Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Automatic level and perspective correction, part of Photoshop: 2013 Creative Cloud Updates.
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In this movie we'll take a look at one of the new features inside Camera Raw, which allows you to automatically correct the level and perspective of a scene. It's really all about making the image look straight so, for example, in this case, I have this photograph of the swimming pool at San Simeon. And it looks as if the image is leaning down into the right. So what you normally do is switch to the Crop tool. What you can get by pressing the C key, and then you'd select the Straighten icon, appear in the Options bar, and you might drag along the bottom.
Let's say, of this false temple back here at the rear of the scene. Assuming things look more or less the way they should, then you press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to invoke that operation. Problem is, even though the temple's now straight, the scene doesn't look any straighter than it did before. And a lot of that has to do with these perspective lines that are leaning down and to the left now at the bottom of the image. But we also have all kinds of lines going on including the vertical lines implied by these trees which should be more or less parallel as well.
I'm not going to be able to straighten the scene conventionally, however I can automatically correct it inside Camera Raw. So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to undo the (UNKNOWN) and then I'll go over to the Layers panel. And you can see that I have established this Camera Raw smart object in advance. Go ahead and double-click on its thumbnail in order to launch Camera Raw. Then I'll go ahead and switch over to this tab, the one that says lens corrections when you hover over it. You want to switch from profile over to manual.
And you'll see these new upright options right here, and I'm going to start things off with the simplest of them, which is level, and it says apply only level correction. So what I'm going to do is zoom in a little bit here so we can see what happens. I'll go and scroll up as well. And then I'll select that icon. And notice that goes ahead and compensates for the horizontal elements in the scene. Doesn't compensate for the vertical elements, and it also doesn't correct this perspective down here at the bottom.
So it pretty much straightens the image, much in the same way that we can do with the crop tool. If you also want to correct for the vertical elements of this scene, and we're going to be able to see what's going on better here. If I turn on the Show Grid checkbox down here at the bottom of the window. And you can see though, we've got some leaning associated with these vertical columns. And I can go ahead and correct for this as well by selecting this next icon in vertical, apply level and vertical perspective corrections. And we end up getting this version of the scene here.
So now the The columns are more or less straight up and down, and so are the trees. But if I press Ctrl+0, or Cmd+0 on a Mac, to zoom out, you can see that Camera Raw is heavily distorting this image. And we're going to end up with these triangular wedges, up here in the top right and top left corners. Now, if you want to correct even more elements of the scene. For example, you want to try to make sure that these horizontal elements down here at the bottom of the photograph are straight as well. Then you want to select this third option, full which applies level, horizontal, and vertical perspective corrections.
And we're going to end up with this variation here but, again this is a significant distortion that leaves these transparent wedges at the top of the photograph. Now there's one more icon available to us, and It's Auto, the one that's represented by the A. And it's the one that you're probably going to apply most often. What it does is it tries to split the difference between all of the corrections. And it doesn't do this number at the top of the image or at the bottom. It's not going to apply this degree of distortion.
So, I'll go ahead and click on Auto. We're just going to try to balance the various perspective corrections, notice that we end up getting this version of the scene. So, not everything's perfect as you can see. For example, these horizontal lines are still a little bit out of plum, but the trees look pretty darn good. They're more or less vertical, parallel to each other as well. And the same goes for the columns. So if you like what you see, you can apply the corrections as simply as clicking the OK button. Which will take you back into Photoshop, and we'll end up with this corrected version of the photograph.
And that's how you take advantage of what is commonly known as automatic upright in Camera Raw.
Note: Adobe Creative Cloud is updated on a regular basis. We will add more tutorials as features are added or changed, so check back often.
- Upsampling intelligently with Preserve Details
- Working with the improved Liquify and Smart Sharpen filters
- Applying Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
- Automating level and perspective correction
- Creating vignettes with the Radial Filters tool
- Isolating and releasing layers
- Painting on 3D objects