Adobe just updated a couple of their CC applications, one of which being Photoshop. Amongst the new features, it was almost inevitable that a few bugs would show up. One that can be quite annoying is the liquify tool lighting or rendering problem. But there is a quick and easy workaround.
For once in my life, I decided not to wait and upgrade Photoshop right away when the new version came out. As I still have CC 2014 installed alongside CC 2015, I figured if anything went wrong I could still use the older version. Well, working with the latest version, it took me only a couple of minutes to find a quite annoying bug. I opened up a picture, used the liquify tool, clicked OK and… wait for it:
After trying a couple of files, restarting Photoshop and my computer, I tried the same thing in CC 2014 with no issue. I finally worked on an 8-bit file, and there was no problem. So from my understanding only 16-bit pictures are affected by the problem. Any area that is altered using the liquify tool will get a rendering close to the one seen when switching the blending mode of a layer do "Linear Dodge (Add)".
As you can understand, one solution is to give up on 16-bit files until Adobe comes up with an update that corrects the issue. But for professionals that need high-quality print files, this isn't a viable option.
Another workaround I found on Photoshop.com is to press alt when clicking on the liquify filter in the filter menu. It disables the GPU acceleration. Meaning it will slow down the performances when using the liquify tool. However, you can always use the liquify tool with the GPU activated, hit OK, and then press cmd or ctrl + z to go back on step, reopen the liquify tool with the GPU acceleration disabled. Once the liquify tool is reopened, click "Load last mesh" and hit OK.
Unfortunately, pressing alt on Windows closes down the menu. So it seems like Windows users are left with the choice of either working on 8-bit files or disabling the GPU acceleration altogether in Photoshop preferences.
Not very practical workarounds, but they'll do the trick while Adobe is working on a fix. Let's hope it won't take weeks before this gets corrected.
When Photoshop CC 2015 was announced, many developers wondered what was going on with Adobe Extension Manager not working with their extensions. Then when the recent Lightroom update was made available to everyone, many glitches appeared, some of which turned out to be quite bothering for users (import module for example). It makes one wonder if Adobe is taking its users for beta testers. Adobe if you are reading this, please send some people beta versions before making your updates public. Don't come and tell me no one at Adobe tried the liquify tool on a 16-bit file before yesterday's update was made available to everyone.