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Chapter 36. Working with Deformations > Using the Deformation Tool

Using the Deformation Tool

If you can believe it, all these cool deformations described above can be applied with one single tool! To see this tool in action, open a new 500×500, 72dpi image with a white background. Then follow these steps:

In the Layer palette, click the Create Layer icon to add a new layer over the background layer. I know we haven't covered layers yet, but you don't really need to know how they work at this point. If the Layer palette is not visible choose View, Toolbars and, in the Toolbars dialog box that appears, place a check mark in the Layer Palette option.

In the Layer Properties dialog box, click OK.

Set the background color to black. This is the color with which your text will be filled. Also, set the Stroke Style to none.

Select the Text tool and click in the middle of the image to open the Text Entry dialog box.

In the Text Entry dialog box, enter some text. The text you enter doesn't really matter; it could be your name, for example. Be sure the size is large (you'll see the text appear within your image so you can change the size as needed). Also, be sure you place a checkmark in the Antialias option and that you choose Floating for the Create As type so that you can move the text around within the image (see Figure 36.1).

Figure 36.1. The Text Entry dialog box.

Click OK to place the text as a new floating selection over the new layer (see Figure 36.2).

Figure 36.2. Text as a floating selection over a new layer.

With the text still “floating,” you should be able to click and drag it into place. To do so, simply move the mouse over the text until the cursor changes to a four-headed arrow, and then drag the text into place.

Select the Deformation tool. When you do, you'll notice a change in your image. A bounding box is added with several control handles (see Figure 36.3).

Figure 36.3. The Deformation tool's bounding box and control handles with the Layer palette shown.

As you move the mouse over the bounding box and the different control handles, the mouse pointer changes, too.

If you move the mouse inside the bounding box away from any of the control handles, the pointer changes to a cross with an arrowhead at each end. This pointer enables you to move the selection along with the bounding box. Try it; move the text around the image.

As you move the pointer, the bounding box follows; when you release the mouse button, the text snaps back inside the bounding box.

Move the pointer over one of the corner or side handles.

As you move over a side handle, the mouse pointer becomes a two-headed arrow with a small rectangle above it. As you move the pointer over a corner handle, the mouse becomes a four-headed arrow (different from the four-headed arrow described previously) with a small rectangle over it.

Each type of control handle enables you to resize the bounding box, and the selection contained within it, interactively:

  • With the side handles, you can adjust the width and height separately.

  • With the corner handles, you can adjust the width and height of the selection simultaneously.

Try it. Move the mouse pointer over one of the handles and click and drag it. As you do, release the mouse button, the text resizes so that it fits into the box again.

If the resizing moves the text from the center of the image, just grab the text (or the bounding box, actually) and move it back into position (see Figure 36.4).

Figure 36.4. Text enlarged with the Deformation tool.



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