Cut & Paste the Jedi Way

“Always pass on what you have learned.” –Yoda

One of the fundamental tenets of TPRS is to make student-centered learning opportunities. Towards this end, I often edit student pictures into my Google slides so that they can be a visual part of the stories I tell. As I was explaining the process enthusiastically to a fellow teacher, she held up her hand and said, “Woah! Back up! I’m not sure I can figure out what all that stuff means. What’s the easiest way to do it?”

Thus, this post–the Quick and Dirty “Photoshop” Path to a Jedi Transformation.

Make no mistake–there are a ton of apps and tools and gadgets that can achieve this end! However, this post is for absolute newbie beginners who want to try something cool but aren’t sure about where to begin (and don’t want to spend hours navigating a tech learning curve!).

So here we go.

Last week we celebrated the long-awaited opening of The Last Jedi with a story in Spanish about a Jedi’s everyday routine. With a week and a half before the Winter Break, I wanted to create a story that would hook my students immediately. I began with a FaceSwap app that created the picture below, which turned out pretty well.

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.17.41 AM

However, FaceSwap was time consuming and fiddly. It took a bit of wrangling to align the face swapping borders on my modest-sized phone screen. Then, I had to send the completed picture from my phone to my computer, then download, etc. Plus, as I was creating 4 separate stories for different classes and including up to fifteen different students–I needed something else. Specifically, I needed to go faster!

What I came up with is a very basic and rough three-step process. Before you make a face or frown about the obvious issues here–hey! these images do not look real–remember that kids are fairly easy to please. They love to see themselves represented as superheroes and Jedi and wizards. Seriously. This is all about the kids. Try it; you’ll see!

Step 1: Find the base photo you want to doctor. Add it to your Google Slide.

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 3.38.14 PM

Step 2: Find the student photo you want to head-swap. I clicked on a student’s yearbook photo, which pops up automatically in my gradebook, and copy/pasted to my GSlide. Be sure to crop the picture close to the face. Depending on the background color of your photo, it will look more or less like this:

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 3.40.04 PM

Or this:

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.07.24 AM

Step 3: Now you have a square cut-out stuck onto another person’s body. And it looks funky, right? We need to cover up those angular edges. That’s where hair comes in. Google Search for women’s hair (or boy’s hair, or spiky hair, whatever is closest and most flattering for your subject). Search, then click on Images, then Tools, then Color. Click Transparent.

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 3.41.31 PM

For my student, who is naturally a short-haired blonde, I chose some lovely flowing locks. Hey, this is a fantasy, after all.

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 3.44.00 PM

Adjust the hair to frame the subject’s face and presto! The quickest way to becoming a Jedi.

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 3.43.06 PM

Is it perfect? No!

Is it freaking awesome? Yes!

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.18.40 AM

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.07.15 AM

And may the Force be with you. 


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