[Post Production] Liquifying Your Models With The Puppet Warp Photoshop Tool

Gry Garness is a makeup artist turned retoucher/photoshop consultant from Norway. I wasn't familiar with her photoshop tutorials until I came across this video the other day, and I must say I'm pretty impressed with her articulate approach to complicated techniques. In this video, Gry teaches some interesting liquify techniques on an image by Derek Cooper. Instead of simply using the lossy liquify tool, Gry shows you how you can use warp and puppet warp selections which give you the ability to go back and change any transforms down the road. The results are pretty amazing and it's always good to know a few different ways to accomplish the same overall outcome.

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Is it wrong that I found this whole process very disgusting?

Ken Kotch's picture

interesting in light of today's NY Times article: Photoshopped or Not? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/technology/software-to-rate-how-drasti...

In my opinion, this is a huge waste of time.

Andrew Barros's picture

I completely agree. The ONLY thing i noticed that should/could have been correct was the roundness of her rear. I saw no point in making her taller.

Nicholas Gonzalez's picture

I viewed this tutorial as an adjusting of the models pose, instead of retouching in the correction-of-"flaws" sense. If the photographer shot the same pose but had the model bring her bum more in a touch, her stance may have been more upright and elongated and there would've been no adjusting at all. To the retoucher's credit she kept the model's wonderful curves as is. A lesser retoucher would've made a perfect curvy woman into an anorexic. 

The biggest thing that I saw here was that she completely screwed up the top half. The roundness of the hip stuck out in the beginning, but the neck line and arm seemed way off after the "corrections". Still interesting to learn though.

Seshan's picture

Yeah, Such a waste of time, there was nothing wrong with it before, and after it just looked kinda weird.

Ghislain Leduc's picture

I think it was just to show that this was possible no? Not that it HAD to be done :) 

Easy enough to do technique. Puppet warp in combination with content aware is very cool if you want to reposition the model's arms. I didn't really see the needed effort in using a warp web when the liquify tool allows for even more precision than a warp web. None the less this retoucher knows her stuff. It also helps if the original image is this good already. The best part about this video was the retouching she didn't talk about. Her color balancing and contrast enhancement was the real star to me.

The way I know view my retouching is that if it doesn't change the over all impact of the photo, its not really worth your time. We live in a world of fast food photography. This images though good, will be long forgotten.  That's one o f the reasons why I am moving away from photography of this nature. There is simply too many forgetable good photos like this. I used to retouch like mad and pride myself on the invisible hand I developed. But alas, no one cares about very small details. 

Be very cautious as to what you decided to fix in a photo. Most of the time its your own paranoia telling you it needs to be fixed. Other times it really does. 

This woman does good work. 

Rather use a different model than all that fake photo-shopped rubbish. The correct pose should have been done in camera. I would hate to edit one picture soooooo long. What a waste of time.

In the commercial world that is seldom the final say of the photographer.  Clearly you don't shoot commercial which at the end of the day is like any other business - the client is generally always right.

Unfortunately "in the camera" is a term that is used very loosely now. On a higher end project, there still needs to be proper color management between the file, and art director, and the printer. So a high percentage of the time, it's getting run through editing software like CaptureOne or Photoshop anyway.  You would be hard pressed to find work of this nature not having this type of work-flow. By contrast if you are shooting for Leica/Magnum you will most likely not have to do much at all.  Same goes for a publication like National Geographic.

You don't always see everything when you first capture the shot. Sometimes the color can dictate the feel of the photo, thus making your mind think you need to change things to adjust for the feel that you now have in your mind. A third party may also be an influence in the photo decision.  And to be honest this was not a very long retouch, keep in mind she was explaining stuff along the way. She probably could have done this retouch in 10min or less if she had a sure direction.

I see your point about keeping the process pure with no retouching, many feel that way. I rarely retouch anymore because deep down, no one sees the details and a lot of the time when people look at a photo, what they see is influenced by what they feel beyond they photo anyway. Such as a memory, a thought, a girl they loved or think about. All external influences that either make the photo appear good to you, or terrible. Much like music.

I do see your point though sir.

This video just taught me never to use puppet warp over liquify...  Far more effort than was ever necessary.  Unlike others i thought her end results were good but a quite the detour from A - B of retouch.

Shannon Wimberly's picture

you guys never cease to amaze me by bringing people across my path that i would have never known otherwise. Thank You! .......Puppet warp is definitely a very cool tool and content aware fill as well!!!! 

if the model was directed in the right way to begin with you could of not wasted so much time.
bring back film and talented photographers !

good photoshop skills dont make for a good photographer.
enough said.

William Jason Wallis's picture

I don't really understand WHY you would photograph a model in a swimsuit in a public restroom with toilets in the foreground and urine stains on the ground!?
Perhaps I am missing the aesthetic of this lol!

A good demo of the warp and content aware tools. Thanks.

Very informative.  I'm going to check out the rest of her channel.  Thank you for posting this.

I think all the political comments above are a waste of time.

Nursultan Tulyakbay's picture

A useful technique that could be avoided with better photography. Time is money and memory cards are cheap.

FYI Gry Garness has been shooting in London since the early 90s for agencies and editorial. She is not only an excellent Photographer but an internationally renouned retoucher. Her non distructive techniques are among the best in the industry including Amy Dresser.
Never forget we are not here to make art, we are here to make shots that sell the product for our clients who pay our bills!