How to Use the Deformation Tool in Paint Shop Pro

Paint Shop Pro is one of the most popular image editing packages available. It's a very powerful piece of software that allows you to enhance and adjust photos very easily. The deform tool in Paint Shop Pro makes it possible to manipulate your standard photos into fantastic pieces of art.

Step 1 - Opening Your Image

First, open Paint Shop Pro by either double clicking the shortcut on the desktop or selecting Paint Shop Pro in the Start menu. Load your image into the program by clicking File and then Browse. You will see a series of thumbnails of the pictures stored on your computer. Double click the photo that you want to open.

If any enhancements need to be done to the photo--such as changing the color levels--you should do this now. Make sure that the workspace is set up correctly: you will need a toolbox, tool options palette and layers palette.

Step 2 - Managing the Layers

Now you need to convert your background layer into a normal raster layer. To do this, right click on the background layer in the layers palette and select Promote Background Layer. You will only be able to use the deform tool on raster layers, which is why it must be converted first.

Step 3 - Selecting the Deform Tool

Now you should select the deform tool in Paint Shop Pro. Once this is selected a range of settings will appear in the tool options palette. Adjust the Mode to Scale, Click on the small button at the side of the pivot X and Y boxes to centre the pivot, and set scale X and Y to 50 percent.

Step 4 - Moving the Image

Click the centre of the photo and move it into the centre of the canvas. This will give you plenty of space to work with it. If you accidentally distort the image then you can click Edit and Undo or press Control + Z to step backward.

Step 5 - Duplicating Layers

Duplicate the raster 1 layer twice by clicking Layers and Duplicate, and then repeat the process to get 2 copies of the layer. Rename all of the layers so that they are called Top side, Left Side and Front, with Top side being the top layer, and Front being the bottom.

Click on the Left Side layer and drag it so that it is alongside the front layer. Make sure that the images line up at the top and bottom.

Step 6 - Distorting Images

Using the handles on the side of the image, distort the size of the image so that it is roughly half the size of the original. Change the mode of the distort tool to Shear, and then adjust the photo so that it is at about a 45-degree angle to the original photo.

Now select the top layer and move the image so that it lines up with the first photo. Set the distort tool to scale and use the handles at the edge of the image to reduce the height of the image by half. Set the mode to shear again and drag the image to make the box.

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