How To Put Your Face On A Different Body Using GIMP

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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 15 Free Alternatives to Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop 15 Free Alternatives to Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop Would you like to get Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Illustrator for free? Here are some of the best Creative Cloud alternatives. Read More 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. GIMP makes common tasks like editing backgrounds 6 GIMP Background Tweaks and Tips to Customize Your Images 6 GIMP Background Tweaks and Tips to Customize Your Images GIMP offers lots of different ways to remove the background of an image. But which is the right one to use, and how do they work? Read More easy.

In any case, even for the inexperienced, Microsoft Paint is a disgrace by a long shot when compared to GIMP. If you don’t already have it, you can download and install GIMP from their official site. GIMP is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Getting Started

gimp face swap

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.

By the way, you can do this much more easily using the best face swap apps The 6 Best Face Swap Apps The 6 Best Face Swap Apps Want to goof around and see what your face looks like on someone else's? Here are the best face swap apps for Android and iOS. Read More .

“Extracting” Your Face

gimp face swap

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

gimp face swap

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

gimp face replace

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 going 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 fine if a line doesn’t actually appear between the first and the last point; it be fixed in the next step. This last line won’t be curved though, so if a high level of accuracy is required, try to make your last point as close as possible to the first one.

Final Steps

how do i put my face on a different body using gimp

With the loop laid out, you’ll find a button labeled Selection from Path at the bottom of the left panel. Click it, and a selection will be made using the loop.

You can copy over the selection using Ctrl + C or by going to the Edit > Copy. Next, 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.

Finally, you can resize and move your face around until it’s where it’s supposed to be.

How Did Your Face Turn Out?

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.

For more on GIMP, check out how to install the best free GIMP brushes 11 Free GIMP Brushes and How to Install Them 11 Free GIMP Brushes and How to Install Them We'll show you how to install GIMP brushes and several free and useful ones to get you started. Read More  and the best GIMP plugins The 8 Best GIMP Plugins and How to Install Them The 8 Best GIMP Plugins and How to Install Them In this guide to using GIMP plugins, we'll walk you through where to get the best GIMP plugins and how to install them. Read More .

Image Credits: Will Smith (Wikipedia), Dwayne Johnson (Wikipedia)

Feature Image Credit: Bystrov via Shutterstock

Explore more about: GIMP, Image Editor, .

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  1. Mike Walsh
    May 23, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I've wondered for a LONG time how the mechanics of the process behind the phrase 'Photoshopped' REALLY worked... This is, of course, the main process used by an awful lot of people to try and alter things in images.

    And with Photoshop and the GIMP both being raster graphics editors, the process is pretty similar in the pair of 'em. Thanks for letting us into the 'secret'.

  2. Steve
    May 13, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Although I found your instruction post years after you posted it, I found it helpful and it answered my questions succinctly. I suspect by now there's an app or 2 that do this process too, but I do prefer learning a process and how to use a comprehensive program is my preference over an app always. Thank you.

  3. elijha
    February 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    how can i download the app i mean GIMP

  4. Jim Jines
    December 30, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    So... bash the guy for not doing a good job and offer no constructive criticism or corrections?
    At least he's offering to help someone. Typical internet comments from rude people.

  5. cyka biljat
    February 19, 2015 at 6:45 am

    lol what a bad edit xddd

  6. amanda
    May 24, 2012 at 5:18 am

    This is good, needed the gist of how to do it fora joke

  7. Andreas Beer
    January 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    with all the face recognition technology around, why isn't there a search engine for finding photos of people with a similar face angle and lighting

    • Danny Stieben
      January 12, 2012 at 4:46 am

      I'm not sure. Someone who made a service like that would made good money (or get bought up by Google).

      I assume they're good at identifying faces, but not angles and lighting. Face recognition tries to identify faces despite those factors.

  8. Free Online Games
    January 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    very bad

  9. sajib
    January 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Very rough and bad editing.

    • Danny Stieben
      January 8, 2012 at 5:52 am

      Sorry, but I'm still a novice at image editing and I was only describing the process.

      • Steve Emming
        February 28, 2018 at 11:25 pm

        Hi Danny,
        I have this photograph that I need to place my nephews head over this other man's head....I'm just beginning so bear with me...Is there a way I could forward the actual picture to you? Feel free to contact me at anytime. Many thanks, Steve

        p.s. I really enjoy your site...

        • Geeta
          September 27, 2018 at 10:07 am

          I can do that for you.. although its ages after you'd have already done it!