So, in this tutorial we will mix images in Photoshop in a creative manner. For this blending tutorial we will use layer masks and of course, blend modes so you need to know the basics of these otherwise you may will find this tutorial hard to follow. I will show you how yo fuse the dress of a woman with the background as if she would be melting into the background.
This photoshop blending effect was suggested by on of my followers and I really loved the result. I just used two images for this tutorial but as you can see from the preview image the result is pretty impressive.
Creative technique to mix images in Photoshop
If you want to blend images in Photoshop the way I will show you, it is necessary to have at least basic knowledge of the Photoshop blending modes, layer masks and how the layers panel work. Shadows are very important for this effect to work, will mix images using blend modes like Overlay, Soft Light or Hard Light which work depending on shadows and highlights you have on your image.
For a better effect, you should use a model with a silk or satin dress that has folds and shadows. Those shadows will help us achieve the melting visual effect.
How to mix images in Photoshop step by step
Step 1 – Prepare the background
For this blending tutorial I used a seamless pattern to make the background so if you do the same you can use any size for the canvas because the pattern will cover it all seamlessly. You can also use a image as texture. If you use the same image that we provide, you can turn it into a pattern; simply open it in Photoshop and go to Edit>Define Pattern. Add a Pattern Layer and use the pattern that you just created to fill the background.
Step 2 – Extract the model from the background
Open the model photo and extract her from the background. I used the Magic Wand Tool but you can also use the Quick Selection Tool. In any case use the Refine Edge to make the edges look better. If you want to use another image, here are a few tips to choose an image that will make the effect look better: silk/satin clothing looks better, if possible use model with clothing that don’t have many textures, make sure that the clothing has visible shadows and folds.
Step 3 – Create the layer masks
Before we blend these images, we have to separate the parts that we want to melt in photoshop. Create a duplicate of the model layer and name it dress, I named the other one body. Make sure you don’t move the layers so you can link them to make sure both layers stay on the same position. For this particular example I used the Color Range to select the dress on the dress layer. When the selection is done, click the layer mask icon and mask the body of the woman.
Use the same layer mask on the body layer but invert it. Now you should have the dress masked and the body visible.
Step 4 – Mix images
Now everything is ready so let’s create the blending effect. We will use two Adjustment Layers to edit the dress layer. First create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and reduce the Saturation to -100 then clip it to the dress layer to convert turn it into black and white. Now create a Levels Adjustment Layer also clipped to the dress layer. We will use this later to adjust the blending effect and make it look better. Now duplicate the Layer Fill you created on Step 1 and clip it to the dress layer as well. Make sure you do not move it, otherwise you will break the seamless effect.
Change the blend mode of the duplicated texture fill to Overlay and you should see how the shadows will create the blending effect. Use the Levels to make the shadows and highlights brighter or darker and adjust the effect. You should get something similar to the image below.
If you want more details about how to achieve this effect, make sure you watch the video version of this blending tutorial.