Updated: May 9
Crystals, Edge, and Repair Tools. A mini Procreate tutorial
Procreate's least popular Liquify tools
Crystals and Edge don't get the attention they deserve. They aren't flashy like the two Twirl tools, and don't sound as fun to use as Push, Expand, and Pinch.
With Crystals and Edge you can be just as creative and fun to use as the other Liquify tools, and at certain settings can be visually explosive (but they won't crash your iPad).
In the following mini tutorial we will briefly explore the Crystals and Edge tools and go over Liquify's repair tools, Reconstruct, Adjust, and Reset.
For more Info about the other more popular Liquify tools, check out Procreate Liquify Part 1
Info/specs for what I'm using for this tutorial:
• 1st gen iPad Pro (11”, 256GB)
• 2nd gen. Apple Pencil
• Procreate app (v. 5.2)
The Crystals Liquify tool creates a jagged edge to your colors by pushing the surrounding pixels away from your stroke unevenly. It looks like the crystals are growing.
2. Crystals Max!
I brought this image into Liquify and Maxed out the Size, Pressure, Distortion, and Momentum controls. Since the image is relatively small at 800 x 800 px it exploded. I was able to restore the image by hitting Reset.
You might want to duplicate your original image as a back up. Reset has its limits, it will only reset the image to the point it was brought into Liquify. If you warp it then bring it back to layers and then bring it back into Liquify you can't reset it to its original untouched form in the Liquify interface.
3. Crystals at 50%
For this image I decreased the Size, Pressure, Distortion, and Momentum controls to 50% and got a more subdued effect.
Momentum accentuates the crystals with less effort but is harder to control.
Size produces bigger jagged edges over a larger area.
If you turn Momentum to None and use a smaller size and you have more control.
3. Crystals Distortion.
Distortion brings out chaotic elements into your effects making them more jagged.
Pressure determines how strong the effect will be, it also depends on how hard you press with the Apple Pencil.
With Momentum at None, the size and pressure at 50%, the amount of distortion at 50% wasn't much different than 0%. The distortion was much more noticeable from 50% to Max.
4. Crystal Control
You can control how and in what direction the crystals grow with angle of your stroke, where you point your Pencil, and with the amount of time you press your Pencil on the canvas.
On the far left side of the image I positioned the Pencil at an angle pointing towards the top of the canvas and held it there for a few seconds causing the crystals to grow upwards.
I did the same thing in the middle of the image but pointed the Pencil down towards the bottom of the canvas. It caused the opposite effect and grew the crystals downwards.
On the right side of the canvas a jagged bulge was created by keeping the point of the Pencil straight up and down on the canvas, with constant pressure, and in the same place for a few seconds.
The Edge tool creates its effect by sucking the surrounding pixels inwards to a line. When Edge is selected the Distortion setting is grayed out and unavailable. The only available controls are Size, Pressure, and Momentum.
Unlike the Crystals tool which continues to be active when apply pressure with and hold your Pencil motionless on the image, the Edge tool does not remain active. It does nothing unless you actively paint on the canvas. I created these warp effects by painting across the canvas in the same direction.
6. Reset and Adjust.
Once you’ve made changes in Liquify, the Adjust and Reset buttons become available, Reconstruct is always available. These repair tools are useful because all the Liquify warping tools have a tendency to be autonomous, and because of this you have less control of the end results.
Reset: Restores your image from the point when you brought it into Liquify. To see an example of what this tool does check out the video in Step 1.
Adjust: Tap Adjust to reveal the Amount slider. Drag it to the left to reduce the strength of the effect you've applied. This reduces the effect to the entire image. It's a lot like Reset but with more control.
This option is a little different than Reset and Adjust. Use Reconstruct by painting over the 'mistake' to restore an area. This is useful when Liquify gets too enthusiastic on one part of your image. Reconstruct lets you restore that area without losing the rest of your effects.
8. Closing Remarks.
The Crystals and Edge Liquify tools can be used together and with the other Liquify warp tools to create more fascinating designs and artwork.
The repair tools Reset, Adjust, and Reconstruct are essential when learning to master the Liquify tools.
It's time to Liquify! Experiment, practice, make mistakes, repair, repeat.
FYI, Liquify will work with any image or picture that has pixels. For instance, you can take a picture of a wood pile, bring it into Procreate, and Liquify the image.
9. Creating Cool Stuff.
This image was made in Procreate starting in Liquify using both the Crystals and Edge tools.
The button was made with a circle and a Clipping Mask.
Highlights and shadows were painted on with the built in Procreate Soft Airbrush.
The background texture was created with the Procreate built in texture brush, Dove Lake, and some Noise was added for softness.
Noise is in Adjustments and is fun to play around with, but there's no reset tool in the Noise interface, but there's always Procreate's back up option.
Written by Wendy Wittner | Illustration, Graphic Design | February 2022