How to Composite with Multiple Images in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Composite with Multiple Images in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Often, when working with layers, you’re not confined to using a single image. In Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 6, you can composite with multiple images to create the finished product you want.

When you get the hang of working with several images, you’ll find myriad new creative possibilities. And you’re not limited to just plain old snapshots. You can incorporate type, vector illustrations, and scans of just about anything you can place on a scanning bed. Apply some layer styles, maybe a filter or two, and you have an image worthy of some major wall space.

How to copy and paste images

You can use the Copy and Paste commands without having a blank layer ready. When you copy and paste a selection without a blank layer, Photoshop automatically creates a new layer from the pasted selection. You can go about your merry way and perform all your layer creations by using only those commands.

The Copy Merged command on the Edit menu creates a merged copy of all the visible layers within the selection.

How to bypass the clipboard

Yes, you can always cut and paste, or copy and paste, a layer from one image to another, but it’s easier to drag and drop, rather than copy and paste, between two images. By dragging and dropping, you bypass the temporary storage area for copied and stored data, the clipboard. (Whenever you copy or cut a selection, Photoshop stores the selection on the clipboard until you’re ready to paste it.)

So, what’s wrong with that? Well, nothing, unless you’re working with high-resolution images. Storing images on the clipboard, even on a temporary basis, can slow down your system. Keeping your clipboard clear of data ensures that Photoshop is running lean and mean so that you can drag and drop more images, selections, and layers more quickly and more efficiently.

If you want to perform a little spring cleaning on your clipboard, you can always choose Edit→Purge→Clipboard, which empties your clipboard of any stored data. Try the drag-and-drop method.