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Liquifying an Image

The Liquify filter (Filter, Distort, Liquify) is also fun to play with, though not especially practical. As you learned in Hour 10, “Straightening, Skewing, and Distorting an Image,” it distorts images, not geometrically as the Distort command does, but as if they’ve softened and run together. Salvador Dali would have loved it. By now, you know that you can use the Smudge tool to drag some pixels around, approximating a finger painting. This is different. Liquify gives you tools to warp, twirl, pucker, bloat, shift, and reflect, and a Reconstruct tool for those times when you get carried away. You can apply masks to control what gets liquified. As with other filters, you can apply Liquify to a selection, or the entire layer. Even if you start off without a selection and make the entire layer available to Liquify, you can freeze parts of the image you like by simply not using the Liquify tools on them, and continue to liquify the rest. Liquify is a promising tool for creative photo editing.

I have the most fun with this filter when I start with something really abstract, such as a patterned background. Other people enjoy using it on faces, pets, and so on. In Hour 10, I used the tool on a brushed line and some common objects including a pocket watch and gumdrops. Let’s get wild and see what happens when you use the Liquify filter on a human subject.


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