Last week’s tip focused on Photoshop’s Free Transform tool and the various ways in which Free Transform could be applied to combine all the power of every transformation tool in Photoshop’s toolbox, all at the tip of your fingers.
But wait, there’s more!
Yes, Photoshop is one of the most multi-dimensional wonders of modern technology. There are many ways to accomplish your tasks, and I’m here to provide you with some of the easier ones!
In NAPP’s User Forums, a member asked how to start with a small object in the center of an image, and create a spiral getting progressively bigger. Free Transform to the rescue! Except, in order to accomplish this effect, we’ll start at the outside and work our way in.
You’ll see why in just a moment.
In order to create this effect, we’ll begin with our object on its own layer, on top of the background.
- Press Control-Alt-T (Command-Opt-T on a Mac) to invoke Free Transform. Adding the Alt/Opt modifier means that Photoshop will create a copy as it transforms, leaving the original intact.
- When you see the Free Transform boundary appear over the object layer, click and drag the center bull’s-eye downward to the center of the image. This changes the center of transformation, so any rotation or scaling is measured from this new center.
- In the Free Transform Option Bar, change the parameters for width and height to 95% for both, and change the parameter for angle to 20 degrees. You’ll see a copy of the original, scaled 95% in size and rotated 20 degrees. The original remains where it was.
- Now go ahead and commit the transform, by pressing Return/Enter or clicking the checkbox on the Free Transform Option Bar.
- Now comes the fun part! Press Control-Alt-Shift-T (Command-Option-Shift-T on a Mac) over, and over, and over again to invoke Transform Again with Copy. The keyboard command Control-Shift-T is the shortcut to Transform Again, but adding the Alt/Opt key creates a new copy each time.
- Now, notice the stacking order is incorrect. If the object were coming out of the center, the layers would have to be reversed. Easy enough. Highlight all the layers for the baseball.
- Select Layer > Arrange > Reverse. The layers are re-stacked in the opposite order.
Mission accomplished! Now, you may want to “merge down” all the layers you created, or combine them in a group or smart object. At this point you can continue with your project.
The Transform command in Photoshop is a powerful tool. Get to know it! Again…