PFB: Chop, Crop, Skew & Spin

Hello, thanks for joining me for another tutorial.


Today: All About Photo Edits 

Now when I say all about photo edits I don’t mean a complete breakdown of everything you can do in Photoshop to edit a photo, that would be a very, very long tutorial. What I mean is all the options you have under Edit>Transform which allow you to change the orientation, size, and perspective of your photo or layer within a Photoshop document. I’ll also touch on the Crop Tool. Right now I’m using Photoshop CS5, this is important as it is not the latest version of Photoshop and some of these tool have been updated with a couple extra features but they are mostly the same.

First things first, we need an image that you would like to fix. In this case below the perspective is off.

CCSS Base Img

Now in Photoshop if this is your background layer you will need to make it editable before you can do any adjustments of the kind we are wishing to do. You can unlock the BG layer by double clicking on it with your mouse or stylus. This will open up a dialog box that will allow you to name the layer, otherwise PS calls it Layer O

CCSS Unlock BG

As you can see you have the option to set the layers Mode and Opacity, you can also set a color for the Layer; this simply ascribes a color to the small eye icon in your layers pallet. The Eye icon determines whether or not that layer is visible or invisible. (if you click on the eye it disappears and hides the layer too.) Adding a color to the eye could help you remember which layer is the background.

CCSS Color Layer

Now that the layer is unlocked we can begin to edit the perspective. You can simply press CTRL + T to enter free transform. This bring up a menu at the top of the screen. I have overlayed it on the next image.

CCSS FreeTransform

I gave a brief overview there about the pivot point and bounding box, now the rest of the menu. The X and Y boxes display the current pixel coordinate of the center or pivot point, these will change as you move the point around. You can move the pivot point by hovering your mouse over it and click/dragging it around the image.

The W and H stand for Width and Height and they are represented by percentages. IE. if you make the percentages lower the picture will get smaller and if you make them larger numbers the picture will likewise become larger.

The next Icon over that looks like a wedge of pie is the angle toggle. The Layer or photo will rotate based on wherever the pivot point is, you can rotate it by either typing in a degree or by hovering near a corner control point of the bounding box until your cursor become a bent arrow and click/drag that layer to the desired angle.

Lastly the H and V stand for the Horizontal Skew and Vertical Skew. These two are also represented in percentages. The skew command basically takes one whole edge of the layer or photo and moves up or down, or left or right depending on whether you are skewing horizontally or vertically. Essentially taking a square and making a trapezoid.


To edit the perspective of a photo you will need to select that specific command from Edit>Transform>Perspective. You will get the bounding box as before with the CRTL>T command but it will act differently, when you grab the corner of the bounding box one of two thing will happen depending on how you initially move your mouse. If you move up or down the adjacent control point will either move towards or away from the one you are moving, same if you move left or right, the corner control point will either move towards or away from the one you are moving. This will change the perspective of the image.

CCSS Perspective

As you can see the main subject of the image, the building, appears more straight along its two outer edges. This is where the crop tool will come in, we will need to cut off the outer edges and trim the photo down, also it needs to be straightened as it is sitting on a slight angle. In the same menu that you find Perspective you will also find warp, this tool places a sort of grid over the image and allows you to freely warp any part of the photo or layer. This tool can be helpful in making adjustments to just one small part of the image instead of a whole side. Do any final straightening, skewing, warping, and adjusting before you crop so the picture wont be unnecessarily small.

Tip: You can get a quick grid over your photo to help you line everything up by pressing CRTL+


Here is my final image after all the adjustments, cropping, and filling in of empty space using the selecting techniques.

CCSS Final

There are two other tools under the crop tool that I will go into more detail about in another tutorial as they are from a little more advanced purposes like web design; they are the Slice Tool and the Slice Select Tool. Their brief overview is as follows, the Slice and Slice Select Tools are used for slicing up an image into many parts that can be more easily used for the design of web pages.

Thank you again for joining me for this tutorial and I will be bringing another to you soon.


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