Create A Snake Person..Or Any Kind Of Animal Person

In this tutorial I will show you how to take a friend, boss, random person and turn them into a slithery animal. The trick is to find the skin of the animal you want to cover the person with. Snake skin is fairly easy to manipulate, so for the sake of this tutorial it’s what I’m going to use.

First, you’ll need your base photo. For this tutorial I’m going to use this stock photo I found.

Snake Lady

The first step is to load the picture of the snake skin that you’re going to use to cover the person with. Feel free to use this skin as it’s a stock photo as well.

Snake Scale

Select the Move Tool (M) Move Tool, and drag the entire snake skin picture into the picture of the person.

Snake Person

Select the Transform option under the edit menu. You’ll want to click on scale, as we’re going to shrink the snake skin down. Once you have selected the transform option, drag the snake scale down to about the size shown in this picutre:

Small Scale

Once you have the snake scale layer shrunk, add a Vector Mask Vector Mask. Next, under the drop down menu in the Layers palette, select the Overlay Option Overlay.The first part of the picture that we’re going to transform is her cheek. So, for her cheek go ahead and turn the opacity Opacity to 40%.

Her face should look like this so far:


Ok, here is where we have to start getting pretty intricate, and paying attention to detail. The next step is selecting a brush to use for erasing so that the only snake scale left is on her cheek.Select the Eraser icon (E) Eraser, once you do this at the top of your screen there should options for changing the brush for your eraser. For the brush you don’t have to be too picky. The only requirements is that you don’t want it to be so big that you can’t brush away smaller parts of the snake scale. Also, you don’t want the brush to have any hardness to it what-so-ever.

To change the hardness of the brush, click on the brushes button Brushes. Once you click on that there will be a drop down menu, click on the “Brush tip shape” option. There should be a slider for hardness, so go ahead and slide that down to zero.

Ok, now that you have your eraser picked out, it’s time to get the snake scale to appear to contour to the person’s cheek. Here is an outline of what I decided to erase, everything outside of the black line should be erased away.


From here on out, it’s all about copying the scale layer and making sure that each piece fits correctly wherever you need to put it. A good rule of thumb is to increase the amount of opacity the lighter the area you put the snake scale over. The reason being is you want the snake scale to mimic the light of the photo as much as possible. So if you come across a part of the person’s skin which is darker from a shadow, you don’t want the opacity to be as high as a part of the skin that’s receiving light.

Ok, now if you followed my tips about where to raise and lower the opacity your skin should look something like this:


From here it’s up to you to see how creative you want to get with it. I went ahead and added a fork tongue and dark slits in her eyes for extra effect.

Leave a comment