Sign up to receive ACDSee newsletters featuring photography and creative work from the ACDSee community, software and photography tips, event listings and special offers available only to subscribers.
It’s nearly Hallowe’en, which is a good enough excuse, in my opinion, to learn how to creep people out with the Liquify tool. Liquify is new in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018 and ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2018. You can use it to move pixels without changing them.
Start with a perfectly normal (cat) image. Select it in Manage mode, and then navigate to Edit mode.
Make any Hallowe’en-y tweaks. (I added orange by choosing it from the Color pane above the Layered Editor and using the Fill tool to click the areas I wanted to change.)
Then, in the Geometry group, I click the Liquify tool.
Now to show this adorable fluff as the vicious killer she really is. In the Liquify tool, you will see a set of buttons in the Distortion Tools section. You can distort your images by moving your cursor, essentially brushing on the effect by pushing and pulling pixels around the image. Choose one of the following Distortion Tools:
Tip: You can right-click to activate the Restore tool while using any of the other Distortion tools.
Firstly, I need to change her glossy, round poor me eyes into sinister slits. Starting with the Pinch tool, I brush up and down on the comically innocent pupils until they become narrow. It does take some trial and error to find the right nib size, and to target the right area. As per usual, you can use your mouse wheel to change the nib width on the fly.
Then, I switch to the Shift tool and go over her brow to reveal her true colors. After I experiment with pushing some pixels around, she’s a very different beast.
I press Done. And after a quick touch up with a black brush, she’s proper evil incarnate.
That is one Hallowe’en-y cat.
How about if your pumpkin carving didn’t turn out as planned? Take your photo into Liquify, of course.
This is a good opportunity to touch on the other Liquify controls. We’ve already talked about adjusting the nib size, which you can do with either your mouse wheel or the Nib Width slider. The Density slider, on the other hand, adjusts the size of the area affected. Within the inner circle of the nib, the effect is being applied at 90% or more. The area between the inner and outer circle, the effect is transitioning between 90%-0% at the outer edge. You can also use SHIFT + mouse wheel to adjust Density.
The Strength slider affects the intensity of the overall effect.
The last two settings are there in case you distort the image so much that the edges are pulled in. Like if I did this for some reason:
You can opt to fill in the blank areas created with a color of your choosing, or to make those areas transparent. I chose a gray. Make sense?
Now back to this foolishly happy jack-o’-lantern. First, I use the Pinch tool to reduce the eye areas. Then the Shift tool to move the brows into “menace position” and to sharpen the teeth.
Now let’s talk about what to do when you’ve gone too far. As mentioned, there is a Restore tool, but you can also quickly flip to it with the right mouse button while you’re using other Distortion Tools.
All you do is push the pixels back to where they were. They know where they started, so they go back into place easily.
And that’s all there is to it! You now are now equipped to make ordinary images spooky, and spooky images diabolic.