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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 I'm going to show you how to use the lesser distortion tools inside the Liquify window, which include Push Left and this guy, Mirror tool, and then finally Turbulence. And I was saying that they're not very useful tools and that was actually kind on my part. They're beyond not very useful tools. You may on an occasional basis find use for the Push tool. It can sometimes be useful. The Mirror tool, never. Very weird tool. And then Turbulence, well, you just have to see that one to believe it.
It's a-- (Laughs) It's a doozy. Anyway, before we do that though, another note about saving and loading meshes. Here's a really practical reason to do it, in addition everything else I've told you. The mesh I should say is really going to work only for the image that you applied it to. So like you're not going to load up some totally different image and expect to apply the Bobble Head effect and get this result right here. It's just not going to happen. However, you can do this.
You can go ahead and experiment on a low-resolution version of your image. So let's say you've got a really super high resolution image and things are going very slow inside the Liquify window, which can happen, because this is a fairly intense command. If you go ahead and downsample the image, apply your modifications here inside Liquefy, and then save out your mesh, then go get the original version of the image with all of its pixels, load that mesh and apply it, and you should get the same result. As long as you haven't cropped the image differently, as long as it has the same proportions.
Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to cancel out here for a second. And in addition to this image called Head tilted.jpg, which is a fairly low-resolution version of the image. If I press Ctrl+Alt+I or Command+Option+ I on a Mac, you can see that the Pixel Dimensions come to 9 megabytes. The image measures 1452x2184 pixels. All right, I'll cancel out here, and I'll switch to this image. This is the original image that I downloaded from the Fotolia image library. That's why it has this weird name here. Now, I'm not including this image for you. This is just me demonstrating things onscreen.
This is a copyrighted image, so I can't give you the full resolution version, but I will show you that I've got it here. The Pixel Dimensions are 36.3 MB. It's four times as large, and the Width of the image is 2904, the Height is 4368. So again, four times as many pixels inside this image. I'll cancel out. I'll go up to the Filter menu. I'll choose the Liquify command. Ctrl+Shift+X, Command+Shift+X on the Mac. I'll go ahead and load my mesh that I created before, Bobble head.msh.
And I'll click the Open command, and there it is. I get the exact same effect in a much higher resolution. And then I would go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect. All right, tell you one thing. I'm going to cancel out here, and we're going to switch back to Head tilted.jpg. So those of you who are working along with me can do so. Go back to the Filter menu, choose Liquify, might as well load the old Bobble head right there in order to bring back the effect that I had a moment ago, click the Open button, and then I'll zoom in on this image. And now we can see the wonders of these various tools down here.
Now, Push Left and Mirror they both work similarly, in that they're dependent upon the direction of your drag. So I'll go ahead and grab that Push Left tool. And again, push left, push right. I just prefer to think of this as being the Push tool. But if you drag down, notice I pushed to the right. So right away the tool is misnamed, because when I drag down I get the opposite effect. However, if you want to push things to the left, then you would drag upward like so. And I need to actually drag upward along that arm and I'm already getting a disastrous effect.
Let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z a few times in a row. When you drag up with the tool - there we go - you're going to widen the detail. I'll go ahead and undo that modification. When you drag down with the tool, you're going to slim the detail. And let's see how it behaves when you drag left and right. I always forget this. I just have to experiment with this to get a sense of it. Apparently, you push up when you drag to the right. All right, I'll go ahead and undo that modification. And when you drag to left, you push down. You can reverse that behavior though. So here is what I typically do.
I sit here and look at the arm, and I think, you know what? I want to tighten that arm. I want to squish it a little bit so it's not quite so wide. You know, basically a fat trimming technique. And so, I'll start by dragging in some direction. Let's say I drag up, and I go, wow! That's not the right effect. In fact, not only did I make the arm wider, but I also increased the size of this sort of shadow detail, I stretched out the blouse, and it just looks terrible, but I still want to be able to drag up. Dragging up is very important to me. I have no idea why. But if it's important, I'll go ahead to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to undo that modification.
And I would press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then drag up and now I slim the detail. Now, you can see that I'm slimming it way too much. So I'd go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and I'd move over here to these options, these numerical options. So we've already seen Brush Size. That controls how big the brush is. Brush Density controls the distribution of the effect. So if you make this value smaller then you're going to centralize the effect at the middle of your brush. And if you make the effect bigger, then you're going to squish the effect outward so that it's happening along the edge of the brush.
Let me show you what I mean really quickly here. I'll go and change this Brush Density value to 10%. Notice if I switch to a different tool, like I'll go ahead and switch to Pucker let's say, that that value persists. So these values exist independently of the tools themselves. That is when you switch tools, the value stay intact. All right, now I'm going to increase the size of my cursor quite a bit here and with this very low brush density value I'll click inside of her face and notice everything is happening right there at the center of the cursor. Very angry look that she has now.
