Photoshop tutorial: How to make a mockup in Photoshop

Learn how to realistically map your artwork or design onto an object – like a laptop or business card – to create a perfect mockup image.


Working on a new design project or graphic and want to give your client a feel of how it might look in situ? Digital mock ups are a great way to show off your creative project without the need to spend money on test products, and they’re pretty easy to create too.

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Photographer and retoucher Tigz Rice shows us how in this quick and simple tutorial.

STEP 2

You will also need copies of your designs you want to map onto your object. Here, I’ve got a copy of the text I want to go onto a business card, as well as a mock up of my website home page. Make sure your artwork is roughly the same aspect ratio as the object you are trying to super impose on, as this will make your artwork much easier to work with.

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STEP 3

Let's start with the laptop screen mock up. Open up the laptop background image in Photoshop and go to File > Place Linked Navigate to your chosen design file and press OK to confirm your choice. This will open the file as a new layer within your document.

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STEP 4

You will notice that Photoshop converts your artwork to a smart object. This will allow you to work non-destructively with your layer so that Photoshop keeps all of the pixel information if you need to make any changes later.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials


STEP 5

With your design layer active, press Cmd/Ctrl + T to bring up the transform tools around your image. Choose any one of the corners of your artwork and line it up with the corresponding corner of the area you want to map.

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STEP 6

Now, right-click on your design layer and choose Distort from the menu. This will allow you to manipulate all four corners of your layer independently.

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STEP 7

Click on any one of the corners of your design and drag it into alignment with the corresponding corner of the laptop screen in the background image. You will want to get this as accurate as possible, so take a little time to get this right

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STEP 8

Repeat with all remaining corners of your design until the image is in place. Once you’re done, press Enter to confirm the transformation.

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STEP 9

If your design is a work in progress, the benefit of linking to the original design file as we did in Step 3 is that any future changes to the file can be reflected in your mock up.

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If at any point you want to reformat or change part of your design, simply amend the original artwork file and save it under the original filename. Photoshop will then automatically update the artwork in your mock up for you.


STEP 10

If for any reason your linked file can’t be found, you can go to Layer > Smart Objects > Relink to File and navigate to the original file.

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STEP 11

Alternatively, you can link in a completely new file by going to Layer > Smart Objects > Replace Contents and navigate to a new file.

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STEP 12

Let’s look at a slightly different example of a mock up, using a business card where we want to draw through the texture of the original surface. Bringing through an element of texture will add a sense of realness to the final image.

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STEP 13

Once again, repeat Steps 3-7 with your new artwork. You’ll notice that this time I’m using a background-less PNG file for my mapped design, so there is no white areas in my image. This will be useful later when bringing the texture back through from the white card stock.

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STEP 14

With the logo layer selected, go to the Layer Blending Modes dropdown panel and choose Multiply to allow the texture of the card to show through the design.

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STEP 15

Tip: Depending on your choice of design and background image, you may find another blending mode works better.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials