Using the Pen Tool
Some people say that they don't really use the pen tool and I was one of those people awhile ago the pencil seemed like something that was a little bit scary I didn't really understand how to use it I didn't know why it was used and I feel like that's you know to start off with a brush tool it's pretty easy to get you just paint around the pento is one of those tools it takes a little bit of time to get to know and to get to like but once you do get to know and like the pento it's extremely powerful tool and when it comes to making selections accurate selections the pen tool is by far the best tool in photoshopped don't let anyone tell you otherwise well there are really there are two texas elections there are hard selection's like what you know actually cutting something out in their software selections things for like cloud or fabric or something like that pencil is not going to help out with these softer selections but the for hard edged elections the pencil is the go to tool so if ...
you guys want to get into it we're going to go ahead and start off we're gonna create a selection and this is I'm not sure if you noticed zooming out on these images I don't really see anything that I need to take care of especially in this area do you guys let's zoom in and we can see there's alex head right there and it pretty much blends in everything else now if I wanted to just do like the very simple, easy way I might just clone stamp a short right over there just get to the hand because that's a bit of laundry, right? You wouldn't really be able to tell, but because we are doing compositing and a great way to make selections is with the pencil we are going to go ahead and start off, we're going to make this a selection is going to be a beautiful selection with the pencil, and then we're going to cut that hand right are there. So I'm going to start off with a little bit of an intro, we're going to create a new layer having hit shift elite and fill this here with white all right, let's just build bring us all the way out, back up. I'm just going to do this to actually show you guys what the penta lt's all about so p for the pen tool will bring up the pencil and the pencil seems like this big, scary thing, but really it's not that bad they're just a couple of keyboard shortcuts that you can keep your fingers on that are gonna help things out, so at its most basic, the pencils made for creating selections and to use it all you have to do once you have your pencil selected is click in one place you get a little dot if you click again you couldn't connect those dots if you click again, you're going to connect those dots, click again one more time and then go back to the very end you'll see a little oh right next to their right next to your actual pento like on and that is going to close out those dots so in this place is a lot like the political lasso tool right were just clicking dots around and now we have a shape which is very nice now if we actually want to do anything with this we have to make this into a selection the pento is really great for making selections so let's go ahead and try weaken right click right in here and say make selection and it's going to take that pen path and it's going to make it into a selection we even have the options to do we can feather the radius which is going to make the edge software or harder we're going to choose to not feather it in this case so I'm gonna hit okay and it's going to turn what is our pen path into a selection which is very cool now we have a layer that's just white that we created over top of everything else if I wanted to look load this election into let's, say a layer mask, all I would have to do is click on my layer mass button, which is right down here and it's gonna load that selection into a layer mask. I can click on this layer mask and hit command I and we're going to get the invert, so they're what I had a pencil just by clicking around a couple times now is a layer mask on this layer, and you can see that's, the only area that is visible so that's how the penta works it's very simple in this regard, we're going to get a little bit more complex when we start adding a couple of curves and things into this pencil, but that's, basically the whole idea of how the pencil is used in some applications of it. All right, let's, go ahead and fill this layer mask back with white, and you can do so by holding option two leads, which will fill with the foreground color. So what we're going to do now is we can go to our window and down here two paths, and this is where all of your pen paths are stores we can see we have a work path here, going to create a new path you don't even have from really see this, you could just you know, use one or two past and it will save over your last path that you just made it, so now we're going to try the same thing. I'm going to click a couple times there we go, click once twice and create a shape that looks something like this. We're going to go ahead and add some curves into this. Now the reason why the pencil is great because nothing you do with the pencil is ever permanent. You can change any of these things at any time to move any of these points around, just hold on the control or the command key and you're going to turn your little pencil into a white arrow you can click on any more these points and move them around and click on this point and I can move that around. I can't even click right here on the line, and I can move around just that like this is just holding down the control or the command keep the other key that you wouldn't want to use is the old for the option and that's going to allow you to actually control the curvature of these lines. So right now they're straight lines, but I can turn them all into curbs I'm gonna hold old or option and go to this little points here, and I'm going to see what looks like an upside down v and I'm gonna click on that point and now