Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Transform Yourself into an Animal!

August 6, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to add animal features to a human face. I provided this image of a tiger, so you can follow along. Its link is located in the video description or project
files. Choose a high resolution, focused photo of a person looking straight into the camera.
I downloaded this one from We need to make a selection just around the
face. To zoom in closer, press “z” on your keyboard to open your Zoom Tool and drag a
rectangle over the area. There are many ways to make selections, but for this example,
I’ll use the Magnetic Lasso Tool. I’ll carefully drag the Tool over the edge of the cheeks and chin and continue over the hair. The path over over hair doesn’t have to be that accurate.
Once it connects to the first anchor point, it’ll turn into a selection. To refine the
selection over the hair, go to Select and Refine Edge. I did an in-depth tutorial
on Refine Edge, so I won’t be going over all the details here. Check Smart Radius and increase
the Radius to approximately 7 pixels. Brush over the hairline and release. Choose “Selection” and click OK. The quick mask instantly reverts to a selection. Go to Select and Save Selection.
Type in “Face” and click OK or press Enter or Return. Press Ctrl or Cmd + D to deselect
it. To see your saved selection, open the Channels panel. If you don’t see it, go to
Windows and Channels. At the bottom of the panel, you should see a black and white thumbnail
of your shape with the word, “Face” next to it. We’ll be using this channel later. Open
your Layers panel. We’ll make your subject’s face into a displacement map which we’ll use
to wrap the animal’s fur around your subject’s face. To do this, click the icon at the upper,
right of the Layers panel and click “Duplicate Layer”. Click New and type in “Displacement”. Then, click OK. Since Displacement maps look best when they’re slightly blurred, go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. I’ll blur it 5 pixels, however, you may want to use
a different amount based on your photo’s resolution. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. Go to File and Save As. Save it to your Desktop as a .PSD file. Then, click “Save” and close the file. Open the tiger photo I provided. Just as we did for the person’s face, we need
to make a selection around it. This time, I’ll use the Lasso Tool. Draw a path around
the face and go to Select and Refine Edge. Check Smart Radius and drag the Radius all
the way to the right. Make the Contrast: 20% and output it as a New Layer. Let’s make a selection around the whiskers, so we can add it as a separate layer. Click off the eyeball
of the cut-out face to hide it and click the thumbnail of the original tiger to make the
layer active. Open your Zoom Tool and zoom into the whiskers. Go to Select and Color
Range. Select “Highlights” and click OK. Press “Q” to convert the selection into a quick mask. Open your Brush Tool and use a small size brush with an opacity of 100%. Carefully
brush over the areas around the whiskers until only the whiskers are showing. Convert the
quick mask into a selection and as before, go to Select and Refine Edge. Feather it .5 pixels. Save it as a Selection and click OK. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer.
Let’s rename it, “Whiskers”. We’ll fill the selection of the whiskers with white and since white is the background color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Then, deselect it. To place the cut-out tiger face and the
whiskers into your subject’s document, make the top layer visible and Shift-click on the
thumbnail to highlight both layers. Press “v” to open your Move Tool. Drag the layers
up onto the tab of your subject’s face and without releasing your computer mouse or pen, drag
it down onto the subject and release. Press Ctrl of Cmd + T to open your Transform Tool.
Before we size and position the tiger, let’s reduce its opacity, so we can see the person’s
face behind it. Go to a corner and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow, press and hold
Alt or Option + Shift as you drag it in or out. Position it so the noses and the mouths are
lined up. Then, press Enter or Return. Click the thumbnail of the tiger to make the layer
active. Open back your Transform Tool and click the Warp icon. The Warp command lets
you drag control points to manipulate the shape of images, shapes and paths. We’re going
to warp the face of the tiger to align itself with the features of the person’s face. Drag
the control points so the pupils are positioned over each eye of your subject. Drag the control
points at the top and the corners, so the fur extends a bit past the person’s hairline.
Make sure the eyes are aligned correctly after you warp other areas of the tiger’s face.
Press Ctrl or Cmd + 0 to see the entire bounding box. Continue to align the tiger’s face to
your subject. Then, press Enter or Return. Increase the opacity back to 100%. I’m sure you noticed that the name of my tiger layer is different than yours. When I was doing
this video, I made some modifications and forgot to change the name back, however, it
doesn’t affect the layer itself. Make a copy of the tiger by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Temporarily, hide the Whiskers layer. Let’s rename the lower tiger, “Chin” and hide the layer. Make the top tiger active. Go to Filter, Distort and Displace. Make the
Horizontal and Vertical Scales 5 each, Stretch to Fit and Repeat Edge Pixels. Then, click
OK. Click the Displacement file and click “Open”. The animal’s face made a subtle, but
important shift in its contours. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Open the Channels panel and Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the black and white thumbnail to make a selection of
the face shape that you saved earlier. Open back up the Layers panel and click the Layer
mask icon to make a layer mask of the selection next to the active layer. Next, we’ll reveal
your subject’s eyes and mouth. Open your Brush Tool and make the brush size approximately
30 pixels and the Hardness: 0%. The Opacity is 100%. Open your Zoom Tool and zoom into
the eyes. To move the image, press and hold the Space bar as you drag your document. Press
“B” to open back your Brush Tool and brush inside the eyes. Drag your image up to see
the mouth. Reduce the brush’s opacity to 50% and brush over the lips. To brush back in areas of the tiger fur, press “x” on your keyboard to invert the foreground and background
colors and then brush back in the fur. To fit your entire image back on your canvas,
press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Make the Chin layer visible and active. Drag the layer to the
top of the Layers panel. Click the Layer mask icon to make a layer mask next to it. Invert
the layer mask by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + I. Adjust your brush size and brush over the
chin revealing the fur through the layer mask. To mask out the fur from the chin, press “x”
to invert your foreground and background colors and brush over those areas. Make the Whiskers
layer visible and active. Drag it to the top. Hide the layer and open your Channels panel.
Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the face shape to make a selection of it and open back up
the Layers panel. Make the lower, tiger face active and zoom into the whiskers. Open your Spot Healing Brush and make its size 10 pixels with a Hardness of 100%. Brush over the whiskers
to fill them in the surrounding pixels. It doesn’t have to be perfect, since we’re going to replace them with the whiskers we saved earlier. Delete the selection and fit your
image back onto your canvas. Make the Whiskers visible and active. Make its opacity 70% and make a copy of it. Go to Edit, Transform and Flip Horizontal. Press “v” to open your Move
Tool and press and hold Shift as you drag it to to the left. Make your subject’s face
active and make a copy of it. Drag the copy to the top and change its Blend Mode to Soft
Light. Go to the face layer mask and press and Alt or Option as you drag a copy of it
next to your subject. As I toggle back and forth, you can see how much brighter it is. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply David Sellmer April 21, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    hey marty. i wanna learn how to make my friend go away

