Each Liquify tool has an assigned behavior, such as Twirl, Bloat, or Warp. Note, however, that results are not automatic; they depend on your brush strokes. I'll recommend tools and settings and show you my progress. But even if we begin with the same source image and follow the same steps in developing an image, results will vary.
Continue working with the gradient combination you just made or open GradBrown.tif from the resource folder on the book's CD-ROM.
Choose Filter > Liquify. Use the Warp tool with a 1-inch brush. (If your image is at 300 ppi, use a 300-pixel brush; at 72 ppi, use a 72-pixel brush; and so on.) Drag various curving strokes to suggest the look of draped fabric. When you are satisfied with this stage, click OK and save the image.
Apply Liquify again and work with the Reflection tool.
Return once more to the Liquify environment to touch up any problem areas with Pucker and Bloat. Use a 200-pixel brush. Switch to other tools as needed.
Use the Eyedropper tool to sample a medium brown from the image. Or use these RGB values in the Color Picker: R 133, G 91, and B 36.
Use Edit > Fill, using foreground color in Color mode at about 40% opacity.
The entire image could use more highlights. Use Image > Adjust > Levels. Reduce the 255 Input Level to about 205, or drag the white triangle to the left until you like the result.
The area I worked on with Pucker and Bloat is still a bit too dark. If you have a similar problem, select it with the Lasso tool and apply a 20-pixel feather. Use Levels to brighten the selection.
There is a greenish cast to the selection now, so use Image > Adjustments > Color Balance to increase red and yellow slightly.
A few strokes here and there with the Blur tool, and you've got a lovely and sensuous background.
Figure 6.11. Apply Liquify effects with the Warp tool.
You can undo the effects using the keyboard (Ctrl+Z/Cmd+Z), but not with the Edit menu, which is unavailable while you work in Liquify. There appears to be an unlimited number of undo levels (I got up to 26, and then got bored), but there is no Redo option! Incidentally, when Liquify was introduced in version 6, it had the classic single Undo option and a Redo option, using the keyboard to toggle.
The Reconstruct tool is like Undo on steroids! You can bring back the previous state (before invoking Liquify) with your choice of eight styles. Reconstruction can be done gradually, even with a mouse! Simply holding down the mouse button or the stylus, without moving it, increases the effect in the designated style: Rigid, Smooth, Loose, and so on.
Figure 6.12. Apply more Liquify effects with the Reflection tool.
It works great for adding crisper folds and silky highlights.
At this stage you can continue developing the image in a number of directions. We'll enhance the satin look and then pursue a more surreal image. Be sure to save this version for some later variations.
Parts of my image don't quite support the illusion of silky fabric. Pucker and Bloat (also known as Pinch and Bulge, for you Painter users) can help. First practice a bit. Pucker makes an area smaller, and you can guess what Bloat does. "P & B" work much like the Twirl toolsthe longer you apply them, even without much movement, the greater the effect.
Figure 6.13. Before (left) and after Pucker and Bloat effects.
For greater realism, reduce hue variation again.
Figure 6.14. Decrease hue variation.
Figure 6.15. Make feathered selections of areas needing more adjustments.
Adjustments to Color Balance are frequently necessary after Levels adjustments. In Project 4, "Painting from Photos," you'll find Phil Williams' handy recipe for an action that automatically presents you with the Levels dialog and then the Color Balance dialog, all with the click of your designated function key.
Figure 6.16. Adjust Levels and Color Balance for the selected area.
This lustrous satin can make a stunning backdrop for displaying scanned objects such as jewelry, coins, or sculptures.