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Photoshop Quick Tip

Use the Crop Tool to change perspective By Stephen Schleicher
If you are an animator or composite artist, you may have come across the problem a time or two. You need to map an image onto a surface or video layer onto a surface or video layer, but the image was photographed in such a way that the perspective is all off. How can you easily correct the perspective without spending a lot of time doing it? Heres an Adobe Photoshop Quick Tip that answers the question.

First open an image. For this tutorial, I am using a shot of the Campanile at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas. As you can see from the shot, if we wanted to map the texture of the tower to a flat plane or video layer for further manipulation, weve got a problem.


Campanile
Download a full size file, by clicking on the image.


In the past you might have used the perspective tool found under Edit>Transform>Perspective to correct the shot. The problem with correcting a shot this way is that you need to make sure your canvas area is wide enough to allow you to work with the perspective change. If you zoom out too far you run the risk of not being able to see if the image is properly aligned or not (and that can cause even greater problems later on).

While the perspective tool is nice, you have to zoom out the canvas a great deal.


The easier solution is to use the Crop Tool. The Crop Tool has a special perspective feature that solves this canvas size problem and speeds the perspective correction process.

Use the Crop Tool to select the area that you will crop and perspective correct.



Turn on the Perspective Cropping box.



Move the selection handles of the crop box to outline the area you need to correct.



Once in position, hit the return key on your keyboard.



The action will crop and correct the perspective automatically for you. I hope this quick Adobe Photoshop tip helps you in your texture mapping endeavors and speeds your workflow.

When not working deep in the labs of the DMN Central Division testing the latest and greatest software/hardware products Stephen Schleicher can be found at the local university teaching a few courses on video and web production. He can be reached at schleicher@mindspring.com. You can also visit him on the web at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at schleicher@mindspring.com

Related Keywords:photoshop, crop, perspective, schleicher, adobe

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