Ghost mannequin retouching is a pivotal technique in the world of fashion and product photography. This method provides a seamless and professional look to apparel images by removing the mannequin, thereby highlighting the product itself. This article delves deep into every aspect of ghost mannequin retouching, offering an extensive guide for photographers, e-commerce businesses, and designers.

What is Ghost Mannequin Retouching?

Ghost mannequin retouching, also known as invisible mannequin photography, involves taking multiple photos of a product on a mannequin and then digitally removing the mannequin in post-processing. This creates an illusion of the clothing item floating, giving a clear view of the product’s design and fit.

Importance in E-commerce

In the competitive world of e-commerce, high-quality images are essential. Ghost mannequin retouching helps create professional and appealing product photos, which can significantly enhance a product’s marketability and appeal to potential customers.

Benefits of Ghost Mannequin Retouching

  • Enhanced Professionalism: Provides a clean and consistent look across product images.
  • Focus on Product: Eliminates distractions, focusing solely on the clothing item.
  • Improved Sales: High-quality images can lead to increased customer engagement and sales.

The Process of Ghost Mannequin Retouching

Ghost mannequin retouching involves several steps, each crucial for achieving the desired outcome. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the process:

Step 1: Photography

  • Using a Mannequin: Dress the mannequin with the product and take multiple shots from different angles.
  • Taking Additional Shots: Capture images of inner parts, like the inside of a collar or sleeves, for later compositing.

Step 2: Image Selection

Select the best images that will be used for the final composition. This step ensures only the highest quality photos are used.

Step 3: Background Removal

Using photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, remove the background and the mannequin from the images. This step requires precision to maintain the product’s natural look.

Step 4: Compositing

Combine the different parts of the product images to create a single, seamless image. This often involves merging the outer shots with inner shots to show details such as inner linings.

Step 5: Retouching and Final Adjustments

  • Color Correction: Adjust the colors to ensure they match the actual product.
  • Shadow and Highlight Adjustments: Enhance shadows and highlights to give a realistic 3D effect.
  • Final Touches: Remove any remaining imperfections and ensure the image is polished and professional.

Tools and Software for Ghost Mannequin Retouching

Several tools and software are essential for ghost mannequin retouching. Here are some of the most commonly used:

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for photo editing and retouching. Its extensive range of tools and features makes it ideal for ghost mannequin retouching.


Lightroom is excellent for initial image adjustments, such as exposure and color balance, before detailed editing in Photoshop.

Specialized Plugins

Plugins like Topaz Labs and Nik Collection can enhance the capabilities of Photoshop, offering additional features for more refined retouching.

Tips for Effective Ghost Mannequin Retouching

  • High-Quality Images: Start with high-resolution images to ensure the best results.
  • Consistent Lighting: Use consistent lighting during photography to avoid color discrepancies.
  • Attention to Detail: Pay close attention to details like seams and fabric textures during retouching.
  • Practice and Patience: Mastering ghost mannequin retouching takes practice and patience.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Inconsistent Lighting

Inconsistent lighting can cause color mismatches and shadows that don’t align. Use controlled lighting setups to maintain consistency.

Poor Background Removal

Leaving traces of the background or mannequin can ruin the final image. Use precise selection tools in Photoshop to ensure clean removal.


Over-editing can make the product look unnatural. Aim for a balance that enhances the product while maintaining its realistic appearance.

Applications of Ghost Mannequin Retouching


Ghost mannequin retouching is widely used in e-commerce to showcase clothing and accessories. It helps in providing a professional and appealing look to the product images.

Fashion Catalogs

Fashion catalogs often use ghost mannequin retouching to present clothing items in the best possible way, highlighting their design and fit.


In advertising, high-quality product images are crucial. Ghost mannequin retouching helps create images that attract and engage potential customers.

FAQs about Ghost Mannequin Retouching

What is ghost mannequin retouching?

Ghost mannequin retouching involves removing the mannequin from product photos to create a seamless, floating effect of the apparel.

Why is ghost mannequin retouching important?

It enhances the professionalism and appeal of product images, which can improve customer engagement and sales.

Can I do ghost mannequin retouching myself?

Yes, with practice and the right tools, you can perform ghost mannequin retouching. However, professional retouchers can provide higher quality results.

What software is best for ghost mannequin retouching?

Adobe Photoshop is the preferred software due to its extensive features and capabilities for detailed photo editing.

How long does ghost mannequin retouching take?

The time required depends on the complexity of the product and the retoucher’s skill level. It can range from a few minutes to several hours per image.


Ghost mannequin retouching is a powerful technique for enhancing product images, especially in the fashion and e-commerce industries. By removing distractions and focusing on the product itself, this method helps create professional and appealing images that can significantly boost customer engagement and sales. With the right tools and techniques, anyone can master ghost mannequin retouching, making it a valuable skill for photographers and businesses alike.

This page was last edited on 7 July 2024, at 4:34 pm