Creating Invisible People Using Adobe Photoshop CS

We'll start with this image of a well known celebrity.


It's not the most complicated of images but will give you a general understanding of the tools and techniques used to create invisible images.

Carmen Animation

Step 1: Starting Out

Open your file and create a new blank layer above the background layer.

new layer

Using the clone stamp tool....

Clone Stamp Tool

From your brush palette choose a standard brush.


In the options bar at the top of the screen, be certain that "Use All Layers" is checked.

Option(alt) click a point in the blue area to set the origin point. This is the point that the clone tool pulls data from in order to replace it where you paint.

Cloned Carmen

Repeat this process for any skin or area you do not want to be present on the final image.

Using the clone stamp tool on a complicated background can be done however you must pay attention to where you're origin point is and the direction of your brush strokes. The clone stamp tool can easily create pattern which look unnatural in most images. Close attention to your origin point and direction of painting can let you clone complicated items easily. It's generally best to reset your origin point often in order to create random source points. Using the same origin all the time makes it very difficult to clone complicated areas. Here I've cloned out all the skin except the hands. Since the hands are over the jeans, they will take a little extra attention when cloning.

All But Hands Gone

Cloning over items (hands)

I'm going to create a new layer above my other layers to clone out the hands.

New layer for hand cloning

Now I'll set my origin point on the jeans to the right of her right hand (Which is the hand on the left in the image.) I'll then click and drag to paint in an upward left stroke. Keeping the overall direction of the jeans going our from the center of her body.

Carmen four

Repeat the cloning in the opposite direction for the other hand.

All gone

Pay close attention to the seams on her jeans. You can set your origin point to be directly on the seam then clone left or right in the exact same direction as the seam in order to duplicate it. This may take a little practice. Just keep hitting undo then retrying until you get it right.

Step 2: Rebuilding

Now that we've got all the parts we don't want in the image covered, we need to rebuild the things that her body was covering up like the back of the shirt and the inside of her jeans.

Create a new layer above all your other layers.

Change the settings in the window to match the ones in the image below.

Rebuildign Layer

Select a standard Brush again.

Brush Selection

I'm going to paint the back of her top in first. So I'll sample a color from her top by holding down the option(alt) key and clicking in an area that contains the color I want to use.

From here I'll simply paint in where I feel the shirt would be. There's no real way I can tell you how to do this. It takes a certain eye to know the spacial relations and how object would appear. There's no shortcut or magic button for this part. You simply need to understand how things would look if there were there.

After I finished painting in the top, I lowered the opacity of the layer in order to separate it from the front of the shirt. This worked well for this image, but won't always work for all images.

Fill at 36

Here you see the back of her top all painted in. This was done all freehand and using my best judgement as to where things would be.

Painted Top

I then created another new layer and repeated the painting process for her jeans.

Jeans inside

Step 3: Filling in Details

Simply painting in the jeans didn't look good to me. So I decided to clone the texture into the inside of the jeans. I command (Control) clicked on my painted jeans layer. This loads the area as a selection. I then grabbed the clone stamp tool again. Creating a selection ensures that the area I paint will be restricted to that selection and I won't paint outside of it.

I then set the origin point to be on the jeans in an area with good texture. Then I painted with the clone stamp tool over the area for the inside of her jeans paying close attention to avoid any obvious patterns created by the cloning.


Now that I've got a good texture appearance inside the jeans I need to give that area a little depth to make it appear as though the jeans are hollow.

Select the gradient tool:


In the options bar at the top of the screen, set the blend mode to "Multiply" and be certain to use the foreground to transparent linear gradient. Set the foreground color to a dark blue similar to the jeans, you can do this by simply option (alt) clicking an area in the jeans that has a color you want to use.

Your gradient options should look like this:

Gradient Options

The selection for the inside of the jeans is still active. This is good. If the selection is not active, reselect that area. Now click and drag the gradient from below the selection to about halfway into the selection.

Jean Gradient

If you aren't happy with your gradient simply hit undo and try again until you get the appearance you like

Step 4: More Details

Okay, we've got the basic structure for the jeans done. But there are a few seams on the front of the jeans that would also appear on the inside of the jeans. So we need to mimic the seams on the inside.

