Compositing logos onto laptops with photoshop vanishing point

Posted by & filed under Quick tips, Reviews.

We’ve just launched the Australian version of www.dts.net.nz over at www.dtls.com.au. The site was pretty much a copy of the New Zealand site with content adjusted so that it was appropriate to the Australian market. The homepage however had a different feature image and the image that was selected was pretty bland.

I suggested that the image might look a bit more appropriate if we included the DTS circle logo on the laptops in the image .. that would give it a bit more punch and reinforce the brand (plus it gave me a legitimate reason to try out the photoshop vanishing point feature).

What is vanishing point?

Vanishing point is a pretty cool feature and it has been in photoshop for a couple of versions now. It basically lets you create a series of planes in perspective and then align artwork or use the clone tool along those perspective planes. You can also use vanishing point to create 3d environments for Adobe After Effects .. which is very cool too.

What is the process?

It’s pretty simple. You open your image and click Filter’ > ‘Vanishing Point’. Your image opens in the vanishing point workspace and you can then select the appropriate tool and begin drawing out perspective planes over reference points in your underlying image.

Once those planes are in place you can click OK and they are then saved with your file (you don’t need to recreate them each time you apply the filter).

How did it work?

The result was pretty cool . .but I found that vanishing point didn’t seem to be as simple as it should have been.

Drawing the planes was easy .. but when I had the planes in place and copied my artwork into vanishing point I found that as soon as I dragged it onto the perspective plane it did indeed snap to the correct perspective (which was the correct thing to do) but at the same time it became very large. So large in fact that the transform handles disappeared outside of the plane area .. which meant that I couldn’t see them .. and that meant had to keep moving my artwork around in the plane to find the handles in order that I could resize it. Frustrating. I also found that using the transform handles was a bit unreliable .. sometimes they would transform the object, sometimes they wouldn’t. Even if I scaled down the artwork considerably before bringing it out onto the place the problem still happened.

Another slightly annoying thing was that I could only paste 1 instance of my logo artwork into vanishing point at any one time. I’m sure there is probably a reason for that but it just meant that I had to go through the steps a few more times than I would have liked. Basically this meant ‘paste, hunt for transform handles to resize, move to correct position along the plane, resize some more then hit OK. Then go back into vanishing point and do it over again for the next 3 logos.

End result?

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