Adobe Photoshop Mix: An In-depth Guide for Beginners

Adobe Photoshop Mix: An In-depth Guide for Beginners

Have you ever taken a picture with your mobile phone that you know would really look awesome after editing? We’ve all been there. And we all know the catch: we have to transfer photos from our device to a PC, and then open probably two to three programs for editing and refinement, and only then can we upload it on Instagram. All that for a picture seems pretty time-consuming, and what happens is that we usually just get demotivated to edit a picture.

The thing is, Adobe Photoshop Mix for mobile devices puts the editing power of Adobe CC right on your fingertips. First things first:

What is Adobe Photoshop Mix?

Adobe Photoshop Mix lets you cut out and combine elements from various images, blend layers and apply desirable looks on your iPhone, iPad or Android device – all compatible with Photoshop and Lightroom.

Let’s get you started with a quick tour of how to create a fun and easy photo composite in Photoshop Mix that can be finished up quickly without using Photoshop or Lightroom.

Follow this tutorial with screenshots to guide you through the process.

How To Create Stunning Photos with Adobe Photoshop Mix

Step 1: Download Adobe Photoshop Mix

Download Adobe Photoshop Mix application from Adobe (available for iOS and Android) and bring your stunning photoshop editing skills to your mobile device.

Related: 10 Best Video Editing Apps for Android

Step 2: Start a New Photo Composite in Photoshop Mix

Launch the app on your mobile device, sign in if you haven’t done that before.

Tap the (+) sign at the bottom-right corner to create a new project. You can either select photos from your device or take a quick shot through the device’s camera, and then tap the open file to add it as your background.

You can resize, rotate, and move the imported file using gestures. Considering the canvas as your mainframe, pinch inward or outward to resize, as well as rotate using two fingers simultaneously. Double-tap the image to reset to its original format.

You can also use the crop option from the menu to resize and rotate your file manually.

In Figure 1: 1a, launching the Mix. 1b, Importing File. 1c, Selected a Background Image.

Figure 1

Step 3: Combine Photos Using Multiple Imports

To add another image to your composite, tap the (+) thumbnail and navigate through the Device/Camera. Choose your desired photo and then tap to open the file.

To isolate the subject of the new photo (a tree for this tutorial) from the background, tap Cut Out and use your finger or stylus to scrub section of the image you want to keep. To make the reverse selection, tap Add to Subtract mode and scrub areas you wish to remove.

The edges of the cutout are refined automatically, but you can experiment with other Cut Out options to make further edits – Auto, Feather, and Edges, for instance. To undo and redo an operation, tap the curved arrow in the upper menu.
Tap the checkmark when finished.

Tips: All your changes are non-destructive. You can go back to Cut Out at any time to add or remove areas of the imported file until you are satisfied with the desired outcome.

Figure 2: 2a, imported a second file. 2b, cutout the subject/tree. 2c, positioned the tree on the background.

Figure 2

Step 4: Blend Images Together

Tap the (+) thumbnail to add a third layer/image. Use pinch gestures to scale and rotate the photo.

Tap the birds’ layer thumbnail to be selected and then tap Blend from the menu bar. Move the slider from right to left and vice versa to play with the opacity of the image until you achieve your desired effect.

For this sample, I set the blend mode for the pelicans’ photo to Multiply, which matches the background of the image blending with the rest of the composite. This pops the birds out and makes it much visible. You may experiment with different blend modes to come up with a suitable effect.

When done with changes, tap on the checkmark.

In Figure 3: 3a, birds image imported. 3b applied Multiply blend to pop the bird out on the sky.

Figure 3

Step 5: Combine More Subjects into the Photo

NOTE: The app had improved its feature recently, making it possible to add a maximum of four layers on any Android devices for refining – which before was available only on iPhone and iPad devices.

Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4, adding more subjects into your main background/image. Each time you add a photo to the Photoshop Mix, it creates a layer, which you can easily edit by taping on a single layer.

To delete the unwanted layer, tap the layer’s thumbnail, and select Clear from the popping slider.

Tip: If you are not sure whether to keep a layer, get back to blend and reduce the opacity to zero. You can always increase the opacity if you happen to change your mind later.

Figure 4: 4a, shows all the 3 layers/images. 4b, deletes a layer.

Figure 4

Step 6: Send your Composite to Lightroom

Note: Adobe Photoshop Mix offers advanced imaging in a simple-to-use mobile app that lets you easily share your work. Seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud means you can work with other desktop apps like Photoshop and Lightroom. For this tutorial, I will still go for the Android device app like Lightroom.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has powerful tools to further enhance your Photoshop Mix composite – mainly on white balance, color grading, sharping the image.

Make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, tap share at the upper-right corner, and tap Save to Lightroom.

When you launch Lightroom, your composite will open in Lightroom as a complete layered file. You can then explore the app by going through the menu – from cropping and resizing your image to sharpening image, setting the right exposure, adjusting contrast and highlight values, using available presets, and many more. It is all on your fingertips.

Once you meet your desired effects and adjustment, you can then save your file on your device to set it free on your favorite social media platform, such as Instagram. Simply tap the share icon on the top-right corner and tap on Ok to save it on your device, where before saving, you can select either of the two qualities: the Limit to 2048px up to the Highest Available Quality.

In Figure 5: 5a, sending the composite file to Lightroom. 5b, launched Lightroom and importing the composite saved from Photoshop Mix. 5c, setting exposure, contrast and highlight values.

Figure 5

Figure 6: Final Work!


If you followed these steps and ended up with a magnificent masterpiece, don’t hesitate to share what you have accomplished in the comments down below!

Read next: Adobe’s Free Photoshop Camera App to Launch in 2020

More – Adobe Premiere Rush Launches for Android Phones

6 Replies to “Adobe Photoshop Mix: An In-depth Guide for Beginners”

  1. Nicholas says:

    For some reason there doesn’t appear a button for me to add other layers one my first picture?

    1. Amira Leyva says:

      I am using cs6 and i also face the same problem, but before I use cc.

  2. Alicia Valdez) says:

    I have an image of a tumb stone that is in a foreign language I took it but my translator can not detect it because it is stone that is carved so the letters you cant really see you can see them but they blend with these of the rest of the stone how would you edit so you can make out the words

    1. Mike says:

      Hi Alicia, if you boost the contrast a lot and/or use the Curves tool, you may be able to bring out the details of the letters more. Hope this helps.

  3. Claudia Crasnich says:

    Really would like if someone can do a PDF to email to me or written notes on how to use photoshop mix – I am a visual person and not technical – notes explaining each step to do as for beginner – or are there any books I could purchase

  4. Jenny Ekberg says:

    I can’t cut out & remove objects. Object remains; background disappears

Leave a Reply