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Adjusting a layer's anchor/rotation point

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John Clockwood
Adjusting a layer's anchor/rotation point
on Jun 24, 2013 at 9:54:51 pm

Hi all,

I have an unbelievably annoying and frustrating issue that I have spent countless hours googling, only to discover the same 10 solutions that don't solve my problem, which is an extraordinarily simple one. I must apologize in advance for my bad attitude/Mother of Christ somebody please help me.

I have created a 2D character in Photoshop and am in the process of trying to add joints/move the anchor points - a seemingly simple, easy, and basic feature of any photo editing program, which seems to be mysteriously absent in PS. When I CTRL+T for free transform, and see the anchor point, PS does not allow me to move it - instead it moves the entire layer - or, if I right click it, it allows me to temporarily move it, and then it resets itself. When I select other tools like, say, "Add delete edit Anchor Point" nothing happens when I try to interact with the layer. There's a message that says "No options for Anchor Point tool" as if this tool is altogether entirely useless. Several sites have suggested I use the "Direct Selection" tool, but alas- AGAIN nothing interacts with the layers I've created, and again photoshop tells me there are no options available.

So far, I have found absolutely no way of editing, moving, deleting, adding, or modifying anchor points for the layers I have created. So far every forum I've checked has one wise respondent who's +100 answer is "haha!! hold down alt man!" "Hahah ! bro! use the pen tool!" "hahahha bro!!!! u just have to hit Shift+ A" "bro, hahah brooooo... check out this youtube video *links to a video telling me to use the pen tool*"

My question is so unbelievably simple I have trouble coming to terms with how useless Google has been in solving it. Somebody please help me before I go insane.

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Jeff Hinkle
Re: Adjusting a layer's anchor/rotation point
on Jun 25, 2013 at 2:12:21 pm

The Add/Delete Anchor Point tools won't help; that's strictly for vector paths. The center point of a layer is moveable if you get the cursor directly over it. You should see the small icon at the lower right of the cursor when you're over it. Try this: select the Move tool (V) and in the option bar at the top of your window, turn on "Show Transform Controls." That should give you a bounding box and center point. Move the cursor over the center point and the cursor should change from a pointer with a large 4-point arrow to a pointer with a small 4-point arrow to let you know you're on the center point. You should now be able to drag it around.

If you still can't affect the center point, go to the tool options (far left of the option bar) and click on the drop-down arrow. Then select the small gear icon and choose "Reset Tool" from the menu. That will reset the Move tool to its standard settings. Might be enough to jog loose whatever the problem is. If that still doesn't work, you may need to reset Photoshop's preferences. On Windows, that's holding down Ctl-Alt-Shift while starting Photoshop. Might be you have a corrupt preference.

That said, Photoshop will NOT remember center point placement once you complete a transformation. If you move the center point to, say, a person's eye, then rotate and hit Return, if you come back to that layer to transform it again, the center point will be back at the center of the layer, not where you left it.

It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.

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Chaser Xaviour
Re: Adjusting a layer's anchor/rotation point
on Jun 17, 2014 at 12:52:41 am

I had to enlargen an image to find the anchor point.
This allowed me to move the position of the anchor point before resizing it to its original size.
Using the 100% option for W and H
However this doesnt keep the anchor point.
So I drawn a line that would appear outside of the image & then with my new image, adusting the anchor point was easy but when converting the image to 3d made no difference with the anchor point.
By then selecting the image it would give me the message:
Tranfering a 3D layer requires converting it to a smart object layer.
This didnt work for me either so instead I decided to select the image using the line technique above to make the central anchor point, where I wanted the anchor point to be.
This takes a bit of perseverance but instead of trying to line up the selected area with the point you want to anchor, instead, move the image to the central point with the background layer as your guide.
This will allow you to adjust the position of the anchor point.

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Douglas Veltz
Re: Adjusting a layer's anchor/rotation point
on Nov 11, 2016 at 9:18:11 pm

I want to make sure I understand what you are trying to achieve before I frustrate you further with a solution that doesn't help you.

Are you looking for a way to lock the pivot point of a Photoshop layer so it does not return to its default "center" the moment you de-select it?

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