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Photoshop Pen Tool Online Video Tutorial

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transcript of video presentation - Photoshop Pen Tool

Pen Tool Practice

 

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, Steve Potter with you again, Adobe Certified Expert and owner of the Rocket Banner company, here to showcase some more of the capabilities of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. And today’s discussion is about the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop and how we use that to create masks. And here it is, folks.
Bottom line is, you can forget about these other manual masking tools--the lasso tool, so on and so forth, forget ‘em, throw ‘em away. Learn to use the pen tool and you’ll be light years ahead. Granted, it’s more difficult to use, it takes a lot of practice, but nothing compared to the precision and the editability of drawing vector-based paths, as opposed to drawing selection outlines outright.
Now you can take these vector-based paths that you draw with the pen tool, and convert them into selection outlines. It’s a wonderful masking tool.
So now, with that said, let’s get started with a little bit of practice, If you download this exercise file here,from our website, called pentoolstart.PSD. What were going to do is we’re going to practice a little bit with the pen tool, just by drawing this leaf here, and after you get that done

 

Masking With the Pen Tool


We’re going to mask out, this, I think it’s a Toyota Prius here and then move it into another image, so…
It will be a good exercise for you on the capabilities of the pen tool. Okay, lets get started.
You’re going to find that the pen tool is very easy to use, once you get the hand of it. It just takes practice, and with a little bit of practice you’ll find that you can work very fast with the pen tool.
Let’s go to the paths palette and deselect this shape layer right here, and get rid of that outline so we can begin to work. Come over here and select the pen too if it’s not already selected, then come up here and make sure that you are darwing paths, not shape layers, so you want to highlight this icon right here.
Let’s zoom into the stem of this leaf right here and the easiest way to do that is to hit the CONTROL and SPACE BAR simultaneously, hold them down, use the zoom tool on the fly, and then marquee around the area that you want to zoom into… and here we are
Now let’s lay down our first point. And you can see the pen tool has a little X by it. And that means we’re goping to be laying down a fresh path when we click. OK?
And there’s our first point. And that’s our active point and you can tell that because that little square is filled in. Let’s come up here and lay down another point. You can see there’s no longer an X by the pen tool, which means, it’s going to lay down a point and draw a line segment between the two points.
And there you go. There’s our first line segment, and that goes directly between these two points; these are two corner points.
Let’s continue. Let me zoom out a couple levels here, let me hold down the space bar, and that gives you the pan tool, on the fly, letting you pan around in your image.
Now if I were to click right here again, without dragging, I’m laying down another corner point and a straight line segment between these two points.
I don’t want to do that, I want to follow this curve. Let me back up a step, hit CONTROL + Z.
This time I am going to click and drag. When I do that, I am pulling out two control handles, and creating a BEZIER curve. Okay?
Let me release and continue. I am going to go all the way up here to the top of the leaf, click, and drag, okay?
And you can see right here, I wasn’t able to follow that path completely, so what I’m going to do, I like to fix errors that I see, IMMEDIATELY when I catch them, and so to do that, what I am going to have to do is influence this control handle right here.
To do that, hit the control key and you’re going to get a white arrow tool and then, click on this control handle and move it around. Pull that path up. Alright? There you go, let’s go back to work.
This point is still active, so wherever I click, I am going to be drawing out of that point. Alright? Let me show you something: this control handle coming out means that it’s going to influence the path out in that direction. If I were to click down here, and drag, you can see that’s not the result that I’m looking for. To move back up, I hit CONTROL + Z. What we have to do is get rid of that control handle. And to do that, hold down the ALT key on your keyboard and click right here, we are going to convert that to a corner point. Okay? Now let’s continue. Click and drag…
Now let me show you something, we’ll get rid of that. If you were to say, click and drag from here, well what happens is you chose the wrong point. Okay, that’s too far away. If you do that, just hit control z and try again until you find a point that works. You can always go back, and add points, also, folks. Let me show you how easy that is. You see if you click in the wrong place, that’s not going to work for you…
You can come back here and click.
You see that little plus, by the pen tool? That means I am going to add an anchor point right there. Don’t click and drag, just click. Alright? Then, press the CONTROL key, it gives you the white arrow tool. Now I can move that point into position, and I can also move the control handles, with that white arrow tool. There you go.
Now if I were to click and drag, I would be drawing a point from the active control point. So I want to go back and click here. That will make THAT the active control point and I can continue. Now hit Control +Z, I drew that too close. Let’s go down here, much better. Zoom in… And I am just drawing straight points.
And now I am going to close the path right here. This is what I started, you can see the little O by the pen tool, that means we are about to close the path. So click, and there we go, there’s our closed path.

