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The enhanced Liquify filter

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features

Video: The enhanced Liquify filter

One of Photoshop's most popular filters is Liquify. What it allows you to do is brush in distortions and makes structural modifications to an image. In CS6, Liquify has received some minor but important enhancements. Now the Liquify filter is not applicable to smart objects; we have to apply it to a pixel-based image, such as the one I have open here. I'm going to go up to the Filter menu, choose the Liquify command, and I'll zoom in on the image. Now the first thing you may notice about Liquify is that it's more responsive, especially when you're working on very large image files.

The enhanced Liquify filter

One of Photoshop's most popular filters is Liquify. What it allows you to do is brush in distortions and makes structural modifications to an image. In CS6, Liquify has received some minor but important enhancements. Now the Liquify filter is not applicable to smart objects; we have to apply it to a pixel-based image, such as the one I have open here. I'm going to go up to the Filter menu, choose the Liquify command, and I'll zoom in on the image. Now the first thing you may notice about Liquify is that it's more responsive, especially when you're working on very large image files.

And that's because it's one of the handful features that have been integrated into Adobe's so-called Mercury Graphics Engine. And what that means is many of its routines have been handed off to the GPU, and other examples of commands like this, by the way, are Warp, Puppet Warp, some stuff that's going on with the new Crop tool, and 3D shadows and reflections, which we'll look at in a future movie. The other thing worth noting is that the interface has been dramatically simplified, particularly over here in the right-hand side of the screen, which makes a lot of sense because most people spend most of their time in this filter using one and only one tool, which is the Warp tool here.

However, if you do want to gain access to all the controls you can turn on the Advanced mode checkbox. Also worth noting, you can change the size of a cursor by pressing the left and right bracket keys. That was true in the past two but the increments have been changed and there's a new way to change the size of the brush. On the PC, you press the Alt key and you right drag like so, so you press the right mouse button drag. On the Mac you press the Ctrl and Option keys, not the Command key, but the Ctrl and Option keys, and you drag, not right drag, just a standard drag. And that will allow you to change the size of that cursor.

All right, here is my favorite feature. I'm going to go ahead and load a mesh that I've created in advance, and I called my mesh Liquify settings.msh, I'll just go ahead and open it on up, and as you can see it goes ahead and straightens out this woman's posture. Now I'll turn off the Advanced mode checkbox and I'll click OK in order to accept that change. Now here's the thing. What happens as often as not, at least for me when I'm using Liquify, is after I click OK, I end up looking at the image and finding some problem with it, and so I figure gosh, I'll go ahead and undo what I did, and then I'll pick up from where I left off.

So you press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the change and then you go back up to the Filter menu, choose Liquify again, and your settings are not there. So you can't take up where you last left off. Unless in the past you went ahead and saved off your mesh, so you had to deliberately save the mesh before you left the dialog box and almost nobody thinks to do that. Now we have a safety valve and this is totally an awesome feature here. You can load your last mesh so you can start from where you left off by clicking on that button and then you can make some additional modifications and click OK, and get exactly the results that you're looking for.

Now I want to show you one more thing that works outside of Liquify. I'm going to go ahead and select the Brush tool, and you can see I have a pretty big brush going. Now if you press the Alt key here on the PC and right drag like so, when you drag to the right or left you're going to change the size of your brush. When you drag down and up you're going to change the softness of your brush. Now for you Macintosh people, you would press the Ctrl and Option keys and then you would drag either to the right or the left or down to get a harder brush or up to get a softer brush.

However, notice there's another option right there, Opacity. If you'd rather trade hardness for Opacity, then press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box and you'll see that there is this checkbox right there, Vary Round Brush Hardness based on HUD vertical movement. Turn that off and you can now change the Opacity on the fly. And you do so just as I showed you before. You press the Alt key and right drag left and right for diameter and then you drag up to lower the opacity and down to raise the opacity.

On a Mac you would press the Ctrl and Option keys and drag back and forth for diameter or drag up to reduce the Opacity and down to increase the Opacity. So there you have the enhanced Liquify filter and a new way to adjust brush opacity here in Photoshop CS6.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 New Features
Photoshop CS6 New Features

38 video lessons · 42251 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 37s
  2. 2h 27m
    1. The secrets of the dark interface
      3m 55s
    2. Background and Auto-Save
      3m 22s
    3. The altogether revamped Crop tool
      4m 0s
    4. The consolidated Properties panel
      3m 58s
    5. The searchable Layers panel
      5m 2s
    6. Modifying multiple layers at a time
      4m 50s
    7. The wide world of layer enhancements
      6m 48s
    8. Content-Aware Move and Extend
      6m 16s
    9. Content-Aware Patch
      3m 14s
    10. Auto-Power color adjustments
      6m 3s
    11. The brave new world of Camera Raw 7
      6m 16s
    12. The new three-part Blur Gallery
      8m 9s
    13. The Adaptive Wide-Angle filter
      7m 7s
    14. Correcting wide-angle panoramas
      7m 14s
    15. Text enhancements & styles
      4m 48s
    16. Filling & stroking shape layers
      4m 37s
    17. Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes
      4m 17s
    18. Working with the Scripted Patterns
      3m 32s
    19. Erodible brush tips & airbrushes
      5m 44s
    20. The enhanced Liquify filter
      4m 20s
    21. The new Oil Paint filter
      4m 10s
    22. Selecting skin tones and faces
      5m 11s
    23. The new Lighting Effects filter
      6m 29s
    24. Editing videos in the Timeline panel
      10m 16s
    25. Making editable 3D type
      8m 8s
    26. 3D shadows and reflections
      6m 35s
    27. Aligning and distributing meshes in 3D
      3m 0s
  3. 50m 34s
    1. Introducing the first Photoshop Creative Cloud update
      1m 36s
    2. Liquify and Blur Gallery support Smart Objects
      8m 42s
    3. Creating conditional actions
      9m 51s
    4. Moving a point with the Pen tool on the fly
      3m 32s
    5. Autonaming merged layers
      4m 42s
    6. Creating global default type styles
      4m 57s
    7. Copying CSS code from specialty layers
      4m 54s
    8. Enhanced 3D lighting with 32-bit bit color
      6m 42s
    9. The new default 3D image-based light
      5m 38s
  4. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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