Photographic manipulation has many uses. Some uses are considered unethical -- for example, creating a negative impression of someone by manipulating a photograph to make him look as if he is doing something illegal or immoral. Many people use photo manipulation to include a missing relative or exclude a disliked one in a family portrait. Other uses are just fun, such as putting your head on a frontier costume or putting your head on a very attractive body.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Photo editing software
- Scanner (optional)
Import both digital photos into your computer or scan the paper photographs and import the files into your computer. Open both photos in photo editing software that supports layers and layer masks. Click on "Image" then "Image size" and set the resolution of both to 300 dots-per-inch. Click on "View" and use the "zoom in" and "zoom out" tools to set the view on both to 50 per cent.
Click on the lasso selection tool and carefully select your head. Click on "Edit" and "Copy" to copy the selection. Click on the body photo to activate it and click on "Edit" then "Paste" to place your head into the body photo.
Left-click on your head and, holding the mouse down, drag it into position over the head on the body photo. Adjust with the arrow keys until you are satisfied. Click on "Edit" and "Transform." Select "Scale" and adjust the size of the head to fit if necessary.
Click on "Layers" and select "Add layer mask" and "Reveal all." Click on "View" and "Actual pixels" to set the image view to 100 per cent. In the toolbar set the foreground colour to black and select the paintbrush tool. In the brush drop-down dialogue, at the top of the screen, set the hardness to 50 per cent.
Carefully paint around the edges of the head with a small brush to remove any unnecessary material and reveal the background underneath. If you make a mistake, you can change the foreground colour to white, paint over the error and try again.
Click on "Layers" and flatten the image when you are satisfied.
Tips and warnings
- The most common programs to do this are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements. The free program "Gimp" also provides the masking features that enable this technique.
- Always work on copies of your original files so that if you make an irrecoverable error, you will still have the originals.
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