28 August 2009

[design] Paste Into – The "Other" Paste Command In Photoshop

2200.The joy of Photoshop is that it has more features than you can shake a stick at. That's also the heartbreak, because there are so many it's easy to forget ones you would find mad useful. And one of those is Paste Into.

It's an advanced version of the Paste command, which you can find in the Edit pulldown just underneath the Paste command. The reason it's awesome is that it saves you a ton of steps if you want to paste an object into a certain area.

What Paste Into does is this: given a selection (which you can create any which way you want), it pastes the copied image data into the current document on a new layer, and then creates a layer mask with the same shape as the selection. The effect is that your pasted content appears to be pasted into the selected area – the layer mask – which can then be gradiated, changed, whatever you want to happen.

There's a good and quick video tutorial supported by CreativePro.com which can be viewed at http://www.creativepro.com/article/combine-images-quickly-photoshop. It's a short video which hints at real design power that can be leveraged. Also, this tutorial takes a quicker approach if you just want to learn the basics: http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/paste-into/, which details just what goes into the process but doesn't demonstrate anything else … but if you're a good enough Photoshop Ninja, you should be able to take it from there.

I feel an article about alpha channels coming on, for some reason …

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