  • Reply Rey Anthony Matias April 25, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I need help here, after pressing Q, I can still see the tiger's face but it should be red and white whiskers right? what should I do?

  • Reply M MIDDLEBROOK May 12, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Hi Blue Lightning, Keep up the excellent work. I'm using your tutorial to help my high school students learn about Photoshop and all the cool things they can do. You're the best!!!

  • Reply rami bba May 28, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    please.the pictures of the women.

  • Reply rami bba May 28, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    please.the pictures of the women.

  • Reply Gulraiz Tariq June 1, 2016 at 5:37 am

    wishpers or wishkers? clear it plz

  • Reply Paulo Silva June 18, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    You explain very well, congratulations, already subscrybe.

  • Reply Richard Reid June 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    …love the tutorial and will give it a go but is it OK to use the tiger image? Is it commercial free and can we use it to post our resulting images on other web sites to show our work?


  • Reply Jon Carter July 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Can an image with a persons mouth open be used? I am practising with the images I have and most of them have their mouths open. Your videos are amazing and very helpful by the way. Thanks. 🙂

  • Reply Jimmy Rock July 19, 2016 at 2:21 am

    when i bush the eyes they dont work they juststay tigger same for the mouth

  • Reply toot toot July 21, 2016 at 8:20 am

    When I drag and drop the tiger face onto the human face it is super small??? Help!?

  • Reply VerifiedToPass July 26, 2016 at 9:02 am

    god damn marty you are one of the realest niggas out here working hard every day man lets get it.

  • Reply Vivek Vivek August 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm


  • Reply M.N.M.Samri August 20, 2016 at 8:18 am

    you are awesome. Your teaching is very good.

  • Reply Ashes On Wool September 14, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I love it! Thanksss

  • Reply Sharell G September 14, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Photoshop CC 2015 has removed the refined edge tool and replaced it with select and mask… 😒.. Now what?

  • Reply Santosh Bari September 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    nice tutorial! thanx

  • Reply Flure vQosh October 15, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    When I brush, It's just white and when I press x it brushes in black, My brush is at normal, and the colors are black and white. How can I fix this?

