April 2, 2016

Learn How to Pull Off a Classic Face Swap Effect in After Effects

Nothing screams classic spy flick than a good old fashioned mask rip.

You know the ones — some nameless henchman walks about a secret bunker only to turn and decimate a bunch of armed soldiers who can't shoot, then pulls off a mask to reveal that he's in fact the protagonist in disguise. Mission Impossible had a whole mess of them.

There are quite a few tutorials online that walk you through how to pull off this effect, but RocketJump Film School's Freddie Wong shows you how to do it with only the built-in tools in After Effects, no plug-ins or additional software required. Check out the tutorial below:

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D_o17JWGh4

Even though Wong does a great job walking you through the process step by step, this tutorial is meant for more advanced users who know their way around the AE platform, especially when it comes to the tracking, rotoscoping, and puppet tools. 

One thing to keep in mind, whether you're a seasoned pro or a total noob, is that lighting plays a huge role in getting this effect to look right. Make sure the lighting in all of your shots are the same, because if it isn't, it won't matter how great the effect is executed — the two shots will look completely different and will ruin the shot altogether.     

Your Comment


Everybody...the day we have all feared for so long has finally come......nofilmschool has a...UNHYPERLINKED LINK

April 2, 2016 at 9:00AM, Edited April 2, 9:00AM

Aljoscha Kirschner

What's with the damn commercials!

April 2, 2016 at 12:13PM, Edited April 2, 12:21PM

William Scherer
Writer/Director/Producer/Fine Art Aerial Photography

I like that the part of the link that is hyperlinked just so happens to be GH4 and it takes you B&H's listing of the Panasonic GH4.

April 2, 2016 at 1:02PM, Edited April 2, 1:02PM


This is actually so awesome! Everybody is doing this effect with Snapchat now haha :) Great article.

April 4, 2016 at 4:37AM, Edited April 4, 4:37AM