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Human Software Squizz 4 Pro

Warp and distortion effects plugin for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
People ask me all the time, "Dave, how can I distort my image in Photoshop with curvy warp effects? That 'Liquify' thingy is nice, but I need more control over the warps--kind of like what you can do in Illustrator." I answer, "You mean envelope distortions?" They say, "No, warpy things where you make one thing fit into another shape." I say, "Listen, you, that's called an envelope distortion. No, you can't." But actually you can with a little plugin from Human Software called Squizz 4 Pro.

Squizz 4 Pro, as its name implies, allows you to apply various path-based and freehand warp effects to images. Think of the kinds of distortions that are available in most vector illustration programs--grids, envelopes and the like--and you get the idea. The benefit, obviously, is that this sort of controlled, path-based distortion isn't built into Adobe Photoshop yet.

Photoshop does include several warp and transformation tools. You can use filters to distort images, and you can use Liquify to to create freehand warps. With transformations, you can add perspective, distort a shape and otherwise manipulate the geometry of object, but you can't apply transformations with curves; you're stuck with bounding boxes that don't afford a whole lot of flexibility. More recent versions of Photoshop have added text warping, but the limitation here is that these warps can't be applied to raster elements.

And so, enter Squizz 4 Pro.

What it does
Squizz provides users with four different warp styles: Brush, Grid, Envelope and Warp Path. It's invoked like any other Photoshop plugin--from the Filter menu--and then provides you with the option of selecting one of these four warp types.

With the Brush warp type, there's obviously some overlap with Photoshop's built-in Liquify function. But it does provide additional functionality. Like Liquify, the Squizz Brush warp allows you to adjust the size of the brush and interactively apply warps to your image. It includes twirls, jitter, shift, contract and expand options similar to the tools found already in Photoshop. But it also includes a Squizz brush, which is a sort of an interactive spherize and smudge brush, as well as a displacement brush.

Of these, the displace brush is probably the most important. Like the Displace filter in Photoshop, it allows you to select a displacement map image, set the tiling of the map and adjust the amount of the displacement. But unlike the Displace filter, Squizz allows you to paint your displacement interactively, so a displacement effect need not apply to an entire image or layer.

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  • Human Software Squizz 4 Pro by DMN Editorial at Aug. 03, 2004 11:51 pm gmt (Rec'd 6)

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