Guided mode Photomerge edits

Guided mode Photomerge edits

The Guided mode provides you with guided edits – a wizard-like interface to accomplish certain predefined effects. Each guided edit has an associated image. As you move the mouse horizontally over the image, the portion to the left of the slider displays the image before the effect is applied. The portion to the right of the slider displays the image after the effect is applied.

Use Photomerge Group Shot to create the perfect group photo from multiple photos.

For best results, pick multiple images from the same photo session.

Do one of the following to select the group photos you want to use as source images for the Photomerge Group Shot :

  • In Elements Organizer, select the photos.
  • In Photoshop Elements, open the photos.

In the Guided room, choose Photomerge > Photomerge Group Shot .

Select the best group photo, and drag it from the Photo Bin to the Final window.

Click other photos in the Pho to Bin (color coded to help you keep track). Use the Pencil tool to mark areas that you want to merge into the final photo. To fine tune the final image, use the Pencil tool to add additional content, or the Eraser tool to remove content.

Click this option to show the Pencil strokes you marked in the source image.

Click this option to reveal the selected regions in the final image.

Expand or collapse this arrow for Advanced Options .

To correct the alignment of multiple photos, click the Alignment Tool , place three markers in the source image and three markers in the final image, then click Align Photos .

Note: Photomerge Group Shot uses auto alignment. Use the Alignment Tool only if the automatic alignment didn’t produce the expected result.

Click this option to blend pixels.

After you get the desired result, click Next to choose how you would like to proceed:

  • Save – Save / Save As: Preserve the newly created image in any of the available formats.
  • Continue editing – In Quick / In Expert: Choose where you would like to continue working on the image – in Quick mode or Expert mode.
  • Share – Flickr / Twitter: Choose to place your image online through one of the social or sharing services available in Photoshop Elements.

How to Photoshop a Face Onto Another Body in Photoshop

1. Prep Work

First, you need to choose the two images that you’re going to use. For this, you do need to take some things into consideration.

Size and resolution should be similar. If this isn’t the case, then the face you want to swap onto the body needs to be the one that’s bigger.

This is because there’s no loss in shrinking it down. However, if you stretch it out to make it bigger, you’ll end up with blurry and pixelated features in an otherwise sharp head.

Something else to consider, especially if you’re using this technique for the first time, is that the subjects should be facing the same way (i.e. have their faces on more or less the same angle).

The light needs to be similar too, so that the blend is more realistic. And lastly, start with faces where there aren’t many details to match. So avoid using portraits where the hair is flowing across the face or anything like that.

2. Open Your Images

Credit: Andrey Zvyagintsev (left photo) and Anastasia Vityukova (right photo)

You need to open both images in Photoshop. You can do this keeping them as tabs, which is the default view, or you can place them in separate windows if you prefer to see them side-by-side. The latter view is helpful as you can make sure the faces match for this kind of work.

To use this view you can go to the menu Window, Arrange, 2-up Vertical (or 2-up Horizontal, depending on what you need).

3. Select and Copy the Face

Go to the tab or window where you have the image of the face you want to swap onto a different head.

Here, you can select the face using the Lasso tool because you don’t need to be very precise.

Click and drag around the main features of the face to include everything from the eyebrows to the chin if you want to swap the entire face.

Of course, you can select only specific parts like the eyes or the nose if that’s what you’re after. For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to swap the faces in Photoshop entirely.

Once the face is selected you can copy it by going to the menu Edit, Copy, or using the keyboard shortcut Cmd + C.

If you’re working in separate windows you can just click and drag to the other window without the copy command.

4. Paste

Go to the tab or window where you have the recipient’s head. You can now close the other one as you won’t be needing it anymore.

Paste the face in this document using the shortcut Cmd + V or going to the menu Edit, Paste.

Now you have the original image in a locked background layer and a second layer on top with the new face.

5. Transform

Now you need to match, as closely as possible, the new face to the features of the original image.

Start by lowering the opacity of the face layer in the Layers panel. This way you’ll be able to see the original underneath as a guide for your adjustments.

