In a world where pretending like you’re fabulous online for millions of dollars is the name of the game, there’s still something to be said of people who possess actual talents, like the talent held by the individual who calls themselves the Photoshop Surgeon.
The amount of time, patience, personal investment, and interest that goes into being this skilled in a computer program is mind-boggling. Personally, I’ve just started understanding how layering works in Photoshop, but the PS Surgeon here is able to convincingly paint portraits of what older people looked like in their youth.
The thing about the Surgeon’s videos is that they aren’t just simple air-brush jobs — there are tons of people who can do that. What the Photoshop surgeon does is painstakingly remove all wrinkles and soften areas of older people’s faces to paint an accurate representation of what they looked like when they were younger.
They start with a wizened older woman’s face. You can see her wrinkles on her tanned face, her watery eyes, and slightly elongated ears. All consequences of time.
They start by softening some of the wrinkles and working layer by layer. The entire process is sped up and you get to see their hard work in hyper speed, which makes what happens before your eyes even more impressive.
The Surgeon chips away at each layer, softening the face and after a while you begin to see what the wizened, older face that greet us at the beginning of the video looked like when the woman was younger.
By the time they’re done with the image we’re presented with a face that, unless we saw what we were originally working with, we’d swear was a photograph of a young woman. You can totally buy that the wrinkled old woman that the photoshop surgeon began with was actually this young lady at some point.
To get a greater appreciation of their skills, just look at the before-and-after of their faces side-by-side. It’s absolutely remarkable. How in the world does someone get this good at Photoshop?
Now, I know what you’re thinking: OK they can make old people look amazing, but can they make young people look old? Why yes, yes they can. And when it comes to young-looking people, Ariana Grande is a pretty great example. So, if you ever wondered what Ariana would look like with a few decades on her, wait no more and just check this out.
Here she is, looking very much like the young woman that Pete Davidson is fawning over. Just like the photo above, the Surgeon methodically works on Ariana’s face, adding layer and layer of oldness to her cheeks.
Some wrinkles are injected, some features are drooped and/or superimposed, which then need to be incorporated and blended into Ariana’s face more cohesively. Imagine that’s the final product? Some random person’s mid-eyebrow wrinkle pouch just sitting there with a different skin tone and everything? Hilarious.
With a little more finagling our favorite, kitty-ear-headphone-rocking pop star is looking like a sad guest star on Law and Order who has to tell Ice T that she hasn’t seen her grandson in a few days but that he’s a good boy and she hopes her isn’t in any serious trouble.
The final result is a NY socialite who can’t believe that they’re out of Hendrick’s gin for her martini and doesn’t understand what all the broke college students in hoodies are going on about with their signs down on Wall Street. The before and after is where the difference is really astounding, though.
What’s probably most impressive about the Surgeon’s Youtube channel is how clearly better they’ve gotten as time has progressed. Check out the before-and-after results from this video in 2013.
Compared to the other two examples above, the “after” face looks a bit more washed out, like something you’d find on Lucille Bluth’s driver’s license from Arrested Development.
Four years later, and they’ve gotten much better at their craft. Check out this before-and-after from 2017. The leap that they made in skill is astounding.
What’s crazy is that if you check out their videos from 2018, they’ve gotten even better since then. Just goes to show that if you consistently work on something day in, day out, you’ll be able to accomplish pretty much anything, like convincingly making Ariana Grande look old.