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Photoshop CS4 offers an abundance of helpful shortcuts and hidden tricks that allow designers and photographers to get more done in less time. In Photoshop CS4 Power Shortcuts, Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user must know. He covers strategies for better document and panel management, and offers techniques for becoming quicker and more nimble when using layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the keyboard shortcut guide from the Exercise Files tab.
So, here's another cool thing that I really like to do with the Crop tool form time to time and that's a Perspective Crop. So, this picture was taken at a slight angle because it was indoors and I needed a flash. It was just a little point-and-shoot camera. If I shot directly straight on, the flash would have bounced off the glass in front of this painting here and would have created a blown-out spot. So, I just stepped to the side a little bit and took this shot at a slight angle. I'm now going to use the Crop tool, I'll just press C for the Crop tool, and drag out a crop boundary. Now, by default, Photoshop doesn't really know anything about perspective in this image. It's always doing a rectangular shape here. You will see that this image is not rectangular. It's a more of trapezoid, right? So, what we need to do is somehow make this bounding box be able to have each corner be adjusted separately. That's what this little check box up here is.
You only see this feature when you have a crop boundary already drawn. So if you are looking to turn on perspective before you crop, it doesn't exist. You have to have a crop boundary started. We'll turn on the Perspective check box now and now you can move each corner independently. So, what you do is you can move each crop corner to where you know it's supposed to be square in the actual image. We'll just kind of eyeball this at a lower percentage of Zoom here. Then we'll zoom in just to check our work. Command+Space or Ctrl+Space, and we'll drag and we'll just fine-tune that handle.
Just a quick note. If you are on a Mac, you might see Spotlight kicking in when you hold down the Command+Spacebar. If you see it, you can just ignore it. Command+0 or Ctrl+0 to Fit to Window. Let me zoom up again over here. We're just going to fine-tune where these corner placements are. And Fit to Window, Command+0, Ctrl+0. We'll touch up this corner and we'll do the last one. Command+Space, Ctrl+Space, move that in just to tighten up where the corners are. Again, finally Fit to Window and then when we are done, you just hit the Return key and Photoshop magically straightens that out. So that's Perspective Crop.
Pretty cool, huh? Now, there is one little gotcha, you have to be aware of. The next time you go to resize your Crop bounding box and you grab a corner here and you are like, "What the heck is going on, why is this corner moving that way?" That Perspective Check Box stays on until you turn it back off. So, let's turn it off. Now, we are back to right at the Crop Mode. So, just something to watch out for the next time, you use the Crop tool after doing a Perspective Crop.
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