Just about any photo can be improved by cutting out the distracting elements. You do so using the Crop node. Add a Crop node by left clicking “Geometry” on the Nodes Toolbar and then left clicking “Crop” in the pop-up menu. Then connect it to an existing node just like you learned in Chapter 2. Getting Started.
If the Crop node is not already selected, left click the node’s title bar and it’ll turn yellow. You will notice some rectangles appear around the Canvas and a new docked window will appear on the right. This indicates you’ve entered a “mode.” Some nodes have modes that change the interface or add new tools to the Tools Toolbar when selected. You can leave a mode by selecting a different node or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A on your keyboard. If you cannot select another node and all of the nodes are translucent, make sure the Pointer tool on the Tools Toolbar is selected.
The rectangles around the Canvas are handles that can be left clicked and dragged to change what area of your image is cropped. Only the light area remains after cropping. The light area can be repositioned by being left clicked and dragged instead of moving the handles individually. An exact position and size can be set using the Crop docked window on the right side of the Main Window.
The Crop dock window also has an option to set the aspect ratio of the size of the cropped region. This is useful when you know you need an image of a specific size such as when printing or creating a desktop wallpaper. Set to “Unconstrained” to change the width and height of the cropped region freely. “Original” keeps the aspect ratio the same as the original image. “Custom” lets you type in your own ratio in the form of width:height. Note the colon between width and height. For example, type “2:1” for a width that is twice as long as the height.