How to stretch an image in Photoshop?

Editing images in Photoshop may require resizing them. In particular, stretching. In what ways can this be done? How to stretch an image in Photoshop?

Let's consider how to solve this problem in Photoshop CS6 version with an English-language interface.

Pictures edited with Photoshop can be presented in the format:

  • background layer - Background;
  • images (as an independent layer) - Layer.

In the first case, the edited image will look like this:

The second option assumes the following image placement:

In this case, the image is positioned directly above the canvas.

The picture can be placed this way - as a layer, completely independent of the canvas.

The picture in the form of a separate layer can also be placed on the background of other pictures. Each of the images forms an independent layer.

In each case, the features of the "stretching" of the picture are different. Let's study them.

Stretching the image that is the background

So, the first option for placing the image in the structure of the Photoshop project is in the form of a background. As a rule, the program activates a similar layout of the picture if you open an image that was not originally part of the project. That is, if you select the File menu item, then Open and load this or that picture, it will be displayed as a background.

Photoshop actually provides only one way to stretch the corresponding image. It assumes the use of the Image Size group of options. In order to access them, you need to select the Image menu item, then - Image Size.

After that, you can specify the desired size of the picture - in pixels, percentages, centimeters and other units of measurement in absolute value or relative to the original value. If the Constrain Proportions checkbox is activated in the window, then when the image height parameter is increased or decreased, the value for the width will be automatically adjusted - and vice versa.

The next way to edit a picture in Photoshop is to place it in the project as an independent layer. This picture can be the same size as the background layer or be smaller.

Stretching the image, which is a layer

This option of placing the image in the working area of ​​Photoshop opens up much more room for the user to maneuver in terms of resizing the corresponding graphic element.

It is worth noting that with the considered option of placing the image in the project structure, you can also use the first method for adjusting the size of the picture - through the Image Size group of options. But this is not always convenient. In addition, this group of options has not as wide functionality as in the case of using the methods that we will now consider.

First of all, let's look at how to ensure the placement of the picture in the project in the form of a layer.

The first "subspecies" of its corresponding location is on canvas. In order to place the image accordingly, you need to load it into the program, then double-click on the name of the layer, which is initially the background, and then click OK.

After that, the layer is renamed from Background to Layer. The drawing can now be edited separately from the canvas.

You can freely move the picture across the working area of ​​the project using the Move Tool. The canvas, in turn, can be filled with color - using the Paint Bucket Tool.

However, the use of the marked option of painting the canvas has a peculiarity. The color it is filled with merges into a single layer with the image initially exposed on the canvas.

It's easy to see if you take the Move Tool again and try to move the edited picture - it will begin to move along with the painted canvas.

In turn, the formed area of ​​the blank canvas can also be filled with any color. It will also merge into one layer with the previous graphic elements.

The second way of placing a picture in a project is as an independent layer, not connected in any way with the canvas. In practice, this is possible if any other drawing is placed between such and the edited image.

In fact, the work should be carried out with 2 layers - the one that is "combined" with the canvas, and the one that is an independent graphic element.

The ability to freely move on the screen of the picture - in the form of a layer placed on the canvas, or in the form of a completely independent layer - predetermines the possibility of using the following methods of stretching it (apart from the one we have discussed above):

  • using the Free Transform group of options;
  • using the Transform Controls tool.

Let us study their features in more detail.

Stretching the picture on the canvas using the Free Transform group of options

For clarity, it is suggested to enlarge the canvas - so that the picture has a smaller area than it, and it can be stretched. To do this, select the Image menu item, then Canvas Size. In the window that opens, enter the value of the canvas size, corresponding to approximately 120%. In this case, it is advisable to uncheck the box opposite Relative.

This will create enough space on the canvas to stretch the image.

Next, you need to select the Rectangular Marquee Tool or any other tool that is located in the corresponding group. After - right-click on the image and select Free Transform. Then immediately you need to right-click on the picture again - after that the required group of options will open.

The first 6 are responsible for stretching the image.

The Scale option allows you to increase or decrease the size of the image without changing its geometric type. That is, if initially the picture is a rectangle, it will remain with it. However, its proportions, the size of its sides can be expressed in almost any value.

To resize the picture, you need to drag the sliders that appear immediately after activating the Scale option. If you drag on the corners, the size of the image as a whole changes. Hold down the Shift key - proportional to the original size.

If you pull only the upper and lower sliders - the height of the picture will change, if by the side sliders - the width.

An important nuance of using any of the options of the group in question: to fix the result of working on the edited picture, you need to press Enter.

The next option is Rotate. With its help, you can rotate the picture - in any direction.

Thanks to the Skew option, you can change the relative position of the sides of the pattern or adjust the size of one side relative to the other. For example - place the right side above the left, the bottom - to the left or right of the top. Or make the right side shorter than the left.

Note that a noticeable stretching of the picture when the Skew option is enabled is carried out only if you actively pull on one of the corner sliders.

The Distort option, in a sense, complements the previous one - it is just the same implemented the ability not only to change the length of the sides of the picture and their relative position, but also to stretch the image in almost any direction.

The Perspective option is somewhat similar to the Skew function, but it solves a narrower problem - to create a perspective for the drawing. Which might look something like this:

How to stretch part of an image in Photoshop? Probably the most notable option of the group in question, Warp, can help solve this problem. With it, you can stretch individual sections of the picture.

Accordingly, the following options are directly responsible for stretching (in one way or another) images:

  • Scale;
  • Skew;
  • Distort;
  • Perspective;
  • Warp.

If necessary, the stretched image can also be rotated using the Rotate option.

Note that changing the size of the picture - when using most of the tools included in the Free Transform group - will be done not only with the help of sliders. The fact is that immediately after activating one or another option, an additional settings panel opens at the top of the Photoshop interface.

Using it, you can specify the exact values ​​of the units that determine the size and proportions of pictures or their sides. The exception is the complex Warp tool. The necessary correction of the image when it is applied is carried out manually.

Stretching an image using the Transform Controls option

Now let's learn how to stretch an image in Photoshop using another tool - Transform Controls. It is considered, on the one hand, less functional than the Free Transform group of options, on the other hand, it is easy to use.

It is very simple to activate. You need to select the Move Tool, then check the box next to the Show Transform Controls item that opens just below the menu.

As a result, sliders will appear on the picture - similar to those that are activated when the Free Transform options are enabled. Applying them, you can:

  • adjust the size of the image as a whole, the size of its sides;
  • rotate the picture.

As in the case of the Free Transform tools, when using the Show Transform Controls option at the top of the Photoshop interface, an additional panel for adjusting the exact size of the picture or its elements opens. The considered method of stretching images is especially convenient when working with several images - just in those cases when they are layers completely independent of the canvas. So, changing their size using the Transform Controls option becomes possible immediately after clicking on the corresponding layer with the mouse - you do not need to activate any additional functions of Photoshop.

Fixing the results of editing pictures is carried out, as with the previous method, using the Enter key.