Monday, November 2, 2009

Replacing Faces

Below is another group shot, also taken outdoors, also with the group in the shade.  (See previous blog post for why I say "Another".)  This time because the group was larger I used two wireless flashes; one on either side of the camera.  The same formula was used: Aperture priority at f/8 and let the flashes do their thing on auto.  But look at the two kids in the lower-left-hand-corner!!  They're looking at someone else (probably a relative holding a point-and-shoot).  

In the olden days photographers would take many shots of a group in hopes of getting just one shot where everyone looked good.  Now they still take several shots, but this time hoping to catch one shot of each person looking good.  Once you have that you can take the best of each face and merge everything in Photoshop.  BUT, this is not just a matter of copying and pasting heads from one photo to another -- that is far too arduous a task.  It turns out all you really need to copy are the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Below is another picture with the two children in question looking better:

Photoshop has a "quick mask" tool where you can paint the parts you want to select.  (Other photo editing programs offer similar features... regretfully this newsletter can't possibly be a tutorial on Photoshop.)  In use, you select the Quick Mask tool (red circle in the screen grab below) and "paint" just the parts of the image you want to lift from the image:

Then do a SELECT --> INVERSE and copy what you have onto the other image.  Below is a glimpse of the face essentials you're copying over:

Paste the new face onto the old one.  If the head hasn't moved much, this will become a very easy face transplant.  I did this with the two girls and the results are below:

Ain't Photoshop wonderful?

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