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Exploring Low-Key Portraiture

Lesson 14 of 15

Liquify in Photoshop

Chris Knight

Exploring Low-Key Portraiture

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

14. Liquify in Photoshop


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:12:53
2 What Is Low-Key Lighting? Duration:11:11
3 Bringing in the Subject Duration:05:01
4 Lighting Patterns Duration:19:21
6 Giving Your Light a Job Duration:12:07
7 How to Create Separation Duration:06:58

Lesson Info

Liquify in Photoshop

I'm going to take this end to liquified now for liquefy. Unfortunately, liquefy requires a pixel base layer. Some people like to liquefy first. I don't the reason I don't go that often. Times bring in composited objects from different images, So if I like ah, face from one image or amount from another image, I'll bring that in. And so I like to have everything in the same place and all kind of configured where it needs to be before, uh, before doing the liquefy that way tends to make everything gel and mesh together a little bit more successfully. Instead of merging everything together. What will end up doing is I do something called a stamp visible on a new layer and stay invisible on a new layer doesn't have a menu command. What you can kind of do is like a select all copy merged and paste three steps. Or you can remember the shortcut command option shift E. On Max. It's What is it on PC? It's I don't know what the shortcut for command is. Command option. Shifty on on a Mac. It's mer...

ged, visible on a new layer, and you can see what it does. It creates a new layer on top of everything, emerges everything up. Great. But now you're not working non destructively anymore, which is why I like to save it for the end. I also add size, so I don't like to do this until I absolutely have to When you have to. For the liquefy now, I usually just go straight into liquefying. I'll just go filter and liquefy. But some people like to convert it to a smart object first, so that you can always go back into the liquefying changes as much as you want. That's cool to just takes time. Depends on how confident you are with your liquefying abilities and what this is is this just allows you to push and pull all kinds of parts of the information. There are all kinds of parts of the image around. I'm not going to do too much here. I'm not gonna get too aggressive into liquefy, but but you can shift some things around a little bit. If you want, you can change hair. The reason I really wanted to come into this was to just change the structure of the collar a little bit. Um and I also wanted to fix this little piece of the neck, which was kind of particularly bothering me right here. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna round that out a little bit, so it's a little bit more of a flattering shape. I mean, most of the time that I use liquefy. It's not really about changing someone's appearance drastically. It's often times about compensating for perspective the angle I shot. Maybe that manipulated the face a little bit in a certain way, or I'm trying to finesse lines. So I like lines toe look, a little bit snu there and a little bit more fluid. And so that's kind of what I'm doing here is just making that line look a little bit more fluid instead of coming to this weird little V point because it wasn't that sweater when we shot it. So you kind of see it just helps with the shape. It reinforces it a little bit. Do you ever use smart objects in photo shop, and would there be advantage or disadvantage your your workflow? So when it comes to smart objects, what that basically enables you to do is make filters or adjustments to a layer while preserving the layer. The original layer information. You're basically a lot of treat. It's like putting the UH, layer in a container and making changes to the container instead of changing what's in the container specifically. And so, if you want at no ways or you want to make it darker, you can do that. Resize it right you can. You can do that without changing the original information, so that's particularly useful when it comes to. If you're doing a lot of re sizing or composite work very, very useful. If you're not changing objects too much, I think they're little unnecessary for like, a very simple thing because you don't need to make a lot of manipulation to it. It increases time and everything else, but they're definitely instances where I do use it in the speed up photo shop class. I'm gonna be using it to create some noise. I have a annoys action that I use, which basically generates noise on a 50% great layer, and I use it as a smart object because I can change the size after it's been run, depending upon the image and so it's very useful. I do definitely use it. It just depends on the instance in, which is I usually use it for effects. So it did have a question from Will Gavel in. Who had asked about what is your preferred method for adding grain as he sees in your work? Could you talk to noise and grain kind of vote grayness, grains, analog grain is what happens when you get it on film noises is the digital version of that I. I regularly add noise to a images. I do it at the end. The reason I do that as I shoot a lot of studio and I do a lot of retouching and skin work, and what it ends up doing for me is it basically creates kind of like a clear coat on the image. So if you've gone through and you've done a lot of manipulation, you've made skin look amazing. It can look to to perfect, and that's not necessarily super grounded in reality. And so what I will do is I will add no ways to that, to add a little bit texture to it and the whole overall image, because it helps to kind of seal everything under that one envelope, but I do it at the end. If you're doing liquefied and you're pushing and pulling a lot of parts of the information all around the, the noise will allow you to put it over something that's been maybe moved a lot but still put it under the guise of that. If you have a clean, clean, super seamless background, a little bit of noise will help. You have a little texture to it, but I do find that if you're compositing helps a lot. If you're compositing, it helps a lot because if you have weird edges or abrupt edges, it helps blend them together. And actually, for me, it goes way back to the printing in the newspaper days back originally, you know, wait way, way back. They had their half tone printing where they have the size of the dots to make things. And then they ended up creating something, a technical dithering. What dithering did was it allows you to take a very small amount of colors and add noise to it. Ah, and what that does is it would generate the illusion of more colors, right and so you could basically make 16 colors look like 256 through noise. If you ever have banding in your image, you can add noise to it, and it hides the banding. And so what it does when you have areas of transitions where it's not quite as even as you'd like. Noise helps blend it all together, and so it helps you in a lot of different instances. When it comes to printing, it helps when you, if you're enlarging, you can add noise to it. It will hide some pics, elation, compositing. It can hide edges. And then, if you're retouching, are over retouching. It can help hide some of that as well. So I'm I'm a user of it. I use it into a small degree. You probably don't notice it when it's on the Web, which is kind of the point, but you will notice it if you look real close on the print, and I think that's that's a little bit. I think it's very useful, but that's just in my opinion. So we have. We have the liquefy. Like I said, it's it's kind of digital plastic surgery. It allows you to, uh, put kind of mesh over the image, and you can move things around. Um, again, it's I use it more for stuff like this. I think I think it definitely help shape and create less distractions. Makes clothes fit better. So if you ever have to make the line a little bit nicer here, it's not about making someone changing their shape. But sometimes just about making that line look a little bit more fluid. And that usually helps a lot with whatever you're trying to dio. So, um, we have, uh, the image looking like this. It's looking pretty good. I'm gonna look and see where we started. All right. Now, what you're kind of noticed we've done is by using dodge and burn. We've created, almost, like, have been yet on the face very subtly. And so it again directs the I n word to where we want it to be. A little bit more Had I saw it, a little bit of brightness on the forehead, but I didn't take it completely out in the raw process. I diminish it. I did it in steps. If you do a lot of these big adjustments, all at once. It may not look good, but if you do it in a lot of little steps, step tiny. Step 10 accepts any step you're gonna end up with something that works a lot better. It's, you know, it's usually like a lot of little things. Is my approach to retouching versus big adjustments. Hey, look at how quick you can get from here to here. I mean, you can do it quickly, but it's not necessarily going to be is effective.

