Pen Tool Crash Course
The Pen Tool can be one of the best Tools in Photoshop, if you learn how to master it. Here I will give you a quick crash-course to the Pen Tool. It’s up to you to master it. Or not. Whatever you want with it, really.
So, let’s select the Pen Tool from the Toolbox. It’s the button that looks like an old-fashioned Pen. Tool.
Your Pen Tool’s best friends are your modifier keys. What are your modifier keys? Look at your keyboard. See the [Alt], [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys? Those are your modifier keys. Each one can quickly switch how your Pen Tool works. Now, let’s start with an image. I got this one from PhotoSpin.com.
My goal is going to be to select all of the red color panels on the car, to use for the next tutorial I write. I know, I’m lazy. I zoomed in really close to the image so I could easily define the edges. Now, one click with the Pen Tool shows a tiny square.
Now I’m going to choose another point along the edge and click again. If I click once, I get a straight line from the first point to the one. But, if I click once, hold down, and drag, the line begins to curve and I get some more squares and lines.
So I drag until I get a shape that follows my color edge. You might notice you can’t click on the adjustment bar ends. That is, until you hold the [Ctrl] key. When you hold the [Ctrl] key, your cursor will change to a solid white arrow, the Direct Selection Tool. Now you can click on the adjustment bar ends and adjust the curve of your selection. Now try holding the [Alt] key. You should get a two-sided arrow when you mouse over your adjustment ends, the Convert Point Tool. Click and drag to adjust only one aspect of your curve. This is how you make sharp edges with your Pen Path.
Now to do something useful with your path. Open your Paths Palette [Window>Paths]. Click on the small arrow in the right-corner of your palette. From there you will get a list of things you can do with your path. It’s up to you to decide. Remember, this was just an intro. Play around. Have fun. Learn.
- Posted at February 24th, 2005 11:13am
- Posted by Tommy Maloney
- Filed under Tools
- 2 Comments have been made