Reproducing a picture with DxO ViewPoint

In this tutorial, we will show you how you can use DxO ViewPoint’s Rectangle and Crop tools to straighten out and reproduce a picture even when it’s not possible to shoot directly from the frontal plane for various reasons. The first tool lets you straighten out the image as though you were standing directly in front of the picture, and the second tool lets you choose to include or exclude the wall where it is hung (or other background).

To follow this tutorial, you will need:

  • DxO ViewPoint 2
  • An image in JPEG or TIFF format

Taking a photo of a picture

The constraints

To be clear, we are not discussing here the methods that professionals use to create perfect reproductions of a painting or print, which require substantial technical means, but rather ways to fix snapshots that a photographer is likely to take on the fly at museums, galleries, and exhibitions. There are many reasons why taking a photo of a picture is not an easy endeavor. Even when it is possible to position yourself directly in front of a picture (which can depend upon the layout of the venue and the number of other visitors), there is always the risk of glare and reflections, whether the work is under glass or not.

Fig. 1When there is glare, you really don’t have any choice but to shift, thus making it impossible to shoot the picture from the frontal plane.

Fig. 2

The solution

Thanks to DxO ViewPoint’s Perspective palette, however, and in particular, its Rectangle palette, you can straighten out the image so that it looks like you shot it from the frontal plane, and then you can crop it as you wish — keeping some part of the background, or framing it so that you see only the picture itself.

Fig. 3Tip

When shooting, be sure to frame the shot with sufficient space around the picture, because straightening out skewed perspectives invariably results in a significant loss of image area after cropping

Fig. 4

Straightening the picture

Tip

For optimal results, apply an automatic distortion correction if your equipment is supported by a DxO Optics Module. If that isn’t the case, you can also manually correct the distortion by clicking on the ,button in the Distortion palette.

Straightening the image with the Rectangle tool

After you open your image in DxO ViewPoint, activate the Rectangle tool by clicking on the button in the Perspective palette.

Four vertical lines are superimposed on the image. Use your mouse to place each line on the appropriate corresponding sides of the photographed picture, one after another.

Fig. 5

Tip

If the background color of your image makes it hard to see the lines, you can change their color by clicking on the Line color box in the lower left side corner under the image. (Note that the Perspective palette needs to be activated to see the Line color box.)

Use your mouse to grab the anchor points one after another and place them on each corner of the picture. Use the Loupe tool on the right to zoom in on the image to place the points even more precisely.

Fig. 6

To see what the correction will look like, click on the Preview button to the right under the image. You can check the accuracy of the correction by superimposing the Grid (G on your keyboard).

Fig. 7Tip

You can modify the size of the Grid cells and its intensity in the Preferences for DxO ViewPoint 2 (Mac: DxO ViewPoint 2 menu > Preferences; PC: Edit menu > Preferences).

Adjust the correction if necessary and then click on Apply.

Note

Clicking on Apply does not permanently save the correction. To do so, you will need to use the Save or Save as command at the end of your work session.

Cropping the photo

After applying the correction for straightening the picture, you will see some grayed-out areas along the perimeter of your photo; these indicate the parts of the original image that can no longer be used. How large this lost area is depends upon several factors, including the intensity of the correction and the original perspective of the shot.

At this stage, you have three possible courses of action:

  • Automatic cropping to eliminate the lost areas.
  • Manual cropping.
  • Saving the result as is, including the lost areas, so that you can recrop or fill in all or part of the lost areas using a different software program.

3.1 – Automatic cropping

Automatic cropping occurs when the Crop palette is activated and when the Correction list is in Auto mode.

With automatic cropping, the height x width ratio of the original image is preserved by default. You can also choose a different ratio from the Aspect Ratio list (16/9, 5/4, 5/2, etc.).

Fig. 8

3.2 – Manual cropping

To manually crop, whether to tighten the frame so as to include only the picture contents or to include some of the background, choose Manual in the Correction list. By default, the original aspect ratio is preserved (shown as Preserve in the Aspect Ratio list).

You can choose a different ratio from the Aspect Ratio list — either Unconstrained (meaning that you can set the height and width by using the anchor points in the superimposed frame), or one of the available constrained formats (16/9, 5/4, etc.).

Fig. 9

When you are finished cropping, click on Apply on the right under the image.

3.3 – Saving as is

To permanently save your corrections, go into the File menu and choose either

  • Save: Saves the corrections to (in other words, changes) the original image file; or
  • Save as: Lets you create a new TIFF or JPEG file in the folder of your choice. We recommend that you choose this option so as to preserve the original image file.

Fig. 10Note

To save in plug-in mode (for Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture), click on Save in the lower right side of the DxO ViewPoint 2 window.

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Kerry Garrison

Kerry is an Orange County California based wedding, portrait and commercial photographer who has come out from behind the lens to create Camera Dojo, a website and companion podcast that helps photography enthusiasts hone their skills. Whether he is writing tutorials, doing product reviews, or […]

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