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The Liquify Filter

  • The Liquify Filter: allows you to expand or contract parts of your image - really good for trimming shape on people.
  • TIP 1: Be careful not to overdo it here. You are pushing pixels around, so they will tend to smear, and to lose grain (noise). Check your results and add noise to correct if necessary.
  • TIP 2: Watch the surrounding area when you use this tool. It is easy to give away that you took a few pounds off of someone if you do not make sure all edges and lines are still correct. The standard mistake is to leave distorted or curved lines close to a person (created by the Push or Bloat tool) – a giveaway that the image was "Liquified".

The Liquify Filter

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:16
  • Demonstration 1: Using the Liquify Filter 0:34
    • Introduction to The Liquify Filter
    • The Liquify Filter Workspace and Tools Overview
    • The Push Tool
    • The Pucker Tool
    • The Bloat Tool
    • Adjusting the Face
    • Adjusting the Eyes
    • Adjusting the Body
  • Demonstration 2: Using the Liquify Filter 11:41
    • Adjusting the Image
    • Using The Mask Tools in the Liquify Filter

Transcription: The Liquify Filter

Hi everybody, Michael Brown here again, welcome back to educator.com's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0000

This is a cool lesson--here's a filter that you guys are going to find truly magical, but you just have to be careful not to over-do it with this one.0006

This is called the Liquify filter--it's how you adjust sizes, squeeze, push, pull, and how those models get those absolutely thin waists.0016

Let's take a look at it.0028

The Liquify filter workspace and tools and how to retouch with it, so let's get started.0029

Let's start with this lady here--it's a shot we took of her--just a headshot, she's a good looking woman, we haven't done any retouch on this shot at all--you can see it needs some extensive retouch in the neck and clean up and so on and so forth, but we're going to deal with that in another lesson.0037

Right now, we're going to use the Liquify filter which allows you to re-shape items, for example, if you look closely at her chin line and her jaw bone line, as she is aged, the inset just between the chin and the jaw bone has dropped in a little bit, and it kind of pronounces the shape of her face.0055

What would be really nice to do, is to bring this in, in the jaw bone area, and smooth it outward a little bit in the chin area, just to smooth out both of those.0083

Now, in my world of retouching, I'm a believer in maintaining the integrity of a photograph.0096

Even by re-shaping this--it's only going to take a few years off, it's not going to change the person at all, so let's go ahead and do this--it's pretty simple.0104

Now, in Photoshop CS6, they've revised the Liquify filter so that the actual engine for the filter makes it work a little faster on high resolution files, but there's a way to avoid that anyway unless you have to use the whole image--take your Marquee or your Lasso tool, doesn't matter--feather of zero, and just drag it across the area, and what's going to happen is that will isolate that area, and when we go to the filter, that's all that we're going to see.0114

So we go to the Filter menu, and right down at the beginning there's Liquify, and when we do so, here's the box--isolate it to that area.0146

Now, when you first open it up, you're going to see this box right here with a limited number of tools.0157

This is called the Forward Warp tool, the Reconstruct tool which brings things back, Pucker, Bloat, this is the Push left tool, of course the normal Hand tool to move your image around if it's zoomed in a little bit like that, and the Zoom tool.0165

Let me demonstrate what the tools do; Forward Warp tool--oh and you have a Brush size here, and you can adjust the Brush size over here or you right bracket--I want to see if the Control/Option key works--it does--Control/Option on a Mac, Control/right click on a PC, and you can do it on the fly or left bracket down, right bracket up.0183

In the case of working here, the cross inside the brush is where the primary action occurs and it falls off toward the outer edge.0207

Now let me just show you what the Push tool does--you click and it just smears things out in the direction that you go.0218

The Pucker tool does exactly what it says it's going to do--pretty weird--just click and hold, and it just...it's pretty bizarre isn't it, it puckers things away, and guess what the Bloat tool does--could it be the exact opposite--boy that girl got some bad teeth.0228

So you can have some fun with these but this is real retouch we're talking here, so right here we're dealing with the jaw bone area and the inset inside the chin, so what we're going to do--by the way, this smears the pixels no matter how careful you are (let's get back to the Push tool) no matter how careful you work (get a smaller brush) it's actually smearing the pixels whatever you do--Option or Alt will change the cancel to a reset button, so you don't want to over-do this tool--you'll lose the texture.0251

So we're going to bring it up and we're going to go right on--let's see, I'm going to zoom it up just a little bit...whoops, too much, sorry about that, I'm trying to get the right amount--OK, here we go, bring it up a little bit and just in tiny increments, we're going to push--notice how it's pushing it in--and when I get over here I'll push upwards, just gradually moving it in just a little at a time...it can go a little bit more yet...don't want to go too much here, and the other side--same thing--bring it in, just gently--we want to make this look real--I'm bringing that down smooth, looks good, have we matched up?0292

Just a hair in here...and now we're going to go the other way and make the brush a little smaller--see how easy this tool is to use--and we're going to bring that out just a hair...take that one in...looks pretty good--let's push that out and just make it a little smaller, and push that area out.0338

Notice how I have nice and smooth, and on this side the same thing--just take this area and smooth that outward, and there we click OK and we're going to do a Command+H to hide--watch on the cheeks--went from there, to there--notice how much better she looks and it's still the same person.0364

Look over here...and that is how the Forward Warp tool works.0385

Now, one of the other things we do on retouch; notice her eyes, left side of the screen this eye is wider open than this eye, so we're going to adjust the eyes.0392

