Admit it, playing around with image editing tools such as Photoshop and GIMP can be pretty fun, depending on what you’re trying to do. Virtually anything can be done with these tools, from some simple photo touch-ups all the way to creating impressive graphics from scratch (or some combination of both).
However, it’s not as fun if you only have an idea and you don’t actually know how to do it. Don’t worry though. Today we’ll be covering a classic – how to put your face on another body using GIMP.
I like writing articles about GIMP instead of Photoshop because, legally speaking, GIMP is freely available for everyone to use, and it’s definitely got some powerful tools. You simply have to take some time to learn it, and it’ll become a very worthy alternative to Photoshop. In any case, even for the inexperienced, Microsoft Paint is a disgrace by a long shot when compared to GIMP.
When you’re ready to go, fire up GIMP and open one image with your face and another with the body you want to put your face on. You can minimize the picture with the body for now, as the main task at hand right now is “extracting” your face from the other picture.
“Extracting” Your Face
In the left panel of buttons, you’ll need to find the one that I highlighted in the screenshot, named the Paths Tool. With this tool, you’re going to make a path that goes all the way around your face until it makes a complete loop and selects what’s inside of it. Technically you can also use the Free Select Tool, but you’ll have to make your loop in one go, and trust me, it will not look as good.
Making The Loop
With the Path Tool selected, you can begin clicking around your face. Each click will make a point that the line/loop has to go through, as you can see in the screenshot or once you do it yourself. Therefore, the more zoomed in you are, the more accurate your loop will be. Preferably, you should place the loop on the edge of your face. You can also bend the lines between points for more accuracy by right clicking on the line and moving the mouse around. Don’t forget, you can always undo everything you do, so if you misplace a point, you can always undo it and try again.
Finishing The Loop
It’ll be normal for all of this to take a couple of minutes, especially if you’re working with a high-resolution photo. You’ll have to keep doing this, all the way around your face, until you meet up again with the first point that you made. Once you do, click again on the first point that you made to complete the loop. It’s OK if a line doesn’t actually appear between the first and the last point, as it will be assumed in the next step. This last line won’t be curved though, so if major accuracy is required, try to make your last point as close as possible to the first one.
With the loop laid out, you’ll find a button labeled “Selection from Path” at the bottom of the left panel. Click this, and a selection will now have been made using the loop. You can now copy over the selection using Ctrl + C or via the Edit menu –> Copy. Now you can move over to the other image with the body, create a new layer (which will make it easier to work with), and paste your face onto that image. You can now resize and move your face around until it’s where it’s supposed to be.
I have to admit, unless you have some major luck, the lighting will probably be off and your face therefore won’t perfectly melt into place as if it was an original image. There are a couple things you can do to make it less obvious, but all of that is a topic for another article. However, it’s still a fun effect, and the phrase “practice makes perfect” rings true in this case.
What’s your favorite thing to do with GIMP? Considering all aspects (including price), do you prefer GIMP or Photoshop for use by anyone who isn’t a total professional? Let us know in the comments!