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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
With this movie, I would like to show you how to change an image's perspective using the Correct Camera Distortion feature in Elements. I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders. What I would like to do is scroll down in the Content panel to the Chapter 11 folder, double-click on that to open it up, then double-click on the camera distortion folder and double-click the Millennium Park image to open it up inside the Elements' Editing workspace. So here we're, we have an image of some buildings in Millennium Park in Chicago. So basically, when I took this picture I was pointing the camera upwards somewhat. We can see the stretch of the buildings here; they are going in slightly different direction because of the way I took the picture.
I would like to change this perspective, make things look a little bit more head-on, a little bit more straight. We can do that using the Correct Camera Distortion feature. Let me show you where that's added. Under the Filter menu, if you go down and choose Correct Camera Distortion, that brings up a separate dialog box. It's very, very large, takes up your whole screen here. You can see you have your own Zoom tool and your own hand tool inside of this dialog box. So it's sort of like a mini interface of its own. By default, it shows the grid and I recommend that you keep the grid turned on, because you can use it as you start changing the perspectives in here.
Now you can also use this tool in order to correct camera distortion, maybe if you were to take a picture indoors and the room is starting to look bowed. If that happens you can use this Remove Distortion slider up at the top in order to bow the image out or in, in order to correct that and compensate for that mistake. We don't have that problem here though. This is a separate kind of problem. This is a kind of problem were we're dealing with the perspective of an image. Now the perspective isn't slightly off. I was pointing the camera up but I want to make it as though the camera wasn't pointing up, make it so that the buildings appear more straight. That's somewhat difficult to do, but you can accomplish it here using the controls in the Perspective area of the dialog box.
So what I would like to do is, looking at these buildings and using the grid. I would like to align these edges of the buildings up by moving the Vertical Perspective slider to the left. Notice what happens, it starts changing the perspective of the image, rotating it inside the dialog box and the edge of the building is starting to line up with that vertical line in the grid, right here. That's what I'm looking at and also over here. I'm not worrying so much over here, just over here for now. So things are starting to look a little bit more straight. That's exactly what I want. I could try and change the Horizontal Perspective, but that's really not going to do anything. That's going to rotate it on the opposite axis, as you can see, spinning it around that way. I don't necessarily need to do that in order to fix this image. So you can turn that back to zero.
We also have a rotation controller here, which can allow us to rotate the image either way if we need to. We don't need to do that either so I'm just going to go ahead and type in zero in here. We also have Edge Extension. When I change the perspective, it scales the image a bit. So what I want to do is scale it back down in order to see the entire top of the image as well. Do you see that there? All right. So now we're seeing the top of the image again. That looks good to me. There's also some vignetting controls in here. This is not something that I'm actually going to use at this point, but you can create a type of vignette here where you're darkening the edges of the photograph or lightening them. It's something like you might want to do if you're actually correcting camera distortion for an image that was taken indoors and using this control up here.
If you need to you can make it less obvious that you've corrected it. I'm not actually going to do that here. So I'm going to go ahead and click OK. I have successfully changed the perspective of this image using that feature, but I'm still not totally satisfied. Obviously, we have to do some more work here. We have these transparent edges. This is now a transparent layer; it's no longer a locked background layer. By applying that adjustment using Correct Camera Distortion we no longer have a flattened image, and that's all right. There is no problem with that. We can always finish fixing this up and then flat it later should we choose to or just keep it as a transparent layer like this, either one.
So now that I have gotten this far, the next thing I want to do is turn on the grid here in the Document window. So let's go under the View menu, choose Grid. There is our grid, similar to what we saw in the Correct Camera Distortion dialog box, but now we're working inside of the Document window. Next thing I want to do is Free Transform this guy in order to straighten out the edges over here on this side. We've already got these corrected for the most part. I'm not going to worry too much about this building over here, even though I used it for reference I'm probably going to wind up cropping it off, because as you can see here we're going to need to crop this area on the right side and on the left.
So what I want to do now is actually choose the Free Transform command, which is Command+T, to bring that up. What I want to do is hold down the Command key and move a corner node. That allows me to Free Transform this guy. If I don't hold down the Command key then when I move a corner node, it's going to scale the entire image overall. I don't want to do that. I want to do this in a free form manner, holding down the Command key and clicking and dragging this node in the lower left. Notice when I'm doing that I'm using the grid now to try and line up this edge and this edge, and it's starting to look a lot better. That's exactly what I wanted to do.
I'm going to go ahead and commit to that. I think something else that we might want to do. Actually I'm going to do this again, Command+T. We can also scale this up a bit, because when we use the Correct Camera Distortion feature, it scales the image down in order to change that perspective. So I'm going to shrink it up just a little bit, apply that, then hide the grid, switch to the Crop tool and create a new crop. We go ahead and crop off the areas that we're not going to use, somewhere around there. That actually looks good. I'll apply that crop and we have now successfully changed the perspective of this image using the Correct Camera Distortion feature and doing a little bit of Free Transform afterwards on our transparent layer.
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