Photoshop Face Effects

Photoshop Face Effects thumbnail
You can use Photoshop to alter facial features in photos.

Photoshop can be used to alter photos in several ways, changing the look and tone of the photo entirely. The software can create a number of effects on people's faces in portraits, giving them frightening looks or more attractive looks, or augmenting their features in some way.

  1. Cracked Face

    • The skin of someone's face can be made to look dry or cracked with the right Photoshop effects. Isolate all of the face in the portrait, then hit "Shift," "Control" and "U" simultaneously to desaturate it. Create another layer, then find a close-up picture of cracked mud and paste that photo on that layer. Lower the opacity of the mud photo to match the desaturated portion of the face.

      Select the icon at the bottom of the color palette to apply a layer mask, then set the blend mode to Color Burn. Once this has been done, darken the areas around the face so they don't look so different, and play with the RGB color palette until you find the look you want.

    Floating Face

    • You can take a portrait into Photoshop and isolate the face so that it appears as if the head is floating in an empty darkness. First desaturate the image, then increase the contrast by going to Image, then Adjustments, then Brightness and Contrast, and pulling the contrast slider up to 50. Create a new layer over the image, and then fill in the blacks using the paint bucket tool.

      Create a pixel mask over the face so that all the other changes you are doing won't affect the brightness of the face itself. Then carefully select the area around the face and increase its opacity to 100 percent. The face will be the only thing remaining. The area around it can be blurred or merged with the black, or the color of the face can be changed.

    Skull Face

    • Photoshop also can change someone's face to look like a skull in a photo. Find a photo of a skull that is at a similar angle to the face in your photo. Put the skull image over the photo image and rotate it so that it is at the same angle as the head in the photo, on a different layer. Then select the background layer and trace around the face of the person.

      The skull layer image should then be sized to match this as perfectly as possible. Then paste the skull over the face. In most instances, this won't look very realistic, so you'll need to go in and highlight individual pieces of hair that have fallen over the forehead and bring them out over the skull's image. Merging the edge of the skull with the person's head using the stamp or brush tool will also help make the image look more realistic.

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  • Photo Credit portrait image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

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