Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Liquifying an image, part of Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
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Here I am inside the Liquify filter ready to get to work. And by default, you should see this tool selected right here, the Forward Warp tool. If not, go ahead and select it. It's really just the Warp tool. There is no backward Warp tool. And it allows you to move pixels around. It's a very powerful tool, but you want your brush to be bigger than this. Currently, my Brush is set to 100 pixels. I'm going to take it up to, let's say 400 pixels, something much larger. And notice how big it is onscreen now. And now I can move things around. For example, I can drag portions of her eye out to the right.
And then I can drag this area over to the left here in order to increase the size of that brow. It can move for eye over a little bit as well. Now she is going to start looking pretty weird, pretty fast here, but that's okay, because we're just trying to roughen some modifications. Now if you want to change the size of your brush on the fly from the keyboard, Photoshop is just rife with keyboard tricks, which is great, but of course, you have to learn them. There are two keys to the right of the P as in Paul key on an American keyboard.
They are square bracket keys. So if you press and hold the Right Bracket, you're going to make that brush bigger as you could see. If you press and hold the Left Bracket, you're going to make the brush smaller. You can see that value changed right here in the Brush Size field. You can also see the size of the cursor change onscreen. All right. With the smaller brush now, I'm going to begin work on her nose. Take her nose down a little, make the nostrils smaller like so, move things in. Now it's a good idea when you're working with the Liquify tool, generally speaking, to make small modifications at a time, because that way you're less likely to smear the pixels inside the image.
But as I was saying, I'm just trying to roughen some modifications here. I'm pressing the Right Bracket key, pressing and holding to make the cursor bigger, and then I'm lifting up her cheek just a little bit. And then I'm going to take her mouth down, like so. And I might take her mouth down on the other side. And if things start to look a little weird, you just have to be patient with yourself and be able to switch back and forth between a small brush and a large brush to try to get that work done. Now, this does look pretty odd at this point. That's okay. We're going to take care of that in a moment.
But I'm going to switch over here to this Bloat tool, and that's going to allow me to make her eyes much bigger. So I'll switch to a larger brush once again, having selected the Bloat tool, by the way. I'm going to enlarge the size of the brush. And then I'm going to click inside of her eye. Now don't click and hold too long, because you'll make the eye way too big, just click a little bit at a time here and there. And then I'm going to switch back to my Forward Warp tool. This is kind of the way you work inside Liquify. You switch to one of the other tools for a moment, make some small modifications or at least some short modifications, and then you come back to the Warp tool for refinement.
And I'm going to make my brush smaller, once again, by pressing the Left Bracket key. I'm going to drag down from her eye in order to keep some of the roundness going, because I don't want it to get too flat, and I'm going to move that brow out some more of course, and I'm going to move this brow down and over a little bit more, and so on and so on. I probably spent about 15-20 minutes inside of this window, making the modifications I was looking for, which is why I've gone ahead and saved out my changes so that you can load them up, if you so desire.
All you have to do is click on the Load Mesh button right here, and look for the 01_Ps_demo folder. That's inside your Exercise_Files folder. And notice there's two mesh settings. One is Avatar girl eyes, and the other is Avatar girl nose. We want eyes for starters, and then click on the Open button. That goes ahead and gives us this effect here, which looks a heck of a lot better than what I was coming up with just now. So that's nice. Now everything is a mesh inside the Liquify filter. If I turn on Show Mesh, this little check box right there, you can see the actual distortions that have taken place inside of this image.
And that's why you can save off your settings and use them once again. Now these settings don't tend to be useful with totally different images, you'll get very strange effects. However, if you're trying to keep track of what you did inside of a specific image, they're very useful. They don't take up much room onscreen, and then you can come back to your changes later, if you so desire. All right. I'm going to turn off Show Mesh. And then I'm just going to click the OK button in order to accept that modification. So now you can see, this is what the girl looked like before we entered the dialog box.
This is what she looks like now. Thanks to the power of the Liquify filter inside Photoshop.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
- Assembling photorealistic compositions
- Understanding image size and resolution
- Correcting the brightness and color of images
- Creating accurate selection outlines
- Retouching and healing photos
- Mastering layers and effects
- Printing and exporting to the web