I'm going to drag it in this direction and what we see was we created you know what was just a point is now a couple of curbs so we have our leading lines thes things that I'm great grabbing on our anchor points here they're actually pulling the curve so we can see if I pull it down in this way this guy right appear is pulling that part of the curve up and this part is pulling that part of the curve down let's go ahead and re set that by holding bolt or option clicking right back on there and broke right back into a point so if I hold on altar option I can pull this around now let's let go and now I'm gonna hold on the control of the command key and now I can pull these points individually so instead of you know grabbing the center I can pull this guy way out there I can click on this and I can pull this guy out there is well I can actually click here on my curve itself and move that around us well so each of these things alter or option we can click and drag on this to move this around us well and I can still move each one of these points around by holding the control key or the command key and moving these points around now, if I do want to continue let's say, I want to complete this shape and fill it back up, all I have to do is click all the way here at the end remember, just like earlier where we have the oh, right next to our keyboard shortcut right next to the cursor and click there, we've gotta complete shape now, let's all the little control points or gone, I want him back, I want to re edit them again, pull down, control the command, click right there and all of our points are back again if I want to turn these back in the curves, cult or option and now their curves again, there we go and this is a curve. If I wanted to lead a point, I don't hold anything with the keyboard, I just click on this with a little minus arrow can you get to see the little minus their civil there? And now that they're gone, I can hold down the I can go to any point in the curve and click and we're going toe add a point as well, so I can just click added a point click right there. I've added another point and I can move these around so you can see there's a lot of options here, you know, with the pencil we can now hold old or option and click on each one of these points and we're going to get back to something that doesn't have any curves at all in it pretty easy so if I wanted to add a point here I can do that hold holt or option bring that right back out and then we've got a curve there so the whole point with the pencil is it's really, really forgiving because you can't ever do it wrong you can move around these points at any point in time and we want to be able to follow certain paths so that's what we're going to be doing next is actually showing you guys how to use these tools uses tool to follow along a certain shape so it's basically the whole same thing let's go ahead and do a rough shape I want to create a new path and I'm gonna see if I can follow along here we go let's fill this path with a color someone weaken right click in here and I can say make selection where you can just hold on controller command and click on your path let's make a new layer and fill that with black by hitting command to lead okay so let's create a new path and see if I can follow along this thing here let's say I wanted to cut this out we'll do it just slightly outside click on a point there click on a point there click on a point there click on a point there we'll create one appear I don't even have to create a curve at this point I could do that later click a straight line and then write back there remember aiken turn bold control command to turn that back into selection I can make this back into a curve again but just by holding all or option and I can click and make that a curve just like that no if it's not perfect you can see like this needs to come out because it's a little bit further away here a little bit closer here again controller command I could just move that right back out and shoulder command I can move that right back out there as well. So what was like a relatively complex shape I've now basically got it outlined completely in a whole new pen path. This is really great because this curve that we have there's something called complex and simple curvature sze now these are something that you can't really do these with your hand like this is one simple curve from here all the way down to here because we have one control point in the middle is the simplest curve that can exist, which means it's a very smooth line from one area to another and if you have something that does have these like simple curves then it's something like a car let's hear we're cutting a car on the roof of a car is just a very nice clean line. What you want to do is create the simplest possible curves that you can a complex curve exists like this let's create a new path. We have one going up like this and it's going to have a change in direction so complex curve is going to go up and then it's going to come right back down. So a simple curve it's just gonna be one direction it's going to look something like that and a complex hurt is going to change using simple curves and complex herbs. You, khun cut out anything you want. How do you spell by the pencil now? Not bad, right? Brent says this is the best explanation of the pen tool ever. I usually stay away from it. Awesome. Well, that's really, really cool. I want to make everyone who maybe, you know, didn't use the pen tool before a believer. Now we're going to use the pen tool to cut out alex arm. All I need is a frame where alex arm is not there. And this is one right here his arm is not there, so what we're gonna do is I'm gonna zoom in here and I'm going to kind of choose a path now I'll just I'll use a brush will that kind of like draw out the pen path that I'm going to wind up making? The reason is let's just go ahead and to lead all these paths that we've