Master Free Transform in Photoshop CC – Complete Guide

Learn how to scale, rotate, flip, skew, distort and warp images like a pro using the Free Transform command in Photoshop! Includes updates to Free Transform as of Photoshop CC 2019.
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We start with a look at which types of layers we can transform in Photoshop, and why its best to convert images to smart objects before you transform them. Then we cover the basic Transform options by learning how to scale and rotate images.

Before Photoshop CC 2019 came along, the Free Transform box included a Reference Point in the center. I show you how to bring back the Reference Point, and why the Reference Point is such a powerful feature.

From there, we move on to Photoshop’s Skew, Distort and Perspective commands, including the handy keyboard shortcuts you need to know. And then we tackle Photoshop’s Warp mode. I show you how to create custom image warps, and how to select and edit preset warp shapes!

Finally, I show you how to get more impressive results from Photoshop’s Rotate and Flip commands, including how to create a 4-way mirror image effect!

To master Free Transform in Photoshop, be sure to watch the entire video. But you can also jump to a specific topic when you need:

01:03 – Which types of layers can we transform in Photoshop
01:48 – How to avoid transparency behind your image
03:05 – Transforming images vs smart objects
04:09 – How to convert your image to a smart object
04:34 – Where to find Photoshop’s Transform commands
05:04 – How to select Free Transform
05:32 – The Free Transform box and handles
05:43 – How to change the color of the Free Transform box
06:48 – How to Scale an image with Free Transform
08:40 – How to restore the original image size after scaling
09:33 – How to cancel Free Transform
09:45 – How to Rotate an image with Free Transform
11:18 – The missing transform Reference Point
13:27 – How to turn the Reference Point on permanently
14:03 – How to Skew an image
15:21 – How to Distort an image
16:12 – How to apply Perspective distortions
17:02 – The problem with choosing Transform commands from the menu
18:24 – The Skew, Distort and Perspective keyboard shortcuts
20:41 – How to Warp an image
22:15 – How to select and edit Warp preset shapes
25:53 – The Rotate and Flip commands
26:34 – Create a 4-way mirror image effect

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7 thoughts on “Master Free Transform in Photoshop CC – Complete Guide

  1. Hi everyone, Steve here. In this complete guide, I cover everything you need to know to transform and warp images with Free Transform in Photoshop! You'll learn how to scale and rotate images, how to skew and distort them, how to apply perspective distortions, and how to warp images, including how to create custom image warps and how to select and edit preset warp shapes! You'll also learn where to find the missing transformation Reference Point in Photoshop CC 2019 and why the Reference Point is such a powerful feature. I packed as much as I could into in this video (which is why it ended up being so long!), so be sure to check the video description for links to specific topics. Please leave any questions, comments or suggestions below, and if you found this video helpful, don't forget to Like, Share and Subscribe! As always, thanks so much for watching!

  2. Hey Steve, great video! I have a question about a little problem I have for a few days now. The non-shift proportional free transform does not work anymore on my smart objects, only on rasterized layers. I pretty much have the 2018 free transform options for smart objects and the 2019 options for rasterized ones. Do you know how to solve this?

  3. Steve, you are still the #1PS and LR instructor. Really appreciate your calm and precise explanation of all your tutorials. Keep them coming please!

  4. Steve, this is golden! You've covered every conceivable tip and pitfall…for navigating PS's CC 2019 Free Transform tools in this up to the minute guide. Your instruction and explanations are so laser focused and jammed packed with important details, my time watching couldn't be more well-spent. Can't thank you enough!

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