These instructions will help you create photo effects using overlays in Photoshop.
Planning to install and use your overlays in Elements? See this video guide on how to install and use overlays in Elements.
Overlays do not need to be installed. They consist of an image that will sit on top of your image to create a different effect. Instead of installing, simply unzip and save your overlays to a familiar place on your computer or back them up to your Adobe CC Library per THIS guide for easy retrieval. When you apply them, you will recall them from wherever you saved them on your computer.
There is a glitch in some versions of Photoshop that will not allow you to apply .png overlays by placing an embedded file. Here is a workaround and alternative means of placing your overlay, and the steps to show you how to use overlays in Photoshop:
How to Use Overlays in Photoshop
Open the primary image where your overlay will be applied.
Open your selected overlay by going to Select File > Open.
Resize your selected overlay to match your primary image by going to Image > Image Size.
Copy and paste your overlay onto your image by going to Select > All, then go to Edit > Copy.
Toggle to your primary image and go to Edit > Paste.
Set the Layer Mode to Screen.
Adjust layer opacity to further refine your overlay application.
Use the Eraser or Mask and Soft Brush to clean up parts of your photo.
Merge the layers.
Drag & Drop Method
Featuring Blowing Glitter overlays applied to an image by Kim Kelsey!
- Open an image in Photoshop (this is the image you want to add an overlay TO):
- Locate your unzipped overlay files in File Manager or Finder, click to open the JPG folder and view your files.
- Drag and drop one of the files from your file manager or finder and place it onto your image in Photoshop (JPG will be easier to preview):
- Resize and move the overlay where you'd like it placed on your image, and set blend mode to "Screen" in your layer panel:
- You can add a mask in your layer panel and then with the mask selected paint with a black soft brush over any part of the overlay you'd like to hide:
Note: Alternatively you can simply erase parts of the overlay you don't want with the eraser tool over your subject or around the edges of your overlay. We recommend the mask because you can go back over the black with a white brush if you removed anything in error.
If you'd prefer to use PNG files (if included in your bundle), you can drag and drop PNGs the same way and skip blending (though we do recommend it either way!) You will still want to resize and can still use masking or erasing to remove the parts of the overlay you don't want over your image. If you chose to use the PNG files instead (without the black background) and run into an error, we recommend following the steps provided above!
Get stuck? Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org