photoshop creative

How to create an invisible man in Photoshop, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
February 10, 2014

Get to grips with Photoshop’s Content-Aware feature to make a person vanish!

Download all the files for this tutorial here



Open the start image ‘InvisibleMan.jpg’ in Photoshop and begin by duplicating the Background layer. To do this, Ctrl/right-click on the layer and select Duplicate Layer. To create this effect you’ll be using a different layer for each edit, and so it’s important that the original image is not directly affected.


Rename the duplicate layer Left Hand. Select the Patch tool (J) and set it to Source in the Options bar (in Photoshop CS6, turn on Content-Aware). Make a selection around the person’s left hand and drag the area over a part of the image that should fill in that space (in Elements, use the Clone Stamp tool).


Continue to use the Patch tool until you have removed most of the hand. On a new layer select the Clone Stamp tool (S), zoom into the hand, and fix the edges of the sleeve and sofa. Hold Opt/Alt to sample a ‘good’ area and then hold down the left mouse button to paint that information over the ‘bad’ areas.


Move to the person’s right hand. Use the Quick Selection tool to accurately select the hand. Go to Edit>Fill and choose Content-Aware. Hit OK, and use a mixture of the Clone Stamp and Patch tools to clean up the edges of the selection (if you’re working in Elements, use the Clone Stamp tool again).


As we don’t know what the inside of the sleeve looks like we’ll have to reconstruct it. Make a rough selection over the top of the sleeve with the Rectangular Marquee tool. Go Edit>Copy and then Edit>Paste. Use Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to flip the layer vertically, resize the selection, and then fit into place to form a new sleeve.


On the sleeve’s layer add a new Layer Mask. Decrease the opacity of the layer temporarily, so you can see what’s going on underneath. Use the Brush tool set to black to clean up the edges of the sleeve. Reposition and duplicate the layer, if needed, to create a realistic edge.


Use the Patch tool (set to Content-Aware in Photoshop CS6) to complete the inside of the sleeve. For a realistic result keep the outer edges dark and smooth over any harsh edges. Also use the Clone Stamp tool to remove smaller bits.


Move up to the top of the image. Use the Quick Selection tool and carefully make a selection around the head and neck of the person. Zoom in to make sure you select all hair and finer details, ready for removing.


From the top menu select Edit>Fill and choose Content-Aware. Hit OK. The Content-Aware function will evaluate the area and make a guess on how to fill it. Use the Clone Stamp tool to do a quick clean up of the wall.


Open up the second image ‘InvisibleManShirt.jpg’. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to make a selection around the top of the jacket and collar. Copy and paste the selection onto your project. Temporarily lower the opacity of the layer, and then use the Free Transform to resize and move it into place on your image.

Continue to part 1