It can be alarming for e-clothing stores when someone adds a product to the cart but does not checkout, more so when they browse all the clothes without adding anything. The ghost mannequin effect (also known as the invisible mannequin effect) is often the deciding factor of such consumer behaviours.

No matter how good your clothing products are if it doesn’t seem appealing and realistic to the consumer, it won’t be sold.

Not to worry! This article will cover everything you need to know in order to create a ghost mannequin effect. For the ones who are looking to upgrade and expand their clothing business with the help of this effect, this resource is especially for them.

What is a Ghost Mannequin Effect?

Ever wondered how it’s possible to have a photograph of cloth as if it’s worn, without actually being worn? It seems like an extraordinary effect, and it is, thanks to professional photo editing. That effect is called the ghost mannequin effect.

It allows your clothing to look lifelike and adornable, not just dull and flat. However, flat lay photography can also provide excellent results if done the right way with almost no cost.

But if you want to take your clothing store’s brand image up a notch, ghost mannequin photography is the way to go. Nothing beats the level of professionalism that this effect can provide.

The ghost mannequin effect creation process requires you to capture photos of your clothing being worn on a mannequin in a couple of steps. They are – 

  • A picture of the clothing being worn normally, from the front.
  • A picture of the clothing being worn inside out, from the back.

And by the power of photo editing, your photo will come to life! The pictures will be seamlessly superimposed on top of another along with the removal of the mannequin arms, background removal (if you need it, which you should), and more effects to polish the entire photograph.

The inside-out picture is just so that the insides of the clothing appear in the photograph along with the brand tag.

Professional clothing shops use the invisible mannequin effect to its fullest potential – the 3D. The 3D invisible mannequin allows you to have a carousel-format album in which customers can view each side of the clothing by clicking the next photograph, getting a 3D feel.

Some ecommerce sites like Amazon allow you to embed all these photos into one, enabling the customer to rotate the clothing in real-time. Doesn’t this sound exciting as a store owner? It indeed is, for the consumers too. It brings your clothing to life, helps engage with your customers, and greatly upholds your store’s brand value.

3D ghost mannequin photo editing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It’s quite simple. You capture the photos how you would for a normal ghost mannequin effect and then do the same thing for the sides of the clothing. The more angles you capture for each side, the more realistic it looks. So it’s best to keep it simple and capture 2-3 angles on each side.

You send these photos over to the editing agencies, and they handle the rest! Unless you want to get involved in the exhaustive editing process, it’s best to outsource it.

How to Create Ghost Mannequin Effect in Photoshop

Photoshop has made so many things easier for photographers, editors to get their job done. Invisible mannequin is a frequently used effect that photoshop has made easy. Though the process is a bit lengthy comparatively, this is something you can do too. 

The part with which usually people struggle most is adding the collar or backside of the dress. In that case, it’s important to practice and make sure that the image doesn’t look artificial. Here, I’m explaining all the steps that you need to follow to create ghost mannequin effect –

Step 1 : Open the File

Open the file in photoshop. Go to File and click on open and select the file you want to work on.

Step 2 : Create Path

Select the pen tool from the toolbar. 

Zoom in the image as much as you need so that you can see the edges clearly. 

Now create a clipping path around the dress by creating anchor points. While creating anchor points, be careful about the edges so that no part of your product erases.

Step 3 : Copy Background Layer

Make a copy of the background layer. Right click on the background layer and select duplicate Layer.

Now, click on the square box below the layer menu. This will create a new layer mask. 

Step 4 : Fill Background

Click on the round circle icon below layer options. Select Solid Color. 

Now you’ll see a color palate. Choose white color from there. Now, you can see the mannequin is gone.

Step 5 : Open Collar Image

Now open another image where the collar of the dress is showing.

Step 6 : Cut the Collar

Pick the Lasso Tool from the toolbar.

Draw around the collar to cut the area that you need.

Step 7 : Add Collar

Now add the separated part to your previous image and close the new one. 

Adjust the collar position by dragging it wherever you need. Click on Edit and select Free Transform Path or just press ctrl+T on your keyboard. Set the collar at the right position

Right click on your mouse and select ‘Warp’ to set the angle.

Step 8 : Select Path

Click on the path you created before from the layer menu.

Step 9 : Select Collar Area

Pick the Pen tool from the toolbar. Now, draw a box around the collar area. Press ctrl on your keyboard and click on your mouse to draw the box.

Step 10 : Delete Anchor Point

Click on delete on your keyboard to delete the anchor points around the collar. 

Step 11 : Create New Path

Now, add new anchor points including the collar and create a path.

Step 12 : Inverse

Click on Inverse from the Select menu.

Step 13 : Clear

Now, Click on Edit and select Clear from the menu.

Step 14 : Deselect

Again, go to the Select menu and click on Deselect.

Step 15 : Save

Your file is ready! Now, go to File and click on Save As to save your file. 

The Ghost Mannequin Effect and its Importance – Clothing Stores and Beyond

In this day and age, most people shop for clothing online. Take it from this statistic which says e-commerce retail sales are expected to rise to 21.8 percent by 2024.

We live in a hustling and bustling world where people have a lot less time and more things to do. Additionally, other factors like geographic distances or personal issues may hinder them from visiting the store.

This takes away a critical feat of clothing shopping which is trying the clothing on. Consumers are aware of this matter too, which heavily influences their purchasing decisions. They tend to opt for verifiable and reputable clothing stores.

But how is your clothing store any less credible than these stores? It is until you utilize the Ghost mannequin effect.

Invisible mannequin photography gives life and texture to your clothing. It’s easier for consumers to imagine the fit and feel of the clothing with such an effect on it. Whether you have a physical store or not, don’t overlook the importance of this effect!

This effect is also a critical part of clothing photography’s post-production. With professional photo editing alongside this effect, you can be assured that the brand image of your clothing store is fully secured.

Where do I Get Ghost Mannequin Photo Editing Services?

Outsourcing your photo editing services to professional photo editing companies is a good idea for several reasons. They are –

  • Time: A lot of time is saved on your part. You can use this time to scale your business, market your products and a lot more. As an owner of a store, there are a lot of pressing matters for you to tend to than edit one photo after the other.
  • Money: Contrary to popular belief, hiring an agency is actually cheaper! Yes, the service will cost you extra, but the time that you will save to expand your business will bring you more profit. As the old adage in business goes, “in order to profit, you must invest.”.
  • Mentality: Once you get settled with a professional photo editing service, it can ease a lot of hassle for you. Your mind will be at peace knowing that one aspect of your business is always running perfectly without you having to even think about it.

There are a lot of popular photo editing companies that provide their services around the world. You can choose either one of them to get your ghost mannequin photo editing job done. Most of these companies also have a free trial offer which you can use to check the quality of their work. 

Once you shortlist some companies, you can contact them to inquire about the onboarding process and their portfolio. Whichever seems suitable should be your preferred choice.

Unfortunately, the free photo editing web-based softwares do not provide ghost mannequin services. The ones that do will never be able to achieve the level of perfection that professional photo editors achieve with hours and hours of meticulous precision. Until the day AI technology achieves that level of perfection, it’s always better to use the help of professionals.

Final Verdict

Finally, you know the importance of the ghost mannequin effect and how it can help your consumers to stop ghosting their carts (pun intended!). We wish you a very successful journey with your clothing photography business! If this article did help you, don’t forget to share!


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