5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2012 10:53 AM by hatstead

    How to put a photo on a different background


      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.

        • 1. Re: How to put a photo on a different background
          99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP


          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.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to put a photo on a different background
            hatstead Adobe Community Professional



            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.

            • 3. Re: How to put a photo on a different background
              fucanon Level 1

              The first time I tried this I was practicing and both your method and jon99's worked. Then when I was ready to do the actual intricate selection, I notice that all the layers I had onscreen were affected by the mask selection of the Selection tool. I chose mask becase the selection was large and it was easier for me to invert it.How  Is that normal. And some of the objects I had pasted in separate layers came out on the background. One reason for this, I think, is that I didn't notice that I had activated (because it was in blue) one of the different layers I had created. How did I mess this up?  How can I not activate a single layer I've created when doing this copy and paste? Do I create a duplicate layer? Do I need to flatten the image first?. How can I start over and not have a single image from a separate layer appear when the first time I tried this the whole, correct selection appeared? 

              • 4. Re: How to put a photo on a different background
                hatstead Adobe Community Professional

                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.

                • 5. Re: How to put a photo on a different background
                  hatstead Adobe Community Professional



                  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.