Terminate Yourself




About: A student of Biological and Chemical sciences in UCC, Ireland. I'm an obsessive geek with a lot of interest in prop making and indie film making, not that I'm experienced or good at it..... yet! :D

This is a fairly basic instructable on how to create certain effects in Photoshop. I used Photoshop CS5 for this but I'm certain that you can probably use similar tools in other programs to create these effects. I am trying to explain this so that a beginner at photoshop could do this but if you have any questions or don't completely understand any steps then please ask questions, I'm more than happy to answer them!

I am entering this instructable into the Halloween Photo Editing Chalenge so if you like this then please vote for me! :D

Step 1: Getting the Terminator Pic

There's a lot of photo's of Arnie posing as everyone's favourite homocidal, time-travelling android, and a few photos other terminators too. The internet is teeming with apropriate photos if you're willing to look a little, but for the sake of convenience I've added the photo I used, it's the one that I think is most apropriate, iconic and has the best effect in the end! Once you've found it you need to save it to your computer for a little later on.

Step 2: Taking Your Own Photo

It's best to take a new photo as opposed to finding an old one that might work, this is mainly because few people have a terminator expression while posing for photos. You want to mimic the pose in the Photo of the terminator you are using, if you use the one I provided then this basically means a blank, expressionless face looking directly at the camera. Take a look at my ugly mug shot as reference if you need it!

Step 3: Putting the Picture Together

You'll need to open up Photoshop and then open both pictures in Photoshop. This can be done by going to file>open... and then browsing untill you find the files. You'll need to select the entire terminator photo with the Select tool. once you have it selected you'll have to go to the toolbar on the left and click on the move tool, then drag the image near the top of the screen and hover the mouse over the tab for the photo of yourself, a moment later the screen should shift to that tab and you will be able to drag the terminator image over the image of you.

If you are unsure about what I was talking about then check out the pictures, they should (hopefully) clear up any confusion.

What this does is it uses the terminator image to form a new layer on top of the image of yourself, you can move this image about to center it if you want or you can just do it in the next step.

Step 4: Transforming the Image

In this step you need to reshape the terminator face to cover your one better. The first thing to do is to go to the "layers" menu at the right hand side of the screen (check the pictures for direction), open up the menu and select "layer 1"; the terminator picture. There should be a box entitled "opacity" which is probably set to 100%. This setting determines how see-through the layer is. You will need to adjust this so that you can see both the terminator picture and your own face simultaneously, this will make things a lot easier in a moment. I set mine to about 60% but it's really down to personal preference, don't be afraid to play around with the setting later.

Once you're comfortable with the opacity you'll need to right-click on the terminator pic and select free transform from the menu. this creates small boxes on in the corners ofthe picture that lets you drag and reshape the image as you see fit. To move the image just click and drag it into position. Reshaping is done by clicking and draging the corner boxes.

There's no real right or wrong in this step, you'll have to eyeball it. That said there are a few things to keep in mind; it works out best when you match up particular features between the two images, so for example try and reshape it such that the terminator eyes are over your own, the same goes for the mouth and jaw-line. Other than that it's determined by what looks apropriate. Once you're happy with it you'll have to confirm the transformation by selecting the move tool from the left hand side.

Step 5: Adding the Vector Mask

Once the transformation is complete you'll need to go back to the layer menu and set the opacity back to 100%. Still in the layer menu, you have to add what is called a vector mask to the terminator image. The button for this is along the bottom of the layer menu, it looks like a grey rectangle with a white circle in it, once again, look at the pictures for reference.

This creates a white rectangle next to the image in the layer menu, it should be all white. This box determines how much of the image is visible and how much is see through. Right now it's all white, so completely visible. If you selected the vector mask (by clicking on it :P ), select your brush tool and set your colour to black then you could draw over the terminator face and it would fade away. This would be very time consuming though and probably wouldn't give the best effect. Instead we'll use the gradient tool.

Step 6: Gradient

To use the gradient tool, go to the left hand toolbox and right click on the paint-bucket tool, a small menu will appear with Gradient tool and Paint-Bucket tool on it, select the gradient tool. Make sure that your fore-colour is white and that your background-colour is black. You can change them by clicking on them.

Now the fun begins! Once the vector mask is selected, click and drag between any two points on the terminator image. This causes the image to fade gradually between the two points where you dragged. Get a feel for the tool and have fun with it, but the main aim here is to get a fairly accurate fade between the torn off terminator face and the rest of Arnolds face. It doesn't have to be perfect, but the better job you do know, the easier it will be later.

Step 7: Touch Ups

I don't think it's possible to get it bang on right using just the gradient tool (if you manage it then well done!!!) so the next thing to do is touch it up using the paint brush. When you select the vector mask and use white, you will paint on the terminator face, when you use black you'll end up fading the terminator face and revealing your own. so you might be wondering to yourself "hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I painted on grey?". Well that is a fantastic question! the answer is that you'll paint on a partially see-through section of terminator face and this is very important for feathering the two images together and creating that seamless effect.

P.S: you're probably now wondering what would happen if you painted on red or blue or yellow or any other random colour. Well that's not as good a question, it does nothing of interest (I know, I've tried).

Step 8: Details!

nearly done now! But it would probably be odd for a terminator to have half it's face torn off and the other half to be perfectly unharmed! In my humble opinion I think that it's best to add a little bruising at least to the other half. There are instructions on the internet for things like this but personally I think the easiest thing is to find a nice dark purple colour, select your pant brush tool and then go to the top of the screen and set the paint brush opacity to about 10%. I gave the entire skin a coat of this just to darken it a little, then I went over certain areas two or three times, namely under the eye, the cheek bone and the bottom lip.

After that what you should do is select the burn tool. to do this go to the left hand toolbox, right-click on the dodge tool (that'll look kinda like a lolly-pop :D ) and select the burn tool. Towards the top of the screen you'll see the burn tool settings, the settings I used are in one of the pictures; range set to shadows and exposure set to about 10%.

Remember, play around with these settings untill you're happy, don't be scared to experiment and save often.

Step 9: Cropping and Finishing

Last thing to do is crop the photo! use the select tool to select the section of the photo that works, then hit the crop button (near the top left corner of the screen) and save! This is just a technique so remember it can be applied to a lot of different photos, for example you could try it for two face the dark night :D hope you have fun with it! And PLEASE vote for me in the Halloween Photo Editing Challenge! Thanks!

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    13 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very neat, expertly done, but can we see some more scars, bullet holes, axe-cuts please.... hahahaha.

    You've got great Photoshop skills, what's next?

    Thanks for showing us.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    wow lol i now know that i can terminate myslef but can we like do the same for our arm or somthing?

    1 reply
    Hugo Boomneivadan

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    that's a really nice idea! it'd take a bit of work i would think but if you find a good photo from the famous scene in terminator 2 then I don't see why not :D


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I would vote for you but when I went to the contest and clicked view entries, yours was not listed. Guess I'll come back later...

    2 replies
    Hugo BoomJustPhil

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I think it takes about a day for the instructable to be accepted.... I hope! Thanks a lot :D