The recent advances in digital photo restoration techniques have made it possible to do almost any type of enhancement you may want on an old photograph – even replace or swap heads. Replacing a face on a picture can serve several purposes. Maybe the subject has a goofy expression while the rest is all perfect or maybe the subject tilted his head in such a way that it looks almost dislodged. Whatever be the reason, the process is still the same. It simply involves cutting the head from the image from one photograph and placing it in on the other. However, the tricky part is to make the new head look as natural as possible. If it is an important photograph, it is better to approach the help of a professional who specializes in photo editing because head replacement is an advanced editing technique.
Faces are the most complicated and significant part any photograph. Faces are unique, shaped differently; they carry non-similar features, shades of lighting, positions, angles, and other factors. There are different photo editing programs available in the market today. Though each program has its setup, the basic process is the same and it is briefed here:
Step 1: The replacement head is roughly selected and copied from the source photograph.
Step 2: It may not be possible for the selection in step 1 to be accurate. Some background may also be selected and cropped along with the head. Now, the replacement head is tidied up using appropriate options in the software. It is generally preferable to do this step against a black background as it will give a clearer view of what needs to be trimmed.
Step 3: The tidied up replacement head is moved on to the destination photograph. The head is positioned on the picture and evaluated. The head is resized and rotated until a perfect fit is achieved. It is important that the neck of the subject in the destination photograph and the replacement head are lined up as precisely as possible.
Step 4: If the replacement head has not completely obscured the original head, proper adjustments are made to completely remove it. In order to match the rest of the scene, color adjustments may also have to be made in this step.
Step 5: It is unlikely that the new head will immediately look at home on the photograph. The two photographs may have been taken under different light settings, different film speed settings etc. The brightness, contrast, and saturation levels are tweaked until the desired result is achieved.
If you have an old group photograph of your family members, you now know it is possible to correct anything in it, including replacing heads.