Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Moving elements within layers in PSP

Move Tool
[Default-Keyboard shortcut m]
Do you ever have trouble moving a layer without moving layers above it?
First select the layer you want to move in the layers palette. Now with Move tool selected, hold down the shift key as you centre  on the layer you wish to move…very useful if you have adjustment layers in place J

Pick/Deform/Object Selector
[Default-Keyboard shortcut k for Pick Tool] , [d for deform and o for object selector in earlier versions]
If course if you use these tools you can move without problems of moving other layers by mistake.

Precise Movements
When using the Move/Pick tools you can move the layer more precisely by the following:
To move by increments
In PSP, you can use the arrow keys to move the layers on your canvas up, down, or to the right or left. Choose the Move tool or Pick tool, and then:
  • To move the layer one pixel at a time, press the arrow keys.
  • To move the layer 10 pixels at a time, hold down CTRL and press the arrow keys.
  • To move the layer 50 pixels at a time, hold down SHIFT and press the arrow keys.
  • To move the layer 100 pixels at a time, hold down CTRL + SHIFT and press the arrow keys.

I Found in PSP 9 things were a bit different but still useful.
The Move Tool:
To move by 1 pixel use arrows
To move by 10 pixels hold down shift key and arrows
I found the Ctrl key didn't work at all in PSP 9

The deform tool and object selector  moved by one pixel with arrows but only if  shift key depressed.  

Image offset
No default key [You might find it useful to create one]
Works only with raster layers. Layer groups will need to be merged.

If you wish to move a layer more precisely and quickly, the offset effect might be better.
Select your layer, then Effects> Image effects> Offset>Custom and “transparent” and then enter the number of pixels you want to move your layer in any direction.

The number of pixels is limited only by the canvas size. [you can’t move a layer off the canvas]
Moving Groups
The Move tool will only move the whole group, not individual layers within the group.
The deform tool/object mover/pick tool can move layers within a group or the group as a whole.

Linked Layers
Using the Move tool linked layers move as one.
Use the pick/deform/object selector to move them independently

Under the Objects Menu from the Main Toolbar:
There are  useful options for “alignment” and “distribute” under the menu “Objects”
Older users of PSP will realise that this menu was reserved for Vector layers/objects.
However with PSP X5, came the introduction of the ability to work with raster layers and even a combination of vector and raster layers.

This with Objects > Align you can move to specific locations as indicated, either a single layer or more than one selected layers [hold down the Ctrl key to select more than one layer]
These layers can be vector, raster or a mixture of both J
With Objects> Distribute you must of course have more than one layer selected but these too can be raster, vector or a mixture of both

You can also select Layer groups to be lined up in any way using these tools!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Rotating images in PSP

From the Image Drop down list you have 3 options:

  1. Image> Rotate> Rotate Clockwise 90 degrees  [Rotate right]
  1. Image> Rotate> Rotate Counter Clockwise  90 degrees [Rotate Left]
Whole image rotates 90 degrees in any direction.
These two options can also be accessed from the main toolbar.

This provides a lossless way of rotating images. [no pixel damage]

  1. Image> Rotate>Free Rotate  

 Here you have the option of rotating an image by a custom number of degrees in any direction, either around its own axis or around the whole canvas centre. You can rotate all layers or just a single layer.

If you rotate a background layer or "all layers" of an image containing a background layer, the canvas will enlarge to accommodate  the rotation. [ the extra "space" is filled with whatever you have in your background materials palette]

With raster layers, you will always get a little blurring [degradation] of your image, with the rotation and this is multiplied each time you repeat a rotation.  Therefore, if you find that your rotation is not quite as desired it is always better to undo and repeat with a different degree setting, rather than try to make adjustments. Then apply a little sharpening.

Vector layers will remain sharp with this sort of rotation.

Pick Tool [Deform, Object Selector]
Of course you can always use the Pick Tool [Deform, Object selector] for this sort of rotation [at least of a single layer] but never with the same degree of accuracy unless you actually put in values in the toolbar. If you try to rotate a background layer, it will be promoted to a raster layer but the canvas will NOT be enlarged automatically to accommodate it.

 After using the Pick tool on a raster layer apply a little sharpening.

The straightening tool.
This works in a similar manner to the free rotate, except that you use a guide to set your angle or  set it in the toolbar. You can also save presets.

If you "untick"  crop image when you straighten a background the canvas will enlarge in a similar way….using your background materials palette to fill the "space". If the straighten tool is used on a raster layer, the image will be rotated about its centre, not the centre of the canvas. If degree angles are used, the degree of rotation is to the left :)

I often use the Free rotate option when creating animations.
If I require a series of different rotations, I always make copies the original layer  and then  apply the degree of rotation to each copy. This maintains the  clarity of the image. This isn't necessary if I am using vectors.
It really helps to use a quick script...or if you create the same sort of  image often, save a script. [ e.g. a sweeping clock hand]