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Aligning Layers and Warping

Lesson 27 from: Adobe Photoshop for Photographers: Beyond the Basics

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

27. Aligning Layers and Warping

Lesson Info

Aligning Layers and Warping

Now I'm going to start talking about, like creating a new composition out of various elements and with this is not something that I do a lot of. But when I've done it in the past, it's mainly been for books that I've written, usually with a book. You need a cover image for a book. And oftentimes it's not just a straight image. If it's Photoshopped Book, they want some sort of composite to sell that book. Also, whenever you open the book to various chapter openings, usually left hand page has some sort of graphic. And that's where, uh, we created these in the past four. And unfortunately, though, those images when I've created a have been stock photographs that I only have the licensing for that particular book and things I don't have them to be able to show here. So here I just have kind of a random collection of images and what I'm gonna do show you the general ideas that you'd need to put those things together and just make sure that we cover the essential concepts so that if you eve...

r need to do one of those, you have the skills. So let's take a look. I'm just gonna choose ah, base image that are open. And then I'm just gonna go open a couple other images here. If you look at this image, uh, cut off the road on the left side and I'd like to have a better looking road there, like have a vehicle on the road might have toe have a better sky and hear that type of thing. So let's go grab some other elements and see if we can learn a few techniques to accomplish that. And I'm not always gonna go for a perfect looking in result because going for perfect just means it's gonna take more time and I could do that. But then we can talk about fewer techniques, and so you have to kind of a balance between the two. So in this case, I'm going to add a mask to this layer and just start hiding things on the right side where I'd like to reveal the building that's underneath, so I'm gonna add a layer mask. But before I do that, usually I'll end up choosing convert for smart filters, and that's gonna change this later into a smart object. What's nice about a smart object is if I scale or rotate this image. It always calculates the scaling in the rotating from based on the original image so I can scale the image down and later on scale it back up in every scaling maneuver I make is always coming from the original size in, so I can scaling many different times without degrading the quality. If it's not a smart object and I scale it down to a small size and say, I'm done with that and then I later on decide to increase the size, you would start looking softer every time you make it larger. It would look softer, but with a smart object, I'll be able to have more flexibility. Then I'm gonna add a layer mask. So at the bottom of my screen on clicked layer mask icon and for now, I'm just gonna do a very crude painting. My layer mask or what I might do is, uh, my lasso tool. There's a little trick with a lasso tool, and that is usually with lasso tool. You just paint like this and you end up creating a shape. But sometimes I want to snap it around the edges of things, and there's a couple little tricks with it. One is if you've already clicked the mouse button, so you're already starting to make a selection. You could hold down the option key. If you have the option key held down, that's ultimate Windows. Then you can let go your mouse. And if you let go your mouse, but you still have option held down. You can click like this, and you get straight lines. If you don't need straight lines anymore, click and just keep the mouse button held down. You can draw whatever shape you want, but what the option key means Ultimate Windows is Allow me to let go of the mouse button without finishing the selection, and therefore I could just click, and it connects the dots only when I'm completely done. Do I let go the option key. So if I want to select around here instead of having to paint right there, what I could do is come over here and just click in one spot, hold option to get a straight line, and I'll go right across near the front of that building. You know, a couple other spots up to the top over down. So I have a selection. And then I could fill that selection with Black because I'm working on the mask right now in any part of the mask. It's black hides things. I can either do that by typing command. I command I means invert or giving the opposite of what I currently have. War. There's a keyboard shortcut that I use frequency frequently to fill with my foreground color. And what that is is option delete on windows. I believe that would be all backspace option delete means filled with foreground color, so the mask is active. When I do option delete, it's going to hide that. Then I can use my move tool. Reposition this where I'd like it, and I'll end up masking it further to get it to blend in later on. But for now, I'm just trying to get the road to be where I'd like it. Part of this image, though, goes beyond my screen on the left side. So if I want to able to see that information, I'll go to the image menu and I will choose reveal all, and that's gonna make my document larger so I can see what I have. And let's say that I want to come in here and make the road a different shape because it's not quite bending the way I need. It, too, was a bunch of different ways. You can do that first if you go to the edit menu and choose transform. We have a bunch of different things in here, one of which is something called Warp. No, I'm