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Post Production Tips

Liquify Filter: You’re Doing it Wrong | A Simple Guide On How To Properly Use It

By Hanssie on March 14th 2015

The Liquify Filter in Photoshop is a powerful tool. It can make a jiggly arm, slim; a chin disappear with a flick of your mouse and turn a celebrity into a waif mere seconds. It’s like a plastic surgeon in the form of a button and it’s widely misused and blamed for its hand in “making unrealistic body proportions,” according to Jeff Rojas.

In the following video, Jeff shows us how to use the tools in the Liquify Filter to make your retouching look natural, and not questionable, like Lindsay Lohan’s recent Photoshop gaffe below. In the aforementioned photograph that Lindsey posted on Instagram the other day, it looks like in an effort to enhance her assets, she got a bit carried away and warped not only her backside, but the doorframe behind her. But I digress.


The point is, don’t do it. Watch the video to learn how to properly use the Liquify Filter so this doesn’t happen to you. Even if you are well versed in Photoshop and Liquify, this 7 minute video is still worth a watch as Jeff gives some good tips as he goes through all the basic tools in the liquify filter and how they can be used in your images. He then shows us the various tools in action, as he makes small and subtle changes to enhance his image.



In my opinion, when it comes to Photoshop, the more subtle the change, the better. I once had a client that insisted on having every single photo in her wedding album retouched so that her arm was stick thin slender and her pointed chin was rounded and smoothed out. My initial retouching was too subtle for her taste and she insisted that I comply with her requests. The final images did not even look like her, but that’s exactly what she wanted. Photoshop is a powerful tool, use it wisely.

Watch Jeff’s video below to see how to use the Liquify Filters to enhance your images and keep the body properly proportioned.

[Via ISO1200/Jeff Rojas]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. fotosiamo

    I use Liquify a fair amount in my retouching and love what it can do. Here are several tips that I use for Liquify that can help you guys.

    First, convert the layer into a Smart Object, which allows you to go back into Liquify anytime you want to change, to undo, etc.

    Second, change the pressure to a lower amount (I use somewhere in the low 20’s). Just like a regular brush tool, using a low pressure Liquify tool will help control the subtlety of your liquifying.

    Third, after you’re satisfied with your adjustments, save the mesh. This is great if you ever had to erase that layer that you just liquified for any reason (ex. it’s in the middle of your workflow and you have to make changes underneath). Then, when you Stamp Visible a new layer, you can just apply the mesh and voila! The image is liquified the way you had it before!

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    • Chris Biele

      Great tips thanks. I’ve never noticed the save mesh option. I’ll have to check that out!

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  2. Vince Arredondo

    The Lindsay Lohan part was hilarious! Great tutorial.

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  3. Herm Tjioe

    Nice demo

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  4. Barry Cunningham

    Was that Lindsay Lohan photo ‘shopped?
    I thought that was just gravitational lensing.

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  5. Graham Curran

    One of the most abused tools in Photoshop, Great to see a tutorial in how to do it properly.

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