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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I saved the results of the previous exercise as Upright tower.jpg found inside the 06_crop_straight folder. Let's now return to Protector of Pisa.jpg. Let's go ahead and crop this image, so that the earth is actually straight. Now this time around we're going to end up with a bigger wedge, one that we can't fix using the new Content-Aware Fill feature. I'll show you one of many approaches you can apply. This just happens to be the simplest. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out here a little bit, and I'll select the Crop tool either by clicking on it or pressing the C key.
Then I'll draw a crop boundary like so, maybe not that far out about there looks good. I'm going to try to match that one guideline right there with the horizon line, which in our case is the edge of the lawn there. So I'm going to drag down like so outside the crop boundary. Then I'm going to nudge the crop boundary down by pressing the Down Arrow key on the keyboard. And then I'll go ahead and rotate the boundary a little more. That actually looks pretty good. I'll zoom in here and sort of fish around and see if I've got a good angle going.
It looks like a more or less matching the angle of the ground. Now I'm going to drag the upper- left corner handle, until it snaps into alignment with the left-hand edge of the canvas. But where the feet are concerned, I really am loath to chop off her foot like this. It's one thing to crop it like this. So it's completely out of the image. So we have just a little bit of leg being scalped away, but it's quite another thing to crop it at the ankle. This to my way of thinking is a truly painful crop. So I'm going to drag it out a little bit, so that we can extend the crop boundary a little farther out.
Then I'm going to drag this corner handle down until it snaps into alignment with the bottom of the canvas. Then let's move things in, so we just have a little bit of a wedge like so. This will give us access to the full foot, maybe we can take it in a little farther. Now this darn snap is not proving to be my friend. If at any point in time you don't want to snap in, because you'll snap from great distances inside of Photoshop. You can just turn off the Snap command in the View menu or you can press Control+Shift+Semicolon, that's Command+Shift+Semicolon on the Mac.
Then I would move this just a little bit. Now right about there is good. All right, so then, make sure to turn snapping back on while you're thinking of it. For your next operation, it's not going to affect the point you just dragged, and we're done. So you can press the Enter key on the PC or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply that Crop. It looks like we got another wedge up top, which is really a drag. I thought we did a good job of snapping there. But if you see that kind of thing, go ahead and select it. In my case, I'm using the Rectangular Marquee tool, because why not, just about the simplest tool inside of Photoshop.
I'll press the Backspace key here on the PC, the Delete key on the Mac in order to bring up the Fill dialog box. Make sure Use is set to Content-Aware. Click OK. That does a great job of filling that area. I'll click off the selection to deselect it. That's not going to take care of our problem over here. If I select this region, press the Backspace key on the PC, the Delete key on the Mac, go with Content-Aware scale. I don't think Photoshop is smart enough to say yes, I will rebuild that foot, but I'll go ahead and click OK, and we'll see what happens.
Well, we went ahead and duplicated this part of her foot. So Photoshop did say, hey, this is the only toe I could find. So I guess, I'll throw it over here, but that doesn't really look right to my eye. I will press Control+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide that selection outline. You can see that's not right at all. So if you did what I did, press Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, in order to undo that horrible modification. Click on the image at some place with the Marquee tool in order to deselect the image. Here's what we're going to do. Double-click anywhere you like on the Background layer, here inside the layers panel and that brings up the New layer dialog box.
Let's just call this Image or something along those lines. It doesn't really matter. Click OK. Now we can transform the image and I'll show you how. I'm going to go up to the Edit menu. I'm going to choose Transform and I'm going to choose this command right there Distort. What that allows me to do is drag each one of these corner handles independently of each other. So I'm going to grab this bottom-right corner handle, and I'm going to drag it out to the right like so, just a little bit. However, what I want you to do is press the Shift key as you drag, so that you're constraining the angle of that drag to absolutely horizontal.
So we're not stretching the image in any untoward way. You just want to take it out a little bit, so that you get rid of that wedge, and that's it. Don't go too far. That's all you need to do. So keep that Shift key down until you're done dragging, and then release the Shift key and then press the Enter key on the PC or the Return key on the Mac to go ahead and stretch out that region and fill in that wedge. I'm not sure, but it looks to me like we might have exposed another area. No, that was a figment of Photoshop's imagination.
Sometimes when you're zoomed out from an image, you can see things that aren't really there. This actually looks very good. Now I'm going to go ahead and flatten the image, return it to a flat photograph, by going to the layer menu and choosing Flatten Image or pressing Control+Shift+Alt+F, Command +Shift+Option+F on the Mac. Now let's go ahead and zoom out to take in the entire cropped image. That looks great. The earth is straight. Pisa is bending exactly as much as it should. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to work with Crop tool Presets.
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