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.)
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