Have you ever tried to take a photo of a product, looked through the viewfinder or the LCD on the back and thought the perspective of that product was on point only to realize the shot is a little off once on the computer? Yes, me too. So, with time, I found a way to help the case. It's quick and easy and I'll show you how.
1. Open the image in Photoshop.
Today, we work with an image of a Lacoste perfume bottle I took not long ago. I purposefully exaggerated the effect so it's more prominent. To begin with the correction, you need to open the image in Photoshop. You can do this by a few ways but the easier one is to press Control (or Command on a Mac) + O and navigate to the file. Or, you could click on the File drop-down menu at the left hand corner and select the Open command.
2. Show rulers.
Once you're there, you need to show the rulers (they pop up on the side of the image, as you can see). To accomplish that, simply press Control (or Command) + R on your keyboard.
3. Drag lines to use as a guide.
To have something to refer back to, we will drag some ruler lines to the horizontal and vertical lines physically on the product. We need to move the cursor onto the ruler that we made appear in step 2 so that it transforms into a white arrow and just move it where we want the line while clicking and holding the left mouse button. Do this for every important structural edge on the bottle.
4. Go in the Free Transform mode.
Making sure the layer of the object is selected (you can see it in the Layers panel), you can press Control (or Command) + T to get in the Free Transform mode. Another way to do this would be to go to Edit > Free Transform. At this point, you want to right-click and select the Skew option.
5. Move the corner handles.
Now is the actual perspective correction part. The trick is to move the little squares at the corners and on the side of the box. For example, if you move the bottom-right point farther from the bottle, the bottom-right corner of the bottle will go in that direction. It's a game of giving and taking. You will get the hang of it instantly. At the end, all the edges of the product should be perpendicular with the ruler lines we placed earlier.
If you see some kind of jerkiness along the lines of the bottle, don't worry. It's just Photoshop's way of rendering a quick preview of the image and everything will get back in place as soon as you confirm the changes.
6. Confirm the modifications
To finish the corrections, just click on the checkmark around the middle of the top bar.
7. Save and enjoy
That's it! Easy, right? If you'd like to see the image without the ruler lines, press Control (Command on the Mac) + H. That hides them but you can turn them back on by executing the same shortcut. To save the file, simply push the Shift + Control (or Command) + S keys and choose a name and emplacement in the box that comes up. You could also go to File > Save As.
Just a before-and-after image to show the transformations we've done today. To be honest, I use this technique on almost every image I retouch because I find there is always at least a little that can be improved. Hope you learned something!
P.S.: Stay tuned for my unboxings and reviews of my new monolights, stands, softboxes and paper background!