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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop CS6
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The Transform Tools

  • Transform Tools: Transformations scale, rotate, skew, stretch, or warp images.
  • Transformations can be applied to the following items :
    • Selections
    • A Layer or multiple Layers
    • A Layer Mask
    • A Path
    • A shape
    • An Alpha Channel
  • Puppet Warp is a new CS6 feature that allows you to lock sections of an image and warp others - such as in moving an arm or leg.

The Transform Tools

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • Transform Tools: Overview 0:21
    • Introduction to the Transform Tools
    • Scale
    • Skew
    • Distort
    • Perspective
    • Warp
  • Scale & Skew 6:45
    • Scale & Skew Demonstration
  • Distort 8:39
    • Distort Demonstration
  • Perspective 12:38
    • Perspective Demonstration
    • Warp Demonstration
    • Adaptive Wide Angle
  • Puppet Warp 15:46
    • Puppet Warp Demonstration

Transcription: The Transform Tools

Hi everyone, Michael Brown here again with you.0000

Welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0002

In this lesson, we're going to go over the Transform tools.0007

Now, if you remember my Photoshop basic categories--selections being number one priority, corrections, exposure and color, the Retouching tools and manipulation.0010

The Transform tools primarily fall under the manipulation category and that would be because they are dealing with layers--not the entire image, but individual layers.0021

For example, let's just use this--I have a singular layer here on this square background.0035

If I go to the Image menu and go to Rotation...let's go counter-clockwise, it rotates--you can't see it, but it rotated the entire image because the background was white.0041

Let's go with Flip Canvas Horizontal; it does all layers, the entire image.0052

The Edit menu...Transform is only working with an individual layer itself, so if I do a rotation here, it's rotating only the layer.0060

The Transform tools deal with individual layers, and it's Puppet Warp, Free Transform or the Transform Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort, Perspective, Warp, and when you're doing the rotations and flips, it's of a single layer.0071

Let's go to a layered image for example if I have one here, and let's turn on this flower right here, so if I do an Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal...0089

Oh, it was the wrong layer, I had it on the main layer, sorry.0106

This is the flower layer right here, so it's the active layer, my fault.0110

Transform Flip Horizontal, notice that the flower flips.0116

If I go Edit, Transform, Rotate 90 degrees, it rotates the flower, so what happens with the Transform tools under the Edit menu, they're always working on a singular, active layer.0120

So let's go back to the example here--I'm going to move the single layer around, and so now we're going to go Edit, Free Transform.0135

The bounding box comes up which allows us to rotate, or transform by scaling--we're only scaling this image, although let's set it OK, and let's go Free Transform which is Command or Control+T, and now when I scale it's pretty obvious that it's not distorting it, it's only scaling it.0144

I'm going to actually make another layer--I'll delete this, and make a square...0171

Copy and paste, fill it with red so that we're on the same page.0182

Whoa, wrong thing...Edit, Fill with red, and now we have a new red layer that's perfectly square.0187

So now I go back to the Free Transform, notice it's rotating and if I scale, you see that it's not distorting, only scaling that image.0195

Now, if we go Command or Control on a PC the letter T for Free Transform, notice, we can also access all of the other Transform features--you never need to really go to them.0207

You will Control Click on a Mac or right click on a PC inside the bounding box and you get the dropdown layer and there they all are!0221

So you don't have to go to the Edit menu shortcuts.0231

We've already looked at scale--you understand rotate.0234

Skew is precisely what it says; if we grab this and it actually distorts, but if we do the Control click, skew in the center, we get a skew.0237

Traditional skew--now you can distort an edge individually by changing only the corners themselves, so there's an additional feature in the skew.0254

Command on a Mac, Control on a PC and the letter T, Control click on a Mac, right click on a PC, let's take a look at Distort.0266

Now as opposed to with the skew distortion it was only on a straight edge, now we can take and literally distort in any particular direction that we wish.0277

We've changed that square into kind of a...what would you call that...parasail, or an arrow.0290

Back to the square again, Command or Control+T, Control click on a Mac, right click on a PC, we're going to do Perspective, and now when you click and drag the edges in and out you get a perspective adjustment.0300

If you go up and down straight, you can't.0315

You can shift skew, but you are perspective--you still have the skew control--we can skew it this way now, but the corners are perspective control so you get a combination.0319

