Posts tagged "Pen Tool"

February 24, 2016

The Magnetic Pen in Photoshop

When the Freeform Pen tool is selected, try checking the Magnetic option (in the Option bar) to have the Pen tool analyze edge areas in images. To customize the Magnetic settings, in the Options bar click the gear icon and customize the “Curve Fit” (how tight/loose the path should follow the edge),  “Width” (how many pixels to look at),  “Contrast” (what determines an edge) and “Frequency” (how often to lay down anchor points).

5:04 AM Permalink
February 23, 2016

The Rubber Band Option in Photoshop

With the Pen tool selected, in the Options bar click the gear icon and enable the Rubber Band option to preview the path as you move your cursor in the image area. I find this to be valuable when first learning the Pen tool and experimenting with drawing Bezier curves.

5:42 AM Permalink
February 18, 2014

“The Art of Photoshop Compositing” Now Live on!

I’m really excited to announce that my new class: The Art of Photoshop Compositing is now live  on! 


“Join Julieanne Kost as she walks you through her creative thought process and explains how she transforms concepts and raw images into entirely new works of art using Adobe Photoshop. Discover how to select the images you need to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Master the tools used in compositing, including adjustment layers, masking, blending, and Smart Objects, so that the technology doesn’t get in the way of expressing your creative vision. Learn how to adjust scale and perspective and manipulate texture and focus to help viewers temporarily suspend their disbelief long enough to enter your world.”

Topics include:

  • What makes a good composite?
  • Refining your story
  • Composing using the basic principles of design
  • Customizing your Photoshop workspace
  • Preparing elements from your source images
  • Adjusting color, tone, balance, and perspective
  • Mastering the Pen tool
  • Unifying with texture, focus, leading lines, and structure

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

5:00 AM Permalink
September 25, 2013

Anchor Point Selection

Three really helpful improvements were made in Photoshop CC (v14.1), with regards to anchor point selection:

• Path point selection is no longer retained when switching between layers.

• Clicking on a selected anchor point will select that point and deselect others.

• With anchor points not currently visible on a path, clicking on the location of an anchor point will select that point without any extra clicks.


5:32 AM Permalink
August 15, 2013

Drag Select Multiple Paths in Photoshop CC

In Photoshop CC, you can use the Path Selection or Direct Selection tool to drag in the image area and select more than one path – even if they are on different layers. In previous versions, all of the shapes would have had to have been on the same layer to select them.


5:11 AM Permalink
August 12, 2013

Path Creation in Photoshop CC

If you click and hold to set down an anchor point using the Pen tool in Photoshop CC, and then need to reposition it, holding the spacebar allows you to reposition that anchor point – as long as you have not released the mouse after clicking to set the point.

5:20 PM Permalink
December 14, 2012

5 Additional Features in Photoshop 13.1Exclusively for Creative Cloud Members

In addition to my top 5 favorite features (see video below), these little gems certainly help my workflow.

1) Load Swatch Files from HTML, CSS or  SVG Document – use the flyout menu on the Swatches panel to choose Load Swatches. Then, navigate to any HTML, CSS or SVG document and Photoshop will find all of the colors used in that document and load them as swatches.

2) Support for Larger JPEG files – now save JPEG files up to 60,000 x 60,000 pixels.

3) Reposition Paths While Drawing – this one is subtle, but also really powerful. When drawing with the pen tool, pressing the spacebar will allow you to reposition the anchor point – while drawing. The key is that you have to still have the mouse-down for the spacebar to work. Otherwise you get the Hand tool (as expected).

3) Recent Files List – up the limit the “Recent Files” to 100.

4) Smarter Selecting of Layer Names- Photoshop has gotten smarter about the way it names layers when merging them. Instead of always taking the top layer’s name (in the group of layers to be merged), if any of the layers that are going to be merged have been manually renamed ( renamed them), Photoshop will keep that custom layer name and use it as the new merged layer name. As you can see in the screen shots below, when merging the three layers on the left, Photoshop 13.1 used the custom renamed “Rock” layer as the new merged layer’s name. In previous versions the merged layer would have been named Hue/Saturation 1. Note: if you have created custom names for multiple layers that are all being merged together, then Photoshop will take the top-most custom named layer.

5:41 AM Permalink
May 25, 2011

Simulating Pressure when Stroking a Path

Update! Click here (20 Brush and Painting Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop CC) to see twenty of my favorite tips related to brushes and painting in Photoshop CC in a single post.

In order to simulate pressure sensitivity when stroking a path, select the path in the paths panel, choose Stroke Path from the fly out menu and check Simulate Pressure. Note, it is important to set up your brush (or whatever tool you want to use), as well as its attributes BEFORE you stroke the path.

In this illustration, the first path was stroked with a brush with the Simulate Pressure option unchecked. The second and third paths both had the Simulate Pressure option checked; the middle illustration demonstrating the brushes Opacity (under Transfer on the Brush Panel) set to Pen Pressure , the right illustration demonstrating Size (under Shape Dynamics on the Brush Panel) and Opacity set to Pen Pressure.

4:32 AM Permalink
May 24, 2011

Saving Custom Shapes

After creating a path (with the pen tool) you can select the path and Choose Edit > Define Custom Shape to add the shape to your Shape Library.


4:31 AM Permalink
September 8, 2010

The Paths Panel

Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click on the path name in the Paths panel to convert the path to a selection.

To convert an additional path and add it to the selection, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift -click the secondary path name in the Paths panel.

To subtract a secondary path from a selection, Command + Option (Mac) / Control + Alt (Win) -click the secondary path name in the Paths panel.

To intersect a secondary path from a selection, Command + Option (Mac) / Control + Alt (Win) + Shift -click the secondary path name in the Paths panel.

6:37 AM Permalink
September 7, 2010

Toggle to the Direct Selection Tool

Command (Mac) / Control (Win) to toggle from the Path Selection, Pen, Add, Delete or Convert Anchor Point tool to the Direct Selection tool.

5:36 AM Permalink
September 6, 2010

Duplicating Paths

Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) -drag a path to duplicate it.

5:34 AM Permalink
April 21, 2010

Closing Paths with the Magnetic Pen

When using the Freeform Pen tool with the Magnetic Option checked in the Options bar, double-click to close the Path. Add the Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) to close the path with straight-line segment.

5:13 AM Permalink
April 20, 2010

Toggle the Convert Point Tool

With a path selected, Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) to toggle the Pen/Freeform Pen tool to the Convert Point tool (when pointer is over anchor point or direction line).

4:11 AM Permalink
April 19, 2010

Select Multiple Anchor Points on a Path

Using the Path Selection tool will select an entire path. However, clicking on a path using the Direct Selection tool will select an anchor point, a direction line or path segment (depending on what part of the path is clicked on). Shift-click to select multiple anchor points, or add the Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) with the Direct Selection tool to select an entire path.

4:05 AM Permalink