Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
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Using the Crop tool


Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Using the Crop tool

In this exercise, I'm going to show you the basics of using the Crop tool inside of Photoshop. The Crop tool allows you to both crop and straighten an image in a single operation, which is going to work out great for this doubly crooked image right here. It's called Protector of Pisa.jpg. It's found inside the 06_crop straight folder. It comes to us from George Alexander of the Fotolia image library, about which you can learn more at Now I love these kinds of vacation snapshots where people are interacting with classic architecture.
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  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 33s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 46s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 18s
    1. The best way to work
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 16s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
17h 33m Beginner May 07, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Assembling photorealistic compositions
  • Understanding image size and resolution
  • Correcting the brightness and color of images
  • Creating accurate selection outlines
  • Retouching and healing photos
  • Mastering layers and effects
  • Printing and exporting to the web
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Using the Crop tool

In this exercise, I'm going to show you the basics of using the Crop tool inside of Photoshop. The Crop tool allows you to both crop and straighten an image in a single operation, which is going to work out great for this doubly crooked image right here. It's called Protector of Pisa.jpg. It's found inside the 06_crop straight folder. It comes to us from George Alexander of the Fotolia image library, about which you can learn more at Now I love these kinds of vacation snapshots where people are interacting with classic architecture.

The problem with Pisa specifically is that when people photograph it, they seem to forget that there is actually such a thing as straight in the world. You can see that the photographer in this case, has given this woman too much credit. So not only has she pushed up the Tower of Pisa slightly, but in doing so, she has managed to push up the entire earth along with her. Now as we crop the image, we have the option of either giving here total credit or straightening out Pisa, which is where we're going to start.

Then in the next exercise, we're going to actually go ahead and straighten out the earth, and then fix something that can go wrong inside the image. So I'm going to drop down here to the Crop tool. You can get the Crop tool by pressing the C key. You don't have the press Ctrl or Shift or anything else, just C. The Crop tool is actually really responsive, a fairly easy tool to use, once you get the hang of it. My only criticism of it is that it forces you to enter this Crop tool mode, so you can't do anything, but crop the image while you're in that mode.

You've very limited access to Photoshop's other features. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom out. I'm actually going to switch to the full screen mode by pressing the F key, because that's not something I'll be able to do once I enter the Crop mode. That'll just help give me a little more vertical room onscreen, which I desperately need. All right, so you start things off by dragging with the Crop tool. If you want to position the Crop on the fly as you're drawing it, you can press and hold the Spacebar like so and drag it around. Then once you release the spacebar, you go back to scaling the Crop Boundary.

All right, one you release, you are in the Crop mode. You still have the option of scaling the crop boundary if you want to by dragging these corner handles, or the side handles, top and bottom handles too. Then if you want to rotate the Crop Boundary, you move your cursor outside into the dark shield area, and you get this rotate cursor. We'll come to that in just a moment, but I want you to notice the couple of options up here in the Options bar. First of all, we have this new Crop Guide Overlay function in CS5.

By default, it's set to Rule of Thirds, which divides a cropped area into nine regions as you can see right here. The Rule of Thirds holds that you should position the critical elements of your image at the intersection of these guidelines essentially, so that you're not strictly centering the image. It's one of the compositional theories out there. I don't think all that much of it, but you can observe it if you want to. You can also switch from Rule of Thirds to Grid if you like, and that's going to give you more detail grid like so. That's going to add lines, as you increase the size of the boundary like so.

And then finally, you have None, if you just don't want any guidelines at all. Now in my case, I'm going to stick with Rule of Thirds, because I find it to be somewhat helpful and also these gridlines can help you in terms of trying to align a crooked object inside your image. All right, so let's make this crop boundary smaller like so. I'm gong to Spacebar and drag the image a little bit, so that we can see the top of the Tower. Then I'm going to go ahead and rotate the crop boundary like so, until the Tower seems to be straight with this guideline.

Now, you really have to watch out. I'm going to show you what can go wrong there, unless I am very lucky and I happen to get this right the first time, but there is some better ways to work in terms of guaranteeing that you're getting something straight. I'll come back to that in a moment. Well, I go ahead and drag the top of the crop boundary upward. I'll drag the bottom downward. By default, you'll notice that under the View menu Snapping is turned on. It's got a check mark next to it. You want that, so that when you're dragging to corner handle, it snaps to the edge of the canvas before just going outward like this, because if you reveal an area that doesn't exist, then it's going to get filled with the background color which is by default white.

