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The single biggest enhancement to Photoshop 13.1 is that you can apply the Liquify and Blur gallery filters to not only pixel based images--which is the way it's been in the past-- but also to Smart Objects as well, which means that you can modify your settings any time you like. So you now for the first time ever have a non-destructive Liquify function inside Photoshop. So let's say I want to nip and tuck this portrait shot from the Fotolia image library-- about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke-- then the first thing I would do is double- click on this background item in order to convert it to an independent layer, and I will call it portrait and then click OK, and now I will go to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object.
Now prior to this version of Photoshop 13.1, if I were to go up to the Filter menu, I would now see that the Liquify command is dimmed, because you could only apply Liquify to pixel-based images. Now it's available to me. So I will go ahead and choose the command. It brings up the big Liquify window. At which point I could begin to paint with any of the tools. However, I've already saved some settings in advance. So I am going to turn on the Advanced mode check box in order to bring up my Load Mesh and Save Mesh buttons, and I'll go ahead and click on Load Mesh and select this file right there, Face work.msh, and click on the Open button in order to open those settings and apply them to the image.
Then I could make a few more adjustments if I wanted to. I have to say that I am pretty happy with what I see. I will go ahead and click on the OK button in order to apply the effect, and you can now see over here on the Layers panel that we have a Smart Filter equivalent of Liquify. So I can turn off Liquify in order to see the before version of the portrait and then turn it back on in order to see an after version. You can also add a Filter mask or what have you just as you can with any Smart Filter inside Photoshop. If you want to modify your settings, all you have to do is double-click on Liquify and then make a few more adjustments like maybe I will just tuck this in a little more and then click on the OK button again and what you are doing instead of applying multiple incarnations of Liquify, you're adjusting that single application of the filter.
Let's take a look at Blur gallery. I will go ahead and switch over to this image right here and what I want to do is create a kind of tiny town effect. I have already converted this image to a Smart Object in advance, and I've applied a few Smart Filters, including Reduce Noise right here and what that does is it goes ahead and gives the cars, and the motorcycles, and the buses a little bit of a plastic feel, and I enhance the effects by adding Median with a Radius of 2 pixels and then I added a dollop of Smart Sharpen as well in order to create this effect here.
Now I want to blur both the foreground and the background using what's known as the Tilt-Shift filter. I will go up to the Filter menu and choose Blur and then choose Tilt-Shift. Again, prior to this version of Photoshop these first three commands which represent the blur gallery would have been dimmed, but now they are applicable to Smart Objects as well. I will go ahead and choose Tilt-Shift, and I am going to scroll down a little bit as well, and I am going to drag the central focal point to the center of the bus right here, and I'm going to drag the point at which the blur begins, which is represented by both of the circles right here.
I am going to drag this circle up while pressing the Shift key until the lines in the bottom of the face of the bus. Then I'll drag this guy down while pressing the Shift key again to constrain the angle of my drag do exactly vertical until it aligns to the top of the face of the bus. I will go ahead and drag this blur point up just a little bit, and I will drag this one up quite a bit and these dotted lines, by the way, represent the full intensity of the blur which is currently set to 15 pixels. I am going to crank that up to 20 pixels, and I'm also going to add a little bit of distortion, 20%, and then so that I can see the distortion not only in the foreground but in the background as well, I will turn on the Symmetric Distortion check box, and we end up with this effect here.
Now I will go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect, and you can see that the Blur gallery now appears as a Smart Filter inside the Layers panel. Now let's say that I want to add a little bit of additional blur here. If this really was a tiny town, and this area right here was in focus, this area in the background might be out of focus a little more, might be blurrier, and this tree would be a bit out of focus as well. So I am going achieve those effects using Field Blur. I could apply Field Blur in a separate application by going to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and then using choosing Field Blur, or I could apply at a long width the Tilt-Shift by just double-clicking on the words Blur gallery here inside of the Layers panel.
Now to assign the Filed Blur all you have to do is twirl it open by clicking on this little triangle. That will automatically select the check box as well, and I am going to set the Blur value to 20 pixels like so, and I am going to drag this guy up on to this little taxi cab right there. What that does is it blurs the entire image, because we only have a point of blur, we don't have any points of focus. So let's add a few points by first of all clicking right there on the face of the bus, and I am going to change its blur value to 0 pixels like so and then I will click on this little cab and another way to change the blur value is to just drag directly inside this widget like so until you see a blur value 0, and that head ups display.
Then I will click over here in the heart of the tree, and I will take its Blur value down, let's say to 5 pixels. Now if I just very quickly tab the M key, then I can see the mask of the blur that's being applied. Anywhere where you see white you are blurring at the highest intensity. Where you see black you are not blurring at all. Now I don't want to see any gray creeping into this zone right here. So I will click to set another point, and I will go ahead and drag it down to 0 as well, like so. Then if I want to see the image again, I just tab the M key like so and then I click the OK button in order to apply that effect.
Now one of things wonderful about this for one thing you can save off your Blur Gallery setting so you can go back to manipulate them later, which was my biggest frustration with the entire Blur Gallery in the first place. But watch this, if I double-click on Blur Gallery in order to bring up the big old window here, and I will turn off Field Blur for a moment and then click OK. Even though I just turned off the Field Blur effect, I still have the Tilt-Shift going on, but I have turned off the Filed Blur. I can revisit it by double-clicking a Blur Gallery yet again and all I need to do is turn Field Blur on and then I can once again see all of my points, because they remain intact even if you turn the Filter effect off.
Then I could click on Tilt-Shift in order to bring back its settings, and I could say, you know what, I don't want the Blur value to be that high now. I will take it down to 15 pixels and then click OK in order to accept that effect. So all of your settings remain intact throughout. Now it's just one little bug associated with this feature, specifically applying the Blur Gallery to a Smart Object, and that's this little slider icon here. Normally what it does, if I double-click on the slider icon for Smart Sharpen, I will get a warning at first time that you are not going to be able to see all the filters at the same time.
I will just click OK and then I get the Blending Options dialog box which allows me to adjust the Blend mode associated with this filtered effect as well as the Opacity. So I can back off the filter, for example. I will go ahead and Cancel out here. Problem is with this slider icon for Blur Gallery, if you double-click on it, it will be nice if it brought up the Blending options, and it says that it's going to. However, when you double-click instead what you get is the actual Filter information. So you don't have the option of changing the Blend mode or the Opacity value.
So just little bit of an FYI. Anyway, I am going to press the Escape key. I am going to go ahead and Cancel out like so, then I will press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with my image here. Just so we can get a sense of before and after where this image is concerned, go ahead and scroll it up a little bit here, and then I will press the F12 key in order to revert the image. This is the original version of the street scene, and this is the modified tiny town view. Thanks to our ability to apply the Blur Gallery and--previously you saw--Liquify to Smart Objects here inside Photoshop 13.1.
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