already made these were the past that we were using examples there we go, I'm gonna just draw this out. This is not something that would normally do on my own. I just want to show you guys that the general idea and the plan for what we're going to do it with a pen path. So this little piece of clothing here that is that is part of the image, so I would want a pen path kind of like followed the bottom of the piece of clothing in right over there it's just zoom in, we could go hear down the cereal box okay are over and around this area just like that and down this leg over and around there and then out in this matter and we go, we'll just zoom out, so if I make a pen path pretty much just that, can you see how I could probably use that to cut out alex arm pretty easy? So that's our goal with our pet path now there's one area that we're going to run into a little bit of trouble remember, we said earlier the pen tool is a really great tool for creating hard edged selections. Now, we do have this area with a little bit of tattered jeans and that I could clean that up pretty easily with the pencil, which is a great use of the pencil or if I wanted that tattered look, but I would do is I would go ahead and cut it out using the pencil, and then I would use a small brush tool to paint those tatters back in so we can try both of those what he has you want protest protester or against chatter probe tattoo because it's harder to do and you want to see me do it, isn't it right on through it? All right, cool. Well, let's, go ahead and get into it. So we're going to make basically just where I created that pink area, we're going to do the same thing, and now I'm just gonna use a pencil, so we're going to start right over here. I'm going to start off with a leading curb and I'm gonna come and I'm gonna lead on into this piece of clothing right there, so we're just going to start something like this. This makes it so it's not like a jagged point in the clothes it looks like it's going to be a gradual curve into this piece of clothing and we consume in his faras we want now remember it's all about creating simple curves so if we've got an area that looks like this this guy's already going to create a curve that's going to start pulling down in that direction so I can create a point right there again holding down controller command and I can move this around there we go and let's click and drag this in that in that way and then click right there so we've just basically created a curve now that follows this piece of clothing right in that matter so let's click here and we can continue on our point click and drag out in this manner is going to give us a little bit of curve if I need to hold control I can bring that up there now we've got something that gives a lot of people trouble we've got a sudden change of angle if our click here like you know I want to follow down the box but I can't because we've got a curve so what you want to do is hold down your alter the option keith these air the on ly two keys you need and click on this little control arm and just bring it down this way that's going to show you like, which the leading way your next move is going to go so bring it down that way and I'm just gonna click right there no, I've got a very straight nice edge all the way down the box okay, we're going to follow this along let's go ahead and we've got basically what is a relatively simple curve up here? This is we're going to be bringing in the tattoo using the brush will in just a second. So it's not incredibly imperative that we get this correct just say imperative that's not my normal dictionary, apparently when I do the pen too well, I have to feel very technically correct and say things like imperative, okay, so we've got a point there and I'm gonna bring this in there we go pull that out, we've got and it depends on how perfect you want this. We've got a slight down curve here and then an up curve, a point and then up curve again. If I wanted to simplify that out, I could just click here and I could make that really simple. If I want to do that, you can see that there is my line to simplify that bit of genes or I could continue to make a down curve slight up curve to the point, hold off cult or option click and drag that out come out here with the down curve here we go hold down controller command to move this around you see, I could be as accurate as I really want to be not only that but the pencil you can move at any point in time let's just click on there and that's going to pull that right down there now if you are selecting something out what I would recommend always doing is being slightly inside of the object that you want to cut out in other words, I want this to be gone I would select slightly inside of the genes so we don't have what you can see here in this case would be a couple of pixels of shirt so I would hold holt or option sorry, this is the control key to move this around and I can actually bring that down slightly inside there. So when I cut this out it's just gonna have a nice clean line that's just jeans, no shirt joint. Okay, so now that we've covered most of that, we've covered the arm and come back around here, go all the way up here and reconnect with my original what do you say? I was not that bad, right? Just like clicking and dragging anyone on the internets like hopefully someone's like oh that's how you use a pencil pretty easy what's that all right, awesome. So now we want to turn this into a selection what we're going to is right click and I'm going to say make selection it's just going to turn that point into a selection we're going click on this layer okay now I believe this layer was used for this is our clean layer in other words, this is a layer that I'm using for with nothing actually in the frame so if I want to use it for this little area, I could do that but if I want to use this layer for a different area as well but I'm gonna do is I'm going