not allowed for linked. Laters. Associated with smart objects, please, unlike the layer mask and try again. Okay, fine. What it's saying is it wants to be able to change this, but it can't change the mascot the same time. And the mask in this are linked together at the moment. If I click right there, then it could either transform this or that, most likely. So if I go back up and choose warp now, it works. So just read some of the warnings that happens to be there with warp. You get a great on top of your image, or I can pull the various parts of the grid, or I can actually go out and find the edges and pull the edges to bend things, but you're gonna be a little bit frustrated with it, because it's not allowing me to, like, click on the image itself exactly where I want to and move it overly precisely, it seems to move a good deal of the image at once, so I'm gonna hit the escape key to abort that. Instead, I'll go to the edit menu, and there's a choice in there called Puppet Warp. What the heck is puppet warp? Well, with puppet warp pain, I can place pins on the image in various locations. And then if I want to move those pins, do you see how I can distort what's here? So let's see how I could use puppet warping. First off this mesh that's on top of the image is somewhat distracting, and at the top of my screen, I can toggle its visibility right here with a choice called Show mash. I'll turn that off, then I'm gonna pin this by clicking wherever I like the position of it, and I don't want to move it. So right here, near the edge of the frame down here, near the bottom, over here on this edge and up there, so I don't want those corners to be moving around on me. Then I can also add pins where I'd like to move it. And in this case, I have these pins kind of going down the middle of this road. I congrats one of these pins after placing it and then pull, and it's going to move the entire layer there around. Based on that, if there's some area again that I didn't want to have move, let's say this telephone pole. I could pin it at the bottom, painted at the top and just pin it wherever I'd want to hold it. Imagine those are your fingers holding it down. You're not gonna move that part. Then I can come over here and move this. I could move this, and you can also come in. And if you hold shift, you can grab more than one pin. So here I have two pins. If you look close at them, you'll see they have little white dots in the middle, and that indicates that they're active in. Therefore, if I grab them, I could move to it once, and by doing so often times, I can go over here and expand a road shrinker road, whatever. But on occasion, I'm gonna need to have more than one pin to do it. Let's say I have three pins here. I hold shift, get more than one of them selected, and then I move those together. And when I'm done, I can press returner, enter or there's a check box in the upper right and that will complete this. And it looked better when it's done because the preview it's trying to update quickly. Um, but you can see how I can move the road if I need to. In this particular case, I don't know that I need to move it much. But I wanted to make sure you knew about the feature called Puppet Warp, and usually I convert my image into a smart object first. The reason why I would convert it into a smart object first is if you have worked this with puppet warp. You can then in the future, go back up to the edit menu, choose Puppet warp again, and it will remember where those pins are so you can further find tune it. Whereas if I didn't have a smart object when I go into puppet Warp for a second time. It would have no pins on this at all because it would not remember that you have ever warped it in the past. So having it so you have a smart object makes it so you can go back and make changes at any time in the future. Ah, but I found that under the edit menu, it's called Puppet Warp, and it's been Photoshopped for a few versions. The main thing is, pin it wherever you don't want it to move, because otherwise the whole thing is somewhat fluid. And then pin where you think you really need to adjust things in often times that can help when you need to move things a little bit. Now let's go see if we can put a vehicle on that road, and I doubt I'm going to get it exactly the right angle, because this thing looks like it's completely wrong for this, doesn't it? Look at the direction it's driving and the angle. Let's see if there's anything we can do to make it a little more workable now that I didn't realize this was lower rez, but what I'm gonna do is scale it up. Usually, I wouldn't want to scale things up because they get softer. But it's not gonna matter for us here cause we're not trying to create something amazing here. We're trying to learn the individual techniques used needed for this. So the first thing I'm gonna do is take this image. I'll go to the edit menu. I'll choose transform, and I'm gonna flip it horizontally so it's going the other way. Then I'm going to somewhat isolate this so I don't have the background and for now, do a simple selection. Using the quick selection tool, we talked about selections and masking on earlier session. The pen to will be great for this if I wanted to look perfect around the edge. For now, though, we're going for speed. So Aiken describe other techniques, things other than masking in. So let's just get a basic selection of it. Whenever you use the quick selection tool, one thing you want to do to get a better edge is at the top of your screen. There's a check box here called Auto Enhance. If that is not turned on, and I believe the default is to not have it turned on the end result will look more Jaggi on the edge. It won't look very good, but