The first step is to select and copy an area of the seam that would work for us. I made a somewhat loose selection around the top seam on the jeans. This seam will work well for the top inside of the jeans.

Seam selection

Hit Command-Shift-C on the keyboard (Control-Shift-C for PCs), this copies what's visible. In other words it copies exactly what you see, not necessarily what is on the layer that's highlighted in the layers palette.

Then hit paste. This should generate a new layer with a copy of the seam on it. Move this layer to the very top of the layers in the layers palette if it's not there already. Here I\ve renamed my layers to make them easier to follow at this point. The seam copy is on the "Jeans Detail" Layer.

Jean Detail

Now hit command-t on the keyboard (control-t for PCs) to bring up the free transform handles. Use the handles and rotate the seam around to get as close as you can to matching the back edge of the inside of the jeans. It's not going to line up perfectly, just get as close as possible. We'll make it perfect in a moment. Once you get the seam close double click inside the transform area or hit the enter key on the keyboard to set the transformation in place.

Free Trans Seam

In order to get the seam to fit perfectly we'll need to use the liquify filter to push the areas around. So with the seam layer highlighted go to Filter > Liquify in the menu. This will bring up a big dialog box. Leave most of the settings on their default values. Be sure to check the "Show Background" option so you can see all layers in the document. Now with a mid-sized brush setting click and drag around your seam to make it line up to the inside edge of the jeans.


The liquify filter may take a little getting used to, but you'll get great results by using it. When you've got the seam lined up perfectly hit the Okay button to complete the filter.

Seam After Liquify

Okay we've got that seam in place perfectly. However, the front of the jeans shows two seams along the top. So, grand the move tool (Upper right corner of the tool bar) and hold down the option (alt) key and drag your seam down to where the second one would be. The option key will copy the layer. Obviously this second seam is going to stick out of the inside on the ends. So simply grab the eraser and erase the extra parts. Here's where we are now:

Where we are now

Step 5: Even More Details

The back of the jeans need a seam. After all jeans do have a seam running right down the middle of the back side.

Select a small portion fo a seam on the front of the jeans

back seam

Hit command-shift-C on the keyboard to copy visible. Then paste (Command-v). This will create a new layer for this small seam. Now hit command-t on the keyboard to bring up the free transform handles. Rotate this small seam to be in basically a vertical position to match the backside angle fo the jeans.

Rotate Back Seam

Double click or hit the enter key to set the transformation in place. I chose grab the move tool, to hold down the option key and click-drag this seam to create a duplicate so my seam would appear two seams wide. I then hit Command-e on the keyboard (Control-e for PCs) to merge the two small seam layers into one layer making them easier to move. Then move your seam to where it would be located on the back of the jeans. Like the image below:

Back seams

Then simply grab the eraser tool and erase the extra length that would not appear on the front of the jeans.

Back Seams

Step 6: Still More Details

Now all clothing has tags inside them. You can't always see the tags for the clothing, but in this case I'm going to figure you'll see some tags on the inside. Creating tags is probably the easiest part to do. Simply create a selection where you think the tag should be located and the size and shape you feel it would be.

Jean Tag Select

On a new layer, fill this selection with white in this case. Then lower the layer opacity or fill opacity to get the appearance right. (Either fill opacity, or opacity will work in this case. Use whichever you prefer)

Layer Fill Opacity

Jeans Tag

Now repeat the same thing for the shirt... after all they have tags too.

Shirt Tag

Step 7: Enough Details already!

Lastly, for a complete images we need to add the appearance of little writing on the tags. I simply grab a small, standard brush, set black as my foreground color then on a new layer paint in some squiggles to look like writing. You don't have to be precise or even worry about anyone reading it, it just has to look like something is printed on the tags.

So there you have it. The final image.

Final Carmen

As you can see, with a detailed image this can get to be a very long process taking a great deal of work to finish. The better you are with the clone stamp tool, the more rapidly you'll be able to complete images.

I Hope this tutorial has been helpful.

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