Learn Photoshop with Photoshop Effects at Photoshop Essentials.com Written By Steve Patterson
In this Photoshop tutorial, we're going to learn how easy it is to blend photos together using Photoshop's Apply Image command to give us all kinds of different results and effects. The Apply Image command is one of those features in Photoshop that, for one reason or another, doesn't get used very often, even by people who have been using Photoshop for years. Many people don't know it's there, or if they happened to stumble across it one day while browsing through Photoshop's Menu Bar, took one look at it, said "I don't get it" and moved on. And that's unfortunate, since as we'll see in this tutorial, not only is the Apply Image command one of the most powerful and flexible photo blending tools in all of Photoshop, it also happens to be very easy to use and a whole lot of fun! Basically, Apply Image allows us to blend, or "apply", a layer and channel from one image with a layer and channel of another image. It's similar to using layer blend modes to blend layers together in the Layers palette, with the added ability to blend individual channels together as well. This not only gives us much more control over how the images are blended, but also opens up far more creative possibilities and gives us better overall results. We're going to look at the basics here of how Apply Image works, but it's important to keep in mind that this is only scratching the surface of what you can do with this amazing tool. We're going to be blending two images together in this tutorial, but you can use it to blend as many images together as you like, using different channels and blend modes for each one! You can even blend channels from different color modes together. Try leaving one image in RGB mode and converting the other image to a different color mode, like CMYK or Lab, then blending the channels together to see what you get! Or try a different blend mode for a completely different effect! Okay, we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. First, we need to learn how Apply Image works. Before we begin though, there's one very important thing you need to know. Apply Image will only work with images that have the exact same pixel dimensions. By that, I mean that if one image is 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high, the second image also has to be 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high. If you're working with high resolution images, your pixel dimensions will be much higher but both images will still need to have the exact same dimensions. If you're working with photos directly from your digital camera and you haven't cropped or resized them, you should be good to go, but it's very important that all the images you want to use are the same size before you begin. You'll know rather quickly if they're the same size or not because if they're not, the Apply Image command won't even recognize them. Make sure you check the size of each image in the Image Size dialog box by selecting each one separately, then going up to the Image menu at the top of the screen and choosing Image Size. Resize any images as needed. Having said that, let's get started!
Want an easier way to learn Photoshop? Download our tutorials as ready to print PDF eBooks! Step 1: Open The Images You Want To Use
Before we can blend our images together, we first need to have them open in Photoshop, so go ahead and open the images you want to use. I'll be blending two images together. Here's my first image:
And here's the image I'll be blending it with:
Step 2: Select The Photo You Want To Use As Your "Target" Image With both of my images open, I need to select the one that I want to use as my primary image, or in other words, the image that will have the other image applied to it. The Apply Image command refers to this primary or base image as the Target image, while the image you're applying to it is known as the Source image. I'm going to use...