Sign In | Subscribe

Enter your Sign on user name and password.

Forgot password?
  • Follow us on:
Start learning today, and be successful in your academic & professional career. Start Today!
Loading video...
This is a quick preview of the lesson. For full access, please Log In or Sign up.
For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
  • Discussion

  • Download Lecture Slides

  • Table of Contents

  • Transcription

  • Related Books

Start Learning Now

Our free lessons will get you started (Adobe Flash® required).
Get immediate access to our entire library.

Sign up for

Membership Overview

  • Unlimited access to our entire library of courses.
  • Search and jump to exactly what you want to learn.
  • *Ask questions and get answers from the community and our teachers!
  • Practice questions with step-by-step solutions.
  • Download lesson files for programming and software training practice.
  • Track your course viewing progress.
  • Download lecture slides for taking notes.
  • Learn at your own pace... anytime, anywhere!

Crop, Straighten, Correct Perspective & Distortion

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 0:06
  • Correct Camera Distortion 3:13
    • Distortion
    • Vignette
    • Perspective Control
    • Edge Extension
  • Correct Perspective 6:25
    • Perspective Transform
    • Distort Transform
  • Cropping 9:21
    • Cropping
  • Straightening 12:03
    • Straightening
  • Recompose 14:45
    • Recompose

Transcription: Crop, Straighten, Correct Perspective & Distortion

Hi, everybody--Mike Brown back with you again; welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop Elements course!0000

We're ready now to work on our images in the Expert mode in Editor.0007

One of the first things you're going to do with your images, when you bring them in, is crop them, straighten any crooked horizons, and correct for camera distortion, bulging, or perspective distortion--both the perspective and lens distortion.0012

Also, recompose, which we took a look at over here in the Guided Edit mode, briefly; we're going to go back and, in the Expert mode, take a good, close look at that.0028

All of these are corrections that we make before we even do anything to the image--so let's get started!0040

I'm going to open up an image into Camera Raw first.0047

I want you to take a quick look at this image; I have already made white balance, exposure, color, and a little clarity; I've also taken a little bit of noise reduction--just the generalized stuff that we do, and that is how quick that was.0052

There is a Crop and Straighten tool feature in here; we'll talk about that in a moment.0069

But look, first, at the edge of the building; it's not only perspective distorted; it's bulging a little bit wider; that is the wide-angle lens barrel distortion, they called it.0074

We can't pull that out in here; we could crop the image, and that is all we have the option of doing--purely cropping--but I don't want to; I'm going to take that away--Option or Alt turns the Cancel to Reset; bring it back.0089

I don't want to remove any of the area of the image, because, as we correct perspective, it will tend to remove it anyway, by torquing it out of the image; I need as much as I can get.0103

But, if you have a landscape or a shot of somebody that everything else is fine; no distortion; all you need to do is cropping; by all means, just go ahead and take a crop tool and move the corners any way you particularly want to, to get the crop that you want, and then enter it, and it's non-destructive.0115

The Straighten tool--same thing: all you do is click and drag where the horizon will be, and it will turn it and crop it in to that point.0133

OK, so let's bring it on in into Editor.0141

The first thing we do with an image when we open it up, no matter what: duplicate the background layer in case, somewhere down the line, you need to go back to the original to pull something.0145

Right now, we have just the background layer; this is a 2-key shortcut: Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, and the letter J, or go to the Layer menu: Duplicate Layer; or, across the top of the adjustments layer, the Layers panel with the adjustments at the right-hand side with the dropdown list--there is Duplicate Layer.0155

We're going to use our shortcuts: Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, plus the letter (I hear you!) the letter J; Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, J; we have the layer duplicated.0178

Now, we work on this layer, and the background is left alone.0189

The first thing I want to do is correct perspective and camera distortion at the same time, so let's go to the Filter menu to correct camera distortion.0193

Watch what happens, automatically, when I open it up: look at that curved edge: Filter, Correct Camera Distortion, turn off the grid, and look!--the edge is already straightened out.0205

Without any control changes at all, the filter recognized, in the data that comes with this image, the camera and the lens, and it corrected it.0220

Now, if it didn't, here is the distortion "barrel distortion" right here; you can make your sliders and add or subtract.0233

In this case, it's just 0, because the filter automatically took it away.0241

Now, vignetting: we have just a little darkness in this corner, and a little up in here, so we can...this is vignetting: you see, it's dark or it's bright; we're going to put in maybe 3 points...4 points; and there we have a little bit of vignette.0248

