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Photographers

Photoshop CS4: Bird’s Eye View

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What is it?
Adobe Lightroom makes it easy to zoom in and out of an image quickly. Sadly, the same feature has been lacking in Photoshop. Jumping between 100 percent view, and the full image required the use of two separate keyboard shortcuts. The new Bird’s Eye View feature offers a possible solution to the problem. And while it works well for the intended purpose, it does take a little practice to feel comfortable zooming in and out of your picture.

Here’s how it works. Begin by zooming into your image. To jump to 100 percent, press CMD+Opt+0 (zero) on the Mac or CTRL+Alt+0 (zero) on Windows. Activate the Bird’s Eye View by pressing the H key. Click, and hold, to zoom out to the Bird’s Eye view. Reposition the bounding box to jump back in to a new area. The important thing to remember is to click and hold. Clicking and releasing starts this dizzying cycle of zooming in and out rapidly.

Why is it important?

Common correction steps like retouching, sharpening or masking require a split attention. You have to pay attention to your image on the pixel level ensuring blends are smooth and there are no errant brush strokes to draw attention to your adjustments. On the other hand, you have to pay attention to how your micro-corrections are affecting the image as a whole. Here’s where the Bird’s Eye View comes in handy. Using the Spring Loaded Keyboard Shortcuts you can work with the Clone Stamp tool, press H to switch to the Bird’s Eye View to jump back to the full image to see how well your cloning blends with the surrounding image then dive back into your cloning, all in a matter of seconds.

Bonus Tip: The real bonus tip for this feature is to combine it with the Spring Loaded Keyboard Shortcuts. Perhaps more important however, is to remind you that this, like other cool display features in PSCS4, can only be accessed with a supported graphics card. If the Bird’s Eye View isn’t working for you, revisit the GPU Acceleration post and check to see if your graphics card is supported.

Discussion

2 comments for “Photoshop CS4: Bird’s Eye View”

  1. Great stuff!

    Posted by SBL photoshop masking | November 27, 2008, 12:37 am
  2. Thanks for the tip! I couldn’t remember what it was and was googling it quick… ya popped up and helped me out!

    Thanks again!

    Posted by Delton Childs | July 1, 2012, 2:42 pm

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