All right, I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and now let's compare that to a Brush Density of 100%. And I'll go ahead and click now and notice that the effect is happening more at the outside. So we are gaining the stretching along the radius of the brush, and then we're moving the face inward at the center. And I actually think of both of those effects that we just saw, a very low brush density and a very high brush density, tend to deliver bad results. So typically what you're going to do is leave that value alone. Press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to restore her beautiful face.
And I'm going to change that Brush Density value back to its default, which is 50. All right, now let's switch. Notice some of these values are dimmed when you're using different tools. When I switch over here to the Push tool once again, then Brush Pressure happens to be available to me. I'll go ahead and reduce that Brush Pressure value from 100 down to 10 and now when I drag down, let's say, in order to slim that arm, it happens more slowly. And in fact, when I'm really using this tool, which I have to say not very often, sometimes though, when I'm using this tool to slim an arm let say, I'll click at one location and then I'll Shift+Click at another in order to do just a little bit of slimming.
And what I did was I connected the Click and the Shift+Click points with a straight line, a straight line of push. Anyway, I'll do it again. Click and Shift+Click, and that slims the arm just a little bit more. So that's a practical way to use the tool. However, it's a little bit weird, because you know what direction you're working. Again, you got Alt or Option to go the other direction. All right, now let's switch over here to the Mirror tool and by the way, before we go any further, you've got this very low Brush Pressure now. If I switch over to the Warp tool, and I start painting, it's going to be like why am I not getting results? I just painted this huge brush stroke and it did almost nothing.
Well, that's because my Brush Pressure is so low. You'd want to reset the Brush Pressure to 100 before you starting using the Warp tool. Now, you can of course adjust the pressure with Warp tool as well, but it just tends to respond more possibly to a high-pressure value. Anyway, now let's go to the Mirror tool. Same thing, that is to say you drag, down, or up, or left, or right in order to get different effects, but instead of pushing the pixels around you create a reflection. You create a mirror image. So you might think, gosh! This could be useful for you know painting inside of her face in order to reflect the let's the right half of the face onto the left half of the face, if we've got an issue with the left half.
But well that might be really useful in some images, it might respond positively, I don't know. I've never gotten it to work reliably at all. Let say I decide I want to reflect her face and I'll go ahead paint like that, and I get that result right there. And I am by the way, by dragging down, I should reflect this right side over onto left side. So this is the effect I get. Not quite what I'm looking for. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. If I drag up, then I'm reflecting from the other side. I'm reflecting these white pixels over here onto the right-hand area.
And again, if you want to reverse that behavior you can press the Alt or Option key. What I think I'll do is just drag down like so, oops! Can't drag back and forth. That's not going to work. That's going to create weird effects. You just need to drag in one direction. So I undid and I went ahead and dragged again. There we go. I'll create a nice weird reflection over here on the left-hand side and then Alt+Drag or Option+Drag, oops! Wrong. And then I'll drag upward like so, in order to reflect her to the right. And then I'll drag up again, in order to complete that effect a little bit, and for some reason she grows a horn.
You never know with the Reflect tool what exactly it's going to do. Anyway, if you want this kind of stuff, why then the reflect tool is the perfect tool for you? It's called the Mirror tool, but whatever. All right, I'm going to go ahead and undo those changes by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Z a few times. Command+Options+Z on the Mac. And now let's switch to the absolute most amazing tool on the face of the planet. It definitely ranks right up there with the best tools in Photoshop. (Laughs) I think it's about as useful as the old school sharpening tool, but I'm going to go ahead and grab it.
It's the Turbulence tool. And what it does is it introduces an element of randomness to your image. And you can drag with the tool if you want to. It's just going to work like the Warp tool if you start dragging round, except kind of a warp with a little random element to it. What's more interesting to do with this tool, if you want to get a sense of how it works, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z to undo that modification. Jst click and hold. And you'll notice what happens is you just kind of melt that area of the image. So I'll click and hold over here as well to apply some more melting.
And then if you're really just want to melt her face, why then just click and hold inside the face, and that's a -- (Laughs) That's perfect. It looks like an R. Crumb drawing or something. I'm going to go ahead, and let's scroll down to the arms. The arms actually look really great when we start to applying turbulence to them, when they start melting away. So if you want an image to look like you've kind of like rendered it in wax or something along those lines, and it's a warm day, and the image is starting to fall apart. Why then, I would imagine turbulence is perfect.
We also have these masking tools. The Freeze Mask tool allows you to protect certain portions of the image. The Thaw Mask tool allows you to unprotect those areas. So basically the idea is that you're painting in a mask, and then you're painting away a mask. And we'll see how those work in a future exercise. In fact, what we're going to do now is switch away from the experimentation mode, which has been such a fun time, and we're going to try to get some actual real work done.
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