It’s time for something fun!  We’ve had a bunch of equipment reviews and utility tutorials recently, so today let’s do something we can have fun with.  Combining images in CS5 Photoshop.

Why?  Okay, take the image below:

 

It’s a product shot from NEC’s catalog. Do you like the image on the monitor? I don’t. How about we make it more topical for a Thailand based photography website? Let’s do it.

 

It’s a product shot from NEC’s catalog.  Do you like the image on the monitor?  I don’t.  How about we make it more topical for a Thailand based photography website?  Let’s do it.

First, bring the image into CS5 Photoshop.  The first thing we want to know is what size image will fit on the screen.  Easy.  Use the crop tool to crop out the screen.  Accuracy on this step helps the final product look professional.

 

First, bring the image into CS5 Photoshop. The first thing we want to know is what size image will fit on the screen. Easy. Use the crop tool to crop out the screen. Accuracy on this step helps the final product look professional.

 

After cropping the only thing we can see is what was on the screen.  Now, go to “image” and then “image size” and we can see the image is 822 pixels wide, and 516 pixels high.  That’s the information we needed.

 

After cropping the only thing we can see is what was on the screen.  Now, go to “image” and then “image size” and we can see the image is 822 pixels wide, and 516 pixels high.  That’s the information we needed.

 

Once your read the numbers, write them down because you’ll need them again, and then hit cancel and back out to the picture. Then go to “edit” and “undo crop.” We’re not back at our original image. But now we know the exact size image that fits on the screen.

 

This is the Thailand image I want to put on the screen. Bring up your image in another tab in CS5 Photoshop. Now select the crop tool. Along the top feed in the numbers you just wrote down.

 

This is the Thailand image I want to put on the screen.  Bring up your image in another tab in CS5 Photoshop. Now select the crop tool.  Along the top feed in the numbers you just wrote down.

 

This is the Thailand image I want to put on the screen.  Bring up your image in another tab in CS5 Photoshop. Now select the crop tool.  Along the top feed in the numbers you just wrote down.

 

Now, simply drag the crop tool along as much of the image that you want to put on the monitor.

 

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Complete the crop and you’re left with the right size image to go on your monitor, and it might be a great deal smaller than you started with, remember, the goal is to match the size of the monitor image.

 

Drag the tab down onto the workspace so you can see the monitor, and the image you want to put on the monitor.

 

Drag the tab down onto the workspace so you can see the monitor, and the image you want to put on the monitor.

 

Select your Move Tool and drag the Thailand image on top of the monitor image.

 

Select your Move Tool and drag the Thailand image on top of the monitor image.

 

Release the mouse and the image will be laying on top of the monitor. Now, drag the image into position and center it on the monitor.

 

Release the mouse and the image will be laying on top of the monitor.  Now, drag the image into position and center it on the monitor.

 

This is what the completed image looks like. Make sure it’s properly lined up and looks natural.

 

This is what the completed image looks like.  Make sure it’s properly lined up and looks natural.

 

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Click on “Layer” and then click on “Flatten Image.”  The image now combines into a single layer and you’re done.

 

Much better right?  Imagine all the uses you can put this technique to.  You can put your wife’s face on a playboy models body (at your own risk), your bosses face on a dogs body, you can add birds to a sky, place a car in a scene, there are many fun uses.

 

Much better right?  Imagine all the uses you can put this technique to.  You can put your wife’s face on a playboy models body (at your own risk), your bosses face on a dogs body, you can add birds to a sky, place a car in a scene, there are many fun uses.

Keep in mind this is a basic technique.  It works really well for monitors and rough work, but there are a lot more, and very specific steps, to add new information to a scene and have it look like it really belongs there.  We need to be concerned with light direction, shadows, density, feathering, all of which require about a 100 times more skill than this simple technique.  But don’t let that stop you from having fun.

One more example.

 

How many images of a cameras LCD have you seen?  Tons probably, and most are boring.  Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if we put a Thailand image on the LCD?  Let’s use the same steps above.

 

How many images of a cameras LCD have you seen?  Tons probably, and most are boring.  Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if we put a Thailand image on the LCD?  Let’s use the same steps above.

 

That’s better! Much more topical and fun.

 

That’s better! Much more topical and fun.

I’m sure you can think of lots of ways to have fun with this and you can’t wait to try.  So until next time..