With so many different mobile apps available from Adobe, it’s hard to figure out which one you might want to download and use. The Photoshop Mix app is dedicated to the process of combining, cutting out, and editing photos – think of it as a compositional tool which will help you to make composite images. Here’s our quick guide on how to use the app!
After downloading the app, you do have to sign in – it’s free to make an account and you can do so with Facebook or Google login details to make it quick and easy. Once you do, you’ll see a screen which is quite minimalistic. There’s just one tutorial image, a plus button which allows you to import a new image to work on from various sources, and the menu button. From the menu, you can edit your preferences, view tutorials, send feedback, access more Adobe apps, and learn more about Photoshop Mix itself. For now, let’s focus on editing an image – you can work with the tutorial option or import your own.
Add a second photo
Because this app is great for composites, one of the things you’ll likely want to do from the beginning is add a second image. Once you open your image, you will see full-screen version as well as a smaller version of the image in a box and, above that, a plus symbol. Click the plus symbol and you’ll be able to import a new image alongside the first. It will now appear on your canvas as well as in a small box to the side.
Click on that small box and you’ll see several options: snap to canvas, which allows you to make the image the same size as your background; duplicate, which creates a copy; clear, which deletes the layer; and rotate or flip. Click on the small box and drag it to rearrange which image appears on top of the other. You can also add a third photo if you wish!
You are able to pinch and zoom using your fingers to make the image fit the screen and to rotate it.
Use your tools
Let’s go through the tools along the bottom of the screen. Most of these are fairly simple, so let’s get started.
- Crop – allowing you to rotate, flip, or crop your image as desired
- Adjust – this applies only to the layer that you select, one at a time. Here you can use ‘auto fix’ to apply an automatically corrected lighting; change the temperature to warmer or colder; edit the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, and saturation
- Looks – this also applies only to one layer at a time. The ‘looks’ are really a series of filters that you can apply. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a preview of how the filters will look, and you can click on them to apply them to the image.
- Cut out – this is probably the most exciting tool in the app! Use the magic wand tool on the right side of the image to either basic or smart select the area you want to cut out. The slider, which is the first tool in your bottom menu, will allow you to add or subtract from the selection. Invert will reverse your selection, while reset will put you back to square one. You can edit the edges and the feather to refine your selection and make it look more natural. The auto tool allows you to select the part of the image that Photoshop assumes you want to keep – this is a great place to start as you can then edit the selection from there
- Blend – this is the final tool you may want to use. There are a number of ways to blend two images into one, and while they might be difficult to get the hang of if you aren’t familiar with blend modes, they are similar to the results you would achieve in the desktop Photoshop app. You will see a preview of the result at the bottom of the screen, and be sure to scroll along to get all of the options. Once you’ve selected a blend mode, you can change the percentage to which the top layer is visible with the slider that appears.
With all of these tools, you can press the tick on the right side to save your changes or the cross on the left side to undo all of them. You can also press the back button on your device for the same result.
Finishing your image
Let’s check out the tools along the top of the screen now. They are as follows:
- Undo and redo – perfect for correcting anything you’ve decided you don’t like
- Layers icon – if you click on this, it will hide the view of the smaller icons for each layer. This is useful if you want to see the whole image without distractions
- Share – share your image by sending it to Photoshop, saving it to your phone gallery, publishing on Behance, saving to your virtual CC library, saving to Lightroom, or sharing through the other apps on your device
- Box icon – click on this to clear away the menus and see your image without anything around it. Click the same place again to bring the menus back.
Once you’re happy with your image, be sure to save it and share it so that you can get feedback from your peers and clients!
The Photoshop Mix app is fairly easy to use when you get the hang of it. Of course, it does have limitations – for example, you won’t be able to make as precise a cut-out with the app as you would normally do on a desktop, and if you are working with similar colors – for example, a model wearing a white dress standing in front of a white background – it may be difficult to get any degree of accuracy. However, the more time you spend using it, the better you will get at those small gestures and swipes to be more precise!