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Have you ever had a photo of yourself that you wished looked a little more unique, different, or creepy? With Halloween around the corner you will most likely have said yes. Lucky for you I will use the following tutorial to teach you how to create a different skin texture on your very own pictures!

Preparations:
- 1 picture of yourself, family, or friends (make sure you have permission first)
- 1 picture of a texture (CLICK HERE to get several different pictures of textures from Google Images)
- photo editing program of your choice (I will be using photoshop and pixlr in my examples but any program should work similarly)

Throughout this tutorial I will be using terminology frequently used within editing programs, other tutorials, and the design world. I will list the words you need to know below with their description to help you. I will also place the definitions in the steps they apply to.
- canvas: the canvas is the area that you will be working in. When you start working on a project chances are you will open several pictures. Instead of referring to each picture in individual files the programs create 1 canvas and opens all of the pictures into that one location.
- layer: these are the individual pieces of your canvas. Each photo will be 1 layer. Layers will appear in the order they are listed. The best way to look at a layer is to compare it to a cake. When you look at a chocolate cake you see the frosting and fun designs but underneath you know there are other layers of ingredients. You may only see the finished outside but each layer within is necessary to arrive at your final project.
- mask: masking is a term used when you hide aspects of the canvas. Imagine a mask that you would wear on Halloween. It will cover up the areas you don't want to be seen.

Helpful tip: name your pictures something you will remember if you come back to them later. img203_a2.jpg is not a good name because you will never remember what it is. Use descriptive words or numbers like dates, names, scenery, etc.

Helpful tip: While following the instructions when you see a bold word those are the actual words you will see in your program. The best part of this project is feeling accomplished and proud of the picture you will be creating. Being frustrated at the instructions will never help you feel accomplished and I wanted to remove this aspect so you can enjoy your work.

At the end of this tutorial I will post several photos that I made using these simple steps to show the many different possibilities you can have just by changing the pictures and adjusting locations.

Note to those without Photoshop: pixlr is a very powerful program with many of the same features as photoshop. Just because you don't have photoshop doesn't mean you can't have fun editing photos. It is a great program for those that like to manipulate photos as a hobby and I highly recommend it! To use pixlr visit this link PIXLR .

Step 1: Opening Both Images in Your Editing Program


Once you have selected both of your images that you will be using open the program that you will be using. Once you have opened the program open both photos. Do not worry about opening the pictures in any certain order. I will show you how to change the order if needs be.

Instruction for Photoshop:
1. Open the program on your computer.
2. Go to 'file' and 'open' the first picture from the location it is saved in. (see image 1)
3. Go to 'file' and 'place' the second picture in your document. (see image 2)
4. Look at your layers panel located to the right and make sure both images are open. (see image 3)

Instruction for pixlr:
1. Open pixlr in your browser.
2. Go to 'file' and 'open' the first picture from the location it is saved in. (see image 4)
3. Go to 'layer' and 'open image as layer' and open the select your second picture in your document. (see image 5)
4. Look at your layers panel located to the right and make sure both images are open. (see image 6)

Helpful tip: if you are not seeing one of the pictures double check the location you saved them and start from step 2.

Step 2: Arranging Your Pictures Into the Correct Order


A very important step is to make sure that your pictures are in the correct order on your canvas. You want the texture to be on the top layer or above the people/person you are changing the skin of. This will allow the texture to be seen through the skin. If your images are already in the correct order you can skip this step or use it as a reference. For those that need to change the order follow the steps below.

Instruction for Photoshop:
1. Make sure both images are open. (see step one for help)
2. Unlock the first layer by double clicking on the word 'background' . A dialogue box will open and click 'enter' . This will rename the layer from background to layer 0. (see images 1-3)
3. Grab (click and hold) the image that your texture is in and drag it above the other image in your layers panel. It should be the uppermost layer. When dragging you should see a thick bold line displaying what layer the image will now be in.

Instruction for pixlr:
1. Make sure both images are open. (see step one for help)
2. Unlock the first layer by double clicking the image of the lock next to the word background . This will rename the layer from background to layer 0. (see images 4 & 5)
3. Grab (click and hold) the image that your texture is in and drag it above the other image in your layers panel. It should be the uppermost layer. When dragging you should see a thick bold line displaying what layer the image will now be in.

Helpful tip: by double clicking the layer name you can rename it to stay organized.

Step 3: First Step of Selecting the Skin Texture to Replace: Using the Layer Mask


The next part of your project is the most crucial aspect of the whole process.