train on auto enhance also slows down this tool where if you're working on a high res image, you find it won't be quite as responsive when you paint across an area doesn't seem to expand the selection quite as quickly. So what you could do is turn auto, enhance off when you're making your selection, and when you're completely done, turn it on and then just click within an area that's already selected and that will cause it to reanalyze the entire selection and improve the edge. So it's one thing we didn't get a chance to talk about earlier. All right, so I'm gonna take this now, and we could use a layer mask where I could delete things. It's ah, usually end up using Mass. And, of course, when I'm done, I might need to paint on things to fix things a little see through window there. But how can I get this so that the angle looks more appropriate because when I look at this thing that does not look like it's sitting on that road does it. So what can we do about it? Well, if I have the newest version of photo shop, I could go to the edit menu and I'm gonna find a choice. They're called perspective warp. But before I use it, I'm gonna convert this to a smart object. Because if I converted to a smart object, then I'll be able to go back and edit the settings later on. Whereas if it's not a smart object, I'm gonna be stuck with the end result. And if I try to do it again, it will start from scratch. So I'll go to the edit menu now. And there's a choice called perspective Warp. What the heck is that? Well, what perspective warp lets you do is I can click and drag on my picture. And I'm gonna get a rectangle like this one. Then if I click and drag again to create another rectangle, let's say we're here on the right side. If I make that rectangle, get close to the other one. Watch what happens to the color of the handles. Hopefully, when I get close, you see him turning blue. If I get really close, blue means it's about to merge those two together, see the other connected. Then what I need to do is get the grid lines that make up these two. What used to be rectangles, Tow line up with a perspective that's in the bus. What do I mean by that? Well, if you look at the top edge of the bus, you see the angle of it. I'll zoom up a little bit. You see the top angle. I need this angle up here and the angle of all these grid lines to be parallel with it so I can grab the corner in the upper left, pull it down like this. And I'm just trying to get that line that makes up the top of this box to be parallel with the top of the bus. I'm gonna do the same thing with the bottom of it. Make sure that it lines up. It's parallel with the bottom of the bus and all other elements there may are within the bus. Then I'm gonna extend this out a little. Bix, I need the bus to be contained within it. It's okay if it goes beyond it, but you don't want it to ah, be short and I'm gonna do the same thing in the front. I need this grid to match the perspective of the front of the bus. So I grabbed the upper right handle here. I'll pull it down and I'm looking at this top line that goes across here and seeing if I can get it to be parallel with the top of the bus. I'll do the same thing with the bottom here, seeing if I could get it to be parallel with any features in the bus. Right now, I'm looking at the line that goes across this area and I see some horizontal lines in the bus. I'm just making him solar parallel. Then I could move this left or right and get that vertical line. That's right here, tow line up with a vertical on the bus, so it's parallel with it. What I'm really doing is I'm informing Photoshopped exactly what the perspective is in here. The back of the bus right now doesn't line up with the vertical line that's there, so I might need to pull us out just a little bit. Felt like that. So it's parallel with it and when I'm done. If I did a good job, this surface, that's right here that is represented by this grid. All of the horizontal lines within It should be parallel with any horizontal parts of the bus. That would be straight lines. And if they're not, then I need to come in here in fine, tune it a little bit until it iss And I need this this corner here to be right at the corner of the bus. So right there. All right. I think I'm doing okay with it. Look, to be relatively parallel, the front might need to be a little bit different to spring this down there. All right, so got it. Now, why the heck do we want to do that? Well, now, Photoshopped has an idea of how that bus is situated prospective wise, and what we're gonna do is near the top of my screen with the choice of layout or warp. So far, we've just been doing the layout layout. Is educating Futter shop about the perspective that that bus was in. Now we're gonna hit warp, and when we do, we still have the grid. But what I can do is grab the individual pins that air here and move them, and it's going to help change the perspective that we have. What I can also do is if I need these lines to remain straight up and down, because let's say its architecture and usually the edges of walls should remain straight. I can hold the shift key and click on one of these vertical lines, and that means make it perfectly vertical. And if I do that on each of these lines, it will do make them nice and vertical. And then I could try to swing the back of the bus over this way, maybe bring the front of the bus much closer in this way, maybe bring this over here and see if I could do anything that would give it some sense that the buses, in a different perspective, to be able to go down the road. That makes some sense now. I have to spend a little bit more time with this to get it to be exactly the perspective I need, and I have to change the size as