to hit I'm gonna click on this and bring it down to the new layer icon which is going to duplicate that layer that way I can use it over here but I can also use it in a different place so now what we're gonna do I'm gonna hold alter or option and click on my late mask and that's going to just show that little area and then I'm gonna click on this later masking hit command aye that's going to invert that so now with that selection that's our perfect way to cut out the arm and you can see we're just going to focus in on the right side of this now that's our perfectly arm cut out using the pencil and it's following all around these shapes and that awesome super super simple to use now we're going to change it just a little bit, because we've got, like, a little bit of like a dark outline here around those around that gene, you can see that a little bit of a dark outline around that box, and I'm gonna do is click on my player mask here, and I'm going to go up to select and down to refine mask so I can actually refine this mask after I create it, we're going to use our view to be on layers what I want to do, let's, go ahead and just shift this edge other out or in a little bit, and if I should've thiss edge in, you can see it's going toe, bringing even more of that edge. I shifted out it's going to include les I can even bring things like feathering let's say that way don't want these clothes to have extremely sharp edge because the resolution of the camera you can see like this line right here, that's not that sharp, right? It's got a little bit of blurred that's just because of resolution for camera. So you want to make sure that you don't have a super sharp edge into place because it wouldn't exist, your camera doesn't actually capture images that sharp so we can bring our feathering up just a little bit and that's going to give it that slightly smoother edge it's going to make it look a little bit more real so we're gonna bring our feathering up and we can shift our edge in just a little bit and that's going to get rid of that halo. So now we have an edge that looks really it looks photographic as well as its not including any part of the hands we can click on the show original, especially areas like this right down here where we have a dark edge there, so show original there's the before it afterward with that and this box right over there. So show original there's the before and after all right, we're gonna hit, okay? And then we have that selection applied very cool. Now towards the edge. We do have a slight change in color and things like that it's not a big deal. This is just a lame ass right now if you hold down alter option. This is what our lame ass looks like right now, but I can still take a brush tool to this. I can still do anything that I want so you can create later mask you couldn't use multiple tools toe add all into your layer mask over and over and over again let's click on this I'm just going to use a brush tool and I'm gonna paint with like a soft round brush just paint white so it's you know, basically like feathering in what was you know from one image to another one there we go because it looks like our jacket moved just a little bit, which you know really isn't that big of a deal there we are and I can paint this in white up there as well. Now I didn't anticipate this change over on the left side of the frame if I had, I might have bring brought the pen selection all the way from the bottom of this foot, which weaken do again if you guys want to, but usually what I would do he's just grab my brush tool and just painted with my brush tool issues a relatively hard edge brush there we go and this is much like what we did earlier when we have when we were painting the dress of the girl. All right, but if you did want to use your pencil and your newfound love for the pen tool, this would be a great applique application for that as well we'll just paint that boot in his well, all right and we'll zoom out and now we have basically completely gotten rid of alex hand and we do have a little bit of feathering right here on the left let's just make sure that we paint that away as well, so we've completely gotten rid of his hand as well as there we go, let's, just paint that in apparently wants to look like that now. All right, so we've completely gotten rid of his hands and we have a really nice selection there on the right side to kind of show what we did. We did say a little bit about this, like the well, what do we call this? The fringe? There we go, the fringe. So here's, what I would do you could do this in a number of ways is a lot of people would try to actually select out the fridge in my opinion, it's not really worth doing that in my opinion, it's a lot better to just use a brush tool and either paint the fringe with it like with actual color or paint on your layer mask. So what we're going to try is a basically, I'm going to go into this later, we're going to zoom in right there, I'm gonna grab my brush tool chooses hardinge brush something about sixty percent and I'm going to try to choose something that accurately looks like fringe, so you know about the same size and everything there we go, I can't really see it, but there we go now I'm just going to paint white on my layer mask sorry black on my land routes this time and I'm gonna paint in the fridge what we're going to see is some of the black areas from outside of their that's totally okay I really can't anticipate not being able to see those because I really can't see them so what I'm going then do is I'm gonna grab the same exact brush and just paint with the opposite color paint with white there to get rid of all those areas so we'll assume that in all right now we can see a grid when I zoom way in like that so generally I don't like to decorate it doesn't help so I'm just going to shoot with the same brush I'm gonna choose to paint with black now and get rid of all my all these black