Everybody has seen the floating heads effect on posters, album covers, and the covers of magazines. We integrate several images and expertly incorporate them into the background.

I had the thought while toying with Photoshop’s improved gradient tool that this would be useful for heads and faces. I gave it a try, and I realised right away that I had found the best application for this tool. I can’t wait to tell you about this finding right now.

Getting all the photographs into Photoshop and placing them in layers in a single document is the first thing we must do.

To load files into a stack, select File>Scripts.

Go to Browse and select your pictures. The images will be piled together if you have already opened them in Photoshop by selecting Add Open Files.

Press “OK”

A single document will have layers for each of the photographs.

By clicking the eyeballs in the Layers panel, disable all layers other than the background.

Resize and place the pictures of the faces one at a time. To transform for free, press Ctrl/Cmd+T. Drag to place. To resize, drag the corner edges.

For each photograph, we will carry out the following processes.

Make the layer visible after selecting it. (eye symbol)

To add a mask, click the New Layer mask button.

(G Key) Select the Gradients tool.

Transparent Foreground and Radial are good choices.

Ensure that the background colour is black.

Verify that the top bar’s REVERSE checkbox is checked. Alternately, use a gradient from black to white. Multiple gradients may be used on a single mask (the Transparency option permits this).

ensuring that the layer’s mask, not the image, is selected.

Drag away from the middle. You’ll see that it gives the image a lovely vignette effect and blends it into the background.

In the Properties panel, drag the center point under opacity control. This will change how the edges feather. (You should be able to do this with the diamond on the overlay, but that appears to be broken at this time).

It’s simple to manually touch up the mask if you want to.

Pick up a brush. Black and white paint can be used to cover over or reveal regions. Be careful when manually painting because if you’re not careful, you could quickly destroy the smooth blend.

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