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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, we're going to transition from experimenting inside of Liquify to try to get some actual real work done. So we're going to apply some careful cosmetic modifications. If for some reason, you want to match what you're seeing onscreen, go ahead inside the Liquify window here, click on Load Mesh, then select Very warm day.msh, and click Open, and that will go ahead and load the settings that you see before you know. By the way, one of the more irritating things about working with Windows, and this doesn't apply to the Mac, but if I were to press the Spacebar right now in order to try to scroll my image, I would invoke this last used button right there.
Notice if I press Spacebar, bang! Up comes Load Mesh. Like I'd ever want to do that with the Spacebar. Anyway, cancel out. What you need to do in order to refocus the attention here away from this Load Mesh button is just click inside of the Image window. Now you can press and hold the Spacebar in order to scroll around. Again, that's just Windows by the way. It's not a problem on the Mac. At this point, I think it's fairly obvious that I want to abandon the changes I've made so far. There is couple of different ways to do that.
You can click on the Reconstruct button and that will apply a partial reconstruction as you can see here. So it's trying to reconstruct the entire image. That's why it says Reconstruct entire image when you hover over it. However, it's just a partial reconstruction. So it's basically trying to smooth out that mesh to its original absolutely rectilinear former appearance. If you click to Reconstruct again, you'll go back that much farther, and so on. If you want to go back all the way, you want to totally revert the image, then you click on Restore All.
You can also press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, and click on-- what was formerly the Cancel button is now the Reset button. But if you do that, you're going to reset everything. You reset your settings as well. In our case, we just want to reset the image. So I'm going to click on Restore All in order to get this original version of the photograph. Let's go ahead and focus our attention for starters here on her arms and shoulders. So her shoulders are out of alignment. She has got the left shoulder down. It's her right shoulder of course. But from our perspective it's left shoulder down, the right shoulder is up.
We also have-- not my favorite kind of blouse. I hate the way these blouses crimp up on the shoulders. Then her arms are ending up looking extremely long. It's like she has these gorilla arms, or something like that. So it would be nice to taper those up a little bit. I'm going to work with a large brush. I do have the Warp tool selected incidentally. You can get to that tool once again by pressing the W key. Then with a very large brush, I'm just going to drag up on this arm, like so. You're going to notice that you'll get some sort of crazy effects in between as you work along.
So in other words, if I drag this arm upward, I could end up getting this kind of effect right there where some other portion of the image bends in an unnatural way. Well, bear in mind, the whole time you're working, what you're really doing, as you're modifying the image, you're not so much pushing pixels around as you're modifying this mesh. So as long as you stay inside the Liquify dialog box, all of your modifications, each and every brushstroke, is fairly nondestructive. I was telling you at the outset that this is a destructive filter, because it rewrites all the pixels inside the image as soon as you click on the OK button.
But throughout your Liquify session, throughout the time that you spend inside of this window, your modifications build on each other and each change modifies the mesh in a new direction. So if you push something completely out of alignment like this, and then you push it back into alignment. That's nondestructive, because you're just moving the mesh around. Now you don't want to do that too often, because you can end up creating weird crimps and bends in the mesh. That might not work very well. However, you should work fearlessly inside this dialog box.
I'm going to turn Show Mesh back off so I can see what I'm doing. I'm just trying to drag these arms up a little bit. This is obviously a terrible modification so far over here, but I can continue to drag with this tool in order to get better results. I might drag up on this shoulder a little bit. I need to lift everything. Actually, I'll go with an even larger brush in order to pull off the big lift here. So when in doubt, big brush especially at the beginning. I tend to work with a very large brush initially. Short brushstrokes, however.
Then when you're trying to trim up the details and make everything look smoother and better and you're trying to finesse the results, that's when you get in there with your small brushes. Now I'm going to move this guy down, move this elbow up a little bit, reduce the size of my brush. So you spend a lot of time going back and forth. I want to sort of round off the shoulder a little bit. Something you should bear in mind, I'll go ahead and zoom in here, is that when you drag one direction you're going to squish one group of details. For example, I'm squishing the details over here on the right-hand side, but I'm stretching the details on the left-hand side.
Anytime you're stretching details, then you can expect to see a little bit of blurring inside of the image, a little bit of anti-aliasing, the effects of interpolation, and you may see stretch marks. So you want to keep an eye out for that. However, because this image has a white background, if I stretch this direction so that I'm increasing the size of the whiteness, we're not going to notice the effects, because we're not going to see any stretch marks out there in the white region. So let's go ahead and scoot down here a little bit. I'm going to zoom-out. I'm just zooming the exact same way that I do inside Photoshop.
That is Ctrl+Minus zooms out, Ctrl+Plus zooms in. That's Command+Minus or Command+Plus on the Mac. I'm going to go ahead and tuck up her bottom a little bit, just by dragging upward, like so. It's fairly amazing that you can do this kind of work because you just think about how much time it takes in real life to make these kinds of modifications to your body. So much exercise, so much diet, but what's the purpose? Why not just look as frumpy as you want to look and then bring your image into Liquify dialog box, and make yourself look like an absolute superstar? All right! I'm going to go ahead and reduce the size of my cursor a little bit.
I'm going to switch over here to the Pucker tool. Now, the Pucker tool is insanely useful for getting rid of fat. So I'm going to go ahead and click on it. I'm going to increase the size of my cursor like that. Then I'll just click inside of her tummy. Notice those abs just come to life. Now, I'm stretching out the arms as I'm doing this. Bear that in mind. So every action inside of this dialog box has an equal and opposite reaction. So as you're tucking the tummy, you may find yourself stretching the arms.
You're going to have to come back to the arms later in order to make changes there. So I don't want you to worry about that as you're working, just keep an eye out for it, so you know the other adjustments you have to make. We'll switch back to the Warp tool here. Drag upward on her tummy, like so. That's stretching her hands. Of course I don't want to give her big monstrous hands, but I do want to give her a slim stomach of course. We all want that. Let's reduce the size of this brush a little bit again. I'm going to trim in these arm details here, because I do want her arms look nice and slim.
I might drag these areas in as well. Make some further modifications here. Again, when I'm increasing the size of her bust here, the reason I'm doing this has a lot more to do with reducing the size of the arms. So everything you do again. If you're going to decrease the size of the arms, it has to come out of something. Something has to get bigger and might as well be the bust where this particular image is concerned. So there are our modifications so far, just to give you a sense.
If you want to see the before and after version of your image, feel free to click Restore All, because that's an undoable operation. So click on Restore All. You see that's the way she looked before. So her entire body drops down precipitously. This is how she was when we first found her. If I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, these are my changes so far. Obviously, not everything I want them to be, but we're moving in a positive direction. I'll suggest a few more modifications that we might make to this image in the next exercise.
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