Apply Flowerful Face Mask Effect to your Photos

By Freepik Academy 2 weeks ago

Have you seen that scene in ‘Men In Black’ in which a man’s face opens and there’s an alien inside? In this tutorial we’ll do something similar – opening part of a model’s face in order to show some element coming out from inside. In this case, flowers.

As always, I invite you to use your own photos in the project, but if you want to use the one I used, you just have to click here. When choosing the photo, you just have to bear in mind the position of the face so that you can toy around with this effect.


Setup the Document

As always, before facing any design project, we have to prepare the document so that all the resources we’re going to work with are in perfect shape, and thus we avoid our files being oversize. It’s very important that we prepare the software properly, configuring the resolution and color mode parameters in a way that meets our requirements.

For this project I used the photo of a model, which I got from Freepik for free. Nevertheless, I encourage you to practice with your own photos and to share with me the results in the Projects tab on Tutpad. If you have any doubt during the project you can contact me through the questions forum.

Step 1

First, you have to create a new document (Ctrl / Cmd + N) with the size of the image you’re going to use, or the size you decided to use for this image. For this photo montage I’ll use the size of the original image and afterwards I’ll crop it to adjust it to my needs if necessary. Then, to get the image into the artboard, you can click on File → Place Embedded…, or you can also drag and drop the image over your open document.


Now, adjust the image to the canvas while holding Alt + Shift so the image enlarges in a scaled and uniform way.


As I told you, another way of introducing the image in our document is dragging it inside.


And, if you still haven’t made up your mind on which is the method you like the most, there’s one more option: right click on the file → Open with → Adobe Photoshop.


Although all this methods look the same, there are subtle differences among them. Honestly, I prefer to use the first method, because this way I have total control over the configuration of the image and, besides, when placing the image embedded, Photoshop places it as a smart object.

First Steps

We’ve prepared the document to work on it. The only thing left now is start working on our montage. In this chapter you’ll see step by step how the mask is prepared for in a final step, go on to introduce the flowers.

Step 1

We’ll create a path to define the mask shape. I decided to make the border with this method because I can save the path in order to adjust it, modify it or reuse it throughout the editing process. To make the path, I used the Pen tool (P).


Step 2

When we’re done with the path, we’ll click twice on it to open the Paths panel and we’ll save it with the name we want (the path we made will appear with the name ‘Work Path’ by default).


Step 3

Now we’ll convert the path into a selection. We’ll do this by clicking on the Load Path As A Selection button, which you’ll find at the bottom of the Path panel (it’s the dotted line circle button).


If you see the option grayed out, it may be because the path is not selected (sounds obvious, but it happens).


Step 4

Back to the Layers panel. Select the photo layer and create a layer mask.


Step 5

Duplicate this layer (Ctrl / Cmd + J or right click → Duplicate Layer…)


Step 6

Select the bottom layer’s mask and invert the layer mask using Ctrl / Cmd + I.


Step 7

Select the top layer and, using the Move tool (V), move the mask towards the left.


Layer Styles

Step 1

Double click on the layer where the mask is and open the Layer Style window.


Step 2

Select Inner Glow and setup the values as in the image below. These are the ones I chose, but you can try and choose your own setup.


With this effect we’ll add volume to the shape of our mask.

Step 3

Before closing the Layer Style window, we’ll turn on Drop Shadow and set the values as in the image below.


Step 4

Create a layer with a solid color (#573f33) and place it at the bottom of the other two layers. You can do this from the black and white circle button at the bottom of the Layers panel or clicking Layer → New Fill Layer → Solid Color…

I took a dark tone from the hair with the eyedropper and darkened it a bit more.


Step 5

Now we’ll make the cut of the mask in the face. For this, we’ll also use Drop Shadow. Holding the Control key and click on the face mask layer’s layer mask in order to make the mask’s selection. Then, create a new empty layer and fill it with any color.


Step 6

Select the layer and set the Fill to 0.


Step 7

Open the Layer Style window, turn on Drop Shadow and set its values so the shadow is completely hard. With this, we’ll make it look like we’re doing the shape of the face. To choose the color of this cut, I chose the darkest tone in the model’s lips (#793333). I also added some grain for texture.


Step 8

Now we’ll add the flowers to our project and we’ll set them right below the mask layer. You can download the flowers from here (I used number 16). You can hide the spare parts of the flower with a layer mask.


Last Details

With this, we could conclude out tutorial, but we could add some fine finish to it and provide some volume to it by adding some leaves on the model’s face, so if you’re up for it, let’s take it further.

Step 1

Holding the Control key, click on the flowers layer to create a selection.


Step 2

Select the face mask layer’s layer mask and paint black the leaf we want to be over it.


Step 3

Keep the selection and paint the zone on which the leaf would drop its shadow in a new layer. We won’t use black for the shadow, but a very dark brown (#382820).


Step 4

Now, press Ctrl + D to deselect and apply a 15 px Gaussian Blur to the layer. Then, move the blurred layer until you adjust it to the shadow.


Step 5

Hold the Control key and click the flowers layer again to select the leaf again and erase using the Eraser tool (E) the paint on the flower.


Then, if you notice it needs any more adjustment outside the selection, you can do it, but be careful.

Step 6

Now we’ll play around with Fill and Opacity until we get a result we like.


Step 7

When I finished my image I wasn’t very happy with the shadow dropped by the mask using the Drop Shadow option on the top of the mask, so I repeated the steps I did to get the leaf’s shadow. This way I highlighted the mask’s shadow at the top. I’ll place this layer right below the flowers layer.


Step 8

Finally, though I didn’t mention it throughout the tutorial, it’s very important that you name all the layers so you know what’s on them at all times.


And that’s it!

With this we can conclude the tutorial. If you’ve had any doubts throughout the tutorial, you know you can comment on the tutorial’s forum. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. And of course don’t forget to upload your projects to the ‘Projects’ tab so both me and the rest of Tutpad’s community can enjoy your progress.