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How to Use Photoshop’s New Face-Aware Liquify

Photoshop’s Liquify tool has been used by many photographers and retouchers to slim a subject or to accent their curves. It’s a very powerful tool that took a little getting use to. In Photoshop’s latest release—Photoshop CC 2015-5—Adobe added Face-Aware Liquify. This new addition to the Liquify family uses sliders; making it simple to cosmetically adjust a subject’s eyes, nose, mouth, and face shape. The key to retouching is not to go overboard. Here’s how to realistically retouch a portrait.

Step 1: Before you launch Liquify, make a copy of your Background Layer by using keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J [Win] or Command+J [Mac]. Right click on the new copy layer and select Smart Object. This will allow you to edit the settings after you apply them. Launch Liquify by selecting it in the Filter menu.

Step 2: Select the Face Tool from the side menu or use keyboard shortcut A.

Step 3: Liquify identifies the face and draws guidelines around the face including, eyes, nose, mouth, and face shape—which includes controls to cosmetically adjust Forehead, Chin Height, Jawline and Face Width. Help tips can be accessed by hovering your mouse over a slide. Make your changes and click OK to return to Photoshop.

Examples using Face-Aware Liquify

When making cosmetic changes a good rule of thumb is this: If the subject’s mother doesn’t recognize them, you’ve gone too far. Make changes a little at a time. By creating a smart object, you can always go back and apply additional changes without losing what you have created. Here are a few examples:

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