Surreal portrait from 2 images

Stacked head

Download the files for this tutorial

1. Make a selection

Surreal portrait Making a selection
Making a selection

Open the man.jpg image, make a duplicate layer and then use the rectangular marquee tool “M on your keyboard” to select the left side of the face as in the diagram.

Right-click on the selection and choose Layer via copy from the drop-down menu.

This will place a copy of the selection on a new layer. Go to the Edit menu and choose Transform > Flip Horizontal.

2. Mirror Image

Mirror image
Mirror image

Use the Move tool “V on your keyboard” to drag the layer over to the right of the picture and line up with the face to create a perfect mirror image. Merge with the background copy layer (Layer > Merge Down) and name it Head 1. Use the Clone tool (S) to to select areas of the face close to the join and clone over any obvious join line between the two sides of the face.

3. Open the pillbox

Open the pillbox
Open the pillbox

Open pillbox.jpg and use the elliptical marquee tool (M) to select the open top
of the pill box, as in the diagram. To create the selection from the centrer, hold down the (alt) (‘option‘ MAC) key as you drag the tool across the pill box. Select the move tool (V) and drag the selection from the pill box window and onto the head window, then position the selection over the head.

4. Free Transform

Free transform
Free transform

From the Edit menu select Free Transform and squeeze the selection to fit the man’s head. Double click to set Free Transform and select Layer > Matting > Defringe and then set the dialogue box to 1 pixel to soften.

5. Select the head

Select the head
Select the head

Use the Magnetic Lasso tool (L) to select the area between the nose and the top of the head. Right click and choose Layer via copy from the drop down menu, select Layer > Matting > Defringe to soften.

6. Clone the background

Clone the background
Clone the background

With the Head 1 layer selected, use a large, soft-edged clone stamp tool (S) to copy the green background over the top section of section of the man’s head. When done make sure that the pillbox layer is active before merging down with the Head 1 layer, Layer > Merge Down. Duplicate layer Head 1

7. Replace the right eye

Replace the right eye
Replace the right eye

Use the Lasso tool on the original background layer to make a selection around the right eye and then place it on the right eye of Head 1. Next, blend so that the eye looks in the opposite direction to Head 1, name it Head 2.

8. Resize and position

Resize and position
Resize and position

Use Free transform to Resize Head 2 and place above Head 1, reduce opacity of Head 2 by 50%; erase area covering Head 1. Set opacity to 100% and darken the lower part of the head with Burn Tool (Shift O).

9. Copy and Flip

Copy and Flip
Copy and Flip

Duplicate Head 2, Choose Transform > Flip Horizontal, name it Head 3, use Free Transform to resize it above Head 2. Duplicate Head 1, name it Head 4, place it above Head 3. Flatten all layers, adjust color.

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