Articles, Blog

How to Create a HEADLESS MAN in Photoshop

November 1, 2019

– [Voiceover] Hey everyone,
Howard Pinsky here with a Photoshop tutorial that is going to make you lose your mind. Okay, that was probably very cheesy, I’ll stick to my day job. But, in this tutorial,
I’m gonna be going over the headless effect, which
I previewed a few weeks ago. I was hoping to have it
out a little bit sooner, but I was in the hospital
with some heart issues, so that kinda took priority
over a Photoshop tutorial. But, that being said, lemme show you how this effect can be done. To start off, I’m gonna
work on his clothes. Once you remove his head,
you’re going to be able to see, or at least, you should be able to see the back of his shirt and
the back of his jacket, which, right now, are not present. So, what I had to do is
find a picture of a shirt and a jacket that I was able to use in replacement of this guy’s head. So, what I did is I went
on, found these two images
of a shirt and a jacket, and loaded them into my
creative cloud library, and now, what I’m able to
do is simply drag the shirt right onto this image and
resize it if necessary. Command and control T,
zoom out a little bit, and then resize it down so
I can see the full shirt. And now what needs to be done is the shirt has to be selected and
isolated from its background. And you can use many selection methods, but I’m gonna simply grab
my quick selection tool from the tools bar on the left and brush right over top of the shirt
to create the selection. And just to make sure no
white remains on the border, I’m gonna head up to the
select menu, down to modify, choose contract, and then
bring the selection in by about one pixel. Now, to make sure I’m
working non-destructively, I’m gonna add a layer mask at
the bottom of my layers panel, and I’m actually gonna
convert this layer into a smart object, as we’re going
to be rotating it and adding a puppet warp in just a minute. Good, now that the
shirt is a smart object, I can go ahead and
resize it and rotate it, and I don’t have to worry about
ruining the original layer. And to help me position the
shirt exactly where I want it, I’m gonna turn down the
opacity to around 70% simply by hitting the
seven key on my keyboard. Now, obviously, we don’t
need the whole shirt visible. We only need what will
be underneath his jacket. And there are a few ways
to hide that unwanted area. We could go ahead and add a layer mask and simply use a black brush
and paint out the areas, but there is a little
bit of a quicker way. Instead, I’m gonna hide the shirt layer, and then with my quick
selection tool that I used just a few minutes ago, I’m gonna brush over top of his jacket. And if Photoshop does go
ahead and select the shirt in the middle, I can hold
down my alt or option key and remove that from the selection. And I’m not gonna worry about
selecting the whole jacket ’cause I can brush away
any remaining areas. Now, revealing the shirt layer, I can click on the layer mask and fill the selection with
black to hide that area. And because I’m not too worried about the precision of the areas
outside of the jacket, I can now grab a nice big, black brush and simply paint out the rest of the shirt that I’m not going to be using. Now, even thought the top of the new shirt will be pretty much
replacing the original shirt, I do wanna make sure the
color lines up a little bit. So, I’m gonna head up to the edit menu and then apply a puppet warp,
and as we’re not dealing with a very complex object,
I’m gonna set the density to fewer points. What I want to do now is
add a few anchor points to ground the shirt to the document. That will allow me to push
and pull some of these areas and not distort the rest of the shirt. I can now mold the neck of his new shirt to match the original. Clicking on the check
mark on the options bar or pressing return or enter
will apply the puppet warp. Perfect, so now that that’s done, obviously, this shirt doesn’t
really look like it blends with the original. So, clicking on the
layer mask and grabbing my black, soft brush again, I’m gonna hide a little bit more of the
shirt right up until the neck. Now, with that done, we can start adding some adjustment layers to blend the color a little bit better. I’m gonna start off with
a hue and saturation adjustment layer, making sure
to clip it to the shirt layer so it doesn’t also affect the background. I’m gonna turn on the colorize option and bring down the saturation a touch. Next, I’m gonna go ahead and
add a curves adjustment layer, again, making sure it’s clipped. And then, I’m gonna bring down the shadows and the mid tones a touch, And as you continue to add
more adjustment layers, you may wanna go back to
previous adjustment layers to tweak those a little bit, as well. So, I’m gonna hop back
into hue and saturation, bring down the saturation a touch more, hop back into curves, adjust the mid tones and bring up the highlights
just a little bit and adjust my points until it’s
looking a little bit better. And again, you may have
to jump back and forth until you have a decent looking result. And to help the process
along a little bit, I’m gonna hop back into the layer mask and again, with my black
brush, I’m gonna paint out even more of the shirt so I’m just left with that collar line. And now, I’m able to see that
it’s still not dark enough, so I’m gonna grab the curves
