Replacing Faces in Photoshop

Many photographers and designers often have a similar problem. It turns out two photos of the model: on one ideal posture, on the other – the perfect expression. How to combine them into one stunning picture?

This lesson from burlesque photographer Tigz Rice will show you how to seamlessly merge the best parts of two photos from one photo shoot into one photo with Photoshop. We use several adjustment masks for non-destructive editing. Although this lesson focuses on the head of the model, the same techniques can be applied to any part of the body.

Photos for the lesson are taken from a recent photo shoot of the burlesque model Felicity Furore.

Step 1

Select the two images you want to work with, and open both in Photoshop.

Step 2

With active tool Move (Move Tool) click and drag one of the photos onto the document with another image, creating an additional layer. Hold down Shift during this process so that both images are aligned.

Translator’s Note: For this step, you need to organize two documents in one window. To do this, go to the menu Window> Arrange> Arrange All Vertically (Window> Arrange> Tile).

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Step 3

Now you need to unlock Background layer (Background layer). Click on the lock icon in the layers panel to remove the lock.

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Step 4

Select both layers and go to the menu. Editing> Automatic layer alignment (Edit> Auto Align Layers), allowing Photoshop to align the images for you, including rotation and scaling. I usually choose a mode Auto (Auto mode). It works great for most situations.

Step 5

Now that the layers are aligned, rename them to ‘HEAD’ (HEAD) and ‘BODY’ (BODY), respectively. Arrange the layers so that the ‘HEAD’ layer is under the ‘BODY’ layer.

Step 6

Select the ‘BODY’ layer and click on the button. Add mask (Add New Layer Mask) to create a positive (white) mask over the whole group. Your layers panel should look something like the screenshot below.

Step 7

For a new layer mask, activate a soft round brush (English B) with 100%Opacity (Opacity), select black.

Step 8

Paint over part of the mask by opening the area with the head from the ‘HEAD’ layer. Due to the fact that the photographs are aligned, most of the image must blend unnoticed, with the exception of the neck and, in this case, partly the position of the hands.

Step 9

Let’s start to clear the area around the head. Still using black, switch to a smaller, soft brush and make sure that all the details, including the model’s necklace, the hair and the neckline of her dress look perfect. Also check for “seams” in the image itself.

Step 10

Then select a white color and use it to paint over areas that you do not want to mask. For example, a glove that looks out from under the bottom layer.

Step 11

When you are satisfied with the result, merge both layers by selecting them on the layers panel and clicking Ctrl + E. With this you Combine the selected (Merge Selected).

Step 12

Use the tool Frame (Crop Tool) to remove empty pixels along the edges of your image created during the alignment step.

Step 13

Finally, finish editing the image, as you usually do.

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