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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to the Liquify Filter, and Liquify is one of the most powerful commands inside of Photoshop and it's even misleading to call it a command. It's an independent utility, it's in the actual painting program that runs inside the Photoshop and allows you to paint in distortions. I am here to tell you two things about, one it's exceedingly powerful, two it's hilarious. It is a really fun tool to show other people. Like if you have family members and they are sort of curious, how Photoshop works, or you have some kids and you want to entertain the kids for some reason, grab a photo of a family member and then start manipulating it with the Liquify command, and you will bring people to their knees with laughter. So anyway I have got open a fairly humorous image from Raphael and the name of this image is Maddalena.jpg.
Basically the idea behind Liquify, you can completely change people. You make them look completely different then they were or you can just make people better. That's generally the idea is you are trying to make the photograph better represent the human being that was captured in the photograph. So let's go ahead and give her some bones and some other structural changes. Here's Madda-looker.jpg, so this is the modified version of Maddalena right here. And that's kind of what we are going for. Now your results will be different because every time you go into the Liquify command you get a different result. It's a very painterly tool meaning that it really relies on your artistic eye, and to some extent on your artistic capabilities frankly. So we will see what we all come up with, why don't we? I am going to go back to the other image. Oh my goodness, she's adorable. All right, so let's go to the Filter menu, why don't we, and choose the Liquify command and that will bring up this independent utility and you can see it is, I mean the darn thing is a painting tool and let's go ahead and make it larger here so that it takes up a little more room on screen because there is really no point in seeing the background image.
And then I'm going to zoom in by pressing Ctrl++ or Command++ on the Mac. So it responds pretty much the way Photoshop does. It has all the same navigation and zooming functions that we have seen inside of Photoshop. It doesn't have all that OpenGL stuff, so you can't like Click and hold with the magnifying glass in order to zoom in incrementally. None of that stuff is here. But you do have the ability to Spacebar+ Drag in order to scroll the image. You also have multiple Undos inside of Liquify. So you can press Ctrl+Alt+Z to back step or Command+Option+Z on the Mac and Ctr+Shift+Z to step forward, Command+Shift+Z on the Mac. So you have got that.
So it's a pretty forgiving environment ultimately. If you press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, your Cancel button will become a Reset button. That's nothing new, a lot of dialog boxes offer that service, but the great thing about this Reset button and the bad thing too which is something you need to bear in mind is it not only resets the image. So if I make a big change to the image, I do this and I think later maybe that wasn't the best edit I have ever made, then when I Alt+Click or Option+Click on Reset, that will reset the image back to the way it looked when we first opened the dialog box, when we first choose the Liquify command, but it will also reinstate all of the settings. So if you ever want to reset settings that's how you do it. You reset everything.
Whereas, if you just want to reset the image, you just make a change to the image and then you think, actually I think she looked better before. Then you Click on this button right there, Restore All. And what that does is removes all of distortion you have applied without resetting the settings. Because sometimes you will come out with settings that you really like as you will see. I know that's kind of a bizarre introduction to the Liquify command because I haven't shown you anything that it does, but I just wanted to set the stage so you know how to get around it, how to navigate inside of the interface, otherwise you select tools and you use them to distort the image, to brush and distortions and you have already seen some of my handy work here. You can use what is called for no good reason the Forward Warp tool. It's just the Warp tool ultimately. You can use it to drag things to different locations. That just gives you a vague idea of how the Liquify command works.
In the next exercise I'm going to start to tour you through the tools themselves.
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