How to face swap in Photoshop CS5

Written by laurel storm Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to face swap in Photoshop CS5
Justin Bieber's face can easily be swapped for the likes of Adele, by a few clicks in Photoshop. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Face swapping gives you the chance to see what you, or somebody else, would look with an entirely different body. Swap Justin Bieber's face for Adele's, make your dad look like your mum or give your best friend the body of the most muscular bodybuilder you can find -- it's up to you. As long as the people whose faces you want to swap are facing in roughly the same direction, you can swap anybody's face with anybody else's. The process will, however, be more complicated if the people's skin tones or the lighting conditions in which the photos were taken are drastically different.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading


  1. 1

    Launch Photoshop and open both photos you are using. Using the tabs at the top of the workspace, select the photo you are using as a source for the body.

  2. 2

    Click "File," select "Save As" and save the image as a Photoshop file. This ensures you won't accidentally save over the original image.

  3. 3

    Click "Layer," hover over "New" and select "Layer From Background." This turns your base image into a single layer you can, if necessary, move and transform.

  4. 4

    Select the photo you are using as a source for the face. Click the "Elliptical Marquee" tool in the Tools bar. Using this tool, select the entire head from the photo. Press "Ctrl-C" to copy it to your clipboard.

  5. 5

    Switch back to the photo you are using as a source for the body and press "Ctrl-V" to paste the head into the photo as a new layer.

  6. 6

    Determine whether the body or the head are larger. If the body is larger, select the layer containing the body in the Layers palette. If the head is larger, select the layer containing the head in the Layers palette.

  7. 7

    Click "Layer," hover over "Smart Objects" and select "Convert to Smart Object." This turns the layer into a smart object that does not lose any data if resized to smaller dimensions. This, in turn, means if you accidentally make the layer too small and only notice after you're almost done with the entire process, you can make it larger without having to start the process from scratch.

  8. 8

    Press "Ctrl-T" to enter Transform mode. Holding down "Shift" to constrain proportions and ensure the image doesn't get deformed, resize the layer until the size of the head matches the size of the body. Press "Enter" when you are finished.

  9. 9

    Select the layer that contains the head, if it isn't already. Hold down "Ctrl" to temporarily activate the "Move" tool and drag the head so it is roughly in the correct position.

  10. 10

    Enter "50" in the "Opacity" field in the Layers palette to make the head layer semi-transparent. Hold down "Ctrl" again and position the head in such a way that the eyes, nose and mouth overlap those of the original body. If necessary, press "Ctrl-T" to enter Transform mode, rotate the head so it overlaps exactly and press "Enter" to confirm.

  11. 11

    Enter "100" in the "Opacity" field to make the head layer fully opaque. Click "Layer," hover over "Layer Mask" and select "From Transparency."

  12. 12

    Ensure your foreground colour is black and your background colour is white. Click the layer mask in the Layers palette to select it. Painting with black will hide portions of the layer, while painting with white will reveal them.

  13. 13

    Paint over the layer mask to seamlessly merge the face with the body. You can swap the foreground and background colours by pressing "X," increase the size of the brush by pressing "]" and decrease it by pressing "[." If necessary, adjust the brush's opacity in the Options bar to blend the face in better.

  14. 14

    Click "Layer," hover over "New Adjustment Layer" and select "Curves." Click the "Merge Down" button in the layer's properties to make it affect only the layer directly beneath it, which is the head layer. Adjust the curves so the skin tone of the face more closely matches that of the body.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.