well. There's a smart object and afterwards I could always just go up in scale it, but it's really nice being able to try to control exactly what we're getting there and that kind of interesting. So when I'm done, I compress the return or enter key, and then it will have transformed it. I'll choose, undo and let's see the difference before a completely different angle. After now, it's not gonna be magic here and that it can't realize that certain areas would be more obscured from your view or anything like that. But it is really nice that it could do multiple surfaces at once and transform them so before didn't look anything like it's on the road after we're getting close. I would mainly have to be a little bit more careful with exactly how I figured out those angles. And then I need to have a nice drop shadow underneath the bus. Teoh get it there. We trade that on one other image to get a better sense for really what it's capable of with this image. In with most that I use it on, I would usually go up in converted into a smart object first. Then you go to the edit menu and you choose prospective warp. Now the very first time you choose that it will usually try to give you some help, a little bitty box wolf show up and give you a very short instructions about what to do. But if you've never used it before, the instructions aren't really enough to truly guide you. But just say no. A little instruction box will show up with little X in the corner to close it. And once you close that, it won't show up anymore the next time you use it. But so the very first time you use it, you'll see a little kind of suggestion box come up. So what I need to do now that I've gone to the edit menu and I chose perspective warp is I need to draw out a rectangle for each one of the surfaces flat surfaces in this building. So I'm gonna end up making one for this surface. One for this surface, One for this one for that in one, possibly for the little one there. So all you do is I go appear and click in drag. Then I should have dragged that out just to where the corner was. I happen to go a little bit too far. But that's OK. I can move it. Then I go just far enough outside of one of these points so that my mouse changes into something that looks like this. Do you see that little thing? It's supposed to look like the surfaces that are connected together. That means I'm far enough away that it thinks I don't want to try to move this point around like this, and instead it thinks I'm far enough away that if I click, it should create a new grid surface. So I click drag out like this, and I'm were get it out until I hit the corner of the building again right there. And I just make sure that the left side looks blue. And if long as I clicked really close to what was already there, it's gonna look blue. It's hard to get it to not be blue. Sometimes you don't want it to be in it. It doesn't for you, but that means it will connect those two together. You can also start further away. I could start where this corner is here, click and this end up near the other points. You don't have to be exact. You see, it turned blue. That's good enough. When I let go, it will snap them. You can then grab these pins to move him around. But I'm just going to first define all these surfaces. Get enough of these little grids out here. See? There didn't turn blue. Not close enough to one of the corners. Does that. Now I need to get all those lines to be parallel with things that the horizontal or vertical within my picture. So let's do it. Pull this one up, trying to get that bottom edge to line up with the building. I'm looking at the painted part of the building. I'll bring this down so that that hopefully lines up with a side of the top edge of the building and I'd usually zoom up, make sure that this is right at that corner right at the corner. Okay, so I think that these lines look somewhat close to being parallel with elements in there. If they're not fine tuning, do the same thing with this surface. I was just looking at this line going across the top scene. Is it parallel with the roof down here? This is not parallel with the base of the building, so I'll bring it up. What I'm trying to accomplish with this particular image is the, uh when you shoot with a wide angle lens, you're gonna find that things get distorted more where areas that are close to the camera look a lot bigger than areas that are far away, whereas if you instead shot with a longer lens and you like to walk across the street behind you, um, the difference between things that are close and things that are far away will be less pronounced. And so I want to make this so that it looks like it was shot with the lens that wasn't is wide, so it's not as pronounced in how much of a size difference there is. All right, that last surface, it's a little bit different just trying to eat this bottom edge to line up with the bottom. Be parallel with it out there. All right, makes sense. So I get that all set up. Each one's supposed to be parallel. Then when I'm done, I click warp, and now is when I congrats those things and move them. One of the things that I used. This four is with architectures. Sometimes I tilted my camera up a little bit to include the top of the building in the vertical lines within the image start to converge. They get smaller, the top well, what I can do again. It's hold down the shift key and click on any vertical line. If I shift, click on it, it will make sure it's perfectly vertical, so it was slightly off shift clicking. It would straighten it out. Need careful if they were already straight, though, because it's going to be. If you have the tiniest bit off, it's gonna look weird. Ah, then I can come in here in a just these individual