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How do I align a photo taken by a digital camera *perfectly* horizontal?

Aug 7, 2012 11:01 AM

I've taken a photo of a display frame, and I need to align it perfectly horizontal in order to not crop off parts of the frame when editing out the background. I know how to move images back and forth with the crop tool, but it's not very precise, and I definitely don't want the frame in the image partly chopped off because I can't get it angled just right.

 

Thanks.

 
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,455 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Aug 7, 2012 11:10 AM   in reply to Dr_Atomic

    Assuming you've got a good rectilinear image (i.e., the frame edges are straight), but that it's off a bit because the camera wasn't level, centered in front of the artwork, and/or the focal plane of the camera wasn't perfectly parallel with the plane of the artwork, mabye you want to try using the Perspective Crop tool.

     

    I'll go dig up an example and post an image in a little while.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Dec 23, 2006
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    Aug 7, 2012 11:47 AM   in reply to Dr_Atomic

    Here's an animation showing what the Perspective Crop Tool can do for you.  Click this image to see the animation.

     

     

     

     

    It may not get the proportions exactly right, but you can take care of that with the Image - Image Size function after the crop.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Aug 11, 2012 12:24 PM   in reply to Dr_Atomic

    The Perspective Crop Tool is "under" the Crop Tool, in much the same way you have described for the "measurement tool" (properly called the Ruler Tool) is "under" the Eyedropper Tool.

     

    You can control whether and how things snap to edges using the View - Snap configuration.  Or you can hold down the Control key to get it to not snap temporarily.

     

    You can, of course, rotate your canvas based on the Ruler Tool measurement, as you have found, but it seems to me just rotating the image within the Crop Tool would be easier and more interactive.  A fine grid appears while rotating the image that should allow you to align things visually.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Aug 11, 2012 12:58 PM   in reply to Dr_Atomic

    Dr_Atomic wrote:

     


    Remember - my DW is MX, so it's older so may not have it.

     

    The acronyms "DW" and "MX" don't mean anything to me in the context of Photoshop.  What are you talking about here?  What version of Photoshop are you using?

     

    Older versions of Photoshop have had the Perspective Crop capability for a long time, but prior to Photoshop CS6 it was available via a checkbox in the options area while the Crop Tool was active.

     

    PerspectiveCropInCS5AndEarlier.png

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2012 2:43 PM   in reply to Dr_Atomic

    In photoshop 7 you have to draw out the crop tool first, then you will see the perspective check box in the tool options bar.

    Check the perspective box and then follow Noel's instructions.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Dec 23, 2006
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    Aug 11, 2012 3:12 PM   in reply to Dr_Atomic

    You have enough money that you can put two one hundred thousand dollar bills in a frame? 

     

    -Noel

     
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