How To "Pour" One Image Into Another
Using clipping for special effect in Photoshop
- Choose two strong images for this effect. One image will be used to "fill" another image. It's best not to choose images that are muted or too close in value. Instead look for stong lines that outline your image. The cello had strong edges, and the contrast between my face and hair, both contributed to the success of this effect.
- If necessary, use Transform -> Scale, or click on the Show , or the Crop tool (in the Marquee part of the toolbox) to make the two images approximately the same size.
- In your Layers window, make sure the image that is the "fill" is the top layer. In my example, the picture of me is "filling" the cello. Therefore, my image is immediately above the layer with the picture of the cello.
- Hold down the Option button on a Mac, or Alt in Windows, and click on the line separating the two layers in the Layers window. (The arrow changes to a special clipping group cursor when held in the correct place. It sort of looks like a pair of scissors.) This "clips" the two images together.
- Double-click on the top image in the Layers window. This causes the Layer Options box to open.
- Again, hold down Option on the Mac, or Alt in Windows, and separate the triangles in the underlying slider. The black triangle, when separated, will control the shadows of the bottom layer (the cello), and will cause the dark portions to show through the top layer (my face). The white triangle, when split, will control the highlights of the bottom layer (the cello) and help them to show through.
- Now, play with the triangles until you have the desired effect. It will be your artistic judgement how much of each image you want to contribute to the overall design. In my example, the Underlying reads 97/136 and 165/185. This is the setting that allows my face to "fill" the shape of the cello.
- Remember, you control how much of each picture is represented. In this example, more of the cello shapes my face.
- If you change your mind, you can reverse each step above by, again, holding down Option or Alt and repeating each step.
- The Layer Options slider work by controlling the transparencies. The This Layer slider controls the color values of the current layer, while the Underlying slider controls the color values of the layer beneath it.