The Crop Tool in Nikon Capture NX2 is quite usable for practical purposes. You can do crop with fixed aspect ratio (presets or custom) or do a free crop that allows you to change the aspect ratio and size on the fly. However you may find it tricky if you want to crop a region with a fixed pixel dimension, for example, you want to crop an exact 1058 pixel wide and 705 pixel high region out of a 4288 (W) by 2848 (H) image. It is easy to set the exact ratio using the custom fixed aspect ratio crop method, but NX2 doesn’t tell you the size of the crop when you start cropping. That makes things a little tricky.

There are two ways to do this in Capture NX2. I’d prefer the 2nd method because it is very precise, however I will go through another method first as it may be more intuitive.

Method 1: Use the grid

Go to Edit->Preferences->Display and set the grid as shown.

Select View->Show Grid if it has not been selected. You will see grids over the image dividing image into 1058x1058px squares.

Select the Crop tool, use “Fixed Aspect Ratio”, “Custom” as crop option and enter 1058×705 as the aspect ratio. Start from any grid corner on the image, enlarge the crop box so the right border is placed over the adjacent grid line.  AFAIK, there is no “Snap-to-grid” functionality in Capture NX2, so you have to be precise. Zooming in the image can help.

Once you are satisfied with the crop box, drag it to where you want to crop, then double-click in the crop box to crop the image.

Since the grids are placed every 1058 pixels, the aspect ratio of the crop is 1058×705, when you have the crop box placed exactly over the grids on the left and right edges of the crop box, you should get an exact 1058×705 crop, in theory. You may find it difficult to get a precise crop if you still use a the old style ball mouse or you have shaky hands. If this is the case the second method may work out better for you.

Method 2: Double crop

Select the crop tool and define a custom fixed aspect ratio crop with 1058×2592 as the aspect ratio. 2592 is the height of the image in my example, you need to replace it with the height of your image.

Start cropping and enlarge the crop box to the top and bottom borders of the image. The width of the crop will be exactly 1058px. Move the crop box where you want, double-click to set the crop.

Select the crop tool again and define a custom fixed aspect ratio crop with 1058×705 as the aspect ratio. Start cropping and make sure the crop box goes to the left and right borders of the image cropped in the first step. Move the crop to where you want and double-click within the crop box to get an exact 1058×705 crop.

You can verify the crop size by going to Edit->Size/Resolution (Ctrl-Alt-S).

Posted in: Tutorials on November 2nd, 2008. Trackback URI
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