Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Swapping heads in a family portrait


Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

with Julieanne Kost

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Swapping heads in a family portrait

One of the most difficult things to do when you're photographing a group of people is to get them all smiling in the same frame. Let's take a look at these two images. I'm going to tap the Spacebar so that we can see them in Bridge. You can see that in this image, everyone looks great except for the girl who has her eyes closed. Well, she is in the middle of a mid-blink there. If I use my Arrow key and move to the next image, well, she looks great in this image, but the baby here doesn't look quite as good. So I need to combine these two images.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 1m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
  3. 32m 16s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      2m 49s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      4m 27s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      5m 32s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 44s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      2m 58s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      5m 10s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 59s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 37s
  4. 27m 1s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      4m 18s
    2. Saving images in collections
      4m 23s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      3m 46s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 16s
    5. Using smart collections
      4m 18s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 21s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 39s
  5. 32m 9s
    1. Comparing RAW and JPEG files
      6m 10s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      3m 12s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      9m 14s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 58s
    5. Toggling onscreen shadow and highlight clipping warnings
      3m 11s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 36s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      2m 48s
  6. 38m 37s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool
      4m 42s
    2. Correcting a horizon line with the Straighten tool
      2m 41s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 50s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      2m 56s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow details
      3m 7s
    6. Correcting lens distortion
      3m 25s
    7. Making perspective corrections to images
      2m 40s
    8. Removing color fringing and chromatic aberrations
      2m 28s
    9. Sharpening the details
      7m 45s
    10. Making an average photo great
      5m 3s
  7. 50m 52s
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      6m 57s
    2. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      10m 19s
    3. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      3m 41s
    4. Exploring a quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 31s
    5. Converting to black and white
      2m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 21s
    7. Creating selective color effects with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 5s
    8. Using sepia and split-tone effects
      3m 33s
    9. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 10s
    10. Adding vignettes and border effects
      3m 59s
    11. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 40s
  8. 15m 13s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      2m 4s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 22s
    3. Saving and using the library of Camera Raw presets
      6m 48s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process files
      2m 59s
  9. 30m 24s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      2m 7s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      2m 51s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      3m 59s
    4. Using the Application frame
      3m 34s
    5. Managing panels
      5m 14s
    6. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 39s
    7. Switching tools using the keyboard
      2m 47s
    8. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      5m 13s
  10. 10m 25s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      1m 34s
    2. Arranging documents
      1m 52s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      1m 32s
    4. Panning and zooming
      3m 14s
    5. Cycling through different screen modes
      2m 13s
  11. 15m 44s
    1. Understanding file formats
      4m 36s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      4m 39s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      4m 11s
    4. Working with print sizes and resolution
      2m 18s
  12. 32m 54s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      3m 7s
    2. Using crop options
      3m 55s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      1m 46s
    4. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      3m 31s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Relative option in the Canvas Size command
      2m 18s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      1m 27s
    8. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    9. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      5m 46s
    10. Making nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      2m 34s
    11. Warping images
      2m 48s
    12. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      2m 33s
  13. 30m 41s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      11m 16s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      8m 4s
    3. Organizing layers using layer groups
      5m 3s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      6m 18s
  14. 43m 11s
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      5m 43s
    2. Combining selections
      4m 4s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      5m 29s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      4m 35s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 42s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      7m 22s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      3m 17s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      2m 59s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 47s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 18s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      5m 31s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      6m 44s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 30s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 29s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      4m 41s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 48s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      1m 47s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      2m 1s
  16. 19m 33s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 44s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      3m 49s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      6m 5s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      3m 55s
  17. 52m 9s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool
      12m 42s
    2. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      4m 52s
    3. Smoothing skin and pores with the High Pass filter
      6m 19s
    4. Making teeth bright and white with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 21s
    5. Brightening eyes with Curves
      7m 0s
    6. Taming flyaway hair with the Patch tool
      3m 44s
    7. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      5m 49s
    8. Body sculpting with Liquify
      8m 22s
  18. 24m 12s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      4m 48s
    2. Combining multiple frames in an action sequence
      8m 44s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      10m 40s
  19. 38m 26s
    1. Overview of filters
      2m 52s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively using Smart Filters
      5m 18s
    3. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 35s
    4. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      2m 14s
    5. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      6m 27s
    6. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      5m 11s
    7. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 49s
    8. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 1s
    9. Creating a painting with the Oil Paint filter
      1m 34s
    10. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 25s
  20. 22m 17s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      6m 42s
    2. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 41s
    3. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      3m 1s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 21s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 26s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      2m 6s
  21. 20m 11s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      7m 7s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      3m 39s
    3. Adding type on a path
      4m 44s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 3s
    5. Warping type
      1m 38s
  22. 15m 58s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      6m 15s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using layer styles
      4m 27s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      2m 43s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      2m 33s
  23. 15m 45s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Using the Output workspace in Bridge
      5m 32s
    3. Exporting web photo galleries
      4m 20s
    4. Saving for the web
      3m 4s
  24. 23m 38s
    1. Working with video clips
      9m 29s
    2. Adding special effects to video
      5m 45s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      8m 24s
  25. 1m 10s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 10s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
10h 30m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.

