Great Dane Head Swap Photoshop Editing Tutorial

free editing tutorials Jun 09, 2015

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Group shots of dogs can be pretty tricky to nail in-camera at the best of times. With three off-lead Great Danes in a super distracting beach environment, we were incredibly fortunate they decided to co-operate and sit nicely next to each other for long enough that I had time to take a bunch of source shots. I knew as I was shooting that I would probably need to do some Photoshop magic to create that one perfect image of the three of them - so I snapped away madly and ended up taking nearly 50 frames - giving me plenty to work with.

In this editing tutorial I take three separate group shots of a family of Great Danes and use the best parts from each to create a new "perfect" group shot. The techniques and tools covered are Photoshop CS6's Layers and Layer Masks, with some Transforming, Levels and Dodging/Burning.

This was the base image I used as it is the sharpest shot and best expression of Moby (the back dog in the middle).

Below is the donor image used for Myffy (the blue girl on the left). It was much sharper than the shot of her in the donor image and she had a more alert expression.

The best shot of Nero (the harlequin boy on the right) was in this image, the only shot with his mouth closed and him looking relatively alert.

After the head swaps were completed in Adobe Photoshop, some further editing was completed to create the final edited version - which included fixing up or removing stray bits of grass, sand, eye gunk and general cleaning up.

The client loved the image and ended up getting a giant canvas for her home. Definitely worth all the work!

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