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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.
All right, I'm still working inside the image called Head tilted.jpg, and I've gone ahead and chosen the Liquify command from the Filter menu. Here we are inside of the Filter window. We're going to be looking at a few of the most useful tools that are available to us here inside Liquify, starting with the very first tool, which is the best of the bunch. It's called the Forward Warp tool. There really isn't such a thing as backward warping. It's just the Warp tool, and is if to acknowledge that, we've got a keyboard shortcut of W. That is the one keyboard shortcut I definitely want you to remember, because you're going to be spending most of your time with this tool.
It's great to be able to come back to it just by pressing W. Now, what the Warp tool does is it allows you to move details inside of the image by painting them. So, you're actually painting in full scale distortions, as you're about to see, but the first thing I need to do here before I start using this tool is increase the size of my brush, because if I paint with this little guy, then I'm going to paint little teeny weird distortions like that, which are of no use to me whatsoever. So, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+ Z on the Mac to undo that modification, and to increase the size of the brush cursor, you can of course change the Brush Size value over here on the right side of the dialog box, but an easier way to work is to press and hold the Right Bracket key.
So notice that increases the size of the cursor. If you press and hold the Left Bracket key, that reduces the size of the cursor. If you want to increase or decrease the size more quickly, then press Shift along with one of those bracket keys. So, this is the effect of pressing Shift+Right Bracket. This is the effect of pressing Shift+Left Bracket. All right, so I'm going to go pretty big with a tool like so, and you can press and hold Shift along with one of the bracket keys. I'm going to also zoom in on my image and scroll up using the scroll wheel. I want to paint her head sort of upright here for starters.
I'm not really trying to get beautiful effects at this point. I'm just trying to give you a sense of how the tool works. So notice I'm able to very quickly paint in these big distortions. Now notice that I'm not dragging all over the place with the tool. These are very short drags that I'm performing along with this tool, so short brushstrokes are the way to go when you're working inside the Liquify dialog box, because otherwise, you end up getting this kind of effect here, and not only is it unbecoming, you're not going to get the results that you want, but it also ends up smearing the pixels all over the place.
You get this sort of stretched pixel effect, or you might think of it as being digital stretch marks, which is not something we want under any condition. We want our nips and tucks to look beautiful. Anyway, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. To undo that modification, you do have multiple undos inside Liquify. So, Ctrl+Z, it works just like inside Photoshop proper. Ctrl+Z or Command+Z will redo or undo the effects of a brushstroke. If you want to go back farther, if you want to backstep, then you press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z on the Mac.
Anyway, I want to go back forward here, so I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Z or Command+Shift+Z on the Mac in order to get to this place right there, and then I could drag some more if I want to in order to make her eyes bigger, like so, and again I'm not really trying to get a really great effect here. I'm trying to just demonstrate what the tools can do and how much fun you can have with them. When you're first learning to use Liquify, I suggest you do it in the spirit of not trying to get anything done, just play with the various tools, see how they work.
Then once you get a feel for what's going on, then try to actually do something with this command. Anyway, we've got some other tools that we can work with. We've got the Reconstruct tool. The idea there is you can paint in undos. So, if I were to select the Reconstruct tool and then I were to click and hold, like so, then I will go ahead and incrementally undo the effects of my brushstroke. You can see that we're returning her head to its tilted position, its original tilted position. That's definitely not something I want, however, so I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac.
We've also got this Twirl Clockwise tool. In order to demonstrate that guy, I'm going to make her mouth a little wider. I'm actually going to go with a smaller brush, by pressing Shift+Left Bracket a few times. I'll go ahead and widen her mouth like so, and give it a little bit of a twist right there. Then using the Twirl Clockwise tool, I can paint in the sort of grimace like that on one side of her lip, and then if I want to twirl the other direction, because this tool, true to its name, twirls clockwise.
If you want to twirl counterclockwise, then you press the Alt or Option key as you click with the tool. That succeeded in stretching her nostril, and nothing more. Let's see if we can do a better job here. Alt+Click or Option+Click with the tool. Hmm. That's interesting! One of things about the Twirl tool is that it's going to work best-- Notice if I go down here to the hands, and increase the size of the brush a little bit. It's going to work best if you're painting in an area that hasn't been heavily molested. For example, her hands hadn't been modified at all, so they twirl just like we thought they might.
If I Alt+Click or Option+Click, then they'll twirl back the other direction. However, this area has been heavily modified, making the Twirl tool a little more difficult to predict. Now, we can very easily predict the next two tools, Pucker and Bloat. I consider it to be second in utility only to the Warp tool. So, I use these guys a fair amount. You can use the Pucker tool in order to slim areas inside of an image. You can use the Bloat tool in order to fortify areas. Let me show you how those work.
I'll go ahead and grab that Pucker tool right there. Then notice I could click and hold in order to reduce basically the size of her central features right there. It goes ahead and pinches the image as you can see. Then you can switch to the Bloat tool, if you want to make areas bigger, like let's go ahead and zoom out to click here. I'll go ahead and grab that Bloat tool. Switch to a much larger cursor, like so. Then let's click in this pelvic area, and that makes her look like she's sort of slumping backward and she has these enormous hands, which I think is a very becoming effect.
I'll go ahead and drag this area up a little bit using the Warp tool, like so. So this is looking, I think, quite good and very dandy. Finally, let's drop down to these feet here and let's say we want to go ahead and pucker those. I would select the Pucker tool, of course, and click and hold. Now notice I'm not dragging with either the Bloat or the Pucker tool. You're going to get the best results if you just click and hold at various locations, sometimes for just a moment at a time. Now, notice one of the things that can happen here. Notice we're basically peeling up the entire image, as if it's bit of drapery, and we're revealing some transparency in the background.
If you don't want that, if you don't want to pucker the image as a whole, then go ahead and press the W key to switch back to that Warp tool and then just drag this area down a little bit in order to cover up that detail there. We're starting to get some very interesting results, I think. Now, one of things about Pucker and Bloat is that you can just stick with one tool or the other if you want to. For example, if you select the Pucker tool, you can of course-- I'll go ahead and press and hold Shift+Left Bracket to reduce the size of that brush cursor a little bit. You can of course do this number where we're just clicking and holding inside of the arm in order to make that area slimmer.
I could also drag. Notice dragging performs a big effect very quickly. So that's why I don't tend to do it. I'll go ahead and undo that modification right there, and click and hold in this region just to make the arm quite a bit thinner. Then if I decide I like those very skinny upper arms, but I want to give her sort of Popeye forearms, then I'll go ahead and increase the size of my brush cursor a little bit. In order to bloat the forearms, I would press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, as I click inside of these details.
So, the idea is that you can reverse the behavior of either the Pucker tool or the Bloat tool by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, as you click or drag with that tool. So anyway, we're getting some pretty interesting results right here. Go ahead and reduce the size of my cursor. As I say, I think it's a really good idea to play with this tool. It amuses me. It amuses you. It might not amuse this model. She might not be as impressed by what I'm doing here. But it does give you a chance to explore the program and get a sense of how it works before you really venture in there and try to get some work done.
She really needs some big bug eyes, don't you think? She needs doll eyes, I think. That sort of gives her a little bit of an alien appearance. I think that's nice. In the next exercise, we will move on from these terribly useful tools. These are the practical ones folks, to the very impractical whimsical tool, starting with this guy right there, Push Left, and moving our way down to Turbulence, which is just plain wacky.
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