Now, I'm going to show you two ways--back to Filter and Liquify--a lot of people would want to use this.0402

I just saw a demo on TV this morning by a prominent retoucher demonstrating the Liquify tool, and when he retouched eyes he used the Bloat tool.0411

Because this eye need to open up just a little bit more so he took a fairly large one and just touched it a little bit, and now the size is not bad--let's reset that and do it one more time...whoops...oh, we got back to that tool, sorry...no, too much, just a little--there we go.0423

The eyes are open about the same amount, but look what happened to the actual pupil of the eye; this black one over here--it expanded that because of the Bloat.0449

So instead of doing that, what I like to do is I use the Push tool...get this down to a workable size and you have to do this very carefully.0452

I'm going to take and physically work my way along carefully, and very gently open up the eye that way, and now you see I got a little bit of the black off distorted, but not as bad as the other one.0463

I think we want to go a little here...I can actually push that back upwards and pull that down.0481

Click OK and look at this eye right over here--Command or Control+Z, the eyes are opened up real nicely, and if I needed to, I could go back in and just simply retouch that little bit of black out of there--in fact, I can do that--I'll tell you what, you can do this.0489

Go back to the Filter, Liquify again, zoom it up with a small brush, and I'll just push that area back up into place...and that should take care of it, right there...click OK, oh yeah, there we go.0527

Now the two eyes are pretty much identical, so we used, in the Filter, Liquify, we used the Bloat tool and it didn't quite work.0550

I used the Push tool most of the time, depends on what you're trying to do--let's take one more on this one here...you notice she's a good looking lady and she actually has a really great body but this pose just has straight angles over here--doesn't accentuate her nice figure, so let's go ahead and do a little plastic surgery.0561

Filter, Liquify, back up it comes again--we'll go down to the advanced mode now to show you some other stuff that we'll use in another one, but it's in there--we'll pass on that for a moment.0583

Here we are with the Push tool again--make that brush size good, and I'm going to go ahead and start pulling in her waistline...0596

Pull it in some more...bring it in over here in the corner so that it disappears out--take a leaf on that, maybe a little too far.0610

Now is when we can go in from the other side, do the same thing...that fall in a little bit--that looks a little bit better, but now we can extenuate the bust line.0621

Now is when we use the Bloat tool--bring it up and just a little bit on the edge, and a little bit over here on this side, back to the Push tool...and we'll bring the side out a little bit and bring the bust line under.0634

Just give her a little bit more look there, down that one, let's take that and pop it one more time in the center area...click OK, and there you have dropped that down, brought in the waistline and extenuated the bust line just a little bit--could've brought that in a little bit more, and there you have it.0650

Let's go to the original Debbie to the finished one, and we'll close up the layers and we're going to look at everything...the cheeks, the eyes and...everything is still the integrity, but we fixed that by using the Liquify filter.0675

So now I'm going to do one more and show you something else.0701

There's this young lady right here--I want to show both of these; Window, Arrange--we're going to float all in windows, I put these two side by side...this is a shot she liked but you notice by the way the head is posed and the hair pulled back on this side of her face, over here she's got a very round face but it's equal on both sides.0705

Over here, it really--even though it's not that far off it's the hair that's doing it, it makes it look like she's been bit by one very large mosquito and that her face is puffed up, so what we're going to do is we're going to fix that.0729

We're going to consolidate all the tabs again, zoom it up, take the Marquee tool, do a selection again and go back to the Liquify filter, and now the thing I don't want to do--here's the Forward Push tool--if I start pushing in here, notice how the eye--watch that--see the eye immediately started to move.0746

But I don't want to change that because it's going to squish her eye and we actually have to open that up a little bit, so let's start with that right off the bat.0764

We use the Bloat tool here...and we're just going to hit the eye a little bit--there we go--undo, redo, undo--I'll hit it one more time...there, that's perfect...undo, redo--got the eye fine, but we don't want to squish it, so now we're going to go to the advanced mode, and we get these tools here; Freeze Mask tool and Thaw Mask--that's an eraser--so we get two more tools.0779

What that's going to do is actually make a mask, so we're going to show the mask--not a mesh, this is a mesh that you can save and show the motion on it--show the mask, we'll make it in red, and you see what's going to happen is that we're going to paint a mask, so I'm going to mask off this section of the face right there, and that's all we need to protect is just that edge.0810

So now when we push in it won't go in past that--watch what happens with the Forward Warp tool now...we make it nice and large, and see how we just moved that gently in...0840

I want to hide the mask...looks like we need just a little right in this area and a little more up and in there so let's pull that mask back up, just a little right there, make this a little smaller and push that section in right there, turn off the mask...that looks much better, so let's go and...go ahead and click OK.0855

By the way, if you needed to erase a mask at any time, or an area of it, that is what the erase mask tool is for, and you can see the warping on the mask or on the mesh--see that?0896

If you were doing multiple images with the same thing you can actually save it, so we're going to click OK and go Command+H and move out, and look at the difference--it's huge!0915

This is before--it looks like her face is all swollen--and after, now the picture looks very, very normal--all done with the Liquify tool, so there you have a few examples of how to use the Liquify tool in Photoshop CS6.0929

But I want to leave you with one point; be very careful, look closely at--let's get that image, let's go look at it really close--in this case we didn't hurt anything too much because we moved it gently--you have to be very careful because it does smear the pixels, so watch how you use it.0951

A really fun filter and a very useful filter--the Liquify filter in Photoshop CS6.0971