How to Use Vanishing Point in Photoshop

Photoshop is full of amazing surprises, including the Vanishing Point tool, which allows you to take 3D perspective into account when tweaking images. For example, a shot of a building can be edited to have a new texture or color, and Vanishing Point will ensure that it wraps around the building's sides. With this tool, highly complex edits are made simple. Below, we've outlined the basic steps for retaining perspective within Vanishing Point, so that your finished project looks as natural as the original. 

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Getting Started in Vanishing Point

  1. Before opening the Vanishing Point dialog box, you should prepare your image in the main editing window. First, we recommend creating a new layer where you can save your final results, just so you retain a copy of the original image in case something goes wrong. If you plan on expanding the original image (ex. making a building look taller than it actually is), you'll also need to increase the canvas size accordingly.   

  2. Next, go to the main Filter menu and select "Vanishing Point". A new dialog box will open, and your previous tool will be replaced with the Create Plane tool. To help Vanishing Point understand how your image perspective is structured, you need to use this tool to set four corner nodes. 

  3. Once you've defined one of an object's planes, you can press Command+drag (or Ctrl in Windows) to tear off more planes. From there, you can paste other images onto the main image, paint new colors onto a plane, and much more. 

How to Paste a New Item

  1. Let's say you have an image of a house with unattractive stucco walls. and you'd rather replace them with wood paneling. With Vanishing Point, this only takes a few steps. First, copy your replacement image to the Clipboard (it must be a raster image). Then open Vanishing Point from the Filter main menu. 

  2. Next, you'll need to define the plane where your new wood paneling will go. Use the Create Plane tool to define the plane's four corners. With your new plane selected, press Command+V (or Ctrl+V) to paste the wood paneling image into the upper-left corner of the preview window. 

  3. Finally, to paste your new image, make sure the Marquee tool is selected and then drag the image onto the plane. As if by magic, the wood paneling will transform to fit the original image's perspective. 

How to Add New Colors 

  1. Continuing with the previous example, if you'd like to change the house's color, this is also possible with Vanishing Point. First, select the Brush tool. Depending on your desired color, you can select it with the Eyedropper tool (just click on any color you like in the image) or the Color Picker.  

  2. Next, you can specify more advanced settings in the Brush options section, near the top of the screen. These include opacity, diameter, and hardness, which will all affect how the color looks. If you like, it's also possible to select a Healing mode, which blends your new color with nearby lighting and shading in the original image. 

  3. When you're ready to paint, just draw on the image with your cursor. Anything you paint on a Vanishing Point plane will automatically stay oriented with the plane's perspective. If you hold Shift while drawing, the paint stroke will stay in a perfectly straight line. Lastly, to paint seamlessly between multiple planes and retain perspective with all of them, just click Allow Multi-Surface Operations from the Vanishing Point menu.

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