The first step is to add the layer mask to the image that has your 'texture' you would like the skin to be. By creating the layer mask you can easily change and edit which parts of the skin you want to be changed. By using the mask you don't have to be afraid of deleting or ruining parts of the original picture if you make a mistake or just want to make adjustments.

Instruction for Photoshop:
1. Locate your layers panel on the right. At the very bottom there is a white circle surrounded by a gray box (it should be the third image from the left). This is the layer mask button . (see image 1)
2. Make sure that your first layer is selected (the layer with your texture image) and then click the layer mask button .
3. A white box will appear next to the image in your selected layer. (see image 2)

Instruction for pixlr:
1. Locate the layers panel on the right. At the very bottom there is a gray circle surrounded by a white box (it should the the second image from the left). This is the layer mask button . (see image 3)
2. Make sure that your first layer is selected (the layer with your texture image) and then click the layer mask button .
3. A white box will appear next to the image in your selected layer. (see image 4)

Helpful tip: if you accidentally placed the layer mask on the wrong layer you can always undo your last action by going to 'edit' and then clicking 'undo layer mask' (it will just say 'undo' in pixlr).

Step 4: Second Step of Selecting the Skin Texture to Replace: Using the Brush Tool


The second step to selecting just the face will incorporate using the brush tool to 'paint' over the parts of the picture you don't want to be seen at all. By using the brush tool you can easily change what you want to be seen. Make sure that you are careful when painting around the skin.

Instruction for Photoshop:
1. Make sure that the layer mask box is selected (the white box next to the layer). (see image 1)
2. Locate your brush tool in your tool panel located on the left of your screen and click on it . (see image 2)
3. Locate the brush tool settings right above your canvas and edit them to match your needs (you can change the size for painting large areas or small detail work). (see image 3)
4. Make sure that you are painting with the color black . You can look to see what color you are painting with by looking at the bottom left corner of your screen. Double click the color square to open the color picker and choose black. (see image 4 & 5)
5. Paint the entire texture until you cannot see it anymore . You will see the image of your person appear. (see image 6 & 7)
6. Switch the brush color to 'white' and paint the skin of the person you want to change. You will see the texture appear in place of the skin. (see image 8 & 9)
7. Quickly double check to make sure that only the skin has been changed from the original picture.

Instruction for pixlr:
1. Make sure that the layer mask box is selected (it will be surrounded by a thin red line). (see image 10)
2. Locate your brush tool in your tool panel located on the left of your screen and click on it (it is just to the right of the pencil and right above the paint bucket). (see image 11)
3. Locate the brush tool settings right above your canvas and edit them to match your needs (you can change the size for painting large areas or small detail work). (see image 12)
4. Paint over the skin until your texture appears where needed. (see image 13)
5. Double check the edges.

Helpful tip: if you accidentally paint or erase parts of the image you didn't mean to you can always fix it. In photoshop just paint with the color white and it will 'remove' what you accidentally masked. In pixlr you can just switch between the brush and eraser to get the results you want.

Step 5: Third Step of Selecting the Skin Texture to Replace: Choose Your Blending 'mode'

Now that you have the texture in place of the skin the last step is to choose the blending mode of the texture. Feel free to experiment with which mode works best for you. The instructions below will show you where to find these blending options.

Instruction for Photoshop:
1. Make sure that you have the correct layer selected by clicking on the layer with your skin texture in it . (see image 1)
2. Locate the pull down bar above the layer with the word 'normal' in it. (see image 1)
3. Click on the pull down bar and select the blending option that works best for you. (see image 2)
4. Watch your skin change to a brand new texture. (see image 3)

Instruction for pixlr:
1. Make sure that you have the correct layer selected by clicking on the layer with your skin texture in it . (see image 4)
2. Locate the pull down bar below your layers labeled 'mode' and click on it (if you don't see it click on the bottom left box in the layers window. This will toggle the mode bar on and off) . (see image 4)
3. Scroll down the list until you find the blending option that works best for you. (see image 5)
4. Watch your skin change to a brand new texture. (see image 6)

Note: for the image that I changed in photoshop I used the blending mode 'vivid light'.
Note: for the image that I changed in pixlr I used the blending mode 'hard light' . (the pixlr image does not have a texture over the arms or hand)

Step 6: Finished!

Have fun mixing and matching! Change to different textures for different results!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am a graphic designer that loves to create pieces of art for anyone and everyone. I specialize in the Adobe Master Suites from CS4 ... More »
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