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Chapter 10. Working with Layers and Laye... > Photoshop at Work: Transforming Laye...

Photoshop at Work: Transforming Layers

When you transform a layer, you modify the position, scale, or proportions of the layer. Transforming a layer is useful for changing the size or placement of a layer, as well as for adding perspective or distortion. You cannot apply the transformation process to the Background layer; you must convert that layer to a standard layer before you can transform it. Double-click the Background layer in the Layers palette and rename it in the dialog box that appears. Alternatively, you can duplicate the layer and transform the copy, leaving the original Background layer untouched. To transform layers, follow these steps:

Choose File, Open and select the file you want to modify.

Choose Window, Layers to open the Layers palette.

In the Layers palette, click the name of the layer you want to transform. In this example, we select the layer that contains a wilting flower (see Figure 10.35).

Figure 10.35. Select a layer to transform.

Choose Edit, Free Transform to begin the transformation process. A bounding box with handles at the sides and the corners surrounds the layer or the objects on the layer. To transform just a portion of a layer, select the area before choosing Free Transform so that the bounding box covers only the selected area (see Figure 10.36). Background areas left by the transformation will be transparent, allowing lower layers to show through.

Figure 10.36. Select the Free Transform command.

Apply any of the following transformations to the area in the bounding box:

  • To move the bounding box, place the cursor inside it and drag.

  • To scale the bounding box, click and drag a handle (use the Shift key to keep the original proportions).

  • To rotate the bounding box, position the cursor outside it (until the cursor turns into a curved, two-headed arrow) and then drag.

  • To distort freely, press and hold (Command) [Ctrl] and drag a handle. To skew, press and hold (Command-Shift) [Ctrl+Shift] and drag a side handle. Press (Return) [Enter] to apply the effect (see Figure 10.37).

    Figure 10.37. Transform the layer.



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