Crop a Picture to a Shape in Photoshop Elements

The “easier to use” version of Adobe Photoshop Professional or Creative Cloud (CC) is known as Photoshop Elements. As the professional edition, Photoshop Elements may not have all the power features but is much cheaper and built so that beginners can edit their images quickly without too much of a learning curve.

Cutting one of your images into a shape is a simple thing that many people want to do with Photoshop, but it’s not just a box or a rectangle. You can take any shape that you want and turn that particular shape into your picture. The built-in shapes that come with the Shape Tool can be used or you can find a picture of any shape you like or even text and make the shape “become” your picture.

We will take a picture of a dog and also a heart-shaped image in this article and turn the picture of the dog into that heart-shaped image. We’re going to show you a few different ways to do this, which will give you slightly different outcomes so that you can choose the right form for you.

In Elements, as seen below, we have our heart-shaped image open to start. Note how it has a white background around the heart and a black line.

Using the Magic Eraser method, which is the eraser with the star looking object behind it and erasing the white region outside the heart, is the first move. The trick here is to make sure you use a transparent background for your form, so you’ll want to add a transparent background to your project if you open an existing file. You need to go to the Layers window to do so and right-click on the Context Layer. Then pick Layer From Context, leave the options as they are, and then click OK.

Now you can see that the grey and white checkerboard pattern now reveals that our heart picture has a clear backdrop.

Next, using the Rectangular Marquee tool, we’ll want to go to the dog image and draw a box around the one we want to use. Then we can hit the Edit menu, click Copy, and then go back to the heart picture and paste it in. You will use the Transfer tool from there to reposition and resize your picture so it suits the way you want it over the heart. Only make sure the photo is resized rather than spread out so that it remains uniform. Before resizing it to fit over the heart, the picture below demonstrates the pasted dog image. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because after the cropping phase, you can still change its size and location.

The next stage is where the harvest happens. The Layers menu must be clicked and the dog form created in order to fill out the context form as viewed below. Then you can switch and resize your picture to change fit if appropriate.

Once you have stuff that you like, you can save your picture but like it. You can save your picture as a PNG file if the context around your heart is clear.

The following way to render an image in a form is to delete not the context but the area of the heart itself. We want to delete the red area with Magic Eraser tool for our heart photo.

We can now paste this photo over the heart OR we can go to File, then put the picture of the Dog and browse it if that works for you better. Next we expand the photo of the dog so that it covers the whole image of the heart. Don’t worry if the heart picture goes off the edge because it will have nothing to do with it.

If the image has been formed, the order of the layers will have to be changed, so the core layer is at the top. You can do so by using your mouse to click and move layers.

You will now observe that the dog picture lies in the heart, but the black border stayed around the heat thanks to the way we raised the heart inside, not the white outside.

Now, as shown below, you can fill the white room with a colour.

If the context is to become transparent you will first have to go through the Layers menu and pick Merge Visible or Flatten Image, which means that only one layer remains, otherwise the dog image will appear on the side of the centre as viewed below.

You note that you only have one layer in the layer panel when you merge or flatten the image, but can remove it now and leave only the heart.

As you can see there are many ways to make an image and the form you want is up to you, depending on what you want to achieve.

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