It’s enough to simply overlay the logo on something in Photoshop. But what if your base photo is not head-on, so a square logo (or any other image) will look skewed? Here’s how to align your top image with the correct perspective.

Using the Transform Tool for Perfect Matches

Let’s use a gadget’s screen image as a base: a common need for marketers (or web writers like me). Our original image here is a Nintendo Switch with a regular 16:9 screen, but we need to take a screenshot of something different — say an image from Zelda instead of Mario . Here are the pictures I’ll be using so you can grab them and practice on your own:

Select the screenshot in the Layers tool, then activate the Transform tool using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + T on Windows or Command + T on macOS.

If you’ve been using Photoshop for a while, you probably already like the Free Transform tool: you should know how to move an image, shrink or expand it, or rotate it. But you can also distort it significantly, enough that you can change it to change the perspective and match it with the image below. This is a pretty simple example: we’ll match this rectangular Zelda screenshot to the rectangular screen on the Switch, with a simple swipe from corner to corner.

While holding down the Ctrl button on Windows or the Command button on Mac, click one of the white squares in the corner of the screenshot that are part of the Transform tool. While holding down the Ctrl key and the left mouse button, drag one of the corners of the top screenshot to the corresponding corner on the switch screen in the image below. Zoom in on the pixelated image if you need it to fit perfectly.

You’ll notice that instead of the usual resizing action, the Ctrl or Command modifier allows you to grab one corner of the image and move it while the other four corners stay in place.

Repeat this step for the next four corners, moving the screenshot image across the switcher screen at the bottom. Don’t apply the transform until you’re done, otherwise you won’t be able to capture all four corners again — they’ll be filled with transparency. You can force the top layer to extend past the bottom one or two pixels to make sure it completely covers the screen below it. Press Enter to close the Transform tool.

Since the phone screen and the image in the screenshot have the same aspect ratio, this little cover is perfect and doesn’t require further editing. Let’s move on to something more tricky.

Using the Transform Tool on Odd-Sized Images

Let’s say you have this image of a Mac laptop and don’t want to use the Apple logo in your ad. Would you rather show your company logo. I’ll be using the Review Geek circular logo as an example — both source images are below.

So you want to cover up the Apple logo just like the phone screen used to, but now the plane of the original image (laptop lid) doesn’t match the layer you want to add (the round logo) and you still need to keep the perspective right. In this case, we’ll be using something else in the photo as a guide: a roughly rectangular laptop lid. We will match the logo’s perspective to the laptop’s lid, then scale it down to the required size while keeping the perspective locked.

To get started, press Ctrl + T or Command + T with the top layer selected to open the transform tool again. Now press Ctrl + Click or Command + Click, select the guide squares in the corners of the logo layer and align them with the corners of the laptop lid. The corners are rounded, but you can use the edges of the lid and the transform guide to align.

Since the laptop lid is not square, your circle is too wide. You can adjust it back to square size conversion. You can see it if you don’t need to be perfect, or rotate the layer underneath and use Photoshop’s ruler guides if you need more precision. Press Enter to apply the transformation when you’re ready.

You now have a square image on your laptop screen and it’s in the correct perspective to match the Apple logo below it. You should make it smaller so it doesn’t look out of place. With the Transform tool active, hold down Alt+Shift on Windows or Option+Shift on Mac, then click one of the corners and drag it inward to shrink the logo image so it’s not much larger than the Apple logo.

Here is the final result:

If your bottom image is fairly normal, with a perspective skew that’s predictable on one side, you can hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift on Windows or Command + Option + Shift on Mac to use the Transform tool in Skew mode. However, it’s pretty rare that your image is perfect for this.

Using Free Transform on Rough Surfaces

So now you can match the perspective and resize as needed. But what if you are trying to get something on a surface that is not flat? Let’s try another example: putting the Review Geek logo on a balloon. Once again, use the images below in your copy of Photoshop to practice.

Using the tools you’ve learned in the previous sections, it’s easy to apply a logo image to the top of the balloon and even adjust its perspective to match the orientation of the balloon itself. But the logo file looks weird because it’s flat and the surface of the ball isn’t.

To fix this, press Ctrl + T or Command + T to activate the Transform Tool and look at the top of the Photoshop window. You’re looking for a curved, rectangular button that activates warp mode. Click on it.

With the Transform Tool in warp mode, you can move the image anywhere inside or outside, not just the corners. This allows you to click and drag different parts of the image into the wrong positions. You’ll see the nine guides move with the image, helping you see how you’ve changed things.

The Warp Tool takes some practice to use effectively. You may have to undo and redo your work several times. But within a few minutes you will be able to match the curve of the ball very well. Press Enter to apply the transformation.

For surfaces that are a bit more predictable but still too irregular for the regular Transform tool, you can use the pre-installed Warp Tools on the right side of the top menu.

You can combine the techniques above with any of the other tools in Photoshop such as color correction, curves, filters, blur, and so on, to make your top layer match the bottom. Play around with these tools and you’ll soon be able to match logos and screenshots with ease.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Wachiwit, Shutterstock/Africa Studio, Shutterstock/Ygor, Yiorgos GR/, Nintendo

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