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Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Combining Vectors and Rasters

A fun trend in the design world is to combine vectors with rasters (Opening an Existing Document explains the difference); in other words, to combine illustrations with photographs, a technique that provides an interesting look and lets you get creative. Because you can load vectors as Smart Objects (Using Smart Objects), they remain infinitely resizable, letting you experiment with them as backgrounds, artful embellishments, and even ornamental photo frames.

As you can see in Figure 7-27, adding vectors to photos is a ton of fun. It's as if you're blending real images with imaginary ones. Even if you can't draw these little goodies yourself, stock-image companies like iStockphoto (www.istockphoto.com) sell affordable vector images so you can still participate in the trend.

As you can see here, a dash of vector art can spice up any photo.

Figure 7-27. As you can see here, a dash of vector art can spice up any photo.

You can add vector art to your images in a couple of ways:

  • Place it. With a document open, choose File→Place and navigate to the vector file on your hard drive. This inserts the file as a Smart Object (Using Smart Objects). Since you'll most likely need to resize the artwork, Photoshop considerately surrounds it with the Free Transform bounding box and resizing handles (Resizing and Rotating Layers). Just Shift-drag any corner to make the art bigger or smaller. If you need to rotate it, place your mouse outside ...

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