Then, activate the Free Transform tool using the shortcut Cmd + T. Start by adjusting the size using the handles on the corners.

Position the reference spot where you find it’s best – for example, one of the eyes or the mouth. It all depends on your images.

Make sure you’re maintaining the aspect ratio on the face layer as you resize it. If you’re using the newer versions of Adobe Photoshop, this is activated by default.

If it’s not, you can just hold the Shift key while you move the handles. Alternatively, you can click on the chain icon in the options bar on top.

If the head is a little tilted, your next step is to rotate the face layer to match the angle.

Also, if the subjects were mirrored, you can right-click to open the Free Transform menu, then choose Flip Horizontal.

6. Duplicate the Original Image

Once you have everything set into place, you can accept the transformation and turn the opacity back to 100%.

Turn off the visibility of the face layer by clicking on the eye icon next to it and let’s prep the receiving layer with the head and body.

It’s never a good idea to touch the original image in case something goes wrong. So, create a copy where you’re going to be working.

You can do this by dragging the background layer into the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Alternatively, you can do this by right-clicking on the background layer and choosing Duplicate Layer from the menu. Then leave the settings as default in the dialog box and click OK.

You can turn off the visibility of the original background layer because you won’t need it anymore. It’s just going to stay there as a backup.

7. Delete the Original Face

Before you add a new face, you need to delete the original. To do this, click on the thumbnail of the face layer while holding the Cmd key.

It doesn’t matter that it’s invisible at the moment, it will select the content of the layer. In other words, it will create a selection around the features you copied and pasted from the second image.

Now, double-check you’re back in the background copy layer. As we’re going to blend layers in the next step, we’ll make the selection a little bit smaller to create some space for the transition.

Do this by using the menu Select, Modify, Contract. The number is not fixed, you can experiment with different values depending on the image.

Now press the backspace key to delete the content of the selection.

8. Blend the layers

Ok, it’s time to make the magic happen. Turn back on the visibility of the face layer.

Then, select both the face layer and the background copy layer by pressing Cmd and clicking on them.

Now, go to the menu Edit, Auto-Blend Layers. This will open a dialog box. Here, confirm that the option of Panorama is selected.

Then, check the boxes for Seamless Tones and Colors and Content-Aware Fill Transparent Area. Click OK.

That’s it, just wait for Photoshop to do its thing.

9. Fine-Tune the Details

Photoshop generally does a pretty good job of achieving seamless tones and colors between the face swap images, but you may still need to manually correct some small details.

Click on the Create Layer Mask button from the bottom of the Layers panel.

This will create a white layer mask in your merged layer. You won’t see any changes, but anything that gets painted black on it will be hidden.

So, you can use the brush tool with soft edges to paint over any areas that you don’t like. Use a low flow value to create transparencies instead of completely blocking these pixels.

With this, you can smooth out any imperfections from the blending. If this isn’t enough, you may need more transitional area when you blend layers.

Try repeating the process above, creating a bigger transition area in step 6. Simply input a higher number to contract the selection more.

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How Do You Swap Heads In Photoshop Elements?

Home » Editing » Masking Layers in Photoshop Elements

Since discovering Lightroom, I only use Photoshop Elements for minimal editing. I don’t need to use the full version of Photoshop and have taught myself a few tricks here and there to achieve what I want using PSE. Today, I will be covering masking layers. Using masking layers, you can blend two photos to achieve various outcomes. My favorite: head swapping! Currently, I own PSE 11, but there are newer versions out there. This should work with any of them. In fact, I’ve done it using PSE 7!

Mainly, I photograph families and young children. Photographing little ones alone is a piece of cake to me, however, when it comes to the family portrait… that’s a bit different. I will be using my latest session, which features a family of four. The last two family photographs I took were somewhat imperfect to me. The children were done, it was late and the sun was setting soon to disappear. It was dark and cloudy. I took out my flash and trying my best to not make it any more stressful for Mom and Dad, shot away without much direction given. I asked Dad to give Mom a kiss on the cheek and as he did, their 5 year old daughter gave me the cutest expression! In the following image, Dad actually kisses Mom and their 5 year old’s expression had changed and she was also a bit out of focus. All this happened within seconds apart, of course. Images are both straight out of camera.

