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what i do is...select the island...invert...create a new layer and with it still selected change to the new layer and fill the selection..so you can have a new layer coloured over the uvmap ....if you want to select something in an image and create a new layer with the part copied is easy too...select...copy and with it still selected paste...it will paste in a new layer in the same point...then deselect and use the new identical layer there...i jope explained well and helps!
I'm the least PS person on the planet, but if I 2 images open and wanted the 2nd image to lay perfectly over the 1st without moving, I used to use Shift + something (don't remember the something) does that ring a bell with anyone?
I love PS and I'm still coming to terms with Painter...what I normally do before I start texturing is I create a layer with a transparent background and each piece of the uv in mid grey. I normally do this by using the magic wand to select the background of the uv, invert the selection and expand by 2-5 pixels depending on the map, create a new layer and fill with mid grey. Any writing on the background I just select and delete.
It's easy then to just use the magic wand to select which part you want and I use the mid grey background as the beginning of my bump/displacement maps as for DS that's 0, any darker will create a negative unless you have the minus set to zero.