Vanishing Point in PhotoshopHave you ever wanted to turn a 2-dimensional photograph or graphic into a 3-dimensional one?  With Photoshop, you can utilize a set of “intelligent” tools which use algorithms to determine 3D elements of 2D photos by using something called a vanishing point.  In this Photoshop CC course, we are going to teach you how to master it.  Vanish is a feature that started in Photoshop CS2 that allows you to do something that probably many of you love: it allows you to clone in the third dimension.  While it does do other things, cloning in the third dimension is one of the most important things it can do.

Vanishing Point One

Choose an image that you would like to use for this exercise.  We are going to focus on working in a two-dimensional work-space on an image that was shot in the three-dimensional, real-world space.  In our world, in order to see depth,  things have to literally become smaller.

Unfortunately, the clone tool does not understand that by itself.  Always clone in a separate layer because that gives you control.  Here are some steps to take while you are in Photoshop:

·         Select: “current” and “below”.

·         Select “aligned” for the tool.

·         Select the “alt” click button (which is the “option” click on a Mac).

·         Then, select “alt” click in Windows, which will set your point.

Once you have your point set and you move in, it gives you that little piece so you can line it up.  However, if you do not line it up perfectly, it separates into a separate layer that you can always move.  When you begin cloning, you will notice that the boards are too big and too thick because the clone tool does not take into account that there is shrinkage as you go towards the vanishing point.

This whole exercise is to prove that we have a tool that allows us to do that while also saving you a lot of time.  Here is how:

1.   Open up a photo.

2.   Press “undo”, “command z” on a Mac, and “control z” in Windows:  this will give you a nice blank layer.  Make sure that it is selected.

3.   Go up to the word “filter” and go down to “vanishing point”.  The first thing you need to do is define the vanishing point by drawing a perspective-plane.  Select that tool and click.

4.    Now, move over and click again.  Move down and follow the lines on your image that point towards the vanishing points.  Move into the perfect position that elects those points, and there you go!

If your point is not where you think it should be, you can always go to the corners and rearrange it, move it, stretch it, or do whatever you want to perfect it.  You need to have it cover everything that you want to fix, and everything you want to fix it with.  Often times, as with dealing with any other artistic image, you are going to have to play around with it until you get it exactly the way you think it is supposed to be.  For instance, if you want something to be blue, as long as it comes up blue in Photoshop, it will work.  This does not necessarily mean that you have got the correct vanishing point.

Clone Tool

Now we can get into doing some cloning, more of which you will be able to master in this course on Adobe Photoshop CC.

1.      Pull your cursor down until you pick up the clone tool.  You will notice that the grid goes away, which is a good thing, because the grid can be distracting when working with Photoshop.  Use a diameter brush 100 with a hardness of 50, soft edge, opacity 100, and a “heal”.  The heal tool is new and by “healing”, it helps blend and align.

2.      Once you have that, hold down the “alt” key, “alt” key in Windows, which is the “option” key in a Mac, and set your point.

3.      Again, you will get a piece, and see if you can get right on the line.  Begin moving it like you did before.  Let go and watch what happens: this is where the “healing” kicks in.

4.      At this point, select “alt” on a Windows system, and “option” for a Mac to set your point.  You will align that up and go about and start rubbing out your photo as much as you want.  You are in the process of “healing” your picture.  Now, you can let go of the mouse and the “healing” takes over.  Once you have the picture you want, click “okay”.

To Start Over

Do not forget that you still have things saved in a separate layer.  If there is anything about it that you do not like, do it again.  Remember that you have all the control you want.  If you want to start all over from the beginning, there are other ways to do this.  Let’s go over one of them:

·         Press “control a”.  This will be “control a” in Windows and “command a” on a Mac.

·         Click on “Select all” in the blank layer, press the “delete” key on a Mac, or the “backspace” key in Windows.

At this point, you should be back to scratch or back to where you started from.  Now, try going back up to, “filter vanishing point” and watch what happens.  Photoshop should remember the grid.  This is a pretty neat tool, because, obviously, you do not want to have to draw this again, and it is completely useful!

Some More Examples

Now that you have a clean slate, mouse over to a rectangular selection tool and pick that up.  Try that out to see how it draws.  You should notice that it will draw in the perspective of the plane.  Say that you have a very soft feather on your image, and you want to completely cover it 100%.  Here is how you will go about doing that:

1.      Turn “heal” on.

2.      Change “move-mode” to “source”

3.      Now get in there, drag, and watch what happens. This will only work if you have got a piece big enough to actually do it.  Try to line that up, and if it does not, you can undo it and do it again until it is to your liking.

You can continue doing that to the lower part of your picture.  First, move “mode” to “source”.  Everything else will be the way that you had it before, and bring that down and see what happens.  If that is to your liking, click “okay”.  If there is anything about that that you did not like, basically all you have to do is go into this layer and do it again.

Vanishing Point Two

Here is another really quick and helpful tool to learn in “vanishing point two”.

1.      Open an image with multiple layers in it.  We are going to use the example of a two-layered image of a cube.  Underneath the cube, there is another layer that has bricks in it.

2.      Press “control a”, which is “control a” in Windows and “command a” on a Mac.

3.      Press “select all”, and go to the tab”edit” and choose “copy”.

4.      Now turn “cube” back on.  Select that layer and then create a new layer above it.

5.      Go into “filter” and go down to “vanishing point”.

This is how you work with multiple layers.

 This time In Vanishing Point, we are going to draw something a little bit more complex with that cube.

1.      Start at the top of your image and follow the lines.

2.      Go down towards the middle and hold down the “control” key in Windows and the “command” key on a Mac, and drag.  Watch what happens.  If you are way off, simply readjust it by going into the corners.  If you do get the other side perfect, then this is a perfect cube that would not have happened.  Now, we are left with two grinds.

3.      Deselect by clicking up on top.

4.      Now press “control v” for Windows “command v” on a Mac, to paste.

5.      If everything looks good, click “OK”.

Here is one more helpful tool that you will learn in a more detailed step by step instruction through this Vanishing Point Photoshop course.  Try this out:

1.   Pick up your “polygonal lasso” tool.  The polygonal lasso draws straight lines.  Every time you click, it connects to the last line that you drew from.

2.   Go up to the top and come across with your selected layer.  With that layer selected, go down to your adjustments, choose “hue and saturation”, go into “lightness”, and darken your image up a bit.

Get it the Way You Want!

Vanishing Point is a very valuable tool.  Additionally, you can do this kind of stuff with some of the newer 3-D features in Photoshop.  Although we will not cover those in this Vanishing Point Photoshop tutorial, you can do a lot of what we did here using those type of tools.  For cloning, getting that third dimension in your picture, and making sure everything works the way it is supposed to – you will not be able to beat Vanishing Point.  Check out our course taught by Adobe Photoshop professionals to create the picture that you need!

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