Learn how to have fun with your images in Paint Shop Pro 8, including how to rease part of a layer, how to remove unwanted objects from an image, how to create a soft focus effect, and more. This article is from chapter 15 of Paint Shop Pro 8 in a Snap, by Jennifer Fulton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893.)
Creating Visual Effects - Move, Alter, or Distort a Layer (Page 8 of 11 )
Before You Begin
About Layers and the Layer Palette
"Melt" an Image
You can have a lot of fun with the Deform tool, although it has its serious side as well. On the serious side, the Deform tool can be used to reposition, resize, or rotate the data on a layer. This is especially useful when you copy an image to a layer because you'll typically have to resize and move it into a position that coordinates with the data on other layers. For fun, the Deform tool can be used to skew and distort a layer. When you click the Deform tool, a bounding box with four corner nodes appears. Additional nodes appear in the middle of each side of the bounding box. By dragging these nodes, you can resize, skew, or distort a layer. In the center of the bounding box is the rotation handle, which you can use to rotate the data on a layer.
Skew—To tilt (sheer) a layer right, left, up, or down.
Distort—To stretch a corner of a layer in any one direction.
Select the Deform Tool
In the Layer palette, click the layer you want to alter. You cannot alter the Background layer, so if necessary, promote it to a regular layer by selecting Layers, Promote Background Layer. Select the Deform tool on the Tools toolbar. A bounding box appears on the layer. If you can't see the nodes on the bounding box, resize the image window to make it bigger than the canvas.
Note - You can deform a selection if you first promote it to its own layer. Choose Selections, Promote Selection to Layer. See Copy a Selection to a New Layer.
Alter the Layer
To resize the layer, drag by a corner node. To resize a layer and retain its proportions (its aspect ratio), drag a corner node using the right mouse button.
To move the data on the layer around on the image canvas, click anywhere within the bounding box and drag.
To rotate a layer, drag the rotation handle. Normally, the layer rotates around its center, but you can move this pivot point by simply dragging it.
To skew a layer (tilt it), press Shift and drag a middle node the direction in which you want to tilt the layer. For example, to skew a layer so that it leans to the right, drag the middle node located on the top or bottom side of the layer to the right.
To distort a layer, press Ctrl+Shift and drag any of the nodes in any direction. The layer is stretched in the direction you drag.
Tip - If you don't want to hold the Shift key as you skew a layer, change the Mode to Shear in the Tool Options palette. To distort a layer without holding Ctrl+Shift, change the Mode to Free.
View the Result
I started here by taking a picture of a pillow on a sofa, surrounded by my daughter's special "puppets." Then I copied a picture of her to another layer above the pillow layer. I used the Deform tool to resize the portrait layer because it was so much larger than the rest of the image. Then I skewed and distorted the layer to match the outline of the pillow. A little erasing to reveal Spice Cat's head and paws and Spirit's feet, and a quick change to the Multiply blend mode, and the portrait pillow is complete. Look for this image in the Color Gallery in this book.
This chapter is from Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.