So somebody would be able to tell that you crop the image. Otherwise, if you just want pure image, then you want to stay inside of your canvas there. All right, I'll drag up and see if I have a little more room to work up in the upper-right region which I do, and that looks pretty good. I think I'm done. Now in order to commit my crop, I'll click in this checkmark in the Options bar or I press the Enter key on the PC or the Return key on the Mac, and there it is. Now I didn't do a good job. Look, the Tower of Pisa is not straight quite yet. It is much greater than it was before, so good on her.

But I need it to be as straight as possible. It's a little hard with the Tower of Pisa because it kind of slopes outward like this as well, but let's do a better job. Here is my other gripe about the Cop tool is when you press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, you go back to your previous Crop boundary so you can adjust it some more. You go back to before you created the boundaries, so you have to start over from scratch, not keen on that one at all, but that is the way it works. I'm going to drag around sort of tight around the tower, and then I'm going to go ahead and rotate that tower and drag it in, so that I've got these edges tied to the edges of the tower.

So that I can really map exactly what the angle needs to be. In case, you're curious what that angle is, because we don't see any numerical value up here in the Options bar. You can bring up the Info panel by clicking on the I or pressing the F8 key, and you'll see that the Angle is currently 4.6 degrees. Now you can't modify it numerically, but at least you can see what it is if you're curious. All right, I think I got this right now. I'll just drag out a little bit, so I can test things. Obviously, once you decide on an angle, you wouldn't drag out here anymore to ruin it.

All right, now I'm going to zoom out so I can take in more of the image at a time, scoot her over a little bit and drag down here. Actually look at that, I went outside of the image, so I've got to be careful. Drag that corner handle back and until it snaps in the place. And then drag this bottom left corner handle, until it snaps down here at the bottom of the image and then move the top upward. I want to crop so that her toes stay out of the frame. I have to say the Shield function at here, which permits Photoshop to darken the region that's going to get cropped away, not all that fond of it.

I specially don't think much of it at 75% Opacity. I might want to take it down to something like 35%, so that you're still seeing the details that you're losing but they're just slightly dimmed. You can also change your crop Color if you want to. You can change it from black to some other color, totally up to you. All you got to do is click and drag around in this field. For example, to change that Shield Color to white, you would drag this little ball into the upper-left corner right there. That looks pretty good to me actually. I think I like white better than black for this image. Click OK. You can always change your mind anytime you like.

Let's go ahead and commit the crop again by pressing the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and I goofed. Look at that, I left the little wedge of color. That's what I was talking about right there, but the Tower is nice and straight. If we wanted to fix this little wedge, well, then we might be able to take advantage of that new CS5 Content-Aware Fill feature. Just go ahead and select that area using the Rectangular Marquee tool right there. See how that works. I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac as I'm working on the Background layer and let's try our Content Aware Fill.

Since it's kind of a magic fill and look at that, Photoshop did a brilliant job. Nice work Photoshop, nice work us. We managed to straighten the Tower of Pisa. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to straighten the earth.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: While following along to the tutorial, my copy of Bridge does not have the same Export options as shown in the video. Why are these options missing in my copy?
A: For some reason, Bridge CS5 shipped without the Export options. They were included when Bridge updated to version 4.0.1. Updating Bridge will restore the export options.
Q: While following along with the exercises, next to the background layer on my Layers panel \, it shows a brush instead of the small picture, as it does in the video. What can I do to fix this? I erased the exercise files and started over, but it still shows the paintbrush.
A: This will occur if the Layers panel preview is turned off. To fix this, right-click in the empty gray area below the Background layer. Then choose Large Thumbnails. The thumbnail previews should come back immediately.
Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
Q: How do I load the color workflow setting for this course? I downloaded the exercise files, and when I attempt to load the setting into Photoshop, they don't appear in the Finder.

A: These days, it's easier to assign the workflow settings manually. In Photoshop, choose Edit > Color Settings. Then change the first RGB setting to Adobe RGB, and click OK.

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