Tutorial Photography

Try This: Merge Images with Layer Mask in Pixlr Pro

Everything is possible with graphic software! For example, you can merge two images and make them look like a single photo. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to do it in Pixlr Pro to create a funny scene.

Here’s how to merge images using the Layer Mask in Pixlr Pro

Image assets:

Open Pixlr Pro and drag Image 1 into the workspace. Take the Lasso Select tool (L) and outline the part of the image that you want to remove.

Go to Edit > Fill and select Content Aware.

This tool will intelligently remove the contents of the selection, replacing it with the elements from outside of it. However, it works best with small selections, so if there’s anything left, deselect (Control-D), select the leftovers, and use the tool again, until the area is clean.

Open the Image 2 and remove its background as described in this tutorial.

Copy and paste the cut image to the Image 1. Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontally.

The head is way too big, so go to Edit > Free Transform, hold Shift, and drag the corners of the bounding box to resize it. Drag it to the correct position, too.

The fur around the head needs to be reshaped to fit the bird’s body. Go to Filter > Liquify, check Background, and use a big brush to drag the fur around. Be careful not to affect the rest of the head!

Now that everything is in place, we can finally use a Layer Mask to merge the images. Click Add Raster Mask and click its thumbnail once it appears.

Take a soft brush (B).

When the mask is selected, you can paint on it: black will make the image transparent, white will make it opaque, and greys will give a variety of semi-transparent tones. So simply paint with black to softly “erase” the cats fur, and with white to bring it back.

The head still looks odd, because it has different colors than the bird’s body. Click New Adjustment Layer and select Color Balance.

Hold Alt key and click the line between the image and its adjustment layer to clip the latter to the former. This way your adjustment will only affect the layer below.

Play with the sliders until you achieve the tones that fit the bird’s body.

Finally, take a look at the whole picture and see if you can still adjust something.

That’s it! Now you know how to merge images in Pixlr Pro.

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