Digital photography and an array of editing programs have enabled photographers and designers to complete tasks that would have been difficult in the days of film. Superimposing a face onto a picture is a good example of a task that is easier to complete in digital photography then in film photography. When done correctly it will appear as if the face actually belongs in the new picture.
Open up the photo editing program you are planning on using for this task. A simple photo organizer will not have the tools needed for this type of edit. You will need to use a program like Corel PaintShop, Adobe Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.net. GIMP and Paint are free editions of Adobe Photoshop. They have similar tools and the steps to complete the edit are the same.
Click “File” in the navigation bar of the program you are using and click “Open” from the drop down menu that appears. Navigate with your cursor to the folder containing the images you are taking the face from and the picture you are adding the face to.
Select the “Lasso” tool in the menu bar that is traditionally located on the left of the screen. These bars can be moved and stored in different locations; however, when you open the program for the first time, it will be on the left side. The “Lasso” tool has an icon that appears to be a rope in the shape of a lasso.
Click “Window” in the navigation bar and select “100%” or “actual pixels” to view the image at full size. This will make the selection process easier. Use your cursor and select the face that you want to superimpose by drawing the lasso tool around the face. When the lasso is completed, right click your mouse and select “Layer via copy”; this is similar to the “Copy” command in word processors. The right click menu is the same for both PC and MAC based programs.
Select the picture you want to add the face to. Click “Layer” and “New Layer” from the menu. Position the cursor in the new picture, left click the cursor and the face will be added to the picture. Click and hold the face to reposition it within the picture. You can adjust the size by moving the corner boxes toward the middle of the picture to shrink the size of the face or outward to increase the size until it matches the proportions of the image.
Click “Layer” and select “Flatten Image.” Click “File” and select “Save as” to give your edited picture a new name and save it to your computer’s hard drive.
Things You'll Need
- Adobe Photoshop
- Corel PaintShop
- GIMP or Paint.net photo editing programs
Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.