But predominantly, Perspective--Command or Control+T for a Free Transform, Control click on a Mac, right click on a PC--we're down to Warp.0330

And you get this grid, and you have little arms on the corners--that's what the circle edge is, or you can grab the inner points, and you can literally warp the shape of the object, and you can pull in the edges.0341

You see you can artificially warp it there, or you can drag it out here--make all sorts of warps, kind of like the Liquify filter, but the one advantage to be of the Warp is that it moves all of the pixels.0362

You'll see this in the example, it's not just squishing an edge and smearing them--it moves a large section of pixels.0378

We'll demonstrate that in a little bit--Command or Control+T, Control click on a Mac, right click on a PC, and the Puppet Warp is listed under here, but we'll do it the other way, and Content Aware Scale also.0387

Alright, so there you have the basics.0403

Let's use examples of each one of these.0406

Let's go and look at the title and start with a scale...I'll go to this flower here.0411

I already have made a selection--I'll load it, and I'm going to Command or Control+C to copy, and go to this composite and turn that layer back off and go Command or Control+V as in Victor to paste, and now I have a flower in.0419

I'm going to move that layer with the Move tool.0435

Notice the white on the background comes in from the right--the flower lit from the left--the first thing we would like to do obviously is to flip that thing, so we'll go to the Edit menu to Transform and to Flip Horizontal, and now the flower is in the right direction for light.0437

But now it's way too large if I want to put it up here, so we'll go Free Transform or Command or Control+T, Control click on a Mac, right click on a PC to the scale.0457

Holding down our Shift key to maintain the aspect ratio, and you notice we can scale it, and even when it's active, as long as you have the tool inside we can position the flower, and Shift and scale further until we get the scale the way we want it, and then we click Enter and we have done that.0469

So now we've demonstrated the scale, and the Flip Horizontal--see how that worked very well for this flower and now we would do more in the composite.0490

So that takes care of scale, and we didn't need to skew it at all but you understand what skew does so we're going to go ahead and layer at the top here and check off each item that you've understood.0501

You understand the it red, OK.0513

You understand skew...Distort, I'm going to show you where we can actually use the Distort feature on an image--let me find the particular image--there we go.0517

Here was a shot that I did in a high perspective, and I just had a situation where the client liked it but they wanted a little less perspective on the thing, so what do we do with that?0530

Oh my gosh, we've got a selection here of just the image itself, not the sky--I'll invert that, go back to red, and so now what we'll do is we're going to go copy and paste, and we're going to take this layer here--we'll turn it off just to show you where we're at...0541

It actually didn't have the exact selection but it's close--well I'll go back and do it this way...0565

Let's modify that selection--that's fine.0573

I'm going to go, very quickly, and with this select on that layer--we're going to go with the color selector--Magic Wand tool...0577

Get the blue, add the blue, and blue and we're going to delete that--done.0592

OK, now we can load the selection of this, and we got a clean one.0600

Alright, we're going to take the Lasso and get that edge out of there, now we've got it.0605

Let's check it out with Quick Mask...0611

Save the selection--I'm just double checking something here, sorry about that--I want to make sure we got the right selection--there it is!0617

It's the building.0623

OK, so now what we're going to do is we are going to distort.0624

We're going to go and turn this back on--go to the Edit menu, Transform, and Distort, and we're going to grab a corner and just pull upwards straight.0632

You notice that now we have brought the perspective down a lot by stretching that up, but at the same time we kind of killed the smoke stack or the exhaust stack.0643

We're going to go back to this other layer...and very quickly do a sky retouch on the bottom layer so that we can get that cleared out so that you don't...where are we...0658

There it is...get that out of there so everything becomes very clear to us...there we go.0674

Now we have some distortion on the stack--we can fix that as well.0683

We'll take the Marquee tool, and now we're going to go and just Edit, Transform, and what I'm going to do here is...0688

Let's distort it again, and I'm going to pull this side down a little bit...I'm on the wrong layer.0704

Top layer...confusing myself--distort on the correct layer--sometimes we all get confused.0714

Now I see--see how we brought it down...skew it down just slightly...and notice how we got the perspective all corrected on that.0722

Command+H, Command+D, and by using the Distort, we've pulled up this side and there's the original image there, and now we have distorted and got some of the perspective out.0732

That's how you use your Distort tool.0750

OK, so there was an example of distorting an image.0752

Perspective; let's go back to an image we worked on before--if you remember the lesson on cropping, we corrected this distortion in the crop.0758

