Photoshop Paths

Photoshop is primarily a raster-based image-editing program. However, it has a fair number of methods for creating and holding vector shapes.

Drawing and Editing Shapes

Photoshop paths - Drawing and Editing Shapes

Pen Tool Practice

To get started with the Pen tool, it’s actually easier to work in Adobe Illustrator. We will go over how to draw lines and shapes with the pen tool using the following .ai file:

Photoshop paths - Pen Tool Practice

Pen and Paths

In-class demo on using the Pen Tool in Photoshop to make selections and save paths.

Photoshop paths - pen and paths - diamond ring

We will go over the following tasks in class:

  • Copying the image to a new layer (Ctrl+J)
  • Drawing around an object with the pen tool
  • Saving the path with a new name (Paths panel)
  • Creating additional path pieces within a path
  • Making a selection from a path, stroking a path (then undo both)
  • Creating a vector mask on the top layer: Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path
  • Creating/bringing in a new background

Tips for Using the Pen Tool

Creating Paths

  • click: add an anchor point with no curve arcs
  • click+drag: add an anchor point with handles which define curve arcs
  • alt+click+drag: change the curve direction going out from an anchor point
  • ctrl: press-and-hold to move an anchor point or adjust its handles on the fly

Editing Paths

  • add an anchor point within a path segment: move the pen cursor to the path where you want to add an anchor point (a + sign will appear next to the cursor), click to add
  • delete an anchor point : move the pen cursor to the anchor point you wish to delete (a sign will appear next to the cursor), click to delete
  • change an anchor point from curved to straight: alt+click
  • change an anchor point from straight to curved: alt+click+drag

Lab: Continue Final Project

Spend the remainder of today’s class session working on your Final Project.

For Fun: The Darwinian Evolution of Photoshop

The Darwinian Evolution of Photoshop