How to Com­bine two images to strik­ing ef­fect

Mac Format - - APPLE SKILLS -

1 Out­line your sub­ject Us­ing the path tool and the abil­ity to re­fine your se­lec­tion – as seen in last is­sue’s tu­to­rial – to iso­late your sub­ject. Cre­ate a new layer with a mask rather than delet­ing your back­ground. The mask should sit at the top of all your lay­ers.

2 Find a back­ground

a com­ple­men­tary im­age for your main sub­ject: open it, press ç+A to se­lect it, then ç+C to copy it to the Clipboard. Switch to your main im­age and press ß+ç+n to cre­ate a new layer, then ç+v to paste your back­ground.

3 Layer up Drag your back­ground to the bot­tom of the list of lay­ers to put it be­hind your sub­ject. You should now be look­ing at your sub­ject, iso­lated on a che­quer­board back­ground. The next step is to make your back­ground show through.

4 Grad­u­ated masks Se­lect your sub­ject’s layer, then click the Mask Layer but­ton at the bot­tom of the Lay­ers panel. Press g to se­lect the gra­di­ent tool. Drag from the area of your sub­ject you want to be more opaque to where it should be fully trans­par­ent.

5 Tweak the gra­di­ent Click the gra­di­ent in the tool­bar. Se­lect the left point and set its opac­ity to zero. Set the right point’s colour to white. You can drag the points at the end of the gra­di­ent’s line to change its length, and the bar in the mid­dle can be moved too.

6 Move the back­ground Now that your back­ground shows, you can move it around to cre­ate the most pleas­ing com­po­si­tion. Se­lect your back­ground in the Lay­ers panel and press v. You can now drag your back­ground around, or re­size it.

7 Add a plain back­ground If you save your im­age as a JPEG, the app will au­to­mat­i­cally ap­ply a white back­ground to your im­age. If you save to a for­mat that sup­ports trans­parency, such as PNG, first add a new layer, filled with white, at the bot­tom of the stack.

8 Turn lay­ers on and off Affin­ity Photo fa­cil­i­tates fur­ther ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. You can cre­ate as many al­ter­na­tive back­grounds, us­ing dif­fer­ent gra­di­ent masks, as you like. Uncheck the box next to a back­ground layer to make it in­vis­i­ble so you can try some­thing else.

9 Ex­port When you save as a JPEG, all your lay­ers will be merged, so it’s worth first sav­ing a lay­ered ver­sion in the app’s own file for­mat. Be warned that this may take up hun­dreds of megabytes. For all other uses, choose File > Ex­port.

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