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 downward facing triangle to the right of the Custom Shape tool icon and customize the “Width” (how many pixels to look at), “Contrast” (what determines an edge) and “Frequency” (how often to lay down anchor points).
Posts tagged "Pen Tool"
With the Pen tool selected, in the Options bar click the downward facing triangle to the right of the Custom shape tool icon, and select Rubber Band. This option will preview the direction of the path that will be drawn as you move your cursor in the image area. (This is a great learning tool!)
To quickly find the center of a path or shape layer, select the path and choose the Move tool. In the Options bar, check the “Show Transform Controls” option. The transform controls can also be used to transform your path – simply drag the anchor points (shift -drag to constrain proportions). Don’t forget to apply the transformation (tap Return (Mac) or Enter (Win), click the check icon in the Option bar or double click within the transform controls.
Note: if the selected path is a vector mask, the transform controls will be displayed around the layer contents (not the path). Select the path, and then choose Edit > Transform Path.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can transform paths (and therefore shapes) outside of the visible image area and Photoshop will keep track of them.
After drawing a path with the Pen tool, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Return (Mac) / Enter (Win) crates a selection from the path. Note: this shortcut works with any selected path (shape layer, vector mask etc.).
With a path selected, Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -drag the path in the image area to duplicate it.
To select multiple paths (or delete them from the selection if they are already selected), shift-click the path with the Path Selection tool. Click and drag in the image area to select multiple paths with the Path Select tool, or click and drag to select multiple line segments with the Direct Selection tool.
To select an entire path, use the Path Selection tool. To select segments of a path (including anchor points, direction lines etc.), use the Direct Selection tool. Instead of switching tools, adding the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + click on a path/anchor point with the Direct Selection tool will select the entire path.
When using the Vector tools in Photoshop, keep the following in mind. First, The Pen and Shape tools can be used to create Shape Layers, Paths, or Filled Pixel regions. Be sure to select the correct icon (in the Options bar) before starting to work, or you might have to backtrack or go through extra steps to correct it. Also, the Pen and Shape tools can have Styles applied, so if you’re not achieving your expected results, make sure that the Style icon (in the Options Bar) is set to “No Style”.
Clicking on the Vector mask icon in the Layers Panel will toggle the path’s visibility. When the path is hidden, drawing with the Pen or Shape tool(s) creates a new path/shape – as oppose to adding to the mask.