adjustment layer again, make a few more adjustments,
bring down the saturation a touch, and that’s
looking quite a bit better than it did before, certainly better than the bright red original. Now, I am noticing there
are a few artifacts from the original background image, so I’m gonna select that
image, add a new layer, and with my clone stamp tool,
simply repair those areas. Perfect, now the shirt may
be looking a little bit off, but it’s probably because
the head is still there and the jacket’s not in
place, so as the project continues to progress, things
will look a little bit better. Now, as for the jacket, the
first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to duplicate the color. So, I’m gonna select the background layer, and then with my rectangular marquee tool, I’m gonna make a very simple selection on the left side of his jacket. And once that’s been
made, I can create a layer from that selection with
command or control J. Now, obviously, I do wanna
flip it, so I’m gonna head up to the edit menu, down to transform, and then choose flip horizontal,
and then I can move it and transform it into
place, very similar to what I did earlier with
the replacement shirt. Now, we’re probably not
gonna need all of the collar, so I’m gonna add a layer mask,
and then with my black brush, I’m gonna paint out the areas that I don’t think I’m going to need. Now, we are working
non-destructively, so at any point in the future, I can always
switch over to a white brush and paint back in those areas
that I originally removed. Good, so now that the collar is in place, I’m gonna switch back over to my library, grab the jacket image which, again, I grabbed from, and drag it right onto this document. Just like before, I’m gonna
transform it down a little bit, grab my quick selection
tool, create a selection, contract it a little
bit, add a layer mask, and convert it into a smart object. Positioning the jacket may
require a few attempts, so make sure to turn down
the opacity a little bit and do your best to line
up with the original. Now, just like the shirt,
we want to warp the jacket so the collar matches the original a little bit more accurately. And to do that, I’m gonna
apply another puppet warp, making sure to set the
density at fewer points and then place a few anchor points to ground it to the document. As I can’t really see the
collar of the original jacket behind his head, I’m
gonna do my best to guess the perspective of the replacement jacket. Now, as I only need a little
bit of this replacement jacket, I’m gonna add a layer mask,
but I’m gonna make sure to hold down my alt or option key to originally hide the whole layer. And once it’s hidden, with a white brush, I can paint in the areas of the
layer that I want to reveal. And I’m probably gonna want
this layer behind the red shirt, so I’m gonna drag it
downwards in my layers panel. And continuing to reveal the layer, if there are any areas
that I painted too much of, I can simply switch the black
brush and paint them out. Looking at what I just revealed, the replacement jacket was
closed a little bit more than the original, so what I want to do is add a new layer right
above the replacement jacket, make sure to clip it, and
just clone a little bit more of the back of the jacket as I’m not gonna need the front of it. Now, just like the red shirt, we’re going to need some adjustment layers. I’m gonna start with a
curves adjustment layer and bring down the shadows a little bit. Next, I’m gonna add a hue and
saturation adjustment layer, turn on colorize, and then
shift the hue just a little bit so it’s a little bit more blue. And just like before, I may
have to bounce back and forth between the adjustment layers to get the exact result I’m looking for. And that’s looking a lot better. Next, I want to add a
little bit more depth by adding some shadows. So, I’m gonna create a new layer right above the replacement jacket, and with a soft black brush,
I’m gonna simply paint around the edges to add some shadow. I’m also gonna add some slight shadows behind and in front of
the replacement shirt. That’s looking pretty good, but of course, we have his head to remove. So, I’m gonna select the background layer and I’m going to grab my clone stamp tool, and simply start the tedious process of cloning out not only his head, but most of the background so things look a little bit more natural. Now, keep in mind that as you
start the cloning process, it’s going to look very rough
during the early stages. But, don’t get discouraged,
keep on cloning, and eventually, things will
start to come together. And once you’ve spent a
good 20 minutes cloning out his head and everything around it, you should have a pretty
awesome looking result. Thanks so much for
watching this video, guys. I really hope you enjoyed
it, and a big thank you to all my supporters on Patreon who helped make this video possible. If you do wanna support the
work and you love what I do, head over to, you can tip me on a monthly basis, one dollars, three dollars, five dollars, whatever you can afford. And thank you to my 25
dollar Patreon, Nick. You can find him at And if you wanna learn more
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definitely learn some great stuff. So, thanks again for watching, guys, make sure to subscribe, follow
me on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll see you guys next time. Take care.


