How to Correct a Photo's Perspective Distortion With GIMP

Remove any warping caused by perspective

Female photo editor reviewing digital photo proofs on computer in office
Hero Images / Getty Images

GNU Image Manipulation Program, otherwise known as GIMP, is free software that is used to edit, retouch, and manipulate images.

Adjust a Photo's Perspective in GIMP

You probably have photos of tall buildings in your collection. You might notice that the sides appear to slant inward at the top due to the perspective from which the photo was taken. We can correct this with the perspective tool in GIMP. This will work with any image that has a tall object. The example used here is a tree.

  1. Open up GIMP and load your photo.

    GIMP with photo open for editing
  2. Drag out a set of guidelines, one for each side, around the object that you want to edit the perspective of. You an pull guidelines right from the top and left side of your project in GIMP. Try to position them to be right where your object would touch with the perspective corrected.

    GIMP image with guidelines
  3. Select the Perspective Tool from your toolbox. The icon looks like a 3D wire-frame box.

  4. Turn your attention to the Perspective Tool options just below the toolbox. Make sure the settings are as follows:

    • Direction: Normal (Forward)
    • Interpolation: Cubic
    • Clipping: Crop to result
    • Show image preview: X
    GIMP perspective tool options
  5. Select the image to activate the tool. The Perspective dialog will appear, and you'll see squares on each of the four corners of your image.

    GIMP with the perspective tool active
  6. Drag the corner squares to alter the perspective of your image. The direction and distance depend on your image. Generally, dragging the top squares out and the bottom ones in will help correct your perspective.

    GIMP modifying image perspective

    If the perspective dialog is in the way, detach it by pressing the icon that looks like eject.

  7. When you have everything set, press Transform to make it final.

    GIMP image perspective altered
  8. If you dragged in any of the corners, you'll see empty space around your image. That space needs to be cropped out. Select Image in the top menu followed by Crop to Content.

    GIMP crop to content

    On older versions of GIMP Crop to Content was Autocrop Image.

  9. The result after cropping is smaller, but you won't have that blank space.

    GIMP image perspective altered and cropped
  10. Next, remove the guides from your image. Select Image > Guides > Remove all Guides.

    GIMP remove guidelines
  11. The finished result is ready for you to export.

    GIMP image with altered perspective