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Q1:Can I apply a filter to a gradient?
A1: Certainly. It's easiest if the gradient is on a separate layer. Just make the gradient the active layer and apply any filter or combination you like. The results often make an interesting background for other pictures, too. Start by trying the Texture filters and some of the Brush Strokes. These are generally successful.
Q2:I tried importing a building into another photo, but it just doesn't look right. Why not?
A2: There can be a dozen reasons, but the three most obvious are scale, perspective, and lighting. The import might be too big or too small for where you put it. It might need to be skewed into a different perspective. You might also be trying to put a piece of a shadowy, noontime picture into a late afternoon background. When you select pictures to combine, try to match sizes, orientation, and time of day. If that's not possible, you can still make it work, but you will have to do more correcting.
Q3:There's usually a difference in sharpness between the object I want to add and the background. It makes the object stand out like a sore thumb. Any ideas?
A3: If you don't want to blur the sharper image, try selecting the object, feathering the edges of the selection slightly, inverting it, and pressing Delete. That will soften the edges of the object a bit.
Q4:This is fun, but my files get so big that they take forever to save or apply a filter to. Any ideas?
A4: Be sure to merge down layers when you're done with them. Save frequently. Save different stages if you think you might want to go back further than the History palette can take you.
Q5:How can I get rid of that white halo around a selection I have copied and pasted?
A5: Easier than you think. Select the layer and choose Layer→Matting→Defringe. Enter a value in the Width text box for the distance from the edge of the object to search for replacement pixels. In most cases, a distance of 1 or 2 pixels is enough. Click OK and that white edge is gone.


1:Any picture you download from the Web can be considered a stock photo.
  1. True

  2. False

2:Photoshop has _____ kinds of gradients.
  1. Two

  2. Three

  3. Five

3:Name one thing you'll have to master to make good composite images.
  1. Zen

  2. Filters

  3. Layers

4:What's the easiest way to remove a plain background?
  1. Erase it

  2. Select it and delete it

  3. Fill it with clear paint



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