How to: Create Custom Mask Effects For Photo Booth - Macenstein

How to: Create Custom Mask Effects For Photo Booth

Like most kids their age, faithful Macenstein readers Len and Jordan were messing around with Quartz Composer’s input parameters and Photo Booth last Friday night, and they figured out a relatively easy way to create your own Photo Booth masks. And by relatively easy, I mean even I could follow the instructions.

custom Photo Booth Masks

custom Photo Booth Masks

So, If you’ve ever wanted to put your face on Steve Jobs’ near-perfect body, read on!

What is needed:
Photo Editing Software (Photoshop, GIMP, etc…)
More iChat Effects 1.2
xCode Developer Tools w/ Quartz Composer

Step 1: Locate a photo of a friend, enemy, celebrity, or whomever you wish.

Step 2: Open that photo with your favorite photo editing software (i.e. Photoshop, GIMP, etc…) and, using the eraser tool, remove the eyes and mouth from that photo. Or just take out the entire face, as we did with the Steve Jobs head above. There are many methods to accomplish this, so we will not go in to detail on this process. Crop the photo to 640 px wide by 482 px high.

custom Photo Booth Masks Above: Here’s a bad sample mask I made real quick.

Step 3: Export the edited photo as a transparent .PNG or .GIF file. Make sure to enable “transparency” so that the background is not filled. If done correctly, your image should look like a cardboard mask with the eyes and mouth cut out.

Step 4: If you have not done so already, download and install “More iChat Effects 1.2”. This will create more chat effects, one of which we will use for this project.

Step 5: If you have not done so already, install xCode (Developer Tools) from your MAC OSX installation CD or via the download link provide above.

Step 6: Once xCode is installed, open Quartz Composer (Hard Drive > Developer > Applications > Quartz Composer

custom Photo Booth Masks

Step 7: With Quartz Composer open, select “Open Existing” (or, simply select File > Open…) and navigate to your Hard Drive > Library > Compositions folder. Select “Clown.qtz” to use as your template.

custom Photo Booth Masks

Step 8: If opened using default settings, you should see Quartz Composer with Quartz Viewer opened to the right. Select “Patch Parameters” and you will now see the Macro Patch parameter details. It is the “FrontImage” of the Macro Patch parameters that we are interested in.

custom Photo Booth Masks

Step 9: Now the fun part. Open finder, and drag the picture you modified in Step 3 (Transparent .PNG or .GIF) and drag it over the picture of the clown (“FrontImage”). If done properly, the clown image should now be replaced with the picture of your choosing.

custom Photo Booth Masks

Step 10: Only a few steps left. In Quartz Composer, change the title of the center Macro Patch to a name that is more appropriate (shorter names are best). In my example, I changed “Clown” to “Steve Jobs”

Step 11:Then, select Editor > Edit Information and change the name and copyright information of the Quartz project. The name you select here will be the name of the effect you see in Photo Booth.

custom Photo Booth Masks

Step 12:Select File > Save As … name the file and save it in the Hard Drive > Library > Compositions folder along with the other .QTZ files. By using the Save As command, we made a new .QTZ file and didn’t ruin our Clown.qtz effect.

Note – Although you can create a single mask (.QTZ file) and place it in your Compositions folder, it will result in duplicate files appearing in Photo Booth. The only way to avoid this is load .QTZ files in batches of 8. You can save 8 copies of the same .QTZ file, or create 8 unique .QTZ files.

Step 13: Open Photo Booth and have fun!

custom Photo Booth Masks

Thanks again to Jordan and Len who have a bright future ahead of them… doing… something. I’m just not sure what.

9 Responses to “How to: Create Custom Mask Effects For Photo Booth”
  1. Jonro says:

    Wow! Those results are so amazingly lifelike, no one would ever know that image was manipulated 🙂

  2. thisisjohnny says:

    i think i’m going to have to make this my weekend experiment.


    there’s really limitless fun to have with this:

  3. Daniel says:

    This is so cool, Thank you for the post!
    Sharing with my Mac friends. 😀

  4. Keshot says:

    Cool images and pictures about making a customized photo booth. The has the same set up of photo booth organizing. You can ask their cool suggestion to make your photo booth appealing and organized.

  5. Owen says:

    Could someone please make a mask with a mouth and eye openings and a green mask (Like croma key green) . It would be much appeachated.

  6. Antoine says:

    It’s working well for video but when i take a picture it goes all white. any idea how i can fix this ?

  7. Pik says:

    So what if I want to make that same effect, but make the transparent where the face is black and white?

  8. Adam says:

    is there a way of making one of these without xcode?

Leave A Comment


Click here to inquire about making a fortune by advertising your game, gadget, or site on Macenstein.