  • Reply Young Wave October 22, 2016 at 7:52 am

    10:24 having trouble with gettig brush Says layer is hidden and wont let me brush

  • Reply Reda Youssef October 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    more than great!

  • Reply Vaayper November 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    wow phd photoshop !

  • Reply Michael Wyatt November 11, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Whenever I go into quick mask made it just makes a makes a red tinted window over the picture and not the red and white sketch looking thing.

  • Reply PawsNetwork November 18, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Do you have an HP?

  • Reply Joseph November 18, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    GOD it took me 3 hours and 58 minutes probally not the first thing i should of done in photoshop xD

  • Reply Alexandre Moresque November 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm


  • Reply Lamia Siddiqui December 6, 2016 at 3:03 am

    I loved your tutorial! It was very helpful and step-by-step!

  • Reply maka print December 6, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I loved your tutorial! It was very helpful and step-by-step!

  • Reply Wouter Paulisse December 6, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Hi, great tutorial! One question, how do you keep the whites so visible with 'multiply' ? I''m using a cheetah face but the edges are all washed out due to the white disappearing in the animals face and revealing the skin of the subject. The 'soft light' trick does bring it up a bit, but not at all enough

  • Reply Somnath Photography December 17, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Excellent and Thanks I am using your taking…..

  • Reply TheSkunk1996 January 8, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Photoshop Tutorial don't have a tutorial in writing? Also thank you for posting.

  • Reply dermel hakim January 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

    c'est quoi cette pdf

  • Reply Sarthak Bhomia January 18, 2017 at 10:08 am

    lines are coming on image

  • Reply Myles Moran February 16, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Can I use the tiger image for a design contest for RIT? What are the rights for this image and the credited author?

  • Reply Deep Seated Enterprises, LLC. February 28, 2017 at 6:34 pm


  • Reply Nick Ritson March 7, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    marty have you got the picture of the girl or are you not able to give it out

  • Reply shelyksit March 31, 2017 at 3:33 am

    When I click Q after zooming in on the whiskers my pic doesnt turn as red as his and painting the whiskers give a different result. Sucks learning on youtube

  • Reply 11mitchos April 6, 2017 at 9:15 am

    When I go to 'Refine Edge', my menu is totally different and there is no option for 'Edge Detection', etc. I have CS3. Is it too old?

  • Reply Am Ine April 21, 2017 at 4:41 am

    so advanced

  • Reply Narendra Swain May 4, 2017 at 7:36 am

    i love this tutorial

  • Reply Liuon June 20, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I just can't fucking catch the cockroach in my kitchen to make a portrait of it, it's too fast. Any ideas?

  • Reply Rebeller 568 July 13, 2017 at 4:54 am


  • Reply peter thung July 14, 2017 at 1:27 am

    wow what is a long tutorial


    what's the name of app

  • Reply D. M. H August 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I don't understand something am not getting the whiskers part i get everything else but not the whiskers part. I can't get how you rub around the whiskers i tried but not working.

  • Reply caniican August 5, 2017 at 1:02 am

    you're almost there Marty keep practicing and one day you might be able to make a living doing this. 🙂 jokes thanks oh master

  • Reply Eldad Sebsibe August 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    um…would you make a video on making animals and a human in a mystic place…

  • Reply Code Bot September 2, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I only have photoshop 7

  • Reply Dan Li September 6, 2017 at 5:10 am

    superb!!!! Thank you for making this very detailed vdo and very meticulous elaboration in every steps!

  • Reply shirin nipa September 30, 2017 at 10:18 am

    cool tutorial

  • Reply Brice Thompson October 7, 2017 at 12:41 am


  • Reply Deepak kumar November 8, 2017 at 3:52 am

    good job

  • Reply Moe Jones November 26, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Your videos are top notch, and awesome, thanks soooooo much for sharing! Wishing many blessing come your way.

  • Reply Cutes pail View December 11, 2017 at 11:42 am

    i am from bangladesh ..a nd love your videis

  • Reply Edezki January 2, 2018 at 8:13 am

    tämä oli hyvä video :()`)

  • Reply True Alpha Werewolf January 9, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Its a weretiger

  • Reply Alex Drew January 22, 2018 at 12:26 am

    You explain the best and clearest way possible, thank you so much!

  • Reply Wolf Bear January 27, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    I have CS4 and don’t seem to have the options for the refine edge anyone got any ideas??

  • Reply Jim Isaac February 1, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Great lesson. One question. What's the difference between copy layer (Control-J) and duplicate layer in layers menu?

