Part 5: Clone Tool and Liquefy Tool

In this fifth part of our guide, we discuss two more tools. The first is liquefy while the other is the clone tool.

Previously, we discussed the erase tool and layers. At this point, we are starting to get a pretty good basic idea of what we can do in Photoshop now. Combining the different sections up to this point, you can already do some interesting things. Now, we are adding to that knowledge by talking about the Liquefy and Clone tools.

The Clone Tool

As you can no doubt tell from the name, the clone tool can add something to the picture by copying one part of the picture over to another. A less intuitive ability the clone tool has is the ability to remove something as well.

First, let’s take a look at that space picture we brought up in our last part:

As you can see from my highlight, I am showing where the clone tool is in the toolbar on the left. Click that.

The first thing you’ll need is a place to copy from. To do that, you need to hold down “Alt” and click a part of the picture you want to copy from. Since we are going to erase the planet on the bottom, we’re going to copy a portion in the sky.

Since light is being emitted from the planet being shown, we’ll probably want to erase that too. So, copying a region on the upper right corner, I start left click and dragging along the light. You’ll notice that as I go, it just clones as you go alone. If you click and drag to the right, it will clone the region you started with and to the right. The effect is already starting to work, but you’ll notice the hard edge to the right. This simply indicates that the clone toll has reached the edge of the picture.

All you really need to do is alt click on another region and keep cloning. You’ll have to reapply the cloning position as you go along. Eventually, you might have something like this:

There is is, we erased the planet below. Now, the image is, well, pretty boring. The point, however, is that it almost looks as though that planet was never there. We even manipulated some of the lens flares to appear where the planet was. Can we do better than that? Absolutely. Still, you get the general point of what you can do with the clone brush alone.

The Liquefy Tool

The existence of the liquefy tool alone is probably a good reason why you can’t necessarily trust pictures on dating sites. What it does is allow you to warp pictures and bend things in interesting ways. You can make text appear more graphite-like or you can warp pictures of people to make them look skinnier or fatter.

Let’s start with a picture of a person, for instance.

We can see that this guy is working out, but we decided to go ahead and help him out. Highlighted is where liquefy is located. That is in Filter, then Liquefy…

You’ll then open up a new window. By default, the tool you need is already activated. On the right hand panel are tool options. Highlighted is where you can adjust the brush size as needed.

What you want to do is nudge parts of the picture in. Think of it like kneading dough for bread. Just short pushes inward to encourage the picture to be warped.

OK, so not exactly perfect, but that was with just a couple of minutes of manipulation. With more time and more careful nipping and tucking of the picture, you can make it look quite realistic.

At any rate, this is one use of Photoshop’s Liquefy feature. We left imperfections in deliberately so you can more easily see the distortions. It won’t be this obvious, but if you think someone is distorting an image in a similar manner, look for warps in patterns and backgrounds. Now that you know about this tool and what you can do with it, you can also better protect yourself from possible manipulated photo’s yourself!

In the next part of this tutorial, we show you how you can cheaply create pictures for the purpose of branding.

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