Adapting Stock Photos: How to Quickly Add in a Screen Grab to a Blank Screen

Do you have stock or your own images with blank screens just waiting to be filled? Not sure how to get your screen grabs into the blank screen? 

Today's video will show you how to draw your own clipping mask and clip your screen grab to it, so it appears to fit inside the  device's screen. You can create a customised stock photo in minutes.

 
How to quickly add a screen grab to a stock photo using Photoshop. This video tutorial will show you how to draw a clipping mask to suit the computer/tablet/phone you are trying to add the screen grab too. You can then quickly clip your screen grab to this clipping mask to create a customised stock photo. itsorganised.com video tutorial
 
 

Using Clipping Masks in Photoshop

There are lots of stock images available that have been taken specifically to give you a blank screen to 'fill'. This is a great way to showcase your website, products or work. 

All you need to supply is a screen grab of the website or product in question and overlay this onto the screen. If you're not sure how to take a screen grab, this post shows you the shortcuts for Windows and Mac.

To achieve this in Photoshop, you use a Clipping Mask. Clipping Masks are incredibly versatile and can be any shape, including text. You 'clip' your screen grab to the Clipping Mask shape and voila. It can then be resized or moved inside the mask until it's just perfect. 

You can find the stock photo used in the video demo, plus others with blank screens, available free to download in the Resource Library.

Video Tutorial

This video will show you how to:

  • Use the Shape Tool to draw a clipping mask over the device's screen area.
  • Attach or  'clip' your screen grab to the shape.
  • Resize and move your screen grab into position.
 
 

Before and After

As you can see, this is such a quick way to customise a stock photo.

Once created, you can reuse the clipping mask over and over again. Just draw the rectangle over the device screen, save as a Photoshop PSD file, and the next time you have a screen grab or product shot you want to showcase, open the file and clip the image to the clipping mask.

Creating your own template files with Photoshop is a great time saver.

How to quickly add a screen grab to a stock photo using Photoshop. This video tutorial will show you how to draw a clipping mask to suit the computer/tablet/phone you are trying to add the screen grab too. You can then quickly clip your screen grab to this clipping mask to create a customised stock photo. itsorganised.com video tutorial

THE STEP-BY-STEP

  1. The first thing you need to do is take a Screen Grab of your product, website, etc. When doing this, make sure the ratio of height to width is similar to that of the screen you are trying to fit. For example, don't take a portrait screen grab if you are using a stock photo with a landscape, desktop computer. 
  2. Open your stock photo and screen grab in Photoshop. 
  3. With your stock photo window selected, choose your Shape Tool - Rectangle from the Tool Bar on the left-hand side of the screen. Look at the Options Bar at the top. You'll need to have a fill (any colour) but no stroke. 
  4. Click on the top-left corner of the device screen on your photo and drag out a rectangle that completely covers the screen. Don't worry if it's not perfect first time, you can adjust the size of the shape as it will be created on it's own layer.
  5. Click on the screen grab window and drag the image over to your stock photo window. If it's really big, you can resize it at this point, but don't worry too much about being exact. It's much easier to resize once it's inside the rectangle shape.
  6. Your layer stack should look like this:  bottom = stock photo, middle = rectangle shape, top = screen grab.
  7. With your screen grab layer selected, hold down your Alt/Option key and hover between the screen grab and the rectangle shape layers. You will see a little box appear and down arrow. When you see this, click to clip the screen grab to the rectangle.
  8. Your screen grab is now 'clipped' to your shape. With your screen grab layer selected, you can now resize or move the image.
  9. If you find you can still see edges of the stock photo device, just select your rectangle shape layer and make it bigger.

If you would like to try this out, but don't have a suitable image, you can grab the one used here in the Resource Library.