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How to Insert a Photo Into a Product Mock-Up in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this Quick Tip, I'll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop to add your own custom imagery to a product mock-up purchased from Envato Market. 

Envato Market is an excellent resource for stock photos, graphic templates, and product mock-ups. These resources are a great way to produce high-quality marketing shots in a very short amount of time. 

Alternatively, if you don't have the right software or are not confident using it, consider using Placeit, an online product mockup generator.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel, video created by Andrei Stefan.

1. How to Select a Product

One of the advantages of using a purchased template is that the creators usually provide a very clean, organized file that makes it easy to insert your own imagery. So for example, if you are promoting a new app that uses the device's camera and GPS to provide street view directions, what better way to market the app than by showing it being used on a device?

Step 1

There are lots of product mock-ups available on the marketplace. The one I chose to use includes a hand holding the device.

mock-up image preview

Step 2

Download the zipped folder and extract the separate files from the package. Open the file named Hand1_Transparent.psd in Photoshop. Notice that the file has multiple layers and this easily accommodates the process of updating the file to include your own custom imagery.

example of available mock-up layers

2. How to Replace the Background

Step 1

In our hypothetical ad, the app should show what the device's camera is seeing. The background image is within the Smart Object layer labeled EDIT BACKGROUND. Double-click on the thumbnail to open the contents in its own document.

example of entering a smart object layer

The file opens—it's called Layer1.psb. Notice that it only has a single layer, the current background image.

example of entering the background layer

Step 2

Go to File > Place Linked and select a new photo as the background for the ad. I've chosen a street view from my own photos.

example of changing the default background

Step 3

Go to File > Save and then close the file. The contents of the background in the initial file update to reflect the new background. Notice that the file automatically adds a blur and colorization effect to the new background too.

example of changed background

3. How to Replace the App Interface

Step 1

The interface is updated with the same method. Double click on the EDIT OBJECT layer thumbnail to open that Smart Object.

example of using the edit object layer

Step 2

That file, called Camera.psb, includes two layers. There's a hidden layer for a white version of the device, and the currently visible black version. Both of these are also Smart Objects. So they are smart objects within smart objects—that's like Smart-Object-ception!  Double click the thumbnail for the darker-colored device to dig another level deeper and open that file.

example of expanding the smart object

Step 3

That file, called Camera1.psb, contains the different layers used to illustrate the device and another Smart Object named REPLACE CONTENTS for the screen. Double-click on that thumbnail to open that file.

example of using the replace contents layer

Step 4

This new file, called Screen11.psb, contains the actual screen image. Insert the new app interface image with File > Place Linked.

example of changing the app interface image

Step 5

Save and close each of the open smart object files. There should be three of them: Screen11.psb, Camera1.psb, and Camera.psb. The original file is now updated with the new interface seamlessly incorporated into the shot.

example of adjusted mock-up

That's It!

It really is that simple! Just updating the smart objects within the template easily creates a customized marketing shot. Keep in mind that the file is still editable, so you can swap out the contents of the smart objects at any time to update the image with new backgrounds and new app interfaces.

finished mock-up preview

Placeit: The Toolless Alternative

Placeit is a simple and easy-to-use online mockup generator with over 11,000 Smart Templates to pick from. No Photoshop skills needed because everything you need to do is on the online tool. It doesn't get any quicker than this.

Phone Mockup on Placeit

Man Playing Games in an iPhone X While Taking a Coffee
Mockup of a Black Man Holding a White iPhone with Both Hands
Expand Your Creative Skills!

Just finished going through this quick tutorial, and feel like learning more of what it takes to become a visual creative? Well, if that's the case, then you're in luck since I've put together a little list which should get you up and going in no time!

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