points. I could pull this up to make it more pronounced like it was even a wider angle lens. Or I could bring it down. Ah, the other thing you can do with this, which wouldn't be appropriate on this particular image but can be useful in others, is if I shot a building straight on instead of at an angle. I could also go to one of these lines going the other direction, and I can shift click on it and it means make it level. In this case, it'll make it weird. Most likely if it works at all. Yeah, see how it's gonna make it look more like a shot it straight on. And there's also setting up here at the top. See, these three icons? The icon on the left means make all verticals straight. I already have that cause I shift clicked on every one of them. But I could have saved some time by clicking their This one means make all horizontal level. And in this case, that's gonna make this look interesting because it's gonna flatten things out, choose, undo, or the next one means do both. Make the verticals vertical and what would be considered horizontal horizontal. And that's gonna really flatten that out. So depends on what kind of an image or working on, then the one here with little curved arrow. That means undo any changes I've made. So I'm just back to is if I just put the grids in and line them up, and that means if I need anything to be vertical, I'd have to shift click on it again. Toe lock. It is vertical, so I might shift, Click on a few of those and then come in here and see if I can possibly make this a little bit less pronounced with how much larger the things near the camera feel. But I don't want to go so far that it, you know, looks to distorted. I can try to extend part of it for one, so that's what it's designed to do. When you're done, press return or enter. And if you have a smart object and you decide that you messed up, you'd like to find tune it. As long as you started with us with a smart object, you will find that over here it will remind you that hey, you have perspective warp applied to this. If you want to see what it looks like without it, there's an eyeball icon next to the word perspective. Or you could turn off to see before and then turn it back on to see after. And if you were to double click on the word perspective, warped right here, you could get back in in fine tune the end result with that when you're done, press return or enter and it would finish it off and then you even have a little mask here, where if you paint with black, you could remove the distortion from areas that didn't need it. So if I didn't want the surroundings here to have gotten manipulated, if there's any particular area like, in my case, just around these edges and maybe where that tree is I gotta be careful, though, because if I paint where the building was, it'll come back. Um, like there. Sometimes you have to do retouching, like on a separate layer above or something else. Most the time I end up masking the subject. It's not perfect in its something where you'll find that many images will get a little messed up if you don't just have a simple box of an object. If you think about my bus when I had it, it's just a box it doesn't have. It's not like a T shaped object, but here we do have some of that in that it's not a simple box. We do have this area that sticks out here, and if you look it's a little bit messed up with what's going on right here inside. You see that part? The perspective doesn't look right. So I find it works great with simple boxes. But as you get into complex shapes, it's less less useful, or I just need to do like a 2nd 1 of just that area to distort it separately. All right, before I close the Symon share their any questions about perspective Warp. Yeah, we have a question from Tex X. Is it best to remove the power lines before or after you do the warp, or does it matter? It doesn't matter. It's just a matter of moving. Before, after, I'd usually created Layer on top of this and I could end up using the content aware fill to get rid of those or the spot healing brush. Either one of them would do the job. The one thing I should mention is when you're in here, let's say there were two buildings in here and you needed to do distort both of them. One thing you'll find is whenever you go over here to the choice called layout, which is gonna undo your warping and get you back to the original. If you ever clicking Teoh, go over a second object because let's say these air gas pumps, and there's three of them, and I need to get the grid on the three individual pumps. If you ever pull this really close to another, and it's actually not all that close, it's pretty good Gaps. Still, between those, you see him changing blue, which means it's going to snap together and become kind of an extension of that surface. If you ever don't want them to do that, when you see it turned blue, hold down the control key on your keyboard control in photo shop. In general, when you're dragging, something means disabled snapping. So therefore, I could create another surface that's not snapped with that. Ah, and that could define a different building that's not supposed to distort along with this one. And so just make sure any time you're moving one of these points, if you see it turning blue like that, hold control. Control means don't snap

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The best investment I've made to improve my PS skills. Mr. Willmore is a skillful lecturer. English is my second language and I appreciate the clarity of his voice and the fact that he repeats several times what he's doing or what he did. It is great for note taking as well as for practicing. Just an Excellent workshop! Thanks Mr. Willmore!

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