Combine 3 Images

This tutorial is for beginners to intermediate. The focus is on:

  • Creating an image for Web use
  • Placing images
  • Using various selection tools
  • Creating Layer masks
  • Using refine edge function
  • Work with Layer Blending Modes

Create an Image for Web

Start off Photoshop. Create a New Document (Ctrl+N). Choose:

Preset: Web

Size: 800 x 600 (px)

Resolution: 72ppi

Create a New Document for Web
Create a New Document for Web

Placing Image

First select a close-up photo of texture from here: Link to Images! Select one and save it to your folder and back in Photoshop place the image in your file: File>Place and create a size that covers most of the background.

Do a Google Image Search for German photographer August Sander. Refine your search to large images (this can be done in Search Tools>Size>Large).

Alternatively click on here: Google Search for August Sander.

Find this image - but do NOT use this thumbnail. It is small...
Find this image – but do NOT use this thumbnail. It is small…

Save the image in your folder and return to Photoshop. Place the image in your file: File>Place and create a size in which the man stands in the foreground with his face being placed about 3/4 in the top.Hit Enter to accept.

Using various selection tools

Use various Selection Tools to select the background behind the man.  See this tutorial for more information on Selection Tools.

After Using the Magic Wand Tool and the Polygonal Lasso
After Using the Magic Wand Tool and the Polygonal Lasso

Creating Layer masks

After selecting the entire background create a Layer Mask to hide the background. See this Photoshop Essential Tutorial on How to create a Layer Mask.

Example of Layer Mask. Click the Layer Mask button to activate and hide everything but your selection.
Example of Layer Mask. Click the Layer Mask button (encircled in red) to activate and hide everything but your selection.

Using refine edge function

Use a Macro option on your camera to allow for good detail for the close-ups.

Use the Refine Mask function (Shortcut in CS6 is Ctrl+Shift+R) and smoothen out the mask edge.

Work with the background and reduce it to the size of a rectangle:

  • Make a selection with the Rectangular Marquee
  • Apply a Layer Mask to the selection

Work With Layer Blending Modes

Last play with the Layer Blending Modes. Create a result like this one:

Image with masked background and masked man
Image with masked background and masked man
Student work by Jarred Kalwig- Photo: August Sander (man)
Student work by Jarred Kalwig- Photo: August Sander (man)
Work by Federico Viola - Photos: August Sander (man), Federico Viola (close up)
Work by Federico Viola – Photos: August Sander (man), Federico Viola (close up)

3 thoughts on “Combine 3 Images”

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