As a Photoshop designer, you should be comfortable with the transform tools and options.  They will allow you to scale and change the shape/size of a layer.  You can even create some 3-D effects with the transform tools!  Yes, without having to export to a 3D application; right within Photoshop you can create some 3D effects.

You can transform any layer to change its size.  Edit: Transform: is the menu to choose from for all of your transform functions (skew, perspective, scale, rotate).  You can also use shortcuts.  I use Alt (Opt) E: F.  You can also use Ctrl (Cmd) T.  When using free transform, hold the shift key to scale proportionately.  You can press Ctrl or Cmd (on one of the corner handles) to free distort or skew and to create 3D effects.

Late Nite With Photoshop...this obviously comes from a 'skewed' mind..where corvettes and gorillas name after family member comingle.

If you've made a selection of a person onto its own layer (for example) try duplicating that layer and transform it:  Scale it, rotate it, flip it horizontal.  You can flip vertical and horizontal; this works great for creating a reflection effect (with lowering opacity).

Often you will have to use the eraser or masking with rectangular (document size) layers that you are transforming (if you haven't already made a selection "cut out").  Transforming layers is used often in what I like to call "verisize".  Verisize is the technique that movie posters (one sheets) use all the time.  If you take a close look at posters, you will see that there are different sizes of the actors or action sequences-this is all done with the transform tools!

Make sure you understand how to use the transform tools to transform any layer.  It is one of the fundamental basics that should be mastered.  It is one of the tools that is actually quite easy to master, so become a transformer; it's more than meets the eye.  Click here to check out all of my Photoshop Design training.


- Article by Orion Williams copyright 2004



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