Using the Liquify Tool in Photoshop


When I tell people I work with Photoshop, I am often asked if I can make them look trimmer or remove unwanted blemishes or just plain make them look marvelous in a photograph.   In fact, most of the time I can improve their looks in a photo, and one of the primary tools I use to do this with is the liquify filter.   (Wouldn’t it be nice if these tools worked in real life – forget plastic surgery!)

The Liquify Filter is very aggressive, and it can be used in many ways to manipulate a photograph.  This article uses the same photograph used in the previous article to improve this poor girls’ appearance even more by making her face look less swollen and give her a more pleasant expression.

Before you start, please go to Filter/ Convert to Smart Filter.  Therefore, if you don’t like it, you can get rid of it easily without destroying the image.

Okay, now go to Filter again and choose Liquify.  You will then see a new screen appear with many options. 

Please view the video below on how I used this filter to modify the shape of her face.   My next article on computer software will go into depth on the liquify filter – this is just an introduction for now.  This video uses the first tool on the left called the Forward Warp Tool.  In this example, the Forward Warp Tool is used to make her cheek look less swollen. 

Besides the Forward Warp Tool, on the right side of the screen you will notice (in the newest versions of Photoshop) many facial manipulation features.  For this example, I changed the jaw width and the total facial width in addition to using the Forward Warp tool to make her face look less swollen.  Photoshop can recognize faces in a photograph and number them so you can go from one face to another and change facial properties on each individual.   This is an amazing new feature – I LOVE IT!

One of the coolest features is the smile feature under mouth.  You can make someone with a rather blank expression smile just a little (a “Mona Lisa” smile).  This is demonstrated in the video below.

Liquify Filter Technique in Photoshop
After using the Content Aware, Healing Brush and Clone Stamp Tools and then the Liquify Filter. Still needs some work but she’s looking much better.

I would suggest using your own images and play around with the liquify filter – you can spend hours leaning and experimenting with new techniques.   In fact, I believe you learn the most by just experimenting with the different features in Photoshop.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as long as you save your work.

Be sure to save your work as we will use this photo again to improve her appearance even more.

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