How to Fill a Shape with a Photo in Photoshop

How to Fill a Shape with a Photo in Photoshop

well hi everyone Steve Patterson here from photoshop essentials comm in this video I'll show you how to place an image into a shape with Photoshop as we'll see Photoshop makes it easy to place any image into any type of shape from a basic rectangle or circle to a fancy custom shape for this video we'll use one of photoshop's custom shapes but once you've learned the steps you can start placing images into any shape you like I'll be using Photoshop CC but everything we'll be doing is also compatible with Photoshop cs6 if you're watching this video on our website you'll also find the complete text version of this tutorial so you can watch the video or read through the steps thanks for joining me and let's get started well let's start by creating a new Photoshop document go up to the file menu in the menu bar along the top of the screen and choose new this opens the new document dialog box if you're using Photoshop CC you'll see the newly redesigned version of the dialog box and if you're using Photoshop cs6 you'll see the older traditional version we'll look at the Photoshop CC version here but you'll find the same options for creating a new custom document in cs6 in Photoshop CC the options for customizing the document are found in the preset details panel along the right of the dialog box for this tutorial let's create a square-shaped document set the width and height to 2,000 pixels we'll set the resolution to 72 pixels per inch and the background contents too white in Photoshop CC click create to create the new document in Photoshop cs6 click OK and here we see the new white filled document on the screen as I mentioned earlier you can use any type of shape for this effect for this tutorial I'll use one of photo shops built in custom shapes select the custom shape tool from the toolbar by default the custom shape tool is nested behind the rectangle tool to select it right-click on a Windows PC or control click on a Mac on the rectangle tool then choose the custom shape tool from the menu there's three types of shapes that we can draw in Photoshop we can draw vector shapes paths or pixel based shapes vector shapes are the type you find in drawing programs like Adobe Illustrator and that's the type we'll use here because they let us draw the shape at any size we need while keeping the edges nice and sharp to draw a vector shape make sure the tool mode option in the options bar is set to shape to let us see our shape against the white background we'll set the fill color of the shape to black you'll find the fill color swatch in the options bar directly beside the tool mode option by default it should already be set to black next let's choose a shape Photoshop includes lots of ready-made custom shapes for us to choose from but again by default only a handful of them are loaded into the program to find the rest we need to load them in ourselves if we look at the shape thumbnail in the options bar we see the shape that's currently selected in my case it's an arrow which isn't the shape I want to use to choose a different one click on the thumbnail this opens the custom-shape picker with thumbnails of all the shapes we can choose from you can make the custom shape picker bigger by dragging the bottom right corner as I mentioned only a handful of shapes are displayed at first let's load all of the shapes to give us more choice click on the menu icon in the upper right corner of the custom shape picker in the bottom half of the menu you'll see a list of all the custom shaped sets we can choose from rather than loading each one separately to see what we get let's just load all of them at once to do that select all from the top of the list Photoshop will ask if you want to replace the current shapes with the new shapes click OK back in the custom-shape picker we now have many more shapes to choose from scroll through the thumbnails until you find the one you want to use the heart shape which is actually one of the original default shapes is a popular choice but for something different I'll choose the butterfly shape to select it I'll double-click on its thumbnail this selects the shape and closes out of the custom-shape picker to draw your shape click in the upper left of your document to set a starting point then with your mouse button still held down press and hold the shift key on your keyboard and drag diagonally downward towards the bottom-right corner holding the shift key as you drag locks the aspect ratio of the shape so you don't distort the look of it to complete the shape release your mouse button then release your Shift key Photoshop draws the shape and fills it with black if we look in the layers panel we see the shape sitting on its own shape layer above the white filled background layer to move the shape into the center of the document select the move tool from the toolbar then click on the shape and drag it into the center it should snap into place once you get close to the middle at this point we've drawn our shape so let's open the image we're going to place inside of it here's the image I'll be using I downloaded this one from Adobe stock let's copy the image and paste it into the shapes document go up to the Select menu at the top of the screen and choose all a selection outline will appear around the image then go up to the Edit menu and choose copy switch back to the shapes document by clicking on its tab just below the options bar then go back up to the Edit menu and choose paste Photoshop pastes the image into the document at the moment my image is completely blocking the shape from view and the image is too big to fit entirely within the shapes document we'll fix both of these