How to make a realistic car face-swap rendering

A lot of you guys have been taking up face-swaps, so I figured I'd share my method.

31w ago

To start, face-swaps aren't that hard. I can do them, which means pretty much anyone can. Don't be afraid to try, and if it doesn't turn out, then just try again until it looks the way you want it to.

I normally use Pixlr X to edit my photos, because it is free, easy to use, and does everything I need it to.

Step 1: Find some photos

The stock images section on Pixlr X

The stock images section on Pixlr X

The trick to finding good images to base your renders on is getting HD images that you're allowed to use. I recommend Unsplash, mostly because you can get them in the Pixlr X "stock images" section. Feel free to use your own photos if you want, too.

Find the car that you want to use as your base first. We'll get to the other one later. This one should show the entire car, and have the car at a normal angle. It is very frustrating when you have to find another car on the same angle when it is strange.

Step 2: Create a new file

So, once you've chosen your picture (I chose this Civic Type-R), open it in a new file.

Step 3: Choose a photo to face-swap with

This photo must be at the same or at least close to the same angle as the initial picture if you want your render to turn out. Ideally it should be a similar colour, but focus on the angle first.

Step 4: AI Cutout

Look at the sidebar to the left, and you should see a pair of scissors. Make sure you have the correct car selected (in this case the Mustang). Then, click on the scissors icon, and select AI Cutout. It will automatically remove the background of the selected photo. Trust me, it will make your life a LOT easier.

Step 5: Erase the car except for the front.

Select the paintbrush, then the eraser icon. Choose a size for the eraser, and wipe out the body and wheels of the car (Mustang for me). Be sure to leave the front intact. I usually keep the hood, too. Gone over a bit? Don't worry, just press "undo". When the erasing is done, it should look something like the photo above.

Step 6: Scale the image so everything lines up properly

This part involves going into the "Arrange" section of the sidebar, and dragging the corners of the image to resize it. Turn off "Lock Aspect" so you can adjust the proportions. Just make it fit nice, and look great! Ok, never mind the part about looking great. Chances are your car won't win any beauty contests. Mine certainly won't!

Step 7: Adjust the colours

In order for your render to look realistic, the colours have to match fairly well. Go to the "Adjust" section (the sun), and adjust the hue and brightness of the second car (the Mustang) so it matches the first car (the Honda). This step is crucial for making your render look real. If your colours are nowhere near similar, then put everything in black and white and adjust from there. Remember, they don't have to match perfectly, but try to make them as close as possible.

Step 8: Blend the colours together.

This might be the most difficult step of all, but if you want your render to look real enough to drive off the screen, then stick with me. I'll provide plenty of images to guide you through this step.

Start with the paintbrush. Make the brush a bit larger than normal, and the softness very high.

The settings in the photo above are pretty good.

Now it's time to change the colour of the brush. Use the "pick up colour" tool (see below, it's the little syringe) and pick up the colour right beside where the two photos meet. Either side works fine.

Then, just paint over the edge between the photos.

Like this. I chose to use the Mustang's paint. Next, you will do the same for the other side. Be sure to use a very soft brush if you want it to look good. It's okay to re-adjust the colours of the car, if you aren't sure they will line up well. I had to do that.

Once you've made a bit of tweaking, the transition between the two photos should be nice and smooth. It's alright if you didn't get it the first time, you can always try again.

Step 9: Share your creation on DriveTribe!

So, that's the finished product.

I recommend posting your render in the "Design Community" tribe:

If that didn't make any sense, feel free to send me a DM!

Also, be sure to check out Lukas Shepherd's guide:

Thanks for reading, I can't wait to see everyone's renders!

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Comments (3)

  • Great article! Maybe, I can try mixing the colours, too! And thanks for putting my article's link in it too!

      7 months ago
  • Thanks, well told. 👍😎

      7 months ago
  • Thanks my first time face swapping and came out with this -

    (Inspired by one of Lukas Shepherd's posts)

      4 months ago