Rotating and Distorting

Photoshop gives you lots of ways to rotate, distort, and otherwise skew images, all mighty useful techniques to have in your bag of tricks. By rotating an image, you can add visual interest (as in the Polaroid technique on Adding Polaroid-Style Photo Frames), convert vertical elements to horizontal ones (or vice versa), and straighten crooked items. Distorting comes in handy when you want to slant an object or line of text or turn it slightly on its side, and if you want the object or text to fade into the distance with perspective. And the Puppet Warp tool lets you distort specific objects in an image while leaving the rest of it unchanged.

This chapter has touched on rotation here and there: You learned how to rotate a crop box, rotate an image with the Free Transform command, and rotate the whole canvas. In this section, you’ll learn about simple rotations as well as the tougher stuff.


To learn how to reshape pixels using the Liquify filter and Puppet Warp tool, trot on over to Chapter 10. The new Perspective Warp tool, which you can use to change the perspective in specific parts of images, is covered there, too.

Simple Rotations

Not surprisingly, the Image Rotation command rotates images. Simply choose Image→Image Rotation, and then pick what you want to do. You can spin the whole document—layers and all—90 degrees (clockwise or counterclockwise), 180 degrees, or by an arbitrary amount. You can also flip the canvas (or layer) horizontally or vertically. ...

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