Turn a grown-up into a tod­dler with some help from Pho­to­shop!

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Pho­to­shop of­fers a whole bag of tools and tricks that makes pulling por­traits into new shapes as sim­ple as drag­ging your mouse. In this tu­to­rial, we’ve taken in­spi­ra­tion from Cris­tian Girotto’s sur­real se­ries of por­traits, which re­veal the in­ner child of fully-grown adults.

To re­verse the age­ing process, it’s worth think­ing about the dif­fer­ences be­tween a child’s face and an adult’s face. In gen­eral, chil­dren have smaller noses, less de­fined cheeks, chub­bier fea­tures, big­ger eyes and flat­ter eye­brows than grown-ups. We can make all of th­ese al­ter­ations with the amaz­ing Liquify fil­ter, which en­ables you to push, pull and morph pix­els. Once done, we’ll fin­ish off by re­mov­ing tell-tale signs of age, like wrin­kles and blem­ishes, then add rosy cheeks.

We’ve used two por­traits, taken mo­ments apart, for this project. For the sec­ond shot we moved the cam­era slightly closer to the sub­ject’s head (the slight change in per­spec­tive makes the over­sized head look more re­al­is­tic) but you can still get good re­sults from a sin­gle por­trait – if you want to sur­prise some­one by work­ing from an ex­ist­ing photo, for ex­am­ple.

Whether you want to cre­ate a fun por­trait like this, or just make your sub­ject look younger, the way you light the face plays a big part. Large, frontal light­ing fills out any shad­ows, and soft­ens wrin­kles, crow’s feet and eye bags, so for our two start im­ages, we po­si­tioned a big soft­box above the cam­era, with a re­flec­tor held be­low the chin. A sec­ond ‘edge’ light came from be­hind the sub­ject to the right.

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