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5Nov/0928

Multiplicity Photography Tutorial

In this article I'll explain how you can easily clone yourself with a camera and Photoshop. People call these "multiplicity photographs".  When this technique is used in sports, it is known as "sequence photography". If you find this subject interesting, I would reccomend getting my Trick Photography and Special Effects eBook.

Multiplcity photo

"Imagination" - I had my mom take these, every time I got into a new position I told her to take a new shot. It went by quick and easy. I replaced the sky with a more dramatic one and added birds. I also did some dodging and burning on the play structure.

OKAY. So, here is how you do it. Put your camera on a tripod and tighten it so it won't move. Focus your scene and then switch to Manual focus so that your camera won't constantly be trying to re-focus the scene. You can shoot in any mode you want to, but I would advise against Shutter Priority mode and just take the photos in full Manual mode or Aperture Priority mode. This insures that each frame will have a consistent exposure and your aperture locked in. After everything is in focus and you have your shutter speed and aperture set, take a picture of the scene with the model to the left of the frame. Then, take another picture of the model closer to the right of the frame. Keep taking pictures with the model's body in different areas of the frame.

You can get a friend to help you take each picture, use a remote, or use the self timer feature on your camera. If your friend is pushing down the shutter button on the camera, make sure they are careful on keeping the camera perfectly in place and not to accidentally bump into it.

Now once you have all your photos taken, you need to import them into Photoshop. Click File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack.... Then just select your images and wait a minute for them to compile.

Once it's done you should see all your pictures in the Layers window. Select the top layer and click New Layer Mask (it's located at the bottom of the layers window) Next, take a black brush and brush over the person in that frame. The person will seem to be erased, but to un-erase it, hit CTRL+I, (cmd+I if you are on a Mac). You can now see the person in the first frame, as well as the one in the  second frame! Make a layer mask like that for all the frames and then your done! You can also do this with objects and animals, and skateboarders, etc.

There is also a piece of software that can automate this entire process for you called Aqiplicity. I tried using it once, but the results were not perfect. It's worth giving it a try though. You can view your image in the free version but the saving option is disabled. It's $10 for the full version.

simple multiplicity cloning

This image was very easy to create because none of the people were overlapping each other. This made it very easy to mask the model without tediously going into fine detail

If you would like to see some spectacular examples using this photography technique, take a look at the 20 Stunning Examples of Multiplicity Photography!

Comments (28) Trackbacks (11)
  1. cool tips – i didnt know the stack script – thanks so much dude, i gotta try this.

  2. Fantastic! Thanks for this blog…

  3. Very Cool!!

    I will try this for sure!

  4. hahahah thanks dude, just done a shot of 20 of me in the garden, looks wicked :-)

  5. why is the brush black but not clear? i did it the first time and it was clear like that but the second time it’s black

  6. Hi, I find it very interesting to do this. But I have a little trouble here.
    I’m now using Photoshop Element 7 so I just can not find out where the “Scripts” in. Do you have PE7 there, if possible, can you show me the way to make multiplicity photographs in PE7?
    Thank you so much!

  7. I’m not sure Jim, you can also try searching for a “paste in front” command that might also import several jpgs into seperate layers… if you can’t find anything that says that then i guess the only thing you could do is just manually stack each layer on top of one another.

  8. Im using gimp to do this and everytime i erase the person in the first photo and press Cntrl I nothing happens. what am i doing wrong?

  9. the GIMP doesn’t have CTRL+I as a command to invert the layer mask, so what you need to do instead is make sure that your layer mask is selected, then go to Colors > Invert.

    It also might be under Image > Colors > Invert….. depending on what version you are using.

    - Evan

  10. what kind of photoshop did you used to create the multiplicity photography?

  11. wow amazing, you post really useful for me. I hope you will post useful like this. thanks

  12. Multiplicity image is a photography technique in which the same person is photographed from different point of view and directions and then the bunch of photographs are digitally re-mastered in Photoshop showing clones of the person doing different things all in one photo.

    I find similiar tutorial about How To Create A Multiplicity Image using Photoshop… just for share maybe its usefull
    http://photograpyreview.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-create-multiplicity-image-using.html

  13. $author Thanks for a wonderful post. Can not wait to come back and read more on your blog. Have a great day.

  14. man you rock never thought this is so easy to do…amazing just loved it. already tried and its working

  15. just took a photo of me right after i saw the video.,

  16. I’ve been trying to do this, but everytime I try to erase the person, it just turns black. I follow everything perfectly, but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong???? Help!

  17. it really nice tips for photography & you video is very helpful.

  18. Thank you for the tutorial.
    I’m sharing my result:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/76484093/Illusions/Multiplicity%20Photos/multiple1.jpg

    I’m talking to myself sitting next me in this “photo”…

  19. Thanks for this valuable tutorial

  20. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Helped me make this:
    http://500px.com/photo/10057011

  21. Another way how to create multiplicity photo and clone yourself without photoshop:
    http://www.theinpaint.com/inpaint-how-to-clone-yourself-in-a-photo.html

  22. Hi to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from
    this web site, and your landscapes are fastidious in favor of new users.

  23. Thanks for this site. I am using it to inspire my students in an advanced camera techniques class. This concept really opens up their minds to what they can do with a little forethought.

  24. I want to do multiplicity photos with athletes. Baseball in particular. The problem is that there is a lot of overlapping. Can you suggest a video or tutorial on how to do this? Thanks in advance

  25. Is it possible to do it with diffrent clothes on?

  26. when I press CTR+I, the colors invert!! Why does that happen? I need a little help with it


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