Have you ever been surfing the web and seen a photo like this?
There are two ways to make sure that no matter what size you make sweet little Picasso, that you keep his proportions locked so he still looks human when you’re done.
The first one is easy, and obvious. But you’d be surprised how many people don’t know this. So if you’re one of those, you’re not alone. Trust me.
Go to your Photoshop top menu – it should be at the top of your screen.
Click Image> Image size.
A dialog box will pop up with your photo’s size. Make sure the bottom three boxes are checked. They say “Scale Styles”, “Constrain Proportions”, and “Resample Image.” Now, when you change the width or height dimensions, the other will automatically change for you. Type in the width or height you want. Click OK. See? No math. Isn’t that nice of Photoshop to do the math for you?
So, that’s fine for resizing photos if you need to resize the whole canvas. But what if you needed to resize just one layer or resize the image on the canvas, but not the canvas itself? How do you resize just one layer in Photoshop? I use this all the time in blog design!
You need the transform tool. File> Free transform. Or more simply command-t on your Mac (on PC, ctrl-t). You’ll need to make sure you have a layer highlighted in your layers palette. Keep in mind, that in most photo files, the background is locked and you’ll need to make a new layer to transform a photo.
When you succeed, a frame will pop up around your layer item – in this case the photo.
Now here’s the important part! If you gain nothing from this tutorial, gain this. Before you start dragging those points to resize you must lock proportions. Once you click command-t / ctrl-t this will appear in your menu. Click it.
Now you can drag from any corner and the photo will keep the same proportions and scale correctly. Note, if you drag from one of the side points, instead of the corner points, the lock button will uncheck itself. If this happens, recheck it and it will snap back into proportion. When you’ve got the image to the size you want it, hit enter / return. Voilà!
Go ahead. Try it!
And in the end, you can make sure your favorite photos always look right, no matter what size you make it.
Go forth and Photoshop!