November 18, 2014
Command + T (Mac) | Control + T (Win) displays the free transform bounding box. Holding the Shift key while dragging any of the corner anchor points (handles), forces proportional transformations. Adding the Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) key transforms from the center. In addition:
• Command (Mac) | Control (Win) -drag a corner anchor point to freely distort the image.
• Command + Shift (Mac) | Control + Shift (Win) -drag a center anchor point to skew the image.
• Command + Option + Shift (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift (Win) -drag a corner anchor point to change the perspective of an image.
• To apply the transformation tap the Return (Mac) | Enter (Win) key.
• To cancel a transformation tap the Escape key.
October 23, 2014
The ability to “Overscroll” is extremely useful new feature in Photoshop CC 2014 – especially when free transforming images. Overscrolling enables an image that is smaller than the application frame to be repositioned within the application frame. In the example below, I’ve dragged and dropped a very large image onto a smaller document. Because the first document is so large, selecting Edit > Free Transform (to resize the large document down), draws the transformation handles far beyond the application frame. By enabling Overscroll (Preferences > Interface > Overscroll), and holding down the spacebar (to temporarily access the hand tool), I can reposition the document within the window. In past versions of Photoshop, the document was anchored to the center of the image, limiting access to the transformation handles without first zooming out.
I also find Overscrolling useful when I need to reposition small documents within the application frame to create screenshots and illustrations. Of course you can always switch views (changing to Full Screen or Floating view) if desired, but I find this method easier.
Note: Another way to quickly see the transformation handles is to use the shortcut Command + 0 (zero) (Mac) | Control + 0 (Win). This zooms out to fit the transformation handles on screen (just as Command + 0 (zero) (Mac) | Control + 0 (Win) will “fit” the image on screen when not in Free Transform).
February 6, 2014
When selecting multiple layers with the Move tool, you have the option to check “Show Transform Controls” (in the Options bar) to have Photoshop display a bounding box around selected objects (content on layers). Not only does this help to show which layers are selected but can also be used to quickly transform an object without having to select the Free Transform command.
November 16, 2013
The Move tool has an option (on the Options bar) to “Show Transform Controls”. Checking this option displays a bounding box around the selected layer(s). Not only does this help to show which layers are selected but can also be used to quickly transform an object without having to select the Free Transform command (by dragging the anchor points on the bounding box).
Note: if the Move tool is not selected, then the Show transform controls are hidden. Select the Move tool again to display them.
April 11, 2013
Did you know that when you’re transforming a Smart Object in Photoshop, the transformation’s anchor points are reversed out at the corners and displayed as light grey but when transforming a regular pixel based layer, the transformation’s anchor points are solid dark grey?
Transforming a Smart Object in Photoshop.
Transforming a regular (raster) layer in Photoshop.
And that concludes today’s nerdy Photoshop trivia! : )
January 23, 2013
Selecting Image > Image Size and changing the size of an image will scale the Effect/Styles applied to layers within the image (as long as the Scale Styles option is checked in the Image size dialog box), keeping the Effect/Style in proportion to the layers to which they are applied. However, when using Edit > Free Transform to scale an individual layer that has a Layer Effect/Style applied to it, Photoshop will not scale the Effect/Style. For example, if you apply a stroke of 6 pixels on a layer, using Free transform to scale the image larger or smaller, Photoshop will not change the Effect/ Style – the layer will still have a stroke of 6 pixels applied. To scale the Effect/ Style, do one of the following:
• Note the percentage the layer was scaled using Free Transform and then enter that value in the Layer > Layer Style > Scale Effect dialog box. This is much easier than changing the values in the Layer Style dialog (especially when multiple effects have been applied).
• Or, before using Free transform on the layer with the Style/Effect, convert the layer to a Smart Object and then transform.
