Got two images, one of an old sheet of paper with jagged edges. The other is a photo of beach. How can I merge them together, so that the beach image will take the shape of the other picture, i.e. with jagged edges?

I got indesign cs5.5, illustrator cs5. The photoshop I got is old 2003 version. Can I use any of these?

  • What exact version of Photoshop is it? This is important to be able to give a useful answer.
    – e100
    Nov 15, 2012 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


You can use blend modes in Photoshop (incl. the version you have).

To make this work the background of the image needs to be black.

  • Import the two images in two different layers.
  • Select the top layer and choose Multiply as blend mode

This will make the picture looks like it is printed on the paper with jagged edges.

If you don't have a black background for the jagged image and you only want to use the shape:

  • CTRL + click the layer with jagged edges. This require the background to be transparent (I don't remember if this click operation works in PS from 2003).

  • Now switch to the layer with the image which you want to apply the edges to. You can do this now by inverting the selection (CTRL + I) and then cut. This operation is permanent.

If PS/2003 support layer masks you can instead of cutting, :

  • Click the mask icon at the bottom of the layer dock to apply the mask to the image. You will then be able to adjust it later if you need to.

A final option is to trace the jagged image with the lasso tool, then switch layer to the image and do as above. You also have the option of do selection based on color. If you had supplied images for example it would be easier to suggest the "correct" approach, but this should get you going.

  • Thanks for the answer. It seems this won't work with my old photoshop. :( Will illustrator cs5 do it? Have uploaded images as answer below. Can't upload them with question (due to lack of reputation)...
    – Biju
    Oct 27, 2012 at 1:33
  • I'm afraid I don't know Illustrator that well. I assume you would need to add a clipping mask to the image - it would be pretty much the same process as in PS for that method (manually tracing the edges).
    – user7179
    Oct 27, 2012 at 1:37
  • Thanks. Will try to get a new version of PS. ...btw not able to upload images as answer as well, saying at least a reputation of 10 required for that :(
    – Biju
    Oct 27, 2012 at 1:57
  • @user41631 tinypic.com and link into your question.
    – Joonas
    Oct 31, 2012 at 15:13
  • @user41613 You need to be more specific about which of these work, and/or which version of Photoshop you have. I'm sure most of them work in Photoshop 5.5 (not CS5.5) which came out in 1999 and I still have.
    – e100
    Nov 15, 2012 at 13:50

my advice is don't think of 'merging' at all. you can use the torn shape as the shape for a layer mask on the beach photo layer. ctrl click to select the torn shape, then with that still active create a mask on beach layer. this remains editable and you can use paint and erasers to modify the edge.

a very easy fast and non destructive way is to use the torn layer as a clipping mask, if the shape is on an trans background. if it's not, ctrl select as above, then fill this selection on a new layer, any color, it won't be seen. then alt click on the tiny lines between this layer and the beach above to clip the beach layer to the torn layer. this also remain editable and is non destructive.

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