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Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Chapter 7. Combining Images

One of the most rewarding projects you can tackle in Photoshop is combining images. Whether you're swapping skies, creating a complex collage, or building a panorama, this is where things start getting mighty fun. This chapter teaches you all kinds of techniques for mixing images together, from simply chopping a hole through one layer so you can see what's on the layer below it to a trick used by Photoshop heavyweights: mapping one image to the curves and contours of another.

Along the way, you'll learn how layer blend modes and blending sliders can help turn the images you have into the images you want. You'll also find out how to make Photoshop align and blend layers, as well as stitch multiple images into a big honkin' one.

However, if you've got an older computer or limited space on your hard drive, you may want to combine images using the Clone Source panel so you don't have to bulk up your Layers panel (and your file size). This chapter walks you through that process, too. Finally, you'll get tips on combining illustrations and photos into unique pieces of art that marry the real and the imaginary. The techniques discussed in the following pages draw on everything you've learned so far—layers, selections, resizing, and so on—so get ready to put your new skills to work.

Cut It Out

The easiest way to combine two images is to start with the images on different layers in the same document and simply chop a hole through one layer so you can see what's on ...

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