Looking for a new way to showcase your online business?
Adding screen shots of websites or product photos to computer screens is a clever and quick way to bring your digital world 'to life'. And, with the help of stock photos, you're not limited to images of your own environment.
WHY MAKE A LAPTOP MOCKUP?
If you create digital products or work primarily from a website, you'll know how difficult it can be to bring your business 'to life'.
Enter the mockup. A read-made, styled photo that's been turned into a Photoshop template. All you need to do is pop your screen shot/photo in, resize and reposition, and then save it as a new jpeg.
Product mockup templates come in all shapes and sizes. Desktops, laptops and phones, canvas and picture frames, stationery flat lays, clothes, bags, walls and floors, the list goes on.
Fancy having a go? Today's video tutorial will show you how to create a simple laptop mockup from a stock image. This could be used for a monthly desktop background freebie, a screen shot of a training video, a sales pages, a photo of your latest digital product, a course page, or a preview of your website or shop.
CHOOSING A SUITABLE STOCK PHOTO
Stock photos give you access to professional photographers and a whole range of different backgrounds and environments you wouldn’t otherwise be able to photograph.
In the video, I’ve used a Shutterstock image. Alas, my home office doesn’t look anywhere near as elegant and tidy as this! But, that needn’t limit me. I can add my website screen shot to this laptop as if I was sitting there and took the photo myself.
Can’t get to that beautiful beach, busy cafe, flower garden or mountain lake? Don't own a show house, beautiful furniture, matching crockery? This is where stock photography comes into its own.
You can tailor your image to the wants and needs of your customer and the item you are promoting. This is a quick way to create high-quality, on-brand images without the need for travel, big budgets or fancy camera skills.
Tip: When searching for a stock image of a laptop, look for an image of a screen that is upright, rather than tilted slightly back or forward. This means you don’t need to worry about the perspective effect.
In the video, I’ll show you how to:
- straighten the laptop screen;
- add a clipping mask with the shape tool;
- add your photo or screen grab to the clipping mask; and
- resize and position the image.
STRAIGHTEN THE LAPTOP SCREEN
- Open your stock photo and select the Crop Tool (shortcut C) from the Tool Bar on the left.
- On the Options Bar at the top of the screen, you’ll see the word Straighten and a Spirit Level icon to the left. Click on the Spirit Level to select.
- Draw a line along the top edge of your laptop screen by clicking at one point and dragging left or right.
- You don’t need to drag far, just make sure that the line you’re drawing lines up with the straight edge of the laptop screen.
- When you're happy with your line, just let go. Photoshop will now twist your image slightly left or right to straighten the image.
- Don’t worry if the edge of the screen looks a little bumpy, this will disappear as soon as you hit the Checkmark and finalise the crop.
- Click the Checkmark on the Options Bar to confirm your changes.
USING THE SHAPE TOOL TO CREATE A CLIPPING MASK
- Select the Shape Tool (shortcut U) and choose Rectangle. If it isn’t showing, just click and hold the Shape Tool icon to get the fly-out menu.
- On the Options Bar, make sure you have Shape selected, set a Fill Colour (any is fine), and you want No Stroke (box with red line through it).
- Click down in the top left-hand corner of the screen and drag out a rectangle until you completely cover the screen. Don’t worry, you can change the size later if it's not quite right.
- You need to make sure the original screen is completely covered, getting the edges of your rectangle shape as close to the edge of the screen as you can. It won't be completely square, just make sure the screen beneath is covered.
- If you need to change the size of your rectangle, select the Move Tool (shortcut M). Use the grab handles in the corners and on the edges to resize the rectangle shape.
- When you're happy, click the Checkmark on the Options Bar to confirm your changes.
- This rectangle becomes your clipping mask.
ADD YOUR IMAGE TO THE CLIPPING MASKS
- You should now have your stock photo open, with the added rectangle layer, and your screen shot/product photo open.
- With the Screen-shot Window showing, click down on the image and drag it up to the Stock-photo Tab.
- Hold for a second, until the screen changes and you can now see your stock photo.
- Drag the screen-shot image down towards and middle of the screen and let go.
- Check you have your layers in the following order: stock photo bottom, rectangle shape middle, your screen shot/photo on top.
- To clip the screen shot to the rectangle, hold down your Alt or Option Key and hover your mouse between the rectangle and screen-shot layers.
- When you see a white rectangle with a black down arrow appear, Click.
- Your screen shot/photo should now appear ‘inside’ the computer screen.
MOVE AND RESIZE YOUR SCREEN IMAGE
- You may find your images is too big or you want to reposition it.
- With your screen shot/photo layer selected (top layer), use the grab handles in the corners to resize. Make sure you hold down Shift while you do this to retain your proportions. Click the Checkmark to confirm any changes.
- To reposition it around, just have your screen-shot/photo layer selected and click down and drag your image into position. Alternatively, use your arrow keys on yoru keyboard to fine-tune.
- When resizing or moving, make sure the clipping layer doesn’t show around the edges.
- Your laptop mockup image is now ready to save as a jpeg.
If you want to use the same image with a different screenshot, just save as a Photoshop (.psd) template. That way, you'll just need to add a new photo, clip, resize and save.
You can use this same technique on phone, tablet and computer screens. It also works well on hanging pictures and frames.
Image credit: Shutterstock