Class Description

Embrace the dark! No longer be afraid of shadow and murky tones. Explore the low-key portrait with Chris Knight. Learn how to maximize the detail in dark imagery through lighting and post-production. Chris will take you from concept through execution covering simple (yet effective) lighting techniques as well as tethering tips with Adobe® Lightroom®. He'll also discuss how to develop the raw image and retouching tactics to make your image appear powerful and purposeful.


Brenda Pollock Smith

Thank you Chris Knight and Creative Live for another excellent class. I appreciate both the actual shooting and post instruction. Right before your eyes you will see how simple applications of light, shadow combined with post production can create gorgeous, dark images. Chris has a great relaxed manner, easy to follow while offering a ton of tips and tricks. I can hardly wait to try my hand at producing some hauntingly beautiful images like Chris.

a Creativelive Student

I don't have a ton of time to spare and largely catch segments of courses on short breaks. One of the things i like best about this course Chris's ability to communicate so effectively and efficiently. He covers a lot of ground in not a lot of time, but the course doesn't feel at all rushed. He's just a good speaker/instructor. One of the other reviewers mentioned that this instructor brings no ego to the stage, and I have to agree. He's a confident and competent instructor without being obnoxious. Rock solid course with terrific instruction. I will definitely check out more of Knight's classes.

jos riv

The detail and order in which the information for this class was presented was just perfect. It was like a perfectly prepared meal with each bite more delicious than the last. It had exactly what I needed to move forward with some of my techniques. So glad to have the class so I can enjoy/learn over and over.