The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Organizing images in Bridge
  • Adding metadata such as copyrights and keywords
  • Editing in Camera Raw versus in Photoshop
  • Retouching in Camera Raw
  • Batch processing files
  • Customizing the Photoshop workspaces
  • Choosing a file format and resolution
  • Cropping, scaling, and rotating images
  • Working with layers, including merging and flattening layers
  • Creating selections and layer masks
  • Toning and changing the color of images
  • Adjusting shadows and highlights
  • Retouching and cloning
  • Creating panoramas from multiple images
  • Adding filters and sharpening
  • Working with blend modes
  • Adding type
  • Working with video in Photoshop CS6
Julieanne Kost

Swapping heads in a family portrait

One of the most difficult things to do when you're photographing a group of people is to get them all smiling in the same frame. Let's take a look at these two images. I'm going to tap the Spacebar so that we can see them in Bridge. You can see that in this image, everyone looks great except for the girl who has her eyes closed. Well, she is in the middle of a mid-blink there. If I use my Arrow key and move to the next image, well, she looks great in this image, but the baby here doesn't look quite as good. So I need to combine these two images.

So I'll tap the Esc key to get out of there. We'll use the Cmd key or the Ctrl key in order to select both of these images, and then choose Tools>Photoshop, and Load Files into Photoshop layers. That's going to open up a single document and place both of these images as their own unique layers in the document. So now we can toggle on and off the images, but we see that the zoom on the camera or the camera position might have even changed between these two exposures.

So I would like to Auto-Align these two images together. In order to do so, I'm going to select both of the layers in the Layers panel and then I'll choose Edit and then Auto-Align Layers. I'll make sure that Auto is selected and I'll turn off the Vignette Removal and Geometric Distortion and click OK. Now we can toggle these on and off and you can see how they're much better aligned. So I need to mask these images so that everyone is smiling.

If we look at the two layers, it's this top layer right now where everyone is happy except we have the blinker there. So what I'm going to do just because logically it makes more sense to me, I'm going to move the good image to the bottom of my layer stack. So if I hide that top layer, we now have the good image of basically everyone except for the girl at the bottom. And then when I toggle on the visibility of the top layer, we can see that we have the image of her that looks good. So now this makes it very easy for me to think all I need to do is paint her in and the image will be fine, but in order to do that, I need to hide everything else.

So, on this layer 02, I'm going to add a layer mask, but by default, the layer mask would be white and we would see exactly what we're seeing right now. What I'm going to do is hold down the Option or the Alt key and click on the Mask icon which will then create a black layer mask which is hiding everything. Then we can zoom in using Cmd++. I'll zoom into 100% and hold down my Spacebar and then move over so that we're looking at the girl. And then with my Brush tool selected, I'll make sure I'm painting in Normal mode with 100% Opacity, and I'll make sure that I'm painting with white because my mask is black, everything on this layer is hidden including the good version of this girl.

So now I'll use a rather large brush and I'm using the Right Bracket (]) key in order to get a larger brush, and in fact, we should take a look at the Hardness settings. You can see I've got a sort of medium-hardness brush. I don't want too soft of a brush, otherwise, the edges are going to start to look fuzzy but I don't want a really, really hard brush because I do want a little bit of blending to happen between the layer on top and the layer below. So now let's just start painting and I'm going to paint in the top layer and we will be able to then see the good version or the version of the girl where her eyes are open.

You always want to make sure that you toggle on and off this layer to make sure that you don't have anything kind of weird. For example, you might have painted up a little bit too high here and you might not notice that there's kind of a little bit of a mistake up by his collar. So if that happens, well, I've painted away too much, so I can tap the X key and paint with white there in order to show that again. So you might just need to go back and forth between the two layers, maybe getting a little bit smaller of a brush there, and just make sure that all of the scenes, for example, like all the hair flows, that there's not something weird that you've missed around the collar or something, or that it's not overlapping and causing a shadow anywhere.