May 23, 2012
In Photoshop CS6, the Free Transform command will automatically choose the best resampling method based on the transformation made. If the image is scaled up in size, then Photoshop will use Bicubic Smoother, if the image is scaled down in size, then it will use Bicubic Sharper. If for some reason you wanted to override this setting, while in Free Transform, you can change the Interpolation option using the drop down menu in the Options bar.
In addition, when dragging the transformation handles, the transformation values appear at the top right of your cursor. This display can be controlled via Preferences > Interface > Show Transformation Values (Top Right, Top Left, Bottom Right, Bottom Left or Never). Because the calculations that are taking place when using Free Transform have been moved to the GPU, there shouldn’t be any lag time when dragging the transformation handles.
The “Bicubic Automatic” option is also available when resampling an image using Image > Image Size. And of course you can still change the default option for resampling throughout Photoshop (if desired) under Preferences > General > Image Interpolation.
May 18, 2012
When working with the Vector tools (drawing a Shape layer for example) Photoshop CS6 has a new preference to Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid. This option can be extremely helpful when creating objects that need solid, straight edges as it prevents drawing shapes that aren’t fully aligned to a pixel and are therefore created with anti-aliased edges.
This illustration demonstrates three options, the first shape was drawn with the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned on and, as a result, all sides of the rectangle are solid (remember, even though the initial rectangle shape might not have been drawn in perfect alignment to the pixel grid, Photoshop automatically snapped the rectangle to that grid because the preference was turned on).
The middle illustration was drawn with the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned off. This resulted in anti-aliased edges (varying levels of opacity) because the rectangle (the vector path) was not perfectly aligned to a pixel edge when the rectangle was drawn.
The final illustration is the same rectangle as in the second illustration, however the Align Edges option was enabled for the rectangle shape layer (in the Options bar) after drawing the rectangle. Enabling the Align Edges option “jumped” the edges of the rectangle to the nearest pixel grid (you can still see that the original shape (path) is not aligned to the pixel grid, but the fill is being forced to Align Edges to the edges of the pixel grid. Align Edge is a good way to align objects on a “per shape layer” basis if you want to turn off the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference .
However, I expect that most people will leave the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned on as it will help to avoid anti-aliased edges when drawing shapes as well as transforming them making alignment clean and precise.
February 17, 2012
Free Transform and Puppet Warp can both be applied to a Smart Object making any changes nondestructive!
February 7, 2012
In order to warp multiple layers as if they are one (such as multiple text layers), on the Layers panel, select the layers and choose Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object. Then, choose Edit > Transform > Warp and apply the warp to the Smart Object. To re-edit any of the individual layers, choose Layer > Smart Object > Edit Contents or simply double-click on the layer’s thumbnail in the Layers panel.
May 23, 2011
Selecting Image > Image Size and changing the size of the image will scale the Effect/Style (as long as the Scale Styles option is checked), keeping the Effect/Style in proportion to the layers to which they are applied. However, when using Free Transform to scale an individual layer that has a Layer Effect/Style applied to it, it will not scale the Effect/Style. To scale the layer style, note what percentage the layer was scaled using Free Transform and then enter that value in the Layer > Layer Style > Scale Effect dialog box. Or, before using Free transform, convert the layer to a Smart Object and resize.
March 30, 2011
With the Move tool selected, in the Options bar, check Show Transform Controls to automatically display transformation handles around the selected layer’s contents. This is also an excellent way to find the center of the contents on a layer.
February 3, 2011
The interpolation method that is used in Free Transform, the Crop Tool and Place Command can be set in the Preferences > General > Image Interpolation menu.
January 5, 2010
The next time that you want to transform a path or selection choose Select > Transform Selection (or Select > Transform Path) instead of Edit > Free transform which always transforms the content of the layer.
January 4, 2010
If you find that you have a dialog box up or you’re in a modal state like Free Transform, you can always use the shortcuts Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Plus (+) or Minus (-) to zoom in and out. And if you need to pan, use the Spacebar to temporarily give you the Hand tool.