Being the perfectionist that I am, I purposed in my mind to join them. I must add a disclaimer; I don’t do this often and certainly not with every family photo. I am a lifestyle photographer and prefer natural poses. That being said, I guide the family into the poses I envision.

First, we are going to open up both files in PSE. You should see them in the photo bin below. I usually click on the least favorite of the images at this point. Using the rectangular marque tool on the upper left corner (, I select part of the image I want and copy it (CTRL + C on a PC). I then click on my favorite image and paste my selection onto it (CTRL V on a PC).

I then create an adjustment layer (top right corner, below closing X). Select “Levels.” This box should pop up. Close it. We won’t be using it.

Now, click on Layer 1 and change the opacity to 50%. This will help us position it where it belongs.

Here it is right above where I want it. This is probably the most difficult part of the tutorial, but it gets easier with practice. Focus on positioning the head you want above the one you don’t. I didn’t worry too much about the surroundings, as they will be “masked off.”

Here’s what I got so far:

At this point, the opacity of layer 1 can now be increased to 100%. I select Layer 1 and create a “clipping mask” by clicking CTRL and the letter G on a PC. I select the levels layer below and with my paint brush selected on full opacity (100%), I paint with black the entire selection I pasted. You can do the entire image; it won’t affect it and does make it easier. Continue using the paint brush, but change the color to white. I paint over the head and shoulders of the image to “reveal” the image below. Sometimes, you have to include a little more of the body, depending on how much those little ones have moved. I believe that in this photo, I had to include the stuffed animal, whose name is Torah, by the way. Zoom in, decrease the size of your brush, and get as detailed as possible! Switch the color of your brush from white to black until you reach your desired outcome.

It is important to make sure your brush is set to 100% opacity at all times!

Make sure all layers are at 100% opacity. When complete, right click on the background layer and flatten your image. You are done!

There is probably better and easier ways of doing this out there, but this is what works for me and I have gotten quite fast at it. As usual, I advise you to do what works best for you and stick with it. This technique has been a life safer to me at times and I hope it helps you in some way.

Don’t need a head swap, but want to try sky overlays? Same technique! I did it below:

In summary:
1. Choose your favorite photo.
2. Click on least favorite and select area to copy.
3. Copy and paste area unto favorite photo and set to 50% opacity.
4. Reposition pasted image (layer 1) to fit image below.
5. Create clipping mask by selecting layer 1 and clicking CTRL and the letter G on a PC.
6. Increase opacity of layer 1 to 100% and paint over it with the color black.
7. Change brush color to white and paint over areas you want to “reveal” zooming in and out and changing the color of your brush from white to black until desired outcome is reached.
8. Flatten image and you’re done!

Doing a Head Swap, Step by Step

Image retouching is an essential skill for every photographer. One of the common things you’ll likely do is swap faces in Photoshop, which is an efficient method to fix photos when you can’t redo a shoot. In this way, you can make sure you combine two images while also creating the perfect composition.

It’s time to launch Photoshop and learn how to swap faces in Photoshop using these simple steps.

Open Image Files

The first thing you need to do is to open the two images for the two faces you want to swap in Photoshop. To make the face swap more realistic, try to choose pictures with similar angles and lighting conditions.

As much as possible, use images of a person to make the face swap with the face and hair clearly visible. There should be no hands in the hair or under the chin unless that’s what you need. Likewise, there shouldn’t be objects partially covering the face when you make the face swap.

Select the Face You Want in the Final Photo

Use the Lasso tool by pressing L on the keyboard or selecting it from the toolbar on the left-hand side of the Photoshop screen. This tool helps you to freehand a selection around the face.

With the Lasso tool, select the area you want to duplicate by creating a large circle around it. For this example, select the whole head, including the hair, eyebrows, nose, and lips.

It would be best to select only the most highlighted portions of the face and be sure to leave plenty of space for blending later. After tracing, the tool will show a flashing dotted line around the face.

