How to Liquify Eyes in Photoshop – Realistically

How do you get such crazy, big expressions in your Portraits?

As a Portrait Photographer in Rockwall, TX who specializes in Composite Photography, I have built my brand on creating really fun Portraits with even bigger expressions.

So, to answer your question on expressions, I’m going to show you how I Realistically Liquify Eyes.

On the surface, you may be thinking it can’t be that damn hard, but in this video, I show you a few things you’ll want to look out for so you maintain detail and realism.

Now, make the funniest expression you can, and let’s Liquify some Eyes.

It All Starts with a Good Expression

Here’s my top-secret trick for creating Portraits with such big expressions…

I start with a good expression.

I know, it’s not earth-shattering, but the truth of the matter is, the only way to obtain a great expression, is for the person you’re photographing to make a great expression.

It’s impossible to make a good expression from a bad one.

So, you may be wondering, “How do I get a good expression from my subjects?”

The simple answer is COMMUNICATION.

I let all my clients know this is not a sit and smile type of Portrait, and this is their time to put on their acting cap and express big.

In fact, if you were to see one of my photoshoots, you’d hear me constantly saying “Give me Big Eyes!”


The reason this Photoshop Tutorial is on the eyes is that literally, every facial feature will follow the eyes.

You can’t give me Big Eyes, and the rest of your face fall flat.

It just can’t happen.

Go ahead, stand in front of the mirror, and try it.

2 Rules to Liquifying Like a Pro

At face value, Photoshop’s Liquify tool seems pretty straightforward and easy, and it is straightforward and easy.

If you know these two simple rules.

Now, let me preface these two rules by noting these are for the eyes and facial features only, but especially the eyes.

If you’re Liquifying body parts to enhance or hide desirable or undesirable features, these two rules don’t necessarily apply.

At least to the same degree as with the face and eyes.

Rule #1: Don’t Over Liquify and Degrade your Image

While Photoshop’s algorithms are amazing, you will degrade your image even with the smallest Liquifying.

So, my rule here is to not over Liquify to minimize the degradation of the eyes of your image.

Like I said, however, even with a small amount of Liquifying, the eyes in your Portrait will degrade, so it’s important you know what to do to bring back some of the lost detail.

Do you know how to sharpen an eye that’s been degraded by Liquifying?

Rule #2: Don’t Forget Under the Eyes

If you want to Realistically Liquify the eyes, I suggest first keeping the Liquifying as minimal as possible.

Over Liquifying will cause your eyes to look Liquified and Fake.

Now, you’ve altered your eyes by raising the eyebrows, enhancing their expression, but to make sure it looks real, you’ve got one additional step.

Liquify the bottom area of the eyes.

To better understand why you Liquify both the brows and below the eye, you need to know how the eye functions.

So, go stand in front of the mirror again so you can see this.

Looking into the mirror, raise your eyebrows as high as you can get them while noticing what happens to the rest of your eye.

In order to raise your eyebrows, you must open your eyes bigger, which brings the bottom of the eyelid down.

Don’t forget to Liquify the bottom eyelid.

That’s a Wrap

Of course, it’s not really this easy, but these are two (2) big rules you’ll want to adhere to if you want to create an expression with realistic eyes.

Other things to consider when Liquifying, is when the best time to burn and dodge, shape, and add detail to the eyes themselves.

For now, work on these 2 rules, see how it works for you, and don’t give up after only a couple.

Remember, it takes a lot of practice to master a Photoshop skill.

If you could add one RULE to my two rules, what would it be and why?

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