in the background of the layer to where I want it ...


Any help is much appreciated.





  • Trevor Dennis
    5,898 posts
    May 24, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 2:35 AM   in reply to adam_starkie

    Hi Adam 


    The usual way to do what you ask is to use the lower layer (your crystal) as a clipping mask, which is done by Alt clicking the line between the Crystal layer, and the JPG above it.  In you case, the crystal is made of several layers, so you will need to select all those layers, and convert them to a Smart object.  You will then be able to Clip it to the JPG above it in the layer stack, and move Transform etc. the JPG.

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  • JJMack
    5,982 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 5:12 AM   in reply to adam_starkie

    What your describing is creating a composite, a collage. Making selection for masking placed image or pasting in images from the clipboard works well. You could also make a template from you document and automate the process. Here is an example made using my Photo Collage Toolkit:

    Documentation and Examples


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 8:03 AM   in reply to adam_starkie

    Hi Adam, there are a few ways to do this and the best workflow depends on the project etc.


    Here is one.


    but first: You used the line tool?


    you realise that you have drawn paths? If you want the paths to "show" in the artwork at print time you will need to stroke them... you will need a closed path (in this case the outline) of the shape yo want to be able to create a selection from it.


    Back to the solution:


    1.     Make a selection of the shape you want. (many ways)

    2.    Select the layer  of the image you want "shaped"

    3    Create a vector mask (click little icon at bottom of layer panel)

    4.    then unlink the layer mask (click on little chain link between layer icons)

    5.    Click on the image thumbnail to make sure you modify the image not the mask

    6.    Use you selection tool to move the image



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 8:44 AM   in reply to adam_starkie

    Another way:

    1. Select and copy the image you want to use.

    2. Select the area where you want to insert the image. Or if you already have a layer with transparency that defines the area, with any selection tool, right click on the canvas and choose Load Selection and press OK.

    3. Press Shift + Ctrl + V (or Edit > Paste Special >Paste in place)

    4. With the Move tool move the pasted image around or alternatively scale and move it with the transform box (Ctrl + T) until you like it

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