 

Creating Selection Outlines

 

Now let’s go back and inspect a little bit, maybe we can clean it up a little bit. Now we are creating the selection outlines, You can see we’re getting off a little bit right here, how do you want to fix that? Well first of all, while we are working on modifying this path, you’ve got to select it. Okay? So get the black arrow tool, click on the path, and now you can see your control points.
Let’s go ahead and put down the control key and get the white arrow tool, and let’s adjust this control handle slightly. Let’s move this point slightly. We’re going to have to add a point right here, folks, so let’s get the pen tool, and let’s just click right here. Let’s get the white arrow tool by holding down the CONTROL key and let’s move that point in. Okay?
This one, let’s see… Going to need to add a control point here. It’s all a question of how precise you want to be, but you can follow that line as close as you want.
Just panning down by holding down the space bar. Getting the white arrow tool by holding down the control key.
And there you are. Ok. There you have it, folks.
Now the next half of this lesson, we’re going to really get to work on creating a path, and then a selection outline of this, I think it’s a Prius, okay?
Okay folks, while I was on break I went ahead and deleted the leaf we were working on earlier, you can see the paths palette is empty now, which leaves us to work on this Toyota Prius unencumbered. Ok, so let’s draw a mask with the pen tool.
So let me zoom in a little bit more, and let me grab the pen tool, here.
And this time when I lay down my first point, I’m not going to just click. I’m going to click and drag, because I want to start out with a smooth point.
The reason for that is I’m drawing on a curve right now so I need to start out with a smooth point.
Let’s click and drag like a little bit like that, right along the curve, you can see we started a new work path here. Let me zoom in a little bit more. Alright? And let me click and drag from right here.
Let’s go ahead and fix this right now, easy to do, now let’s continue go all the way down here and click and drag.
You really want the least amount of points possible, folks, to make your path the least complicated that it needs to be. Let me zoom in. And I am not sure, it’s hard to tell, exactly where the car is right here, isn’t it?
I think that’s the bumper right there. Okay
So let’s do that, now I want to alt-click right here. When you’re drawing masks for cars, you’re going to find yourself ALT-clicking a lot folks. Anyway, I am going to add a point right here, while I am at it. And move it down here a little bit. Okay, let me reactivate this point. I want to get rid of this control handle now because I am changing directions, so let’s ALT-click on that point. And it’s hard to see but I think this bumper comes out a little bit like that and then comes down here maybe like this, okay and then maybe something like this, I don’t know your guess is as good as mine here. There’s no contrast here but we are just going to do the best that we can, clicking and dragging.
Now things get a little bit tricky
I am going to click here, okay? I am going to hold down my mouse- let me zoom out a little bit and pan up, making this a little bit easier.
I am going to click here, but not just click, and not just click and drag
Either, because I want a control handle, but not a control handle in both directions.
So I’m going to click, hold down the alt key, and drag out a single control handle this way. Probably a little bit too much. Let me get rid of that and show you what would have happened, if I would have just clicked and dragged. Okay, I am drawing that curve up to the north there and I don’t want to do that okay? I want to influence the curve only down here, to go around this tire. CONTROL + Z, so, let’s do that again, Click, ALT key, and drag. Then if you hold down the SHIFT key, you can constrain that to the exact vertical or horizontal, just to let you know.
So now, I am going to see if I can get away with just two points for this tire. Let’s see. Can we do it? Maybe, maybe we can’t. Hit the CONTROL key and move this one a little bit. That looks good enough. Okay, I am going to ALT-click here, because I am going to change directions.
Okay, I am going to click and drag just a little bit here, and drag a little bit here, just a slight curve to the underside of this car. Is that a rocker panel? Click, and drag, and ALT-click again. Now, same drill here. This one is going to be a little more difficult because there’s some perspective on this tire, and it’s more of a flat spot here.
Let’s see how we can do here. Click, ALT, drag, influence it this way a bit. And click and drag.
Get the white arrow tool with the CONTROL key, and we’re going to have to add a point folks, which is not a problem. Click here, and then get the white arrow tool and drag. I think that’s good enough.
Click back on here to activate that anchor point. And, oops. CONTROL + Z. See what happened, you want to turn this into a corner point outbound so ALT-click, and then continue to march…. Click and drag…
Sometimes I click, sometimes I click and drag, depends on what is going on in the image. Okay, I am going to hold down the ALT key here, to move just that control handle. See what I did there, adjusting as we go folks, zoom out a little bit.
Oops.
Just cut of that antenna. Alright, and here’s the final point right here, you can see the little ‘O’ next to the pen tool. That means we’re going to close the path, and there you go. You can see that it made a smooth point, because, when we started this, I as you recall, clicked and dragged so that’s why that is like that. Vinyl Banners
Now you can scroll around and adjust your path any way you want. I think this is pretty good though. That looks fine to me. Let me zoom out. And that’s it.
Now we’re going to turn it into a selection outline, and move it into another image, and we’re going to do that in part three folks! See you back here in just a few.
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Okay folks, back at it. Now after we finish drawing this nice path here, the first thing we want to do is save it. Okay, we want to save this work path. That way we can come back to it at any time in the future and adjust it so go to this pull-out menu right here, and select save path. We are going to name it CAR, and that’s it, it is saved.
Now, let’s turn it into a selection outline. And with it selected, pull-out menu again, and make selection.
It’s going to ask us if we want to feather it at all. Let’s not. We are going to talk about feathering in another lesson, when we talk about the Refine Edge command. Now you can see it.
We’ll leave it anti-aliased though. And click on OK, and there’s out selection but not quite. This is the inverse, actually, of our selection. Easy to fix. Go to the select menu, and say inverse. Okay? Now we have the car selected.
Now we want to move this car, the selection of this car, into another image. First what we are going to do, though, is put that on its own layer. And to do that, hit CONTROL + J.
There, I didn’t have the background layer selected, it didn’t know what to jump from.
There’s our Toyota Prius, nicely masked out. And we can move that, into this image right here, okay? Just get the move tool, grab it, move it up to here, and back down to here. And there you go, folks.
Now there’s a lot more we can do with it, and we will. We will. I don’t know what we are going to do yet, I haven’t worked it out that far, but you can see, where we are going with this.

 

end of video transcript
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