Lets set up the scene. You have a 55 member family shoot. You loose count the ratio of kids to adults but all you know is that the kids out number the adults by a long margin. The ONLY time the family can all be together is 2 pm in the afternoon which adds to the stress by shooting in crappy light. You try to not let the fact this is the 1st time ever all the kids, parents and grandkids have ever been together.
You have an action plan and you go down you shot list like the pro you are. In spite of the less then ideal light, the day is a success and the grandmother who is ultimately responsible for her posterity is crying tears of joy seeing her family together, playing and creating memories. These memories will soon be hanging on the walls of her house. Those memories that will make her beam with joy. Those memories you are creating with your camera.
As you start proofing those images you soon realize kids are being kids and in order to make sure you have print worthy images, its time for a few head swaps.There are of course several different ways you could possibly do a head swap but Im going to show you how to do one way in just 2 minutes.
1. Choose the image with the face that is actually looking towards the camera. Don’t worry if the rest of the photo isn’t perfect, just isolate your target subject.
2. Using the Lasso tool (shortcut key L), draw loosely around the area you want to use.
3. Copy that section to your clipboard (Edit > Copy).
4. Open the image that needs the replaced head and paste the head from the first image
5. Use Free Transform command as needed (press CMD+T/CTRL+T). Then hold the Shift key as you drag a corner to resize. Holding the shift key while you resize will keep the head proportioned as needed to make the next steps as easy as possible.
6. Create a Mask. This will help blend the edges. This is done by clicking the mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
8. Have a glass of wine because it took you longer to uncork the wine than to swap heads. Now finish your edit and get it color ready for print. Remember you can use a soft brush or even variable opacity to refine the blending of the two layers.
Before head swap
After head swap
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