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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.
In this final exercise, I am going to show you one of my favorite options associated with the Crop tool, its ability to match the perspective of a scene. So I am working inside of this image called The False Mirror.jpg, after a very famous painting by Belgian surrealist, Rene Magritte. And I am going to go ahead and take this painting and crop it out of its frame so that it's full on straight. And I shot it an angle to avoid any weird light, especially off the strobe, although I don't think I fired the strobe on this one. But oftentimes shooting at an angle is a great way to capture art.
So for the sake of demonstration, just to show you what you can't do, FYI, I am going to convert this image to a floating layer by double-clicking on it and calling it painting. And then I will click OK. Now I am going to select my Crop tool and I am going to drag around a portion of the painting, like so. Now, the option that we are looking for here is this one, Perspective, and it's dimmed out because I have Hide turned on, which I did in the previous exercise. I have got to switch it back to Delete. So you are going to have to delete pixels when you apply this Perspective function.
So notice as soon as I switch to Delete, Perspective is available. I will click on Perspective in order to turn it on and now I can move these corner handles entirely independently of each other, as you see me doing now. And I am going to drag them to the corners of the image, but I will tell you what, the shield isn't doing me any good. It's just getting in my way, so I will turn it off, which is nice that you can at least do that on the fly. I will drag this guy up to the upper-left corner of the painting and there we have it. I seem to have surrounded the painting exactly right.
So I will go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to commit my modification. Now notice what has happened here is it has stretched the image. So the Crop tool isn't always sure what the height and the width of the image should be after the crop is applied. In this case, it's made the image far too tall. So what do we do about that? Well, it also looks to me like we have some slivers up top and at the bottom. Notice there is some exposed stuff at the top, probably some stuff going on at the bottom or on the sides as well.
Yup, on the side I have a little bit of a line. So I am going to go ahead and tuck this entire crop by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Canvas Size command once again, Ctrl+Alt+C, Command+Option+C on the Mac. And this time I am going to turn on the Relative check box, and I am going to work in pixels. Notice when you turn on Relative, you are either adding so many pixels to the image or just subtracting a few pixels. And in my case, I am going to subtract four pixels, so minus four, tab to the height value, minus four again.
And you might wonder why I am going four when they were such tiny little slivers. Well, if I take away four from the Width and I am taking two from the left side and two from the right side, four from the Height is two from the top and two from the bottom. So I always use even numbers for this. Leave the chicklet in the center. Click OK. Read the lie if you want to, click Proceed. It's once again a lie, because we are working with the free floating layer, and click Proceed in order to make that crop. All right. Now we need to scale the image properly. I am going to go to the Image menu, choose the Image Size command, Ctrl+Alt+I, Command+Option+I on the Mac.
This is one of those few times that you want to turn on Resample Image, because we do have to change the Pixel dimensions, but you want to turn off Constrain Proportions, because its stretched and we need to un-stretch it essentially. I am going to go ahead and switch the Width and Height values to percent and I am totally just eyeballing this folks. And I have no idea why it's showing up as 99.99% by default. It should be 100%. That aside, I don't exactly know what I want to change the Height to. I am going to down sample, so I am going to take the height down.
But it might be something along the lines, I am just eyeballing this, 86% let's say, and I will click OK in order to apply that modification. That looks pretty good. But that was an absolute wing. Now, to get a sense of whether you did this right or not, so that you can look at the original Aspect Ratio of the image and compare, go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command or press F12. That goes ahead and loads the original version of the image. It's a totally undoable operation. It doesn't throw away anything you have done.
So go ahead and choose the command or press F12, and that looks like a good match. That's the original image at an angle there. If I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, that is the final version of this artwork. Heck, I will even fill the screen with this image, thanks to the Perspective check box associated with the Crop tool here inside Photoshop.
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