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.
November 27, 2009
To help with the placement/alignment/scale of an object that is being “placed”, the (placed) layer’s opacity and blend mode can be modified in the layers panel. Note: a layer’s opacity, fill and blend mode can also be modified while being transformed (Edit > Free Transform).
July 20, 2009
To quickly find the center of a path or shape layer, select the path and choose the Move tool. In the Options bar, check the “Show Transform Controls” option. The transform controls can also be used to transform your path – simply drag the anchor points (shift -drag to constrain proportions). Don’t forget to apply the transformation (tap Return (Mac) or Enter (Win), click the check icon in the Option bar or double click within the transform controls.
Note: if the selected path is a vector mask, the transform controls will be displayed around the layer contents (not the path). Select the path, and then choose Edit > Transform Path.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can transform paths (and therefore shapes) outside of the visible image area and Photoshop will keep track of them.
May 16, 2009
While transforming an image (Edit > Free Transform) you can change zoom level of the image using the old standby – Command (Mac) / Control (Win) “+” (plus) to zoom in, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) “-” (minus) to zoom out. Or, you can quickly zoom to a specific point using via the Navigator panel.
May 1, 2009
When using Free Transform, the "Reference Point Location"(or center point) can be changed to determine the location around which transformations occur. You can drag the center point freely within the image area, or set it numerically using the Options bar. This can be particularly useful when trying to align objects or rotate around a point that is off-center.
April 30, 2009
To toggle from Free Transform to Warp mode, click the warp icon in the Options bar. While in Warp mode, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + T toggles to Free Transform mode.
April 29, 2009
When in Free Transform, images that contain information beyond the visible image area may not display the transformation handles at your current zoom level. Instead of zooming out several times, select Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + 0 (zero) to zoom out – to “fit” the transformation handles on screen (just as Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + 0 (zero) will “fit” the image on screen when not in Free Transform).
April 28, 2009
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift + T transforms the layer(s) again by applying the same transformation settings. Option-Command (Mac) / Alt-Control (Win) + Shift + T will create a copy on it’s own layer while creating a duplicate transformation.