In this Copycat Wednesday tutorial, you’re going to learn how to create Joyner Lucas’ ADHD album cover with the hands over face double exposure effect in Photoshop.
To start off, you can download the files used here in the tutorial:292 – Hands Over Face Double Exposure Effect In Photoshop (930 downloads)
Open two images on the Layers panel:
- Portrait 1 – normal portrait
- Portrait 2 – portrait with the hands over the face
Table of contents
- Tutorial Files
- Crop the Image
- Create a Vector Mask Over the Hands
- Group the Layers
- Create a Vector Mask Over the Face
- Reposition and Rotate the Hands Over the Face
- Feather the Mask to Create Softer Edges
- Create the “Blend” and “Normal” Layers
- Use Darken (Blending Mode) to Apply the Double Exposure Effect
- Make the Image into Black and White
- Use the Levels Adjustment Layer to adjust the blend
- Selectively Reveal the Pixels in the “Normal” Layer
- Paint shadows around the fingers
- Control the contrast of the face layer with the Levels Adjustment
- Fine-Tune the double exposure effect with the Camera Raw filter
Crop the Image
Start the process of creating the hands over face double exposure effect in Photoshop by cropping the image to a square constraint, similar to typical album covers.
Make sure that you are working non-destructively by unchecking the Delete Crop Pixels box in the Options bar.
Then, center both faces to the center of the canvas, and place the layers into a group. You can name the group “Hands” for a more accessible organization.
Create a Vector Mask Over the Hands
Select the Portrait 2, and create a vector mask around the hands.
To do so, select the Curvature Pen tool , and from the Options bar select Path from the dropdown menu.
The click around the hand to create a path around them.
PRO TIP: Press the spacebar if you need to pan around the image as you create the path without switching between tools.
You can quickly refine your path by double-clicking on the points to create a corner and click-and-drag to adjust their curvature or their alignment along the hand’s outline.
This step will result to a completely adjustable mask for the hands over face double exposure effect in Photoshop.
Group the Layers
Create a New Group, place it inside the Hands group, and rename it to “Hands Mask,” and drag the Portrait 2 layer into that group.
With the Hands Mask group selected, deselect the path by pressing Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) as you click on the New Layer Mask icon to create a Vector Mask.
It’s better to create a Vector Mask in the group than in the layer itself so that one mask can control multiple layers.
Create a Vector Mask Over the Face
Focus on the Portrait 1 layer and create another Vector Mask by selecting the Curvature Pen tool to create a selection around the face.
Create a New Group on above the Hands Mask group and rename it as “Face Container.”
Like the previous step, make sure the Face Container is selected, press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) as you click on the New Layer Mask icon to create a Vector Mask.
If you enable the Hands Mask layer and place it in the same group, you may notice how it will not go beyond the Vector Mask of the face.
Reposition and Rotate the Hands Over the Face
Center the Hands Mask layer on the face, and you can reduce the layer Opacity to see how the face looks underneath it.
For a more balanced line between the hands, transform the Hands Mask layer by pressing Ctrl T (Windows) or Command T (macOS), and drag the Reference Point on the base of the palms.
You can zoom out of the image to get a hold of the transformation handles and rotate it until the line between the two hands aligns with the Reference Point.
Feather the Mask to Create Softer Edges
If the edges of the fingers are too sharp, refine them by clicking on the Hands Mask thumbnail.
Go to the Properties panel to adjust the Feather slider to soften the edges.
You can also apply the feathering of the edges to the Face Container if the edges also look too sharp.
Create the “Blend” and “Normal” Layers
Open the Hands Mask group and rename the Portrait 2 layer to “Normal.”
Duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (macOS) and rename the Normal copy to “Blend.”
Use Darken (Blending Mode) to Apply the Double Exposure Effect
Disable the Normal layer and select the Blend layer.
Then, set its Blending Mode to Darken as this allows you to see the current and the layers below it while showing you the darkest pixels.
Make the Image into Black and White
To help you achieve the black & white album cover, select the Hands group and click on the New Adjustment Layer icon > Black & White.
Use the Levels Adjustment Layer to adjust the blend
Since the outline of the hands is faint, use the Levels to emphasize them. Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon > Levels.
Then, clip it to the Blend layer by clicking on the Clipping Mask icon.
Adjust the center point to alter the contrast until you see more definition of the fingers.
Feel free to adjust the Highlights and the Shadows to see what gives you the best results on the image.
Selectively Reveal the Pixels in the “Normal” Layer
Enable the Normal layer and while selecting it, hold Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) as you click on the New Layer Mask icon to create a black layer mask–hiding everything in the layer.
Select the Brush tool and set the Foreground color to white(#ffffff). Use this to selectively reveal pixels from the Normal layer while letting the portrait’s eyes show through.
Make sure that you set the Opacity of the color white to 100%, so there aren’t any problems when you paint in the shadows later.
Paint shadows around the fingers
Create a layer below the Hands Mask layer by selecting it and pressing Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) as you click on the New Layer icon.
Rename the new layer to “Shadow.”
Select the Brush tool and set the Foreground color to black(#000000).
Then, paint in the hands’ shadow cast on the forehead.
You may reduce the Opacity of the layer to adjust the intensity to what fits the image.
You can also create one more layer, rename it as “Contact Shadow,” and paint it in a stronger shadow cast right where the fingertips touch the forehead.
Control the contrast of the face layer with the Levels Adjustment
If you’re losing the contrast of the eyes, select Portrait 1, and create a Levels adjustment layer.
Click on the Clipping Mask icon so that the adjustments will only affect the Portrait 1 layer.
Adjust the points to add more contrast to the eyes as it is the focal point.
Then, select the Layer Mask and press Ctrl I (Windows) or Command I (macOS) to invert it and turn it into a black layer mask instead.
You can also do the same step by going to the Properties panel and clicking on the Invert button.
Select the Brush tool and set the Foreground color to white(#ffffff). Start painting on the eyes or the mouth to reveal the changes you made on the Levels adjustment layer.
If the effect is too intense for you, you can always adjust the layer’s Opacity rate.
Fine-Tune the double exposure effect with the Camera Raw filter
Another method of adding the black and white effect is through the Camera Raw Filter. Start by disabling the Black & White layer.
Select the Hands group, and hold Shift as you click on the Portrait 1 layer to select all the layers in between.
Then, right-click and select Convert to Smart Object. Through this, you can edit non-destructively even with multiple adjustments, distortions, and filters applied.
With the Smart Object selected, choose Filter > Camera Raw Filter.
On the Basic tab, set the treatment to Black & White so you can achieve the same result as before.
And that’s how you create the hands over face double exposure effect in Photoshop. Feel free to apply adjustments to enhance the overall effect of your image!
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