Perspective Correction Options

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Today’s Question: Which is better: guided transform in Lightroom Classic or perspective warp in Photoshop?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Both of these tools are excellent, with a different approach to correcting perspective. While I wouldn’t necessarily say that one is better than the other, I would say that for most typical scenarios the Guided option for transformation is simpler and more effective. Note that this Guided option is available not only in Lightroom, but also in Photoshop via Adobe Camera Raw or the Camera Raw filter.

More Detail: The Guided option for the transformation adjustments in Lightroom as well as Adobe Camera Raw (and by extension the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop) is a powerful and relatively easy way to correct perspective distortion in a photo.

After enabling the Guided option, you can simply drag within the image to define between two and four lines that define areas of the photo that should be perfectly horizontal or vertical. For example, you could drag along the left and right edges of a building, and then along the roof and foundation lines. That would define the lines of the building that should be perfectly horizontal or vertical. When you apply the effect, the image is transformed so that the lines you defined are indeed horizontal and vertical, so the perspective for the photo is corrected.

With the Perspective Warp feature in Photoshop, it is not quite as simple to get a quick correction. To begin with, the Perspective Warp feature makes use of a rectangular shape you can manipulate, rather than simply drawing lines in areas of the image that should be perfectly horizontal or vertical.

That said, the Perspective Warp feature also has advanced capabilities that go beyond the transformation options available in Lightroom or Camera Raw. You can , for example, define more than one rectangle with Perspective Warp, and join them together. So if you had a photo of a building captured from the corner, for example, with sides extending to the left and right, you could define individual rectangles for the left versus right sides of the building, and adjust perspective individually for each.

So, there are some more advanced capabilities available with the Perspective Warp adjustment in Photoshop. However, for most scenarios I think you’ll find using the Guided edit option for the transformation corrections in Lightroom or Camera Raw is faster, easier, and more effective than using Perspective Warp.