Preserve Perspective with Photoshop Vanishing Point

The Adobe Photoshop Creative Suites 5 Vanishing Point feature lets you preserve correct perspective in edits of images that contain perspective planes, such as the sides of a building. Follow these steps:

  1. Open a file.

    If you don’t have an appropriate image handy, try using a Vanishing Point.psd file. You can find it in Windows at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5\Extras\Samples and Mac at Applications\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5\Samples.

  2. Create a new, blank layer by clicking the Create a New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

    If you create a new layer every time you use Vanishing Point, the results appear on a separate layer, preserving your original image. You can delete the result of the vanishing point filter and still retain the original layer.

  3. Choose Filter→Vanishing Point.

    A separate Vanishing Point window appears. If you see an error message about an existing plane, click OK.

    If you’re using a sample file from Photoshop, the perspective plane is already created. To help you understand this feature better, delete the existing plane by pressing the Delete key.

  4. Select the Create Plane tool and define the four corner nodes of the plane surface. To zoom back to see the entire image, press Ctrl+– (Windows) or Command+– (Mac).

    Try using objects in the image to help create the plane.

    Use objects in an image to build a perspective plane.
    Use objects in an image to build a perspective plane.

    After the four corner nodes of the plane are created, the tool automatically is switched to the Edit Plane tool.

  5. Select and drag the corner nodes to make an accurate plane.

    The plane grid should appear blue, not yellow or red, if it’s accurate.

    After creating the plane, you can move, scale, or reshape the plane. Keep in mind that your results depend on how accurately the plane lines up with the perspective of the image.

    You can use your first Vanishing Point session to simply create perspective planes and then click OK. The planes appear in subsequent Vanishing Point sessions when you choose Filter→Vanishing Point. Saving perspective planes is especially useful if you plan to copy and paste an image into Vanishing Point and need to have a ready-made plane to target.

  6. Choose the Stamp tool in the Vanishing Point window and then choose On from the Heal drop-down list on the Options bar.

    In the image Vanishing Point.psd, we cloned the blue broom.

  7. With the Stamp tool still selected, cross over part of the area or part of the image you want to clone and Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) to define it as the source to be cloned.

    In Vanishing Point.psd, we clicked the middle part of the blue broom.

  8. Without clicking, move toward the back of the perspective plane (you can even clone outside the plane) and then click and drag to reproduce the cloned part of the image.

  9. Start from Step 7 and clone any region of an image closer to the front of the perspective plane.

    The cloned region is now cloned as a larger version of itself.

    You can use the Marquee tool options at any time, either before or after making the selection. When you move the Marquee tool, the Stamp tool, or the Brush tool into a plane, the bounding box is highlighted, indicating that the plane is active.

  10. Click OK.

    To preserve the perspective plane information, save your document in JPEG, PSD, or TIFF format.

    Cloned as a smaller version, in the correct perspective for its new location.
    Cloned as a smaller version, in the correct perspective for its new location.
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