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How to Use Liquify in Photoshop CC

Today we learn how to use the Liquify tool in Adobe Photoshop CC
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Photoshop is undoubtedly the most popular photo editing tool out there. It’s used by both pros and novices, yet very few people know how to use all the tools and features this incredible software has to offer.

The main job of Photoshop is to allow you to enhance your photos and make them stand out. Some people also use it to make them look good. Believe it or not, most models do not look how they appear on magazine covers thanks. Most photos are heavily edited.

Today, we’ll talk about Liquify, one of Photoshop’s most important tools and explain how you can use it to improve your work.

How to Use Liquify in Photoshop CC

What is Liquify?

Liquify is a filter or tool that allows users to reflect, push, rotate, pull, bloat, or pucker any area of a photo. You can create drastic or subtle distortions according to your needs.

The tool can be used for a variety of photos including self portraits and beauty shoots. It can transform images and make them look very different. 

It’s easy to find this option.

Using Liquify

  1. Go to the Menu Bar, choose Filters, and select Liquify. This is a smart filter, hence you’d be able to see the changes you have made. If you’re done editing a photo and do not see anything out of the ordinary then you’ve done a good job because the photo must look real for it to pass.
  2. You will have to convert your layer to a smart object. This can be done by right-clicking the photo and selecting the ‘Convert to Smart Object’ option.

We also suggest using an image that is of high quality with little to no noise in the background. 

Understanding the Liquify Dialog Box

The dialogue box contains a variety of options including the Zoom Tool, the Face Tool, the Hand Tool, the Thaw Mask, the Freeze Mask, the Push Left Tool, the Smooth Tool, the Reconstruct Tool, the Forward Warp Tool, and the Twirl Clockwise Tool.

However, for this tutorial, we’ll mainly concentrate on these:

  • The Pucker Tool: This tool makes the selected pixels pucker inward.
  • The Bloat Tool: The opposite of the Pucker tool is the Bloat tool. Since you will be using the two one after the other, it may be a good idea to press OPT/ALT to jump from one tool to another.
  • Masking Tools: Whenever you move the cursor or paint, it will lock the area in.

The dialog box also gives the option to make the cursor bigger or smaller. This is important because if the cursor is too big, it may end up affecting the parts you did not intend to work on.

What Can Liquify Do?

The Liquify tool can do a lot but today we’ll talk about the two main benefits of using it:

  • Increase Eye and Lip Size: You will need to select the Bloat Tool for this purpose. 
  1. From the dialog box, choose the size of the tool. It should be as big as the eye and not bigger, otherwise, it will damage the look. 
  2. Go to one eye at a time, press it once and you’re done. 
  3. Move to the other eye, then the lip and that’s it. 
  4. Do not press it multiple times as that may ruin the appearance.

If you understand facial features, you can also use the pucker tool to make the lips appear smaller from the sides. This will have an impact on the overall shape of the lip. 

If you ever go wrong, reset the move. Holding Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) and clicking Reset will revert all the changes.

  • Make Someone Look Thinner: Yes, you can use this tool to make someone look bigger or thinner. You will need to use the Freeze Mask Tool for this purpose to ensure there are no ‘Photoshop fails’.
  1. Select the Forward Warp Tool and push the body inward. It will not go beyond the frozen point, hence there is no need to worry. It may not be the best option to lose weight digitally but it’s easy.
  2. Once done, move to the Pucker Tool. 
  3. Select it and work on small areas of the body including the face, arms, and elbows. The size of the tool should be as big as the part you are working on. For example, if you want to make the face appear similar, then the pucker tool should cover the entire face.
  4. Press it once and you’re done. 
  5. Next, move to other smaller body parts and use the tool to give finishing touches to the body. 

It can be used to give the model an hour-glass figure but it may take a while to perfect the job.

Some Important Tips

Since we used a Smart Object to make the changes, you will have the option to go back and make more changes to the image. Moreover, Photoshop gives the choice to scale back the effect that you’ve applied by choosing the ‘Reconstruct’ feature. This option will help you find the right balance.

Remember that it takes time to perfect Photoshop. Your first few images may look distorted but if you continue to work, you will be able to hit the bull’s eye. 

Do not go all out right away. When it comes to such changes, subtle is always better.

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