Deke’s Techniques 130: Head Shrinking in Photoshop

This week, I share with you a totally goofy technique that I think is funny, but otherwise has very little in the way of practical value. I originally wanted to call it “Giving a guy a little head.” But my beloved producer at thought that sounded too salacious, so he changed the title to “Head-shrinking.” But I still say my title was more accurate. After all, in this week’s video I give guy a little head, quite literally (pull your mind out of the gutter!), in Photoshop.

Here’s the official description from

This week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode demonstrates a (fairly ridiculous) method for shrinking a model’s head while leaving his body in standard proportion. Although, at first glance, this seems like another wacky manifestation of Deke’s fertile imagination (or an homage to The Talking Heads), there are legitimate reasons (and skills) involved in learning how to transform one part of an image while matching the remaining parts to the newly deformed layer.

Ultimately, Deke shows you how to take the normally proportioned model on the left, and shrink his head and realign his shoulders to match so that the David Byrne effect is seamless, as on the right, using a combination of layer mechanics, the Free Transform command, and of course the tricky, but oh-so-useful Liquify command:

Giving a guy a little head in Photoshop

The fact is, reducing one part of an image while making the remaining part match up is an exercise in careful use of the Liquify command. In this tutorial, Deke will show you how to work within the Liquify dialog box so that you can accurately see how the edges are going to match up between the layers. In order to keep Pinhead’s pinstripes aligned, you need to know how to employ the power that resides within the Liquify dialog box. It’s not a quick process, but the result is both whimsical and demonstrative of real Photoshop skill.

If you’re feeling contrary, and you’re a member of, Deke also has an exclusive new movie this week for increasing a model’s head. With Photoshop, and Deke this week, you’ll be able to skew the proportions so that the unrealistic becomes visually (if not realistically) possible.

Deke will be back with another free technique next week.

For you members of, I have a follow-up video in which I show you how to give a guy a big head. Again, in Photoshop.

Giving a guy a big head in Photoshop

See how he still has his regular little features? But now he’s blessed with an athlete’s jaw and a crazy mad scientist’s forehead. You can know this guy is great at sales.

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 132: Adding Photographic Texture to Vector Type in Illustrator

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  • Head shrink?

    I think you took the shrink thing literally.  Maybe he just needed help..  :)

  • Ta

    As always, thank you for taking the time to give us such a great series. Just so long as the next few weeks you don’t stray into that there Illustrator thing…. ooh.. hang on… ;)


    Bit of a Photoshop nut.

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