I was thinking, is there a way to shoot directly to Photoshop? What I have in mind is like a smart object on a layer that loads the latest picture shot in the studio. The scenario is this: I've shot pictures in a jungle of a tree, and would like to shoot a model in the studio, to place here in location afterwards. I would like to take pictures on a white background and then Photoshop her into the other picture. To better match the lighting, it would be great if I could load them live into a separate Photoshop layer and to mask the white background away. This would give me a rough preview and allow me to better adjust the light.

Can this be done with Photoshop, or do I need an external app or a Photoshop script for this?

  • Chroma-key is the name of the function you're looking for, it's commonly used in video production and you'll have no problem finding plenty of solutions at varying price-points. Once you have the lighting right then you can shoot and adjust at high quality in photoshop. Oct 11, 2016 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


A workarround. If you are using windows, there is a cuple of mini programs that turn any aplication transparent.


(I will post later another I had some time ago)

So you probably can setup your base image, for example as a wallpaper or inside a viewer and on the top on transparent mode your camera capture software.

You probably need a more contrasted version of the tree to view it better.

It is quite fun and confusing actually Xo)

enter image description here One thing I would do is take a screencapture of my capturing software and use it as a template for my background wallpaper. This way it will both fit into place.

  • thanks for your very creative answer. while it is a solution its not really what i had in mind. i would need both layers at 100% opacity. maybe i have to create my own script for Photoshop? I'll mark yours as answer if there are not other answers within a few days. thanks for your efforts Sep 28, 2016 at 6:24
  • You might want to look at software designed for stop motion photography. This wouldn't involve masking (I don't think?), but you does allow you to do onion skinning with a tethered camera (like the above answer, but more automatic) or the ability to flick between two images. Feb 20 at 23:05

Photoshop does not have a way to look at a live feed. It uses existing images. It does have color matching for the 2 images. Keeping the 2 layers, you can then use ACR in effects and change the color temp to get a proper match. What you are doing is what video uses a green screen for. You might do a search on green screens and processing and find something on the internet to do what you want. Black Magic has something to do this for their video cameras. I forget whose program they use and it is probably beyond your budget. The green screen is used instead of white because it is neutral grey (when using a light meter or the one in your camera) so you use it to control your exposure.

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