How to change the skin texture of a human in photoshop

Posted by admin | On site photoshop tutorials | Tuesday 16 June 2009 4:43 pm

Difficulty – easy

In this short photoshop tutorial you will learn some basic photo-manipulation techniques that you will be able to use in order to create much more complex images (combining images, layer blending modes, color burn, color dodge, selection sets, etc.)

For this tutorial you will need a photo of a person, and a texture that you will use for replacing his skin.

Open the first photo in photoshop, and using the magnetic selection tool, make a selection of the skin area.
You can also use the lasso tool or the polygonal lasso tool, to refine the selection if it is needed.
Once the selection is complete save it (click on “select”, “save selection” and type an appropriate name).

With the selection active, click on “image”, “adjustments”, “color balance” and change the color to a green hue, like in the image bellow:

Open the other image (the texture) and drag it as a new layer, over the first photo, placing it on top of the person’s face.
Now load the selection that you have previously saved, click on “select”, “inverse” and press delete. You should end up with something similar to the following image:

Change the blending mode of the texture layer from “normal” to “multiply” and set the opacity to 80%

It is starting to look good, but the new texture looks a little flat, so you will need to give it some depth. For this, you need to use a soft brush white color set to “color dodge” and paint over the highlighted areas. Following the same principle, use another soft brush, black color, set to “color burn” and paint over the darker areas.

You can experiment with various opacity values for the brushes, depending on the results you get. Here is what I came up with.

Just for fun, I played with the color of the person’s eyes, to give it a scary look (like in the “eyes color change tutorial” I posted some time ago)

Thanks for following the tutorial, and I hope you had fun with it.


  1. Comment by Jon Pianki — June 16, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    This is pretty cool. Thanks.

  2. Pingback by Decomposing a face in photoshop | Tutorials for Designers — June 24, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

    […] you will learn to work with masks, filters, selections, etc. This tutorial is a follow-up of “how to change the skin texture” tutorial that I’ve posted last week. If you haven’t read that one yet, I strongly suggest […]

  3. Comment by Garrison Fall — July 7, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    Haven’t seen this sort of effect explained so clearly before.

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