  • Reply Lucian R May 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    FIRST! 😆

  • Reply alex markou May 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Great tutorial.I hope that your well now .

  • Reply Classic Chad May 26, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    2160p, I must be in the future!!

  • Reply Eric May 26, 2015 at 4:33 pm


  • Reply Damien May 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Wasn't this video already released a couple weeks ago or something? I already saw this. Why re-upload it?

  • Reply Call Me Jonez May 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    well.. I just got a reminder to why i'm subscribed to you!
    hope you get better!

  • Reply Balaman May 26, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Very nice as always :))) i still can learn from you after all these years, thank you

  • Reply TechXSoftware May 26, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Remove the hands, then it will looks awesome

  • Reply Mhmd N May 26, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    I have seen this video before, why would you upload it again?!

  • Reply tio borracho May 27, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Grea tutorial, HP. Hope you're feeling better.

  • Reply Mr. HowTo May 27, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Awesome one Howard and really short! Cheers 🙂

  • Reply Yosemite Sam May 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I hope the stress of YouTube remarks aren't affecting your health.  You are by far the best instructor for teaching me PS.  I wish you best of health and take care of yourself.

  • Reply Pearl May 28, 2015 at 1:23 am

    That was very cool, very well explained and very entertaining to watch too.
    Hope you're doing well and that you're healthy now 🙂 take care! I love your tutorials!

  • Reply Aug24th May 29, 2015 at 9:08 am

    My comment deleted?! Thanks.

  • Reply krispy kreme May 30, 2015 at 12:51 am

    hey Howard your tutorials are fantastic and i really like how you always work non destructively. i have a learning disability and have been struggling in certain areas in photoshop. thanks to your vids you make it so much easier to understand and remember how to do things that i wasn't able to grasp at school. cheers!

  • Reply Morena Mares Altorf May 31, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    A great tutorial! Unfortunately, I can't upgrade to the newest Photoshop (I'm stuck at CS3), so I can't use all the tools in this tutorial. I hope I can use it in the future when I'm up-to-date!
    I hope you get better with your health!

  • Reply Manu3939393 June 2, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    As I already said when you released the preview, nice work! 🙂 Thanks for explaining it in detail, I think I learned something new 🙂

  • Reply TheOscartiger June 7, 2015 at 10:56 am

    kafa nereye, biz oraya..

  • Reply Kirsty Singleton June 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

    brill work thnkyou 🙂

  • Reply Guy Bradbury September 15, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    the inside back of the tee shirt does not follow the correct contour of the, would-be neck line and shoulder, at all like the back collar of the jacket does.

  • Reply H-Studio October 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Good Job

  • Reply ЕВГЕНИЙ ПОПОВ January 15, 2016 at 11:13 am


  • Reply Erick OCAMPO September 8, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    hey, what key combination did you use at 2:23??

  • Reply Jessi Thom November 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I bought excellent handbook from woodprix woodworking plans. Just google woodprix and start your journey to the better life

  • Reply Sumit Singh September 24, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    superb man (y)

  • Reply Cis. October 14, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Too FAST

  • Reply LEON SANTIAGO February 1, 2019 at 12:17 am

    How much would u charge me to do this for me ?

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