A lot of times I would rather bring it in here and work on it at a later time, so let's go ahead and duplicate the background here.0770

Select all, and we're going to go Command on a Mac, Control on a PC, the letter T for Free Transform--Control click on a Mac, right click on a PC and we're going to go Perspective.0779

And now we're just going to take and pull it outward...0796

Until we get it close to straight...there we go...0802

Right there, and we'll click OK, and now we've got that straightened but you know we have this little bow in the building because we didn't do a lens distortion correction, so we'll do it another way.0810

Command+A, Edit, Transform, Warp, so now we're just going to take the edge right down here--this control and look, by moving the edge inward just slightly, we're straightening that up.0826

And we can actually pull the edge out slightly at the top...and bring it over here...just a little bit of control there and there we go.0847

Click it, and by using the Warp, we went from there to there and straightened up that particular edge.0860

There's another tool that does the same thing now in Photoshop as well.0869

I might as well show it to you--it's Filter, the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter...if it pops open I will show you.0873

This one isn't going to work on this image, forget it, so we're going to go back where we were.0885

Let's do that one more time with Edit, Transform, Warp, and we're going to straighten up this entirety--I'm going to pull that edge out a little bit, and I'm going to push this one in just a little bit like I did before...0893

And there you go, we straightened up that edge with Warp--you can see how that worked.0911

Now, you can see how the Warp worked here--if you'd tried to use the Liquify filter, you'd be pushing edges forever.0916

With very little problems, we went from that curvature and corrected it very, very simply--now you can see where the Warp tool falls into place.0925

So there we've taken care of the Warp tool...let's check that one off, and the Perspective tool as well, all in one, and now we're going to take a look at Puppet Warp.0938

Let me get my example--here we go right here.0950

For those of you who may or may have not seen Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp, the White Queen always had a pose in which she had both of her arms like this girl's right arm--all the time she'd walk around in a pose like this.0955

And this pose was a nice shot that my friend took and as soon as I saw it I said "Oh my gosh, the White Queen!", and the girl understood and she said "yeah, I wish it was that way", so let's make her into the White Queen.0971

So what we're going to do, is we are going to take the Marquee tool and we're going to do a little copy and paste.0983

Copy, paste, I'm going to duplicate the background layer too so that you see we just have that section right there that is dealt with.0999

We're going to go ahead and load that up, zoom this up, we're going to go to the Edit, Puppet Warp tool, and now we have that in place (and it should be popping up here).1008

Oh, I'm in the wrong layer, sorry, I always do these things.1022

Layer one, Edit, Puppet Warp...there we go, and here are the options for Puppet Warp.1026

The mode that we want here is rigid...actually I'm going to leave it at normal--the density is fine, the expansion--I'll show you the mesh.1035

This is a meshed area.1045

Basically, we're going to be doing a warp, but kind of like a puppet.1047

Now pins--what you do--you see the pin here?1052

These are your control points--I'm going to put a pin here, put another pin here, put a third one here to lock in these areas, and then I'm going to click and move the arm.1055

Notice that it rotates around but it's not...ah, that's because this pin was there and I didn't want it.1069

Now notice that the arm is rotating around her elbow.1077

Yeah, we're losing background, don't worry about that.1083

Now it's a little bit torque, so I'll put another pin here and rotate her hand so it looks fairly natural.1085

Put another pin here and pull up the elbow so that arm looks pretty normal.1094

Go ahead and click OK, and we went from there to there--now we need a little bit of fixing, so we're going to move the layer over to match up the face--or actually I won't even bother with that, I just want to check out the shoulder--there we go.1100

Shoulder looks pretty normal, so what we're going to do now is take our Eraser tool and just erase out any of the offending areas...1117

And go right up close to the arm...don't worry...1131

Get this back to normal here...that looks pretty good there but we're going to have to do a little bit of retouch, that's all...there we go.1140

Now on the underlying layer I'm just going to retouch rock from here and just clean up the rock area...1152

Just to clean that area up, and there you go...we have taken her from there to there and I can see a little spot that we still need to clean up with the eraser right on the clothing...1166

We missed on that, so let me show you again with the Puppet Warp, we took and moved her arm up, and now she's turned into the White Queen.1182

Let's go back, and that sums up Puppet Warp, so there you have an example all the way down and the basics of how to use the Transform tools in Photoshop CS6.1192