“If They Mated” – Exercise 9 (E09LastFirst.psd)

artist: Karina Cortez



Please take out your notes and be ready in about 5 minutes to watch a quick demo!

Students will try their hand at two of the most powerful techniques in Adobe Photoshop, compositing and masking while attempting to digitally combine the best of two separate digital photos taken in class into one “If They Mated” image!




  1. Open two photos of classmates in Photoshop. Choose one of the baby templates I have found for you (or find your own if it is high resolution). The baby portrait can be the template for combining the features, or one of the photos of a classmate can be the template for the combined features- the choice is yours.
  2. Choose File-  Place and bring in one of the photos of a student in your period. It will be larger than the baby photo so you will have to resize it.
  3.  With the layer opacity set to around 50% use Free Transform (Control +T) to resize the image until it fits closely over the top of the baby’s face. Now increase the layer opacity to 100%. If the face needs to be rotated or altered, move the cursor over the handles to rotate or pinch any of the sides!
  4. Making sure that you have the correct layer selected (the one with the green screen background), choose the Magic Wand Tool (W) or the Quick Selection Tool and set the tolerance low then select the green screen background. Check your selection quickly by clicking on the Quickmask button just below the foreground/background colors near the very bottom of the Tool bar. The area you have selected will be white, while the rest of the image will be red. Make sure the background is selected (go to Select – Inverse if it is not).
  5. Once the selection is perfected, click on the Layer Mask button near the bottom of the layers palette, and watch the mask cover all the pixels you selected! The mask must be selected to alter the mask, and the layer icon must be selected to alter the layer itself.
  6. Play with the mask until you have hidden some features, and revealed others. Start to edit the mask to make the baby’s face mix with the features of the student you chose. When using the Brush Tool (B), be sure to use a soft edged spray brush for areas with a soft change from baby skin to teenager skin. Move the Opacity slider on the Brush menu (along the top of the interface), as well as the Flow slider to obtain best results.
  7. Now import another photo from your class and follow the steps to resize, import, and free transform the face over the top of the baby’s face. You should now have two photos to mix features onto the baby template, play with them for comedic value, but please remember to be respectful of your classmates’ feelings. We want funny, not hurtful!
  8. Save this exercise as E09LastFirst.psd

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