Copy Image

Once you are happy with the tracing, press Ctrl + C or Command C to copy the selection . Make sure the dotted line is still flashing.

Paste the Photo

Go to the image you plan to use for your final image, and paste the selection onto the photo (Command V or Ctrl V). You should see this as a new layer in the Layers panel. To be more organized, name this layer ‘Face’.

Go to your working document, the one with the photo with the boy’s body in this example. Use the Move tool (V) to place new face where it needs to go.

Scale the Face to Proportion

When doing a face swap, Photoshop has commands that enable you to match the scale and position of both faces in the image as naturally as possible. For this part, here are steps you need to take:

Use Zoom tool (Z) to zoom in and reduce the opacity to 30-50% to get good placement for your photo. To further transform and distort the layer in your image, enable the Warp feature using Ctrl T or Command T.

Next, click and drag the corners to enlarge the new face, so it matches the original male face in your image. A reference point is a fixated point where you can perform all transformations. Click and drag the reference point depending on the changes you need to achieve in your images.

Feel free to add more splits to modify particular parts of the face in a proportion of the body. To adjust the face proportionately, hold the Shift key and click the box and drag the corners inward.

If you hover near the corner, the software will show rotation toggles that let you turn the image. Getting the faces to line up in your images may take some time, so be patient with the adjustments until you find the position that looks most natural.

Check if the old face’s eyes and the new face layer’s eyes are well-proportioned and aligned. Use the Clone Stamp Tool if there’s a background layer you want to remove.

If you’re satisfied with the image edit, press Enter to finalize the placement on your photo. Adjust the layer opacity back to 100%.

Apply a Layer Mask

Once you have your image lined up, bring your opacity back up, and add a Layer Mask. By clicking on the Layer Mask icon, you can create a mask and select Black as your foreground color.

The mask is white by default, which means that the contents of the top layer are visible while the bottom layer is not. The layer mask will allow you to manipulate what parts of the new layer are visible in the image, and what parts are not.

Click on the original image’s layer and press Ctrl J or Command J to duplicate the layer. Then, hide the original layer by clicking on the eye icon to work on the copy of the first layer.

Blend the Layers Using a Soft Brush Setting

Look for the Soft Brush and Opacity options on the toolbar under the Photoshop logo on the top left-hand corner. With a Paint Brush Tool and lowered opacity, work on blending the face.

Set the Brush Hardness to 100%, the Spacing to 1%, and the Opacity around 40-50%. Use a soft black brush (B) to brush off the edges of the new layer, blending it into the new image. Start by removing the hard edges first, then work your way into blending the rest.

Brush over the areas of the face layer that you don’t want the blending to affect. Hide areas of the new face that don’t match with the original image such as forehead, ears, and jaw.

Use Auto-Blend Layers

The biggest secret on how to swap faces in Photoshop effortlessly is to optimize the Auto-Blend Layers feature.

  1. Hold Ctrl or Command and click on the face layer thumbnail to select the pixels around the new face layer. This will load a selection around the face.
  2. Click on the eye icon to hide the face layer and reveal a copy of the background layer.
  3. Go to Select > Modify > Contract.
  4. Set the value to 5 pixels and click OK. This allows you to make the selection smaller by the number of pixels.
  5. Now that the selection is smaller than the face layer, select the new face’s layer by clicking on it from the Layers panel.
  6. While the body layer is still selected, press Delete or Backspace to delete the pixels inside the selection.
  7. When you enable the face layer, you will see that the selection will be smaller than the face.
  8. Hold Shift to select both layers, and click on both layers.
  9. Select Panorama and check the boxes for Seamless Tones and Colors and Content-Aware Fill Transparent areas before pressing OK.

Save and you’re done with your face swap! Wasn’t that easy?! Here is the before and after of this image:

If you’d like to follow along with me as I do a head swap in Photoshop, you can watch this step by step process in the video below.

Double Exposure guided edit

Introduced in Photoshop Elements 2018

The Double Exposure guided edit lets you create a surreal double exposure effect by merging two images. You can import a photo from your computer or select from one of the included sample photos.