areas I'm just you know got a pretty small little brush that I'm painting it's just the same size as these little hairs and you know, fringe or whatever. So and this is not really that important of a detail I mean, normally I probably wouldn't go into zooms six hundred percent independent fringes like no one is going to critique you if you they're like I think those jeans might have had fringes on there you might want to think about how those back but if you did you can just do something like this. The other thing about fringes on a gene is like there's kind of no rules like you guys probably remember, like when you were a kid and you were painting or drawing I remember anyway I would draw things like a tree and it would always look good because they're kind of no rules, right? Like trees can look like anything like it's. Pretty easy to draw a tree a person's face is pretty hard like everyone knows what a person's face looks like and there is a right or wrong you could make someone look messed up kind of the same thing with like a fringe over here this could look like anything that's just some like things that are sticking out of genes, right? So it's kind of not really that hard. If this were a person's face, I would be a little bit more, you know, not as carefree, what I'm just like painting around with the brush tool so there we have our gene fringe is exactly the fringes from before. No, does that matter know? So there we go. If you hold all tor option you can now see that's what my lawyer mouse looks like looks like some fringes painted around there now the other option is if you want it even more fringe what I would do create a new layer, grab your brush you'll hold alter option sample this color and then look now we got more fringes this fun so you could do this sort of thing you could even do this stuff even if you hadn't oh, you know, gone out with your layer mass like even if you hadn't adjusted your layer mask you could continue to paint this sort of thing on two right on top of there and again I'm doing a very quick quick job but you can get the idea this is something that you know we were pretty dang zoomed in there you get to about like, you know, one hundred percent or fifty percent and it's like you know we spent time on a very, very small part of that image just now I wanted to show you that it's really not that hard, but there is no one who's going to look at your image will be like wait a sec iss zooming out this far puts it into perspective that's not an important part of this image it's tze totally good, but at this point you know you don't need to spend a ton of time on that little bit of a thing do we have any questions about getting rid of this about using the pencil and in an actual application from anyone here? I don't see too many online michael herb photo duck is suggesting that the penta lt's great for hard edges but the quick mask is way quicker for tattered or soft edges. How do you feel about that? Okay, he's totally right the pencil is for hard edges everything that has a hard edge I would totally suggest choosing when you have soft edges there are a lot of other tools are going to help you out quick mask is a good way you could use tools such as like select color range as well that's where channels khun come in as well to help you select those things out so soft edges they're going to be for things like, you know like a fluffy piece of fabric or something or this like the edge of this grain here that we're seeing like this flow that is like a soft edge it's a lot of little particles clouds and things like that those are all soft edges, so for hard edges in my opinion the pentacle you really can't beat it it's the best tool but for soft edges depending on what you have let's say hair is a great great hair is a great example of a soft edge I would not want to use the pen tool to cut this hair out it just wouldn't really work what I could do instead so just create a new layer will go to select down here to color range and I'll click right here on the hair let's just say we're going to turn our selection onto grayscale when it click right here in our hair and turn up our fuzziness and we can see now our hair is being selected out in the background behind it is not just click on that little marchioness make sure that's not selected out so really quickly and easily areas that are white in this view are selected areas that are dark do not get selected we're going to hit okay I could just create a stamp visible layer in hit command j which would just duplicate what I had selection and then we could see now I have just here we go I have just hair on the background so why would you use a pencil for that? You totally would not. That would be the wrong tool because I could use a select color range and then select out her hair so which actually is kind of fun? Let's go ahead and use this earlier we talked about you know, if I wanted her here to be a little bit more full we could totally use this so I'm gonna put a layer mask on this layer there we go, I'm gonna paint command I is going to paint this black and now we're going to paint white here right on my leather man so now I just got hair it's on a transparent layer mask I could do with it really whatever I want to there we go let's go ahead and paint black on the layer mask there cool so I can bring this hair in and if I want to use a blending mode that's going to make this a little bit darker I could choose something like from normal I can go down to darken and it's going to make sure I'm not like lightning anything and I could actually use this too thick in some of the areas of her hair I could try it in a couple different places when he hit command j so I have multiple copies of these hit command tea to transform, but I'm still working with an entire layer you can see here in the thumbnail that I basically couldn't see everything that's on this entire layer right? If I hit command tea I'm working