Let's take the preview; a little bit darker, and a little bit...there we go.0274

We have already lost a little area, if you can see, down in here, as we remove the distortion automatically; that is why didn't crop it in Camera Raw.0284

We still have space left, and we have to be very careful; I should have thought about it, when I shot the building, and given a little more space on the right.0293

That line is right there, so we have to be careful about that.0300

Perspective control is next: vertical and horizontal.0303

Vertical: this way, it's going to make the top get larger; this way, it will make it smaller.0308

We go this way, and you can correct; or this way, and you can go really crazy.0313

We'll pull it back, but see what happens: as we correct the top, this line is no longer in the picture--a bad intersection; so I'm going to back it up just a little bit.0319

I don't want to lose the top side of the sky, either, so we'll just take about...maybe even a little less than...that.0330

Horizontally, let's see what happens if we go this way; that is not going to help us a lot.0340

We'll just leave it at that; I should have left more space, but we have this; and let's take the preview: we went from there to there--it's looking a little better.0350

Let's go ahead and accept that; the edge extension--what that shows you is where you have done it.0360

You can just show larger or smaller--just pull it up or pull it down, so that you can pull some of that back in; but we're going to leave it right here.0367

Click OK, and now it has applied the corrections: there is where we started, and there is where we are--everything is looking good.0375

Now, what we want to do next--again, before we apply a crop--is, we need more perspective control.0385

There is a feature called Transformations; it's under the Image menu, Transform, and it allows you to scale an image automatically--that is the Free Transform--or Skew, Distort, or Perspective.0392

Let's take a look at the Free Transform; I didn't mean to get into this one in this lesson, but you see, there is your scale.0407

We can use this for perspective, as well.0413

Once you have gotten the Transform box in, Control+click on a Mac/right-click on a PC; notice the little list that shows right next to the cursor.0417

We're going to do more perspective.0427

The way we do this here is grab a corner, and if I pull this corner, that one will correspondingly come out; look at that; and we have (let's see...if I push in just slightly here, I'll get some of it back...OK...pull it out just a hair more...that is about all that I can really take) done one round.0431

We're going to do this in stages; we have one little round; we're going to click OK on that; and we went from there to there--that is looking pretty good!0455

Now, we're going to do another one--we're going to activate the Transform, Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, the letter T, Control+click or right-click on a PC, and this time, we'll do Distort.0465

Watch what happens: I'm going to take this corner--you know that it allows you to distort things--and we're just going to pull that corner down, and that also takes away the stretch and improves the look along the top.0477

We'll give it just a slight bit of perspective, and let's go ahead and do a little bit on the right edge, as well--stretch it up and out...that is pretty good, there; you can come down just a little bit more, right here--that looks pretty nice!0492

That helped counter the distortion; notice how the doorway and windows are now a little more natural?--we'll accept that second round of transformation.0513

Let me show you, from the History panel, what we have been doing.0525

We opened it; we copied the layer; we did a camera distortion correction and perspective in the filter; then, we did a Transform, and then we did a second Transform with Distort, and look what we have--a building that looks very, very natural.0529

Now, we have all of our distortions corrected; we're going back to the title.0545

We corrected for camera distortion; we corrected for perspective; it took it in stages, but we got it, and now we're ready to crop this image.0551

Let's go to the cropping tool.0565

Here are your options for the Crop tool: Crop allows you to have the rule-of-thirds grid; let me show you what that is--you see that the little dashed lines...may be hard to see, but as we get out, there, you see the dashed lines.0567

The photographic rule of thirds for dynamics and composition or a regular grid, which gives you just a bunch of gridlines, or this thing called the Golden Ratio (which I really haven't figured out myself) or nothing; we'll leave it at the rule of thirds and have no restriction on the crop, or you can do it specifically into proportions (16x9).0581

You can also have specific width, height, and resolution if you're going to resize; we're just going to crop it as is.0607

We have the Crop tool, and I'm just going to click and drag; I don't need to do the whole thing.0614

Now, with the Crop tool, I want to show you--notice, if you get to a corner on the outside, you are allowed to rotate this thing.0621

We don't want to rotate it; I'm just going to show you what happens--you can rotate the crop box, and I'm going to get out of it and go back and put the traditional, straight crop in.0630

Drag a corner--and it's free to do this--we're going to come up, right about to there; we're going to come over to the right edge, and up just a little bit; let's get a little more sky--why not?0641

OK, that is a good crop; we'll click OK.0656

Now, I want to turn off the background layer; notice, we have cut a little out of the sky and a little out of the pavement, but that is not a problem, because this is a very easy retouch correction over here, and it's very easy to fill in the sky.0661