  • Reply Jim Isaac February 1, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Please disregard my question. I get it now.

  • Reply Striedi Bros February 26, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Wow 😮

  • Reply Mohammad Dilnavaj March 2, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Hi Marty are your videos being stolen

  • Reply Mohammad Dilnavaj March 2, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Tell me nowwWwwwwWwwwWwwwwwww please

  • Reply Gavin McCormick March 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    this is just perfect 😁  really helped me out, thankyou

  • Reply P K March 15, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Thank you,,,,,,

  • Reply Kitty March 27, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    How to change back?

  • Reply Markkraft Lion April 1, 2018 at 4:37 am

    Alv me pierdo muy fácil! quiero hacer el efecto pero me es difícil utilizar Photoshop y el tutorial está en inglés… :c

  • Reply xᴀɴᴀʀᴄʜʏ April 10, 2018 at 6:36 pm


  • Reply karla aguirre April 21, 2018 at 2:21 am

    pleace spain

  • Reply COUSIN GOALS CHANNEL May 9, 2018 at 9:30 am

    You teach like my teacher.

  • Reply PREUSONE May 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Gracias fue de mucha ayuda

  • Reply quit playin June 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    had to press subscribe. Sad that I don't have internet and can't complete my photo right now but I love the subtle voice and easy instructions.

  • Reply Israt Prema June 2, 2018 at 7:16 am

    I love your channel.

  • Reply Jignesh Makwana June 12, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Explaining very easy and in detail, this is best tutorial i ever watched.

  • Reply mahmoud moghaddasi June 18, 2018 at 1:53 pm


  • Reply Jonathan Bonatti June 25, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    QUESTION-When I go to FILTER>DISTORT>DISPLACE 8:01, It tells me my displacement file from earlier( person face), it says "Could not continue. Displacement maps must be 8 bits/pixel." What am I doing wrong?! Thanks for any help.

  • Reply Man of Still July 16, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Boss I really love u… I'm impress ur work😍😍😍😍

  • Reply Tutorial Bangla Channel S August 15, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Nice work brother

  • Reply Funko Irish Dude August 23, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I am having trouble finding "Refine Edge" has it moved?

  • Reply Khmer Upload August 26, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I try to learn more

  • Reply Robert Robert September 2, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    How simple it is….

  • Reply Rogelio Zárate Vargas Machuca September 5, 2018 at 2:46 am

    learnig… many thanks!

  • Reply m.nadeem ashraf September 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    awesome……… Tutorial……..thanx

  • Reply aziz chadi September 30, 2018 at 10:01 pm


  • Reply sujit ray November 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks vidio Very much

  • Reply Carlytrix November 13, 2018 at 2:19 am

    I love you. <3

  • Reply CrystalFury 321 November 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    im already an animal c:

  • Reply Kev Hildebrandt December 5, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Hi Buddy,  There are so many people out there putting up YouTube vid's and they forget the ONE major thing that will make or break it, Your voice. Some are so strong in accent's you can't understand the bastards. After listing to you, your voice is so much easier and pleasant to listen to. My wife is a Filopino, easy to listen to, but other nationalities, (sorry for miss spelling) but you get my drift of what I'm meaning. Keep up the great work and help for lots of us out there want to learn Tricks with Photoshop and other programs but CAN'T understand so bloody many of them. Top points to you and thanks, Teddy

  • Reply Ali Chibli December 5, 2018 at 7:48 pm


  • Reply just masum December 8, 2018 at 7:51 am


  • Reply Malay Kumar December 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    my rush tools strated painitng

  • Reply LY CHANNEL January 3, 2019 at 3:39 pm


  • Reply Randy Jackson January 30, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Great video. We use it in our photography classes. However, wondering how you get the displace file? Am I missing something? Do we make that file, or is it somewhere we can download? Thanks!

  • Reply KoalaRB February 22, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Sir, can u be my teacher 💕

  • Reply Saifullah Al Noman April 3, 2019 at 6:06 pm


  • Reply Suliman Algabarty April 10, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Thank You Very Much….

  • Reply Armando Media April 25, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Interesting, but not quite easy

  • Reply Sunny Side May 8, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    *the Capitol ten years later

  • Reply Maxwell Johnson May 21, 2019 at 7:38 am

    i want the pics bro

  • Reply Lego Motion June 11, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Why does yours look so much better than mine?

  • Reply Mart Creations July 19, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Awesome technique. Thanks!

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