with a pretty large excuse me a pretty large section of this image but if I write click and hit apply layer mask now if I hit command too you can see I'm just working with hair I only wanted the hair to begin with why would I work with such a large such a large selection on the layer? So what we're going to do instead is just select this area I can zoom in hick manti right click I could goto war picking kind of warped this hair around so it doesn't look like it's the original here there we go and I could bring this down command t rotated around and I could fill out some of these areas if I wanted to there we go bring this in put a layer mask back on their paint black right here and right here over her arm there we go and now she's got twice the hair she's twice the lady she used to be so full so clean so fresh just a quick little example of something cool that you can do but right it's a totally different selection technique and I would not yeah I would not use the pen tool or something like that for this here you could even hit command tea right? Click it flip horizontal bringing around this end maybe you wanted to hear a little bit more crazy on this side all in our later mask here you just paint black right up until her face there we go and she's got hair on that side that even extends over the top of her shoulder because it has cut out pretty dang well and we just used the select color range tool so great question which led to a pretty cool example on yes pen tool is great for cardiges there are a lot of other cool ways to do soft edges that is fantastic! Dvd nine six seven says oh my gosh, that apply layer mask thing just blew my mind you always have issues with eyes apologize for your mind england hey, carlos are is wondering when using the brush tool for fringe or hair do you ever use custom brushes instead of the default one? Yes, I used custom brushes all the time and I love custom there. Okay, can I preface this by saying I'm a total photoshopped dork? It's not apparent by now I love using custom brushes. They really do give you a lot of very interesting options, especially when you're cutting something else let's say you were cutting like a blanket out that had a frilly edge. I'll see if I can find something here I can create a quick accustomed brush real quick if we do have an actual application for its use. Oh, you know what? Here is a pretty decent example. If I wanted to create a little bit more of this, you know, bit of flow here I would use a custom brush to do that. Custom brushes really are great and they're not that hard to do, and they just they open up a little layer of fun in photo shop, so all you need to do is go to the window and down here to your brush there we go it's going to bring up your brush menu and you have a lot of options going on here now we don't have time to cover every single one of these options but I would recommend you guys play around shape dynamics let's see, we've got powder right some of it could be a smaller several boom we're going to be larger so size dinner let's turn that on it's going to make some of these smaller some of these order our minimum diameter let's turn this down because I want my powder to be pretty small our brush shipshape is it round pretty much powder's round if I want to make it slightly less around I could do that I can change my spacing so there's going to be spaced apart what we got here is a nice little preview that kind of looks like our kind of looks like our powder right or softness weaken change here is well we can make it quite a bit software we could turn on this option for scattering which is going to scatter these little things around and you can see now they're going to be scattered around we get a turn count and things like that so if I want to use my brush tool I'm gonna just hold alter option in sample this color make her very small brush and now I'm just going to start painting and start scattering these things around so just those options now I'm able to scatter these things around it's still not there yet, right? There's it's too large, so I'm gonna make my brush just a little bit smaller and there we go now it's looking quite a bit more like that dust there, right? Maybe I've got a sample of slightly lighter colors so let's, go up here and hold alter option and sample that color. There we go, let's, turn our scattering on even higher. So now that I've got something looks pretty cool looks relatively similar manic man day and had to leave you to clear that. And I was gonna use my brush tool, man. Now I'm just painting on laundry detergent, and I'm not lifting my brush right now. I'm just doing this over and over again. It's like, wow that she looks like laundry detergent because, well, we just made a brush that made it look like that. So if I wanted to, like thick in this bit of flow of london surgeon, just keep painting over and over again right there and go around and we can pretty much just do whatever we want. Think of things like snow, rain, hair, all these things were really great when you have a random assortment of particles using accustomed rush there we go, so we can just turn this layer off and on, and we could see. I just added all that with a custom brush that we made just for this pretty cool. You've got a super and a wow from j t nice. This is so fun, and I really do love creating custom brush let's. Say you wanted to create this again and again. You wanted to, like, be able to bring it back well, but I would recommend doing is saving this custom brush, so we've got a a little three lines with down area here quick there got a new brush preset, and what we're gonna do is call this detergent. I hope I spoke that right. Sometimes you try to spell something that trump was dirty words, and I'm like that the horrible speller, by the way, all right, let's, close that out and we can see we just custom brush some detergent, but you could use this for cutting things out as well.