Do one of the following:

  • Open a photo in Photoshop Elements.
  • Select a photo from the Photo Bin.

Click Guided > Fun Edits > Double Exposure .

(Optional) Crop the photo using the crop tool to keep your subject in the center of the frame.

Select the main subject of your photo using the Auto or Quick selection tool.

For more information about Auto selection tool, see Use the Auto Selection tool.

For more information about Quick selection tool, see Use the Quick Selection tool.

Do one of the following:

  • Click Import a photo to import a background image from your computer.
  • Select one of the included sample photos.

You can adjust the intensity of the background using the Intensity slider.

(Optional) Click the Move Tool to move the subject or the background image.

(Optional) Apply an effect from the available options. You can adjust the intensity of the effect using the Intensity slider.

After you get the desired result, click Next to choose how you would like to proceed:

  • Save – Save / Save As: Preserve the newly created image in any of the available formats.
  • Continue editing – In Quick / In Expert: Choose where you would like to continue working on the image – in Quick mode or Expert mode.
  • Share – Flickr / Twitter: You can upload your photo online through one of the social or sharing services available in Photoshop Elements.
  • Select Your Photos to Swap Faces in Photoshop
  • Let’s Get Started With The Face Swap!
  • Scale the Face to Proportion
  • Apply a Layer Mask
  • Swap Faces In Photoshop with Auto-Blend
  • Fix the Face Swap Problems

Open the two images that you will use to follow along with this tutorial.

First, select the face you want to swap into the model’s body. To do that, select the Lasso tool.

The Lasso Tool allows you to freehand a selection around the face.

Click-and-drag and make a selection around the face.

Note: there is no need to be precise about outlining the area.

When you are happy with the selection, press Ctrl C (Windows) or Command C (macOS) to copy the contents of the selection.

Go to your working document, the one with the photo with the model’s body and press Ctrl V (Windows) or Command V (macOS) to paste the face into the photo.

Adjust shadows and light

The Smart Brush tool and the Detail Smart Brush tool apply tonal and color adjustments to specific areas of a photo. Certain effects can also be applied using these tools. You simply pick a preset adjustment and apply the correction. Both tools automatically create adjustment layers. This feature offers you flexibility in working with your photos because the original image layer is not altered. You can go back and tweak the adjustments and no image information is discarded.

When you apply the Smart Brush tool, it makes a selection based on color and texture similarly. The adjustment is simultaneously applied to the selected area. You can adjust shadows, highlights, colors, and contrasts. Apply colors of the objects in your image, add textures, apply various photographic effects.

Select the Smart Brush tool.

Select an effect from the preset drop-down in the Tools Options bar, and then drag your mouse on the objects in the image to which you want to apply the effect.

You can apply various effects and patterns using smart brush from the available preset options.

However you cannot change the settings of an effect because the layer with the effect is a pixel layer and not an adjustment layer.

The Textures presets help provide the following effects to your images:

Enhance dull and boring backgrounds.

Create a Satin effect for clothes/textiles in an image.

Add flowery patterns to dresses in an image.

Add designer patterns to walls or backgrounds in an image.

The Detail Smart Brush tool enables you to paint the adjustment to specific areas of the photo just like a painting tool. This tool helps adjust fine details with pattern and effect presets. Painting and applying the preset in small areas is more precise. Click an effect from the drop-down list and paint over the area to apply the effect. You can choose from a range of brushes. It has settings for brush size and shape in the options bar.

It also works like a Selection tool; you can click Refine Edge in the options bar to modify the selection’s shape and size. To remove an area from the selection, click the Remove area from Selection brush.

Both brush tools enable you to add to or subtract from the areas being adjusted. You can also have more than one adjustment preset applied to a photo. Each preset adjustment is applied to its own adjustment layer. You can tweak the settings for each correction separately.

When a correction is made, a pin appears where you first applied the adjustment. The pin provides a reference for the specific adjustment. A new pin appears when a different adjustment preset is applied. This feature makes it easier to modify a specific correction, especially if you apply different adjustments.

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