Photoshop Tutorial Eight (CS5):
Nip & Tuck Two: Digital plastic surgery.
By Ross Collins, North Dakota State University
This tutorial is based on a YouTube video feature. Check out Virtual Weight Loss in Photoshop.
To improve reddish skin tones, see Nip & Tuck Tutorial One.
Everybody knows nowadays that the models you see in fashion magazines aren't real. They're Photoshop Pholks: normal people with a few (or more) problems made perfect using Photoshop tools.
But what we might not know is how far we can take this. We can produce people who never existed, not even close. One way is to reduce our increasingly obese American society. Photoshop weight reduction won't give us better physical health. (For that, see Ross's Fargo Fit pages.) But it might give us better mental health, as we are spared the pain of seeing how we really look in photos.
Consider the photo at left. Now this person probably will not like the way she looks on the beach. Who would?
Well, we can fix that. And the surprising tool that we'll use is the Liquify Filter.
1. Download this photo and open in Photoshop. Crop as necessary.
2. Choose Liquify from the Filter pulldown.
3. Zoom into the middle section. Note in liquify you can zoom by dragging with the Command key held down. You can adjust by clicking on plus and minus tabs at bottom left.
4. The liquify dialogue box and tools will appear. Choose the first tool (Forward Warp) if not chosen by default. Adjust brush size and other features on right.
5. Push on the midsection with the tool to reduce. Note you can use this tool also to slim the legs and arms and adjust to look natural. Understanding a little anatomy here helps.
6. Reduce inside areas (such as the, um, rear end), by choosing the Pinch Tool and clicking inside.
7. When you're ready, choose Done to save your work. (It's a good idea to save in several stages, because the History Panel doesn't let you go back to stages before Liquify.)
8. We need to deal with the folds of skin. Try the Patch Tool (might be under the Healing Brush). Choose an area you'd like to remove, such as the skinfold. Click in the middle of that area, drag to an area you'd like to replace it with, such as clear skin above that area.
9. Work with the Smudge Tool if necessary to smooth out blotches.
10. For more complicated areas, choose the Clone Stamp Tool. Option key + click on a clear area you'd like to clone. Without holding down the mouse button (CS5), drag the mouse over the area you'd like to fix. Click to accept the clone.
11. With just a few minutes' work, you can create a new person! See below for the before, during and after photos. And with a little more time, you can improve skin, and adjust proportions to make it perfect.
Below we've continued to improve our reddish award winner: fixed red eye, removed blemishes, improved skin tones, slimmed down face. The nose also seemed to be a little big, and the hair needed some smoothing.... Same person? Mmm....
12. Last warning: This work is considered unethical in photojournalism!