Dr. D'Lynn Waldron
The Design & Publishing Center  /  D'Lynn Waldron, PhD

ImageAlign Pro for Perspective Correction

A Unique Photoshop plug-in
Photoshop Filter:
ImageAlign Pro for Perspective Correction from Grasshopper http://www.imagealign.com review D'Lynn Waldron, PhD 2003
Note that some of the image pop-up windows open large graphics!
ImageAlign Pro is a Photoshop plug-in that provides the functionality of a view camera's shift, tilt and swing, along with zoom and rotate, plus the emulation and the correction of convex 'barrel' and concave 'pincushion' distortions.
      All these functions are adjustable at the same time in the ImageAlign Pro preview window and are all applied at the same time to the image which minimizes artifacts and softening.
      ImageAlign Pro is the perfect accompaniment to a digital camera for the serious amateur and every professional.
      Image Align Pro costs $199 and is purchased by download on line. It comes with an excellent manual in pdf format.
What are the functions in ImageAlign Pro?
  1. Horizontal and Vertical Shift
  2. Horizontal and Vertical Skew
  3. Concave and Convex adjustments
  4. Zoom to scale
  5. Rotation
How do these equate to traditional photography?
image one Traditionally, shift and skew were done optically either with a view camera, or with a perspective correction lens on a 35 mm camera, which allow the relationship between the lens and the film plane to be changed. Barrel and pincushion distortions were controlled by the focal length of the lens combined with the distance from the subject. Now, all these can be manipulated digitally in the computer.
      View cameras are bulky and expensive and their large format film is costly. Perspective corrections lenses for 35 mm cameras are limited in function and cost from $1,000 to $2500. ImageAlign Pro to digitally do the same things, and more, far easier, costs $199.
How is ImageAlign Pro better than the individual filters in Photoshop?
Photoshop comes with filters for Perspective, Skew, Spherize and Rotate, but they must be applied individually, and it is all but impossible to get the precise results you want because each distortion affects the others and you cannot see them all at once. In addition, each filter you apply builds on the softening and artifacts of the previous ones. (Open ImageAlign Pro's main Dialog window)
      With ImageAlign Pro, you can get far better results because you are manipulating all the effects at the same time and seeing that in the preview window, and then the changes are all applied at the same time.
What is perspective correction?
image one When parallel lines are viewed from other than their mid-point, the lines appear to converge. Painters work very hard to achieve this perspective effect. Photographers often struggle against it, especially when photographing architecture. align

Perspective correction widens the image in the direction the lines are converging so that they become parallel.

Perspective correction can also overcome the effect of wide angle lenses which make the foreground disproportionately large and the effect of telephoto lenses which compress the foreground.

What is Skew?
Skew changes the angle of lines that go in one direction without changing the angle of the lines that go at right angles to the lines that are changed.
  • Vertical Skew changes the angle of horizontal lines, while keeping vertical lines vertical.
  • Horizontal Skew changes the angle of vertical lines, while keeping horizontal lines horizontal.
  • Horizontal and Vertical Skew are useful for improving the appearance of images which have three perspective vanishing points.
CONCLUSION
A lot of filters are more or less toys; ImageAlign is a filter that does essential productive work.

You can download a free demo, try it and then buy the serial number that will allow you to save the adjusted images. The price is $199. www.imagealign.com

Thanks for reading,
D'Lynn
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