problems in the next couple of steps if we look again in the layers panel we see that Photoshop has placed the image on a new layer named layer one above the shape layer to place the image inside the shape all we need to do is create a clipping mask make sure you have the image layer layer 1 selected then go up to the layer menu at the top of the screen and choose create clipping mask this clips the image on layer 1 to the shape layer below it which means that the only part of the image that remains visible is the area that's sitting directly above or in front of the shape the rest of the image is now hidden creating the illusion that the image is actually inside the shape and if we look again in the layers panel we see that layer 1 is indented to the right with a small arrow pointing down at the shape layer below it this is how Photoshop lets us know that the image is now clipped to the shape to resize and reposition the image inside the shape again make sure you have layer 1 selected then go up to the Edit menu and choose free transform this place is the free transform box and handles around the actual dimensions of your image including the area outside the visible canvas if you can't see all of your free transform handles because your image is too big to fit entirely on the screen go up to the View menu and choose fit on screen Photoshop will automatically adjust the zoom level so that the entire free transform box is visible to resize the image inside the shape press and hold your shift key and drag any of the corner handles holding the shift key as you drag locks the aspect ratio of your image as you're resizing it to move the image inside the shape click anywhere inside the free transform box and drag the image into position when you're ready click the checkmark in the options bar to close out of the free transform command at this point our main image and shape effect is done of course there's always more we can do to customize it and make it look even better one thing we can do is change the color of the background the easiest way to change the background color is by using one of photoshop's solid color fill layers we'll need the solid color fill layer to appear between the background layer and the shape layer so first click on the background layer to select it then click on the new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel choose solid color from the top of the list Photoshop pops open the color picker where we can choose a new color black is a popular choice and since it's already chosen for me we can see what it looks like behind the shape black definitely brings out the details of the shape but as the background color for a butterfly it's probably not the best choice I could choose a different color from the color picker itself or I could sample a color directly from the image inside the shape to sample the color move your mouse cursor over the color you want to use your cursor will temporarily switch to the eyedropper tool icon letting you know it's ready to sample the color I like to keep background colors subtle so rather than choosing green from the trees or red from the flowers I'll choose a light skin tone from the girl's forehead by clicking on it as soon as I click the sampled color becomes the new background color I like this new color better so I'll click OK to accept it and close out of the color picker if we look in the layers panel we see our solid color fill layer named color fill one sitting between the background layer and the shape layer finally let's finish off the effect by adding a stroke around the shape click on the shape layer in the layers panel to select it then click on the layer Styles icon at the bottom of the layers panel choose stroke from the list this opens the layer style dialog box set to the stroke options in the middle column to change the strokes color click on the color swatch this again opens the color picker I'll choose white for my stroke color and then I'll click okay back in the layer style dialog box I'll set the position of the stroke to outside so that it appears around the outside of the shape finally I'll increase the size value to adjust the thickness of the stroke for this image I think a size of around 12 pixels works well click OK to close out of the layer style dialog box and we're done here's my final image in shape effect and there we have it that's how to easily place an image inside a shape using clipping masks in Photoshop if you liked this video be sure to click the subscribe button check out our website photoshop essentials calm where you'll find hundreds of tutorials covering photoshop basics image editing photo effects text effects and more as always thanks for joining me and i'll see you next time I'm Steve Patterson from photoshop essentials comm

22 thoughts on “How to Fill a Shape with a Photo in Photoshop”

  1. Hi everyone, Steve here. Thanks for watching this video where I show you how to easily place an image into a shape with Photoshop. If you find my videos helpful, please Subscribe to my channel for new videos every week! You can click here to subscribe: Please leave any questions, comments or suggestions below. Thanks again for watching!

  2. Thank you but how do you make an already photo image into a shape instead of using the customized shapes.?

  3. Help! At 7:00 I do everything explained but when I create clipping mask nothing happens. It does say it is clipped to the shape. The layer 1 disappears on the main workspace. Itโ€™s still above shape 1 but is gone and nothing was clipped. Any thoughts?

  4. Thank you. This is very helpful. I love that you went into a detailed step by step explanation at a speed which is easy to follow.

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