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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Perhaps one of the most powerful retouching tools you have in Photoshop, beyond just the Spot Healing Brush tool, is something called Liquify. Now, you kind of have to decide what kind of Photoshop user you are, because Liquify can be used for good or evil, depending on your perspective. It's a very powerful tool that can be used to reshape different parts of an image. It's most commonly used to do body sculpting. So, I have got an image here. We are going to do some tasteful retouching to correct, for the fact that the wind was blowing pretty hard this day, and it picked up her shirt and pushed it a little bit forward. What we want to do is just correct for that and actually just shape the shirt a little bit to match her real contour of her body.
And I have been to know this guy's been working out a little bit since the shot was taken. So, we want to beef up his calves to show off his good work there. So, those are the two things we want to adjust for this particular image. We are going to use something called Liquify, like we said. But before we actually use the Liquify command, we want to make sure we do this on a duplicate layer. So, we have our original untouched. Again, let's duplicate this layer: Command+J or Ctrl+J to duplicate that to its own layer. Let's go ahead and change the name by double-clicking on the name. We'll call this Liquify. All right. We are ready to proceed. Let's go back to the Filter menu and choose the Liquify command.
It's one of the four listed up here at the top. This takes you kind of into an alternate editing environment. It takes over the whole screen. You've got your own set of tools over here for working in Liquify. The basic tool is just the basic Warp tool, technically called the Forward Warp tool. Nine out of ten times, when I am working inside Liquify, it's the only tool I actually end up using, other than panning and zooming. So, it works by using a particular brush size. Let's go ahead and increase the brush size. All the shortcuts that you are used to with the Regular Brush tool work inside of Liquify as well.
So, the Right Bracket key makes the brush bigger, the Left Bracket key makes the brush smaller. Of course, you can always go back over here and actually change the brush details over here in the Tool options if that's a little bit quicker for you. And what you want do is push from the edge of the brush, not the center. If I push from the center, you'll see I get some pretty extreme changes there. I am going to go ahead and undo that. You do have multiple undo inside Liquify. So, if I do two strokes here, I can undo Command+Z or Ctrl+Z, just like in regular Photoshop undoes and redoes the last thing you did.
So, to get the multiple undo, its Command+Option+Z or Ctrl+Alt+Z until you step backwards all the way. So, as I said earlier, you don't want to push from the center of the brush. You want to push from the edge. So, what we are going to do just line up the cursor with the edge of that shirt a little bit and start just gentle pushing using multiple small strokes and build up the desired effect over time by using lots of little individual push and pulls here. If you do too big of a jump like that, you start getting really noticeable distortions.
So, that's not what I want. I am going to undo that. You just want to do very soft small pushes to get this to look realistic. Okay. So, you can see how easy it is just to push this shirt over to the left but still make it look believable. In the process, you are actually adjusting his shirt on either side as well. So, you can get some pretty results there. Again, you don't want to over do it, just small gentle touches. Now for his calves, we are going to go on the inside of his leg here a little bit. We'll just gently push outward to beef up the calves a little bit. Again, you don't want to make it look ridiculous.
This is why I was commenting earlier. You can use it for good or evil. You can make it look completely comical and cartoonish, or you can do really modest adjustments that look very, very real. So, we'll go ahead and just beef up that calf, just slightly. Let's go ahead and click OK. You'll see, because it is on a separate layer, here's before, and there's after. So, again, just a real tasteful retouch using the power of Liquify for good as opposed to evil. You can get some really realistic and believable results without a lot of work.
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