Mix photos like a Hollywood movie poster with Photoshop CS6
- How to Mix Photos as a Movie Poster in Photoshop CS6
- Step 1: Move both images in the same document
- Step 2: Resize and reposition photos as needed
- Rename the background layer
- Step 3: Add a layer mask
- Step 4: Select the gradient tool
- Step 5: Choose the gradient from black to white
- Step 6: Drag a gradient from black to white on the layer mask
- Step 7: Merge both layers into a new layer
- Step 8: Add noise
- Step 9: Add a black and an ampere; white adjustment layer
- Step 10: Add a hue/saturation adjustment layer
- Step 11: Change the blending mode to color
How to Mix Photos as a Movie Poster in Photoshop CS6
Step 1: Move both images in the same document
Open the two images you want to blend in. Each will appear in its own separate documents, so the first thing we need to do is move both images to the same document. By default, only one image is visible on the screen at a time, but we can switch between them by clicking on their name tabs at the top of the screen. I will switch to my photo of the storm by clicking on the tab of its name:
Switch between photos by clicking on their tabs.
So, to move this image to the same document as my other image, I will select the Movement tool from the top of the tool pane on the left of the screen:
Selecting the motion tool.
With the motion tool selected, I'll click anywhere within my photo of the storm and, with the mouse button pressed, drag it to the the tab of another document. Keep the mouse button pressed on the tab until you see Photoshop switching to your other image on the screen:
Dragging the photo to the tab of the other photo. Keep it until Photoshop switches to the other photo.
Then, still with the mouse button pressed, drag down on this other document: A white highlight border will appear around the edges of the document:
A highlighted white border appears when you drag down on the other document.
Before you release the mouse button, press and hold the Change on your keyboard, then Release the mouse button. Adding the Shift key tells Photoshop to center the image inside the document, and now we can see my photo of the storm centered in front of the other photo:
Both photos are now part of the same document.
If we look in my layer panel, we see that Photoshop placed my photo of the storm on its own layer called Layer 1 about the couple's photo:
Each photo sits on its own layer.
Step 2: Resize and reposition photos as needed
Since my photo of the storm is going to be used as the bottom half of my "movie poster," I need to move it to the bottom of the document. I also need to resize it, and we can do both using Photoshop's Free Transform command. I will make sure that I have Layer 1 (highlighted in blue) selected in the Layers panel since it is the layer that contains my photo of the storm, then I will upload to the Edit in the menu bar at the top of the screen and I will choose Free transformation. You could also press Ctrl+T (Win) / Command+T (Mac) on my keyboard to select it with the shortcut:
Go to Edit; Free transformation.
This places the Free Transformation box and the handles (the small squares) around the image. They will appear around the actual dimensions of the image, not only in the visible area of the document, so since my image is larger than the visible area, the Free Transform box and handles appear in gray. cardboard area around the photos (if your image is so large that the Free Transformation handles extend outside your screen, go up to the See in the menu bar and choose the Fit on the screen view mode).
To resize the image, click and drag any of the corner handles... holding down the mouse button while dragging. To restrict the proportions of your image when resizing (so as not to distort the shape of the photo), press and hold the Change while dragging the handles. When you are satisfied with the size of the image, first release the mouse button, then release the Shift key. Here, I'm dragging the handle from the top left corner to the center of the image to make it smaller:
Hold down the Shift key, and then click and drag any of the corner handles to resize the image.
I also need to move the image to the background. To move it, with Free Transformation still active, all I need is to click on the image and drag it down, holding the mouse button down again while I drag. When you finish moving and resizing the image, press Enter (Win) / Returns (Mac) on your keyboard to accept the transformation and exit the Free Transform command:
By clicking and dragging the image down.
Rename the background layer
If you also need to change the size or position of the other photo, you will see that by default, you can't, and that's because it's located in a special layer known as the background layer:
The photo below in the background layer.
If you select the Background layer in the Layers panel, you'll see that the Free Transform command on the Edit menu is grayed out and unavailable. Even if you try to move the image with the Move Tool, Photoshop will launch a warning message saying that you cannot move it because the layer is locked:
Photoshop does not allow us to move or resize the background layer.
To work around this problem, simply keep your Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and double-click directly on the name Background in the Layers panel. This will automatically rename the layer Layer 0, and now you can resize and/or reposition it as needed:
The background layer is now layer 0.
Step 3: Add a layer mask
Let's mix our two images using a layer mask. Select Layer 1 in the Layers panel if it is not already selected, then click the Add layer mask at the bottom of the Layers panel:
By clicking the Add Layer Mask icon.
Nothing will happen to the images in the document window, but now we see a thumbnail layer mask in Layer 1, letting us know that we have added our mask. We also see a white highlight border around the thumbnail that tells us that the mask is selected, not the photo of the layer:
Layer 1 now displays a thumbnail of the layer's mask.
Step 4: Select the gradient tool
Select Photoshop's... Gradient tool in the tool pane:
Grabbing the gradient tool.
