Learn how to Transform and Scale Layers in DesignScape, the online editor from Design Bundles.
Knowing how to transform and scale layers in DesignScape is one of the basic skills you should have when designing. We will go over how to enable Free Transform to scale, distort/skew, and rotate an image.
DesignScape is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop/Illustrator and is only available to Gold Plus members. DesignScape is easy to learn, and although it is online-only, you can still import fonts to use.
Note: we will be using an image in this tutorial, but the following steps can also be applied to text and shape layers.
Step 1 - Enable Free Transform
There are two ways to enable Free Transform.
Method 1: Click Edit and Select Free Transform
With the image layer selected, go to Edit > Free Transform.
Once Free Transform is enabled, you will see a box appear around the edges of the design called a bounding box, and the top toolbar will change. In the Free Transform top toolbar, you can select a reference point, edit the image's position, size, X and Y rotation angles, skew angles, and interpolation methods. It also has a warp option.
Method 2: Mark the Transform Controls Checkbox
Enable the Transform controls by clicking its checkbox in the top toolbar.
Now, whenever you select a layer, the bounding box will appear. Notice in the following image how the top toolbar has not changed. The Free Transform toolbar will appear when you click on one of the handles on the bounding box.
Step 2 - Select an Interpolation Method
Interpolation is how DesignScape arranges and adjusts pixels between two different colors in an image or on the edge of an image. You can select which interpolation method you would like to use in the Free Transform toolbar.
Bilinear is the selected interpolation method by default. The image results will be better than Nearest Neighbor but will take more time to process. Nearest Neighbor will take less time to process, but the image may result in pixelated edges. Bicubic Sharper will have the best results but take the most time processing. Pick the one that works best for you.
Step 3 - Select a Reference Point
On the left side of the top toolbar, you will see a 3x3 grid icon where you can select a reference point. The center reference point is selected by default. Transformations are made relative to the reference point.
Move the Center Reference Point
Unlike the other reference points, the center reference point can be moved around anywhere, even outside the image.
Step 4 - Scale an Image
There are two ways to scale an image in DesignScape.
Method 1: Use Box Handles
If you click and drag one of the handles on the bounding box, you can scale the image to any size.
To keep the aspect ratio while dragging the handle, hold down Shift.
Method 2: Use Free Transform Toolbar Options
You can scale the image by entering a percentage in the top toolbar for W (width) and/or H (height).
If you want to keep the proportions the same when using the top toolbar, click on the chainlink icon first to enable Keep Aspect Ratio.
Step 5 - Rotate Image
If you hover over one of the corners, you will see a curved two-headed arrow appear, which will allow you to click and drag the handle to rotate the image. By default, the center of rotation is at the center reference point.
Another option is to enter the angle into the top toolbar, as shown in the following image.
Select a Center of Rotation
When you select a reference point like in Step 3, that reference point becomes the new center of rotation. We selected the top-left reference point in the following gif.
Remember that you can move the center reference point anywhere.
Step 6 - Distort or Skew Image
You can skew the image using H and V in the top toolbar or by holding down only Ctrl/Cmd or Ctrl/Cmd + Alt/Opt.
Skew Image Using H
H will skew your image by rotating the horizontal sides of the bounding box while keeping the vertical sides straight, which will shift the (vertical) left and right sides up or down. See the following gif for a better understanding.
Skew Image Using V
V will skew your image by rotating the vertical sides of the bounding box while keeping the horizontal sides straight, which will shift the (horizontal) top and bottom sides left or right. See the following gif for a better understanding.
Distort and Skew by Holding Down the Control/Command Key
Press and hold the Ctrl/Cmd key while clicking and dragging a handle on the bounding box to distort the image. Only the area surrounding the selected handle will be affected. You can see in the following gif that only the selected handle and the handles directly next to it move.
Using one of the handles in the middle (not the corner handles) will keep the corresponding side straight.
Holding down Alt/Opt with Ctrl/Cmd will distort and skew the opposite side or corner at the same time. See the following gif for a better understanding.
Step 7 - Reset Changes Made or the Aspect Ratio
There are two different resets you can do with an image.
Reset All the Changes Made So Far
To remove all the changes made so far before you have confirmed the changes, simply click on the x (Cancel) button on the right side of the Free Transform toolbar.
If you have already confirmed the changes, you will have to undo them by clicking Ctrl/Cmd + Z.
Reset Image to Its Original Aspect Ratio
At any time before the changes have been confirmed, you can click on the chainlink icon in the top toolbar to restore the image to its original aspect ratio at its current size.
Note: if Keep Aspect Ratio is already enabled, but you used the handles on the box and distorted the image, you will have to click the chainlink icon twice to disable and re-enable the Keep Aspect Ratio feature.
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