Transformations – are Adobe’s way of telling you that reality is the wrong shape! J
I use these tools to make the image fit the shape or size I need or to emphasise different elements of the image as I require.
Once you have Selected the area of interest then, under the Edit / Transform menu, you will find:
Edit/Transform/Scale – This enables the horizontal and or vertical enlargement or reduction of the size of the Selection.
Just grab one of the 8 “Handles” (the little squares that are at each corner & ½ along each side of the Transform Selection box) and drag as required.
Press Shift whilst dragging the handle and the horizontal and vertical scales will grow or reduce in proportion.
Press Alt whilst dragging the handle the scales will change in proportion around a central point.
Edit/Transform/Rotate – Find a curved arrow at one of the corner handles, click and drag it to rotate the Selection in either direction.
Press Shift whilst doing this will accurately confine the rotation into discrete, 15o steps.
Edit/Transform/Skew – Enables one side of the Selection, either the horizontal or vertical, to be stretched.
Pressing Alt at the same time will cause the same effect to be mirrored on the opposite corner of the Selection.
Edit/Transform/Distort – is my favourite! It allows all dimensions to be independently stretched or reduced in any direction, all at the same time.
Note – When you stretch an image beyond the canvas size the pixels outside the canvas still exist. They are not automatically deleted! This is not a problem unless you later increase the canvas size, in which case some odd shapes will suddenly reappear. To avoid this, once you are happy with the new shape of the image, always use the crop tool to get rid of unwanted pixels that are now outside the canvas.
Shadows – To create a shadow for an object do the following:
- Duplicate the object layer
- Lower the Opacity of the upper object layer so that you can see the lower object below.
- Activate the lower object layer. Go Edit/Transform /Distort and change the object’s shape to be right for its own shadow bearing in mind which direction you have decided the light is coming from.
- Go Image/Adjust/Hue Sat. and lower the “Lightness” to get the shadow to the correct luminosity. Note – most people just reduce the Saturation to achieve a shadow but this gives a grey shadow but shadows are NOT grey!
- Now set the Shadow layer Blend Mode to Multiply.
- Go back to the upper object layer and return the Opacity to 100%.
- Go back to the Shadow layer and set the Opacity as required. 30-50% usually works well.
- Go Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur and set to 3-10% to make the shadow more realistic. Harsh lighting requires a lower blurring factor whereas soft light would require a greater blur.
- Finally remember that any change to the direction of the surface on which the shadow fall requires the shape of the shadow to be Transformed to suit.
Reflections – If you add anything to an image you may also have to add a reflection. For example, adding a new sky into an image might require a reflection to be added to any water or windows in the image.
- Say you have added an object, then, Copy/Paste that object to give another layer copy of the object.
- Go Edit/Transform/Flip Horizontal. Reflections are usually upside down!
- Move it over the water or glass, whatever is causing the reflection, into the appropriate position.
- Change the Blend Mode to Multiply and adjust the Opacity as required.
- Add a “Layer mask” to the shadow layer.
Now, by painting with black and or white and a soft brush, you can remove or add bits of the reflection to & from different areas, as required.