Photoshop Top 40, Feature #29: Liquify

The Liquify filter is one of Photoshop's great destructive retouching tools. (Of which we'll see more before this countdown is out.) Meaning that it permanently modifies pixels--no fancy parametric adjustments for this one!--in the name of making the subject of your photograph look her or his best.

Notice that I positioned the feminine pronoun first; that was not by accident. These days, Liquify is used to tweak virtually every professional glamor shot on the planet. It is, in fact, the Auto-Tune of professional portrait photography. So much so that, during a presentation by a notorious photographer and retoucher, an equally notorious female colleague of mine leaned over and whispered, "If he takes one more anorexic model and turns her into a stick figure, I'm going to go up there and kick him in the f*cking nuts."

I dare say, any filter that can inspire that kind of emotional reaction deserves a place on my Top 40 list. Liquify can and does. Nothing short of an independent painting utility that runs inside Photoshop, Liquify lets you brush in distortions, thus permitting you to make people slimmer, enhance their features, and otherwise make them look the way they think they look--or aspire to look, at the very least.

Last year alone, I demonstrated the effects of Liquify in more than a dozen videos, including a couple of dekePods: Photoshopping the Great Masters and The Instant Liquid Diet. (Honestly, it's like I've developed some sort of unhealthy fixation, which is so unlike me.) So this time, I've come up with something a little different. Watch the video to see.

The base photograph comes to us from Serg Zastavkin of image vendor Fotolia. Click this link for a special deal.

(For a list of all Photoshop Top 40 videos thus far, click this link.)

In case you didn't already know, Photoshop Top 40 is available as a downloadable podcast from iTunes. Click here to subscribe. dekePod subscribers will get the videos automatically.

. Tagged with:

Comments

Hi Deke, you're great!

Your suggestions are very very good!
Thanks a lot!!

Renatos D

the feminine pronoun first;

the feminine pronoun first; that was not by accident. These days, Liquify is used to tweak virtually every professional glamor shot on the planet. It is, in fact, the Auto-Tune of professional portrait photography. So much so that, during a presentation by a notorious photographer and retoucher, an equally notorious female colleague of mine leaned over and whispered...Thank you...

glad i joined

this is a great tut. really eye-opening

Again, I learned stuff I didn't know

Deke, your tutorials are amazing. I consider myself quite skillful at Liquify, having used it on essentially all portraits. BUT: despite my considerable (not boasting, just reporting) skill and experience, you have nonetheless launched me to a new level! And I thank you for it.

Things I didn't know:

-- How useful the pucker tool is. And to think I flatten tummies with hundreds of tiny warp pushes. Thanks!

-- Pucker plus shift-pucker. Revolutionary! My carpal tunnel thanks you.

-- You can mask out areas of the image to protect. Easily. Duh. Didn't know that.

-- The twirl tool actually has some use.

-- There is a reconstruct tool. Huh? Didn't know that.

-- Always save the mesh. I knew that, but never do it. It is so obviously useful. I will do it.

Plus, just watching you work on an image with your consummate skill. That alone is inspirational.

You're the best. Thanks.

Tom B

Liquify session

Great material for me. I teach people posture and this is an incredible tool to use. You are a magician.
Thanks
'Dalia

Thank you very much, Deke

Hi Deke, you're great!!!
You're suggestions are like gold!!!!
Thanx a lot!!

Paolo

improvisation !!!

Deke you're the Best As Always.... You posses an extreme amount of improvisation !! when presenting Ideas!!

Black Seals ... White Reveals...!

this really is

an amazing improvement. Good job. :D

Better..... or bigger?

Deke... you did improve the picture, but somehow, I believe you couldnt resist the natural human male urge to enlarge her chest..... right?

LOL....

Again... I'm amazed at how each and every tool you show us gets better and better. I never thought Liquify could be used to change a picture that much!!!

NICE JOB!!!!

Liquify

Interesting. I never actually saved a mesh.

So you could save the mesh from one session and apply it to a totally different image. I'm trying to think of a good application for that. Maybe you've even demo'd it before.

---

I wish you could drive the mesh distortion with embedded paths that surround features and outline edges. Then the liquefy tool would be very much like Thaddeus Bier's old Siggraph '92 morphing software at PDI.

http://www.hammerhead.com/thad/morph.html

"don't cross the streams." "why?" "it would be bad."