The skill of combining two Photoshop pictures allows you to make sandwiches out of images. This means that you can also layer and combine three, four or five images. When two or more images are put together, a composite results. Composite images serve functional, entertaining or creative purposes. Combine a series of images taken over time, create a surreal pictorial scene or illustrate a new idea by combining pictures that go well together.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Launch Adobe Photoshop and create a new file. Select "File" from the main menu and choose "New." Name the file and set its properties. This file is the destination for the image composite. Set the "Resolution" and "Color Mode" to match the images you are using for the composite. Conflicts in file properties may set back the process of combining images.
Choose a preset or custom size for the new canvas. The file size must be set to accommodate both images in the composite. Add a couple of inches to the canvas size to prevent chopping off important parts of either image.
Open both of the image files you want to combine. Select "File," then "Open" and select the first file. Click "Open" to add the file to your work area. Repeat this process to open the second image.
Arrange your work area. All three windows should be in clear view. Move and adjust the windows as necessary. If the empty canvas where the composite is to take place is too big to see its entire area, choose "View" and "Zoom Out" until the entire canvas is in view.
Alter the images before putting them together. Cut, mask, colour, dodge, burn or delete the areas on each image that are necessary. Your skill level defines how sophisticated the composite will be.
Drag each image file into the empty canvas. Click on the first image's layer. Drag and drop it onto the centre of the empty canvas. Repeat this process for the second image. You will see two new layers in the "Layers" palette.
Adjust the images of the composite as necessary. Activate the layer containing an image and move it. Click on the "Move" tool or use your keyboard's arrow keys to nudge the image into place. Do the same for the second image until both images are ready to become a composite.
Go to "Layer" in Adobe Photoshop's main menu. Select "Flatten Image." Both images will now be one.
Save the composite in a useful format. Try JPEG for online use or TIFF for printing the composite image file at home or on a commercial press.
Tips and warnings
- Create natural looking composites with photographs that contain similar lighting conditions.
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