Replacing a Face

There are times when you wish a certain person weren't in a certain photograph. While you can use the techniques above to remove an entire person, sometimes that's a bit more work than we'd like to do or there isn't enough to work with to fill the remaining gap. When it's not possible to cut somebody out, you might consider replacing him or her. Instead of your ex-husband, maybe you could sit next to Tom Cruise or Matt Damon or even your current husband, in all those old family photos. You could turn your ex-wife into Julia Roberts or Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies, if you can find a photo to work with.

The difficult part of replacing a face is finding the right one to put in its place. You need to find another head shot with more or less the same lighting conditions (shadows falling in the same direction) and at the same angle, though the angle is not as critical. You can always do a 180-degree flip, if you need to, and then rotate the head so it's straighter or more tipped, as necessary. Figure 24.71 is a photo of Josh and Melissa. What if Melissa had married Tom Cruise instead of Josh?

Figure 24.71. The happy couple .


I got lucky and found an Internet fan page with a picture that works. It's facing the wrong way, and is not quite the right size, but those are easy problems to solve. The more difficult problem will be matching skin tones, but even that can be managed with the Color Variations dialog box (Enhance, Adjust Color, Color Variations) and some patience. In Figure 24.72, I've enlarged Tom, flipped him, removed some of the background, and pasted him into the original photo. I still need to rotate him so his nose lines up with Josh's, and then blend him in.

Figure 24.72. Don't try to position the replacement perfectly until you've made sure that major features line up. In this case, Tom has to rotate several degrees.


In Figure 24.73, I've moved Tom's face, used the Sponge to desaturate the redness from it, and used Image, Transform, Skew to make his face fit over Josh's face a little better. Next, I will continue with the task of blending him in using the Clone Stamp and the Smudge tools. (I used Smudge to fix his hair so that it looked right after I rotated and skewed his face.)

Figure 24.73. From here on, it mainly takes patience and the Clone Stamp.


Because Tom's face is on a separate layer, I can add adjustment layers over him to make the color corrections more believable. It's really just a question of removing enough red. California summer sun has little in common with September sun in New England. Adding a Levels adjustment layer and setting the Channel so the adjustment only affects the red parts enabled me to take more from the darker areas (which are very red) and less from the lighter areas, which was just what the picture needed. To do that, I moved the left triangle in, didn't adjust the right one, and shifted the middle triangle toward the right a little. In Figure 24.74, you can see the final result. It's worthy of the National Enquirer .

Figure 24.74. I don't think I'll show this to either one of them.


How Far Can You Go?

You can take people out of the places they've been, or put them into places or situations they haven't been in. You can turn that can of beer in the politician's hand into a harmless can of soda, or vice-versa, depending on your party affiliation . The question at hand is not "can you?" but "should you?"

Editing a picture to improve the composition seems entirely reasonable if it's a picture for your own use, but this is precisely what got the esteemed National Geographic magazine in trouble some years ago. They were doing a piece on Egypt and sent a photographer to get pictures of the pyramids. The art director studied the pictures and decided the composition would be better if he moved one of the pyramids closer to the one next to it. As soon as the issue was published, astute readers began calling and writing to the magazine to complain. An apology appeared in the following issue, but simply knowing that the manipulation was possible raised a red flag for many people both inside and outside the publishing industry. The question has been debated ever since. How much change is okay? How much is too much?

To me, it depends on what's being done and its effect on communication. If it changes the meaning of the photo, particularly in a way that could get you sued, don't do it. Could anyone 's reputation be harmed by it? Don't do it. If it's just for fun and not for public display, go ahead, but be careful that the photos don't end up in the wrong hands or displayed on the Web.

Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Digital Media. All In One
Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Digital Media All In One
ISBN: 0672325322
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 349 © 2008-2017.
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