How to Create and Replace a Custom Backgrounds for Your Images in Photoshop

On this video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn shows how to cut an image out of the background and create interesting backgrounds and patterns in Photoshop.

This video is divided into 3 parts. The first part deals with cutting a portrait out of the image, the second part shows how to create a custom background and use the step and repeat tool and finally in the third part you can see how Nace creates all sorts of patterns that you can add behind your subject in an image. Actually, this video is worth watching just for the first part where Nace shows how to use the  refine edge trick for selecting hair (if you don’t know this already of course) – this is a huge (huge) time saver.

As for the Step and Repeat function – here is Nace’s explanation:

  1. Start by creating any shape and filling it with black. Next, turn it into a selection (hold Ctrl/Cmd and click on the layer).
  2. Step: Opt + Ctrl/Cmd + T to select the pattern. Move it to where you’d like and click enter.
  3. Repeat: Hold Shift + Opt + Ctrl/Cmd + T. This will repeat the duplication that you just completed.

Nace also has two tips:

  • Photographing your subject on a solid colored background is key for this type of work.
  • To turn any layer into a selection, just hold Ctrl/Cmd and click on the thumbnail of the layer.

It might also be worth cheeking out photographer Chris Knight video on advanced way of selecting and replacing a background on a portrait in Photoshop.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).
Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.