Step 5: Choose the gradient from black to white
With the gradient tool selected, click the gradient preview bar at the far left of the options bar at the top of the screen:
By clicking on the gradient preview bar.
This opens the Gradient Editor, and at the top is a collection of small thumbnails, each representing a different preset gradient. Click the Black, White the gradient thumbnail to select it (top row, third from left), then click OK to close the gradient editor:
Selecting the gradient Black, White.
Step 6: Drag a gradient from black to white on the layer mask
With the gradient tool and the Black, White gradient selected, and the thumbnail of my layer mask selected on Layer 1, I will click near the top of my storm photo to set the starting point of my gradient. Then, with the mouse button still pressed, I'll hold down my Change on my keyboard and drag it a short distance to the boat. Holding down the Shift key while dragging limits the angle at which I can move, making it easy to drag down:
Dragging the gradient of the layer mask.
I will release the mouse button, and the point where I release it will become the end point of my gradient. Photoshop draws my gradient, and since it was drawn on the layer mask, not on the photo itself, we don't see it in the document window. Instead, we see the two photos now mixed, with the area between the start and end points of the gradient becoming the transition area from one photo to the other:
The two photos are now mixed.
Related Tutorial: 3 Ways to Mix Images in Photoshop
If you want to see the actual gradient in the layer mask, press and hold your Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) on your keyboard and click the thumbnail layer mask in the Layers panel:
Hold down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and click the mask thumbnail.
The gradient from black to white appears in the document window. What we're seeing here is the mask of the layer itself, not the content of the layers (the photos). To return to the photos (the contents of the layers), once again, press and hold Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and click on the thumbnail layer mask:
Seeing the gradient that was drawn on the layer mask.
Step 7: Merge both layers into a new layer
Next, we have to merge our two existing layers into a new layer on top of them. The easiest way to do this is with a handy keyboard shortcut. Press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E (Win) / Shift+Command+Option+E (Mac). Photoshop merges both layers into a new layer called Layer 2 above the two original layers:
The two layers have been merged into a third layer.
Step 8: Add noise
Let's add some noise to the image to help the two photos blend better. Climb the Filter at the top of the screen, choose Noiseand then choose Add noise:
Moving on to Filter; Noise; Add Noise.
This opens the Add Noise dialog box. First, set the Distribution the option to Gaussian and ensure that the Monochromatic at the bottom of the dialog box it is checked. Then, the Quantity dragging the slider a little to the right. A value between 2-6% usually works best, and will depend on the size of your image. Don't add too much noise or make the image look too grainy. We need just enough noise to add some uniform texture. When finished, click OK to close the dialog box:
The Add Noise dialog box.
Step 9: Add a black and an ampere; white adjustment layer
Next, we'll remove the original colors from the images and create a custom black-and-white version of the composition using a black-and-white adjustment layer. Click on the Black and black; white (third icon from the left, middle row) in the Settings panel:
Selecting the Black and Black adjustment layer; White in the Settings panel.
This adds a Black and Black and White adjustment layer over Layer 2, which we can see in the Layers panel:
The Layers panel showing the newly added Black and Black adjustment layer; White.
It will also create a black-and-white instant version of the image in the document window. The controls for the Black and White adjustment layer are located in the Properties panel. Here, we find a series of sliders, each labeled with a different color (Reds, Yellows, Greens, etc.). Drag the sliders left or right to adjust the brightness of the different areas in the black and white version according to their original colors. For example, dragging the Reds slider to the right will lighten areas that originally had red, while dragging the slider to the left will darken those areas. Each slider works the same way, allowing you to increase or decrease the brightness of any area that originally contained that color. You can experiment with the sliders as much as you want until you're satisfied with the results, or you can simply click the Car about the sliders for Photoshop to guess what the black and white conversion should look like:
Drag the color sliders to create a custom black-and-white version.
Here is my image after converting it to black and white:
The black and white version of the composite image.
Step 10: Add a hue/saturation adjustment layer
We will color the image using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Click the Hue/Saturation on the Settings panel (first icon on the left, middle row):
Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
The Hue/Saturation adjustment layer appears above the Black and Black layer; White in the Layers panel:
The Layers panel that displays the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
Again, the controls for the adjustment layer appear in the Properties panel. First, select the Colour by clicking inside your checkbox. Then, drag the Hue slider left or right to choose a color for your image. A live preview of the color appears in the document window as you drag the slider. I will choose a strange orange color for my image by setting the Tone value around 30. I will also increase the color saturation a bit by dragging the Saturation slides to a value of 35. Of course, the color you choose for your image can be completely different:
Be sure to check the Color option before dragging the sliders.
Step 11: Change the blending mode to color
Finally, back in the Layers panel, change the mixing mode of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from Normal to Colour. You'll find the Blend Mode option in the upper-left corner of the Layers panel. The color blending mode allows us to add color without affecting the brightness values of the image (which we have already configured using the Black and Ampoule adjustment layer; White):
Changing the mixing mode to Color.
Here, after coloring my image and changing the blending mode to Color, is my final "movie poster" result:
The final effect.