Pro Photoshop Face Swapping Technique For Precise Control


Master this professional Photoshop face swapping technique for precise control and flexibility!

From magazine covers to movie posters, Photoshop face swapping or head swapping is a quintessential skill! While numerous Photoshop face swapping techniques exist, this tutorial focuses on a manual technique that puts you in complete control for the most realistic results.

Whether you want to have fun or enhance your professional portfolio, this guide will empower you to effortlessly merge faces across different images, leaving your friends in awe of your Photoshop skills!

Photoshop Face Swapping Technique

In this tutorial, we will work with two images. We will refer to them as the Body image and the Face image.

Time needed: 7 minutes

In this Photoshop face-swapping tutorial for beginners, we will use a manual approach that offers incredible control and keeps your edits fully customizable.

  1. Select The Face

    Open both images in Photoshop. Then, use the Lasso Tool to select the face you want to swap. Select more than what you need.

  2. Copy and Paste The New Face onto the Body Image

    Copy the selected area by pressing Ctrl C (Windows) Command C (macOS), and paste it onto the body image, Ctrl V (Windows) Command V (macOS).

    Tip: Always name your layers. In this case, call it “Face.”

  3. Convert The Face Layer Into a Smart Object

    Right-click on the Face layer from the Layers Panel and choose Convert To Smart Object. A Smart Object will help prevent any detail degradation as you scale the layer down and back up.

  4. Aligning and Transform The Face Layer

    Set the Face layer’s Opacity to about 50% to see the Body image and help you align the layers.

    Then, press Ctrl T (Window) Command T (macOS) to transform and drag the Reference Point to any key feature, like the eyes or chin.

    Now, drag the corner handles while holding Alt (Windows) Option (macOS) to resize the Face layer to the Reference Point and match it to the face below. If necessary, right-click on the Face layer while in the Transformation Mode and choose Warp to get more control when matching the face to the body image.

    Note: If the Reference Point is not visible, enable it from the options bar by clicking on the check box.

  5. Selectively Reveal The New Face Over The Body Image

    Create an Inverted Layer Mask on the Face layer by holding Alt (Windows) Option (macOS) as you click on the Layer Mask icon. This will make everything disappear.

    Now select the Brush Tool and paint with white on the Layer Mask to reveal the face over the body. Include the hairline and other important facial features. If things don’t line up quite right, no worries! We will fix them in step #8.

  6. Match The Brightness of The Face and Body Layers

    For this effect to look convincing, we need to match the brightness and color of the Face and Body layers.

    To start, create a Curves Adjustment Layer from the New Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers Panel. Then, press Ctrl Alt G (Windows) Command Option G (macOS) to create a Clipping Mask to contain the adjustment to the Face layer.

    Now, drag from the middle of the curve to match the brightness between the new face and the body. Consider the Curves Adjustment Layer as a dimmer light switch – drag up to add light (make it brighter), or drag down to subtract light (make it darker).

    Pro Tip: If you cannot see the difference in brightness, create a Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer and desaturate the image temporarily. The absence of color will make the brightness easier to see. When you’re done, disable the Hue/Sat adjustment.

  7. Match The Saturation of The Face and Body Layers

    Create another Curves Adjustment Layer for color correction. Also, clip it to the layer below by pressing Ctrl Alt G (Windows) Command Option G (macOS).

    Then, use the channel dropdown to select the red, green, or blue channels to fine-tune colors. Dragging up adds more of the color of the channel selected, while dragging down subtracts the color selected and gives you its opposite color.

    For example, if there’s too much green on your image, drag the curve down from the center on the Green Channel to add magenta. Identify any color tints and adjust accordingly in each channel. Experiment until the colors blend seamlessly with the rest of the image.

    Tip: These are the color channels and their opposite colors:
    Red-Cyan
    Green-Magenta
    Blue-Yellow

  8. Using Generative Fill for Blending

    After matching the brightness and color, work on the areas that did not blend well when revealing them in step #5.

    To do so, create a new layer and select areas that need blending using the Lasso tool.
    Then, apply a Generative Fill (Edit > Generative Fill) without a prompt to blend selected areas.

    Gen Fill will use artificial intelligence to generate a blend between those layers. Choose the most suitable result from the Properties Panel from the three generated variations. Or click on Generate again to get three more variations.

  9. Final Touches

    Fine-tune any remaining discrepancies. Also, consider compositing the original ears into the face swap image. It can create a more convincing result.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can achieve professional-grade face swapping results in Photoshop. Experiment with different techniques and adjustments to refine your skills further.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to explore and innovate. Happy photoshopping!

Final Image

Drag The Slider To See Before & After

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