Why work out when you can just use the liquify tool?

If you've checked out the About section of my page, you may have read that I love celebrity gossip. You might see a photo or video of paparazzi getting pictures of a celebrity going to say, the grocery store, and wonder "Who on earth cares to see a photo of Jennifer Gardner going to Whole Foods?"

I do.

I'm that person.

Plus, didn't you know she is pregnant with her third child with Ben Affleck! Anyways, when you follow celebrity gossip like I do you know just how important a good photo can be - and a bad one. It's not uncommon to see a magazine cover airbrushed so much that it's hard to even recognize the star. Airbrushing sometimes goes so overboard and photos are so manipulated that it just starts getting laughable. I mean - who are they fooling? However, when done right - and tastefully, a little nip and tuck there can make all the difference. Heck, it practically resurrected Britney's career.

This is a topic I have wanted to cover for sometime, but I had struggled with how to go about it. I couldn't use a client image without A) totally humiliating the client and B) losing the client in the process. So, I'll be the client.

What we're talking about here is the liquify tool in Photoshop. This is the "nip and tuck tool" more or less. It's found under the Filter option of your Photoshop Menu bar:

There are a few different "brushes" or techniques to nip and tuck. I find myself using the "Forward Warp Tool" and the "Pucker Tool". The severity of the airbrushing depends on the brush size. The smaller the brush, the more "precise" the editing. I use a medium brush for a more fool proof application.

So, this is how you know we've become friends. Below is an image of me without makeup 4 days after giving birth to my daughter in October of 2009. 

Using the forward warp tool, I am going to hold down my mouse and drag my tummy back into where it should be.

That's better! Baby? What baby? The only problem, is now I look a little top heavy. Trust me - they're not normally that big... So I'll use the puckering tool to kind of "squeeze" them back to normal size.

Again, better. Subtle changes. Now, if we're getting picky, we can also tighten up my arms, and pull in my shoulder blades as well. After all, everyone wants to look their best post-baby! =) Take a look at the before and after below by rolling over the image with your mouse:

Obviously this is a drastic change - one that I would never apply to client images. But a nip and tick there to smooth things out? Sure. Afterall - that's what Photoshop is there for. Just like make up, as photographers we use Photoshop to accentuate the beauty already there in an image.

So, go crazy with the liquify tool but remember - don't go overboard. Don't end up on http://www.psdistasters.com =)


1 comment

  1. That's awesome Kelli- I'll have to play with the pucker tool- never used it before! I have played with liquify, but thanks for giving me something new to try!