Add a sur­real twist to na­ture

Use the Liquify fil­ter in Pho­to­shop to trans­form a plain flower photo

Digital Camera World - - JUST FOR FUN -

The Liquify fil­ter in Pho­to­shop CC of­fers a vast ar­ray of uses, from sub­tly al­ter­ing fa­cial fea­tures to dra­mat­i­cally res­culpt­ing body shapes. It works by dis­tort­ing the shape of the pix­els in the im­age, ex­pand­ing or squeez­ing their pro­por­tions in any di­rec­tion to bring about the de­sired ef­fect. But although it’s used in a se­ri­ous way to cre­ate an il­lu­sion of per­fec­tion on a cover model or a fash­ion ad­vert, it also has lots of scope as a sur­re­al­ist’s tool for those who want to cre­ate a dif­fer­ent spin on back­yard flo­ral shots. Here we’ll turn a hum­ble daisy into a spikey-petaled, alien species…

Once I’d opened the daisy pic, I made a ‘belt and braces’ copy layer with Ctrl/Cmd+J. With the Quick Se­lec­tion tool, I se­lected the flower head and petals, then placed these on a new layer – again with Ctrl/ Cmd+J. With this layer ac­tive, I opened Liquify… from the Fil­ter menu, and used the For­ward Warp tool with a medium-size brush to drag out and re­shape the tips of the petals. Once this was done, and the petals had turned into thin ten­drils, I clicked OK to ap­ply and exit the Liquify com­mand, so I could see how the new flower head looked in place on the stem. 1

Some of the new tips of the petals re­quired a lit­tle blur to look re­al­is­tic, so I se­lected the Lasso tool and set the Feather Ra­dius in the Op­tions bar to 40px. (This saves time by au­to­mat­i­cally soft­en­ing the edge of the se­lec­tion.) I drew roughly around each petal tip, leav­ing plenty of room around it, then went to Fil­ter > Blur > Gaus­sian Blur, ap­ply­ing the right amount for a nat­u­ral look­ing ef­fect.

To add tex­ture to the in-fo­cus petal tips, I locked the trans­par­ent pix­els on the top layer to avoid any­thing spilling over the edge, and cloned some tex­ture from the petals to the tips with the Clone Stamp tool.

I clicked the top layer and pressed Ctrl/Cmd+Alt +Shift+E to merge ev­ery­thing into a new layer. I then opened the Cam­era Raw Fil­ter and dark­ened the edges us­ing Post Crop Vi­gnetting in the FX tab.

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