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Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform

From: Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

Video: Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform

Typically, when you use the Crop tool or you use Image Size or Canvas Size, you're working with the entire image, but what if you want to work on either just the part of the image or if you want to work on multiple images in the same canvas area? Well, that's when we are going to switch over to Free Transform. The first thing that I am going to do is I am actually going to make a duplicate of the background layer here. And probably the easiest way to do that is just to select the background and then drag it down to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform

Typically, when you use the Crop tool or you use Image Size or Canvas Size, you're working with the entire image, but what if you want to work on either just the part of the image or if you want to work on multiple images in the same canvas area? Well, that's when we are going to switch over to Free Transform. The first thing that I am going to do is I am actually going to make a duplicate of the background layer here. And probably the easiest way to do that is just to select the background and then drag it down to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

So now I have two identical copies of the same photograph. It's this top layer that I'm going to be working on right now, and I want to rename it, so I'll just double-click where it says Background copy, and I'll call this Distorted. What I want to do is I want to put kind of a little bit of the distortion on a copy of the background and just make it a little bit smaller, kind of to get a little picture-in-picture effect. So with this top layer selected in my Layers panel, I'll choose Edit > Free Transform.

I can also go down to Transform if I want to, and pick specific transformations, like Rotates or Skews. But for now, let's just select Free Transform. With the transformation bounding box, I can simply click and drag to transform this image, but you will notice that I'm not maintaining the perspective or the aspect ratio of the original image. So I'll use a quick undo, which is Command+Z or Ctrl+Z, and this time as I start dragging from the corner, I'll hold down the Shift key in order to constrain the proportions.

I can also hold down the Option key and drag, in which case I would be dragging from the center of the image. So I just want my image a little bit smaller, so I'll go ahead and scale it to there. And then if I position my cursor inside the transformation handles, I can reposition this layer. I could move my cursor outside of the transformation handles, and you will notice that I get the double-headed arrow. Now if I click and drag, I can rotate in either direction. You can notice that it's rotating around the center there.

It's rotating around this anchor point. I am going to go ahead and undo that as well, using Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. If I want to access maybe the Perspective Transformation option, certainly I can go back to the Edit menu and then select it from the list, but I think a much quicker way would be to use my context-sensitive menus. So I'll right-mouse-click within the Transformation handle--or on Mac you could use the Ctrl+Click--and then choose Perspective from the list. The nice thing about using the context- sensitive menus is that it also gives me access to flip my image either horizontally or vertically.

But for right now I'll use Perspective, and then I'll click on the upper-right anchor point and just drag down a little bit to give the image a little bit of a perspective. Then I'll right-mouse-click again and choose Free Transform and then just pull in this handle a little bit. Then I'll reposition it so that it is back in the center of the image. To apply this transformation, I'll go ahead and click the check mark up in the upper right-hand corner, but it's really hard to see any difference between the foreground and the background. It's just very confusing with the two layers.

So I want to take the opacity of the background layer down, but when I click on the background layer, you'll notice that the opacity is not available. So what I need to do is go to Layer > New > Layer from Background. I'll go ahead and call this Screened Back, because that's what I'm going to do to the image, click OK, and then lower the opacity of that background image. Now when I lower the opacity, we start to see the transparent checkerboard.

I can also turn that off by using my Preferences, underneath the Transparency & Gamut. On Windows you would go on to Edit menu and then choose Preferences > Transparency & Gamut. And for my Grid Size, I'll turn that to None. When I click OK, now we can see what this would look like when it's printed, because Photoshop is displaying it as if it's a flattened image, flattening all of my layers to white. One last thing that I might want to add is a simple drop shadow in order to create some separation between this front image and the back image.

I need to make sure that on the Layers panel I've selected the Distorted layer, and then I'll choose the Drop Shadow from the Effects menu. Let's move this out of the way. And one of the nice things about the Drop Shadow is instead of changing the Distance and the Angle numerically, I can simply position my cursor in the image area and click and drag to move this drop shadow around. So if I want to drop shadow to drop kind of farther away from my image and maybe make it a little bit softer than that, when I click OK, you can see that the drop shadow really helps separate the front image which has been transformed from the flat original but screened back copy in the background.