So let's just see, there's before and after, and you might want to toggle back and forth a few times. This is kind of an easier example because she's got so much really pretty hair that it's easy to blend these two together. Let's zoom back out and the last thing we'd need to do is go ahead and crop this image. That was a great technique if you've got, say, two images that are very close in alignment to begin with, but you might be taking two very different images and trying to put them together.

So I do want to show you the manual way to do this. So let's go ahead and close this file and I'm going to return back to Bridge and I'm using the same two images and we'll do the same thing where we load them into Photoshop as Photoshop layers. But this time, instead of using the Auto-Align feature, we're going to do this manually. So now we know that the image where her eyes are open, that's the bottom layer and I want to move that to the top so I'll drag that up. And that just allows me to know that it's this base image, it's the bottom image where everyone else looks good.

And really, on this top image, when I select it and make it visible, we're really only worried about this area here. So let's make this easier on ourselves, let's go ahead and make a big selection here, and then let's just delete the rest. So Select>Inverse and then making sure that we're on the topmost layer, I'll just tap the Delete key. So now you can more clearly see that what we're working with is just this portion of this top layer.

We'll zoom in a bit and scoot over here using the Spacebar to access our Hand tool and I'm going to decrease the Opacity of this layer. The easiest way to do that is by tapping the V key that'll just give me the Move tool, and then I can tap the 5 key to get 50%. So we can see that the two layers are not aligned properly. I've got the top layer selected, I have my Move tool selected, and now we can reposition these. But not only are the two layers not aligned, they're not the same size.

So I also need to transform this. So I'll use Cmd+ or Ctrl+T to get my transformation handles, I'm going to need to zoom out a little bit, so Cmd+ or Ctrl+-. And then holding down the Shift key to make sure that I constrain proportions, I'm going to need to transform the layer on top and make it a little bit smaller in order to fit with the underlying image. I can transform from these outer handles, but you'll notice that it always transforms from the center.

So one of the things that you might want to try to do is align one area, like say, for example, the top of her head, and then move this transformation point to the top of her head. That way if I move the transformation handle down at the bottom, you'll notice that the image doesn't move quite as much as it would as if the transformation is in the center. Then we can use our Arrow keys to just nudge her more into position to see if we have the size of the top layer matching the size of the bottom layer.

I think it's still a little bit off, so let's go ahead and transform that a little bit more and make a little bit larger. Now I can see that the top of her head, when I use the nudge keys, those are aligned. We've almost got the eyes aligned, let's bring it down a little bit more, and then we'll use our Arrow keys to nudge it over to the left and a little bit higher. So we're just trying to get the overall shape of the face in alignment, so maybe right about there, and again, just nudging those over. So obviously her mouth isn't going to line up and not everything is going to line up at the same time because she will have tilted her head a little bit and she will be smiling and so her eyes will be in a different position as will her mouth.

But once we've got it positioned as closely as we think we can, we'll tap Enter or Return and then we'll also tap the 0 key. That's going to bring that layer's opacity back up to 100%. And now I'm going to hide what I don't want on that layer by adding a layer mask, and this time, I'm not going to hold down the Option or the Alt key. I'm simply going to add the mask. I'm going to grab the Brush tool by tapping the B key and now I want to make sure that I'm painting with black and I'm going to paint out all of the areas that I don't want, which are basically all of the areas except for her.

Now when you're doing this, again, you're going to want to make sure that you toggle on and off the visibility of this layer to make sure that you haven't missed anything. So let's go ahead and do that. I'll toggle on and off the Visibility. You can see that I do have some areas that I need to touch up a little bit. You can see how different his collar is between this version and this version. So again, I'll come in here, get a little bit smaller of a brush by using the Left Bracket ([) key. Let's just paint in the collar so that that looks correct. Come down here.

Let's make sure that this shoulder lines up when we toggle this on and off. That'll be fine. Come down here to the hair. Do you see there's something going on down here in the hand? So we'll want to make sure that we paint that out as well. Again, just on and off, and one of the things that you might want to do is actually hold down the Option key and click on the mask itself, and that will show you the mask so that you can just come in here and just paint in those white areas that you know are way outside of the girl who has her eyes closed that we're fixing here.

Then click on the Eye Icon again and just toggle that there on and off. So she is a little bit larger in the second one. We can go ahead and transform that down a little bit if we want to or if we're happy with this and this is okay, we can go ahead and leave this exactly as it is. So there're two methods of combining multiple images together in order to make that image where everyone looks good and everyone is smiling at the same time.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop CS6 Essential Training.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Photoshop CS6 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.