We now have the image (I'm going to turn the background on, and it doesn't show as much); look, we went from (let's get that History panel up) opening the image that was this, to this, by doing camera correction, camera distortion correction, a first perspective transform, a second distort transform, and a crop, and there is our final image, compared to the original image.0679

This is dynamic, but for an architectural image, this is very nice and looks very good.0711

We have perspective, camera distortion, and cropping taken care of; now, let's talk about straightening.0717

I'm going to open up another image here (let's see; I think that one is right here--there we go); this is an image I shot of a friend of mine, and I deliberately took the horizon and made it crooked.0727

It's very simple to correct that problem.0742

This is the Straighten Horizon tool (all of these are down in the Modify tool).0745

All you have to do is click and drag the line in the direction that you would want the horizon to actually be level, and release, and it will turn the picture and do that.0749

Now, there are three options: what that did, if you notice (let's make it smaller) is it rotated the image, and it kept it within the original frame of the picture.0761

Size-wise, it just made it smaller to fit.0775

Let's undo that; you can also have it, if you wish, to remove the background--in other words, fit perfectly with no extra edges.0778

There it is; but notice, in this case, it cropped a lot out of the top and the bottom, which I would rather do myself; or you can have it at 100%, and we'll straighten that one more time and show you what happens with that; it let it go ahead--basically, the same thing.0790

We'll go back to the beginning here, and we'll do it this way, which I like the best.0807

There you go--and, by the way, if you had a multiple-layer image and you checked this box, it will rotate everything to match.0815

OK, we have that, so now we need to crop it; there is the Crop tool; we'll take the Crop tool, and I'm going to go ahead, up to the top, right about there.0822

I'm going to come in a little bit here; I'm going to crop all the way up, so I don't take anything out of that corner; come in a little bit more; maybe a little bit more on this edge; I could come all the way to there, and it looks even a little bit better, and I'll accept that.0833

If you notice, by cropping it this way, all I have done is lost a little bit of the sky--that is the black, and that needs to be retouched back again, but it's pretty neutral--it's a gradient--we can very easily retouch that.0851

So, we have gone (Window, History)...we opened it, straightened the horizon, and cropped it, and we're all ready to do a little retouch and finish the image up.0867

That takes care of the Straightening tool.0879

Now, we're down to the Recompose feature.0885

We're going to use this image right here--the same one we did with the Guided Edit, but I'm going to show you more carefully how this works.0888

We're going to use the Recompose tool; here are the options: Add and Subtract, and what you are doing is painting out, or making a mask, if you will--a mask blocks it; you want to block the areas that you want to preserve.0895

The first thing we will do is get this brush up to a reasonable size, and what I'm going to do is paint over and go a little bit outside, to give a little edge on it.0910

This is the area I want to preserve; in other words, I want to preserve all of her; I don't want any distortion in her, so I have now painted over that, and I also would like to preserve most of the cave--let's do that right there--I think that ought to take care of it--that's pretty decent.0923

But, if I get too much, I can always go back and paint it out, and that will remove that area.0946

OK, so you have the option--this is the actual image size: 10x6.667; let's go ahead and take a look and make sure that is correct: 10x6.667".0955

You can, again, have perspective; various different sizes--8x10, 5x7--in this case, no restriction--we're going to do the work.0970

There is the bounding box, so I'm going to start on the right edge, over here, and pull in.0979

Notice, as I pull in, she is being protected, and so is--watch what happens with the cave.0985

Now, this is obviously only useful on images that have areas that, when they're compressed, won't really be hurt too much; this grass and rock--you can't see anything, but this way, I'll be able to go all the way to here, and accept that, and there is the new image.0997

It will recompose; it has to think about this one a while; basically, it's calculating every single pixel inside of the image and recalculating what it's going to look like.1016

That is how the Recompose tool works; it works really great on shots like this.1026

Let's do an Undo and a Redo, and you notice that (let's do the History panel; redo; Window, History; Recompose; Open), we were there, did a little levels, made the layer, and recomposed the image, and we're ready to accept it, so all we have to do now is click OK, and it should get rid of the green so that we're all ready to go.1032

We want to accept that (where is it?--there we go); we're going to accept it, and there we have our recomposed image, and it preserved them; a really easy feature.1068

Now, we have also taken a look at the Recompose tool, and there you have cropping, straightening, recomposing, correcting for camera distortion, and correcting perspective in Photoshop Elements 11.1087