So this is one of the more basic examples of Free Transform, but you can imagine, if you're actually trying to lay out a design and you are using multiple images or you're trying to create a composite image that looks realistic using images for more than one photograph, free transformation really plays a critical role in getting your images to be the right size and look like they belong in the same scene.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

148 video lessons · 93231 viewers

Julieanne Kost
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 1m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      2m 49s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      4m 27s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      5m 32s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 44s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      2m 58s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      5m 10s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 58s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 37s
  4. 27m 1s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      4m 18s
    2. Saving images in collections
      4m 23s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      3m 46s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 16s
    5. Using smart collections
      4m 18s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 21s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 39s
  5. 32m 8s
    1. Comparing RAW and JPEG files
      6m 10s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      3m 12s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      9m 13s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 58s
    5. Toggling onscreen shadow and highlight clipping warnings
      3m 11s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 36s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      2m 48s
  6. 38m 37s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool
      4m 42s
    2. Correcting a horizon line with the Straighten tool
      2m 41s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 50s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      2m 56s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow details
      3m 7s
    6. Correcting lens distortion
      3m 25s
    7. Making perspective corrections to images
      2m 40s
    8. Removing color fringing and chromatic aberrations
      2m 28s
    9. Sharpening the details
      7m 45s
    10. Making an average photo great
      5m 3s
  7. 51m 2s
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      6m 57s
    2. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      10m 19s
    3. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      3m 41s
    4. Exploring a quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 31s
    5. Converting to black and white
      2m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 21s
    7. Creating selective color effects with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 5s
    8. Using sepia and split-tone effects
      3m 33s
    9. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 20s
    10. Adding vignettes and border effects
      3m 59s
    11. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 40s
  8. 15m 13s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      2m 4s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 22s
    3. Saving and using the library of Camera Raw presets
      6m 48s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process files
      2m 59s
  9. 30m 24s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      2m 7s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      2m 51s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      3m 59s
    4. Using the Application frame
      3m 34s
    5. Managing panels
      5m 14s
    6. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 39s
    7. Switching tools using the keyboard
      2m 47s
    8. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      5m 13s
  10. 10m 25s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      1m 34s
    2. Arranging documents
      1m 52s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      1m 32s
    4. Panning and zooming
      3m 14s
    5. Cycling through different screen modes
      2m 13s
  11. 15m 44s
    1. Understanding file formats
      4m 36s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      4m 39s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      4m 11s
    4. Working with print sizes and resolution
      2m 18s
  12. 32m 53s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      3m 7s
    2. Using crop options
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      1m 46s
    4. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      40s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      3m 31s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Relative option in the Canvas Size command
      2m 18s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      1m 27s
    8. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    9. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      5m 46s
    10. Making nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      2m 34s
    11. Warping images
      2m 48s
    12. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      2m 33s
  13. 30m 41s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      11m 16s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      8m 4s
    3. Organizing layers using layer groups
      5m 3s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      6m 18s
  14. 43m 11s
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      5m 43s
    2. Combining selections
      4m 4s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      5m 29s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      4m 35s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 42s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      7m 22s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      3m 17s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      2m 59s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 47s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 18s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      5m 31s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      6m 44s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 30s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 29s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      4m 41s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 48s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      1m 47s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      2m 1s
  16. 19m 33s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 44s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      3m 49s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      6m 5s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      3m 55s
  17. 52m 9s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool
      12m 42s
    2. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      4m 52s
    3. Smoothing skin and pores with the High Pass filter
      6m 19s
    4. Making teeth bright and white with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 21s
    5. Brightening eyes with Curves
      7m 0s
    6. Taming flyaway hair with the Patch tool
      3m 44s
    7. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      5m 49s
    8. Body sculpting with Liquify
      8m 22s
  18. 24m 12s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      4m 48s
    2. Combining multiple frames in an action sequence
      8m 44s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      10m 40s
  19. 38m 26s
    1. Overview of filters
      2m 52s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively using Smart Filters
      5m 18s
    3. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 35s
    4. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      2m 14s
    5. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      6m 27s
    6. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      5m 11s
    7. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 49s
    8. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 1s
    9. Creating a painting with the Oil Paint filter
      1m 34s
    10. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 25s
  20. 22m 16s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      6m 42s
    2. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 40s
    3. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      3m 1s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 21s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 26s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      2m 6s
  21. 20m 9s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      7m 6s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      3m 38s
    3. Adding type on a path
      4m 44s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 3s
    5. Warping type
      1m 38s
  22. 15m 57s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      6m 15s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using layer styles
      4m 27s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      2m 42s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      2m 33s
  23. 15m 45s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Using the Output workspace in Bridge
      5m 32s
    3. Exporting web photo galleries
      4m 20s
    4. Saving for the web
      3m 4s
  24. 23m 38s
    1. Working with video clips
      9m 29s
    2. Adding special effects to video
      5m 45s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      8m 24s
  25. 1m 10s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 10s

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