One of the things that intrigued me most, when I was first learning to use Photoshop, was the Liquify Filter.  If  I didn’t like the way something looked  in a photograph, I could fix it.  A quick tuck here and there, and that not-so-perfect photo could be looking pretty good!

Today I want to share with you how you can make the Liquify Filter work for you when you are creating a layout.

As a designer, it’s sometimes difficult (for me) to make certain choices when designing a kit.  For example, will a straight ribbon be more useful? A curly one?  Perhaps one with a wave?

Let’s look at a straight ribbon today and see what we can do with it, using the Liquify Filter.  By familiarizing ourselves with this Filter, we can make slight changes to elements when we need to.

The Liquify Filter can be located under Filter > Liquify. I have found this to be the case with most versions of Photoshop, as well as Photoshop Elements.  Here is a screen shot from CS6:


I love the straight ribbon pictured below but if I wanted to add a charm to it, it wouldn’t look very realistic, because of the thickness of the ribbon.  So let’s see what the Liquify Filter can do to help.


I clicked on the Ribbon layer to make it active; then went to Filter > Liquify.  A new screen opened.  The Liquify tools are on the left, and with other options on the right.


On the left side, we have the: Forward Warp Tool, Reconstruct, Pucker, Bloat, Push Left, Hand, and Zoom Tools.

Without going into the Advanced Mode, we have 2 choices to make on the right side: Brush Size and Brush Pressure (if using a tablet).

The Forward Warp and Pucker Tools are what I want to look at today.  The Forward Warp Tool pushes pixels in front of your brush, as you nudge them along. Let’s start with that one.

I chose a large brush (1350 pixels), because I would like to create the impression that my ribbon is compressed where I would like to attach the charm. I placed the cursor under the ribbon and gently nudged the ribbon up; then placed the cursor above the ribbon and gently nudged the ribbon down.  I like to take multiple small “passes” at this, so might do this 5 or 6 times, in slow nudges.


This is looking pretty good, but we can make it look better by switching to the Pucker Tool (3rd tool down from the top).

After selecting the Pucker Tool, I placed the cross-hairs right in the middle of the area I wanted more tightly compressed. I left-clicked my mouse button and didn’t let go. The Pucker Tool slowly compressed, or moved the pixels toward the center of the brush tip, until I let go.

If I didn’t like the results, I could click on the Reconstruct Options or Restore All button, to begin again.

Before leaving the Liquify Filter Window, I clicked back on the Forward Warp tool and put a few slight bends in the ribbon in other areas, just for a little more interest.

And here is the realistic-looking  result:


For more fun with the Liquify Filter, experiment with the other Tool options. They can be quite fun!

The paper, ribbon and charm used in this tutorial are included in my newly released Cool Beans personal use kit.

Robyn made a beautiful cluster for you to download today.  You can click HERE or on the image below to download.  If you are wondering how all of these elements go together, be sure to take just a minute to read my Cool Beans product description and take a look at the Tip Cards.