Perspective up! Vanishing point.

Forget the transform options like skew, distort and perspective! When it comes to getting your perspective right, Vanishing Point is the king! Be it DVD covers, gallery paintings, windows from a house, skyscrapers or pretty much anything that is made or shot in perspective, you can easily adjust, modify and transform it using this smart and healthy filter in Photoshop (CS2 or more).

Vanishing point is a relatively new plug-in, that has been introduced in the AdobePhotoshopCS2. It has the ability to clone, paint and transform in the perspective of your images. It’s absolutely fabulous and easy to use. You actually don’t need, or better yet, you shouldn’t use the skew, distort or perspective features from the transform menu for perspectives anymore. When it comes to complex jobs, they’re not as precise as vanishing point and they don’t have the ability to automatically adjust perspective. Oh, and most important, it does not take you forever to get the perfect result.

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So, this plug-in has been in photoshop since 2005, that’s 4 years ago. Ok, it’s not new, but it’s certainly overlooked by many photoshop users and that’s why i want to talk about it today. Yes, I admit, It may look difficult at first, but after spending 5 minutes with it, you’ll thank yourself for giving it a change.

Long story short, here’s how it works:

Step 1. Open an image with strong visual perspective.


Step 2. Create a new layer (CTRL+SHIFT+N) by clicking the create new layer icon in the bottom of the layers palette. This layer will be the one we’ll be applying the filter to. Name it accordingly. I named mine “vanishing point”.


Step 3. Open the Vanishing point window by going to Filters – Vanishing Point.


*If you haven’t used Vanishing Point before, you should probably read these few lines first.

The filter window has 2 tools that you have never seen before: Edit Plane tool (V) and Create Plane tool (C). These two tools do the whole smart and nifty job, and that is: they let you create and edit a plane in perspective.


Step 4. Create a plane in perspective. Grab the Create Plane tool and draw 4 lines over the object that is shot or made in perspective.



If your grid changes its color(yellow or red), it means it’s not in a right angle for a good perspective.

Good, now you have to create the other 2 planes in perspective (if its the case).

Step 5. Create a new plane linked with the first one, you have to first select the original plane, move your cursor over one of the anchor points until the cursor changes,  hold down the CTRL key and drag. Excellent!



Step 6. The new created plane is very likely to be unfitted with the perspective you want, so if you want to change the angle of a plane, you have to select it first, move your cursor over an anchor point, hold down the ALT key until your cursor changes into a two way arrow, then start moving it till you get the desired result. When you’re done, hit the OK button and we’ll be right on to the next step.


If you used my image, it should look like this by the time you have finished drawing your grids


The trickiest part is over. Now we have our perspective plane, all we have to do is copy and paste the image we want to place in perspective.

Step 7. Open the image you want to place in perspective.

Step 8. Select it and then copy it (CTRL+A, CTRL+C). Swith to the original document, and open the vanishing point filter window again. You’ll see that the grids you made earlier are still there.

Step 9. We have our image copied to the clipboard, now let’s paste it, so: CTRL+V.


Step 10. Move your image over to the grids (by dragging it) and place it wherever you want. You can see how the image automatically adjusts its scale and p. If the image is distorted, don’t worry, you can transform it as you wish as soon as you drop it on the grids.


Step 11. To activate the transform tool, you have to press T. Now you can drag the anchor points to adjust your image as you like.

When you’re satisfied with the results, hit OK and the settings will apply automatically. The job is done!


Other things you can do with the Vanishing Point filter:

After you’ve defined your planes, you can use the Clone Stamp tool to clone everything you want directly into perspective! There’s the brush tool that you can paint with, obviously.

Very important to know is that all the other tools will work in the perspective plane you’ve created. So, if you want to select an area from the perspective you’ve just defined, it will automatically adjust in perspective.

A cool feature in this filter is Heal. You can turn heal on, off or set it to luminance.  We’ll see how all those work in part 2 of Perspective Up!

Do you want to learn more about how to work with Photoshop?

See our Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials. They are all FREE. Also check all Free Vectors Category.

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8 Comments Perspective up! Vanishing point.

  1. Pingback: Perspective up! Vanishing point.

  2. Nora Reed May 1, 2009 at 06:09

    Perspective can be a tough concept sometimes but when you get it right, it looks perfect and really has a 3 Dimensional impact. Once you master the skill it gets much easier to get it right. Thanks for the lesson. I found it helpful.

  3. jay May 13, 2009 at 04:41

    Great Post.
    very helpful.. thanx a ton..
    i newer knew this trick

    keep it up..

  4. cosmin May 13, 2009 at 22:28

    glad you found it helpful, jay & nora. check out my latest tut

  5. Mean Robot Jul 22, 2009 at 16:47

    This helped me very much. I’ve only heard of Vanishing Points once in another tutorial but didn’t have any idea how to really get it to work but this was very well laid out. Thank you again.

  6. popljubo Apr 24, 2010 at 02:20

    I can’t change angle of plane [holding Alt key] described at Step 6 [using PS CS2 on win]

  7. Sam Jan 5, 2011 at 13:35



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