Last time I discussed how to determine simple and complex perspectives for images built “from scratch” as demonstrated in Chapter 6 of the book, How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed. To recap, the chapter teaches artistic lessons, not just software functionality. In this post, we’ll take things several steps further.
Below, How to Cheat author Steve Caplin demonstrates correction of a two-element street scene consisting of a truck and its background:
At the top left, the original image looks “photoshopped” because the truck is not in the same perspective as the rest of the image. To create a realistic image, first the perspective lines for both the background(red) and the truck (yellow) are applied. Additionally, there is a green the horizon line. Note how the vanishing points (where the two red lines and the two yellow lines intersect) are very different for the truck and the background.
On the bottom left, the truck’s perspective lines are brought into alignment with the background’s lines using Free Transform. Unfortunately, there is still a big problem with this image. While the front of the truck is in perfect perspective with the background, the back of the truck looks completely distorted. To remedy this, just the back end of the truck was selected and Free Transform applied, with a shadow added underneath the truck. In the finished image on the bottom right, the truck looks like it belongs on the street.
Fixing Wide Angle Objects
Sometimes an element would be fine if it were in the front of a composition, but looks unnatural when in the back. Here, Caplin uses a car to demonstrate:
Using Existing Perspective
In the previous post I discussed the importance of the horizon. However, most of the time an image doesn’t have a clear horizon. When that is the case, look for hints in the image to figure out the perspective. For this tutorial Caplin used an image drawn from an early Friday Challenge entitled “Open the Door:”
In the top right image, the door is removed and the perspective inferred by Caplin using the bookcase on right wall (red lines) and the table, picture frame and skirting boards on the left wall (green lines).
On the bottom left, I added a hallway image I found online, transforming to fit the perspective lines Caplin provided in the book. Then, I worked on the door. I cutout the door panels, added frosted glass, the narrow side and the hardware. Finally, I added a shadow behind the door.
The bottom right shows the completed image, without the perspective lines.
Boxing Clever: Doubling Up
For the next lesson Caplin uses a cash box to demonstrate how to increase the height by making a copy and placing it in perspective on top of the original. The technique can be used to increase the size of any rectangular object, such as an office building:
From the original image at the top left, the box is duplicated and the copy dragged directly above the original. The sides and top of the box are then cut apart and put on separate layers, as seen in the middle image screenshot. Next, as seen in the bottom left image, the box components are individually adjusted to fit the perspective of the bottom box by using Free Transform. The bottom right image shows the completed, double-height box.
While it’s clear Chapter 6 has much to offer, there’s still more perspective to be gained.
Next: Getting Into Perspective – Part 3