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Moving a selection into a new background

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Moving a selection into a new background

In this exercise, I'm going to show you a few different ways to take a selected image and move it into a new background. Now, I'm assuming that you've got a selected shark sitting right there in front of you, but if not I've gone ahead and saved out my selection as an alpha channel called shark mask inside this file called Masked shark.tif. Now one way to move the shark would be to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command or press Ctrl+C, Command+ C on the Mac, and then you would switch over to your background image which in my case is called Clouds and grass.psd, and then you would go back to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or press Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac.

Moving a selection into a new background

In this exercise, I'm going to show you a few different ways to take a selected image and move it into a new background. Now, I'm assuming that you've got a selected shark sitting right there in front of you, but if not I've gone ahead and saved out my selection as an alpha channel called shark mask inside this file called Masked shark.tif. Now one way to move the shark would be to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command or press Ctrl+C, Command+ C on the Mac, and then you would switch over to your background image which in my case is called Clouds and grass.psd, and then you would go back to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or press Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac.

Now, the good news is Photoshop just added a new layer to the Layers panel here, which means I can hide the layer if I want to, I can turn it back on, I can change its opacity and so forth. I can even move it around if I want to by Ctrl+dragging or Command+dragging on the Mac. However, the problem is that I've lost those background pixels, so if I turn off the background image you can see that everything outside the shark has been permanently deleted which is going to give me far fewer options for modifying these edges later on down the line.

So when it comes time to refine the edges to make the shark look good against this new background, our options are going to be very limited indeed, so this is not the right way to work. I'm going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of that layer. I'll turn the background back on, here is the better approach. I'm going to go ahead and switch back to my shark image and what you want to do is assign the selection to the image as a mask. And you do that by double-clicking on the background item, there inside the Layers panel, that allows me to convert the background to a new layer, I'm going to call that layer Shark and click OK.

And then dropdown to the Add layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel and click on it, and that converts the selection to a mask. Notice however if I Shift+click on the layer Mask to turn it off temporarily, I've still got my entire image ready and waiting. Alright I'm going to Shift+click on that layer Mask to turn it back on. Now at this point one of your options for moving the shark is to drag and drop it, let me show you what that looks like. I'll go up to the Arrange Documents icon up here in the Applications bar, and I'm going to click on this second two up icon so I can see both of my images at the same time, and I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac for both of my images in order center them, and then I'll move back to the shark image, here is what you do.

You press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and notice, by the way, that my image and its mask are linked together, so they'll travel together as well. You press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and you go and drag the shark from one window into the other window and then drop it into place. Now if you work that way then you'll just go ahead and drop the shark any of the place inside the new image. But I want a little more control than that, I want to make sure that the shark arrives absolutely registered in the place. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+ Z on the Mac to undo that drag and drop, and I'll do it again with a slight variation.

So I'm back in the shark window, I press the Ctrl key and the Command key on the Mac, drag the shark into the new image window and before I release I'll press and hold the Shift key, so keep that Shift key down then release the mouse button, then you can release those keys and you register the shark at exactly this location in its new home. Alright that's great, that's exactly the effect we want, by the way but I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+ Z on the Mac because I want to show you yet another way to work. I'm going to go ahead and switch back to the shark image, and I'll go up to the Arrange Documents icon and choose this first item Consolidate All, which, by the way, if you loaded DekeKeys you can get to by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac, and the reason I'm doing this is because generally when you're working at least on the PC, you're seeing just one image at a time and your open images are identified by these title tabs.

And if you find yourself working that away here is another option that's available to you. Go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and drag that shark of course. Drag him up into the title tab of the other image, then when Photoshop switches you to that image, move your cursor back down; don't drop on the title tab. You want to move your cursor back down into the image window and then in our case press the Shift key because we want to register the image and drop the shark into place, so that's another way to work as well.

And then finally I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac because I want to undo that change too, so I can show you one more option. I'm going to switch back to the shark image and here's the final way of working, and it's actually my favorite these days. Which is to just right-click inside the image window and choose the Duplicate layer command and then change the Destination Document from the current image to the other one that we have open which is Clouds and grass.psd and then click OK, and Photoshop goes ahead and moves that shark layer along with its layer mask into the new background.

And you can see that's the case if you switch over to the other image. And the shark, by the way, is exactly registered into place this way, it's in the exact same location in this new file as it was in the other one. The reason the image is jumping on screen is because when I performed that drag and drop to the title tab it ended up scrolling slightly. So I'll go ahead and re-center my view by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac and then switch over to the other image and you can see, he is in exactly the same location. And so now you know the various different ways, Copy and Paste, drag and drop as well as finally Duplicate layer to move an image from one background into another inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29642 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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