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How to Remove Your Ex in Photoshop
Have you ever seen a profile picture that is cropped to show just one subject, but the hands of someone else are awkwardly still there? In today’s episode we show you the tools to remove your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend in Photoshop! Ah, if only it was this easy in real life…
Step One: Pen Tool
When removing an obstruction from someone’s skin, the best way to start off is with the pen tool. Create a selection around the area that you need to eliminate from the image, the shoulder where the hands are, in this case. Depending on the picture, you will most likely have to create a body part from scratch! This is not as scary as you might think. The pen tool can make curves as big as you’d like, and you can always redo your pen path. Trace around the outside of where you think the shoulder would be, and be sure to include all of the hand which you are getting rid of.
For a more detailed tutorial on the pen tool, check out our episode from earlier this week: phlearn.com/use-pen-tool-photoshop
Right click to make your path into a selection, and feather it out slightly. This generally makes it look more realistic because it is less harsh of a line.
Next, select the brush tool and hold ALT/OPT to sample a color that will replace where the hand was. You can then paint right over the hand without your brush going outside of the selection.
We have a problem though. Most of the hand is gone from the outside edge of the shoulder, but we need to get rid of the hand that covers up the actual skin. To fix this, go to Select — Inverse. Now you are able to paint inside of the shoulder rather than outside of it.
Step Two: Clone Stamp Tool
Time to cover up that creepy floating hand! Use the clone stamp tool to do this and make sure to sample areas that are very close to where you will be painting.
For some added realism, you can go back to the brush tool, sample some color from the background, and paint it ever so slightly over top of the edge of the skin to give it some glow.
Step Three: Brush Tool
The clone stamp tool is the best option and will take care of the entire problem in some cases, but in others there will not be enough information to sample from. After doing what you can with the clone stamp tool, the brush tool will come to the rescue! This might take some time and practice as you are painting in skin from scratch. Here are some tips for painting skin:
• Use a soft edged brush to blend the tones
• Zoom in and out to see the skin from multiple perspectives and evaluate the progress
• Sample colors from close to where you are painting
• Be very cautious if you are doing this on a face; this can completely change the way someone looks because faces are so distinct
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