The easiest way to combine two images is to start with the images on different layers in the same document, and then simply chop a hole through one layer so you can see what’s on the layer below. It’s not elegant, but it works. For example, if you long to replace a dull window scene with something more exciting, like the sunbathing dude shown in Figure 8-1, you can just cut a hole through the window so the new object fills the void.
Figure 8-1. The simplest way to combine images: Cut a hole in one so you can see through to the other. Once you’ve selected the hole (as shown in the top-left image here), you can delete it and try out new vistas. To practice this maneuver yourself, visit this book’s Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds and download the file View.zip.
Here’s how to get yourself a brand-new view:
Open an image, double-click the Background layer to unlock it, and then select the area you want to delete.
Since you’ll delete pixels in a couple of steps, you need to convert the Background layer (if your image file has one) into a regular layer first. Then, to cut a hole in the image shown in Figure 8-1, use the Rectangular Marquee tool since the window is square. Press M to grab the tool and then draw a box just inside the window frame. (Chapter 5 has the full scoop on selection tools.)
Use the Refine Edge dialog box to soften the selection’s edges slightly