Mastering the Pen Tool and Shape Layers

Lesson 2 of 5

Pen Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop

 

Mastering the Pen Tool and Shape Layers

Lesson 2 of 5

Pen Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop

 

Lesson Info

Pen Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop

There I have my shape, but what I wanna show you here is how we actually kind of get a better sense of these pull handles. I'm gonna start off and I'm just gonna use my pen tool, and I'm gonna create four points here. And I'm gonna create a diamond, right there. And I'm gonna use my selection tool, to go in and select just those points and kinda line those up to do a nice little diamond right here. I got all the corner points, because I simply clicked, and clicked and connected all those points together. I would now like to go in, and I would now like to convert those to curves. So I know that I could go in and I have my pen tool, and my add and delete anchor point tools are here as well, which I get while I'm using the pen tool. The last one is the convert point tool. And we're gonna convert these points. The option key is going to turn the pen tool into the convert point tool. So any corner point that I have, and a corner point has no handles, no little bezier pull handles on it. A c...

orner point is simply a line segment that meets at a corner. The convert point tool, when I hold down my option or alt key, I'm going to take and I'm going to click on my point, and I'm going to pull. And that's going to give me my pull handles. When you get pull handles, that is when you get a curve. Here is the car analogy, think of a steering wheel, if I pull to the right here, and I'm pulling my object out here, and I pull to the right or pull to the left, and I turn my wheel to the left, which way does the car go? Well, for some reason when people are using the pen tool, if I turn the wheel to the left, they think I go to the right. And driving with a pen tool is absolutely crazy. But we'll show you why people think that. So when I use my convert point tool, and I click and I drag, I'm actually converting that from a point to a smooth connection or corner. And if I do that and I click and pull, you can see the distance that I pull. And the amount that I pull is gonna control that curve. The more I pull, the more of a curve I get. The more I turn the steering wheel, the more the car turns. Direct analogy, right there. So, that's great. I took four points that were corner points, and I went ahead and I pulled them out. Now, I'm gonna actually draw the circle here using this. So instead of click, click, click, click, I'm going to click and pull. The direction that I pull my pen tool and the distance that I pull the pen tool is going to determine the direction the line that's gonna come out of that point. And also, how far it's gonna come out of that point. So if I pull it to the left, my line coming out is always gonna go to the left. Always, always. So I clicked and I pulled here. And now I'm going to click down here. And sure enough, the line comes out. It goes to the left, right? Follows that there. So what happens if I click here and I pull out here, and I put my point over here. The line is gonna come out to the left, because that's the direction that I pulled. And then it's gonna go ahead and meet that point. Always happens. So, I'm going to click and pull. I'm going to click and pull. I'm going to click and pull. Click and pull. And I'm gonna go back to my original one and I've got it all together. Beautiful, awesome, delicious, lovely. All great adjectives when you know how to use the pen tool. There we have it. Well, that's great, okay? Circles are easy, right? You got four points and you can put it all around there. Absolutely. So, now I'm gonna walk you back through here. And I'm gonna show you when I click on any one of my points here, people always ask, why is it that sometimes if I click on something, I sometimes see handles and I sometimes don't? Well, for many different reasons. If you don't see handles, you have a corner point. But it's like, I don't see handles coming out here, I only see handles coming through here. It all depends on what you select. I've clicked on this line segment. So the two handles that control the curvature of that line segment are the only two handles that are gonna show up. That's it. Cause I've clicked on that line segment. Now, what I told you is when I pull the handle in the direction, the more I pull it, the more that curve is gonna go that direction. So, in order to grab the pull handles themselves, I have to have my direct selection tools, so I can directly grab onto that handle. So, I'm going to select that line segment, and the two curves, or the two points that make up that line segment are the only ones that are highlighted. Makes sense. If I take this handle, and I make this handle shorter, I get less of a curve. The more I pull the handle, the more of a curve I get. So, I can do it two different ways. I can pull this handle and get a curve, sure. I can pull this handle and I can get a curve, sure. Now, if I pull it really far, I get a really big curve. That's how I have it. Now, let's talk about direction. If I pull the handle up, it goes up. Absolutely. I pulled the handle up, the curve went up. I pull the handle down, it goes down. I pull it to the left, it goes to the left. I pull it to the right, it goes to the right. Just like a steering wheel. No way! Yeah, really. More you pull it, more it stretches. Direction everything. Wow, it's awesome. Pretty simple. So now, what happens if I go in and use the direct selection tool and I click on an actual point, now it seems like I get a lot more handles. Absolutely. So I've clicked on that point, and we now have the two curves that are coming up to the point. So, we get that point with the pull handles on that point, as well as the curves that are connecting to the other points. So I know I've got handles down here, but they aren't relevant. They're only relevant to this. So, if I hold down my command key to get my direct selection tool, and I move this over here. I move this over here. Those curves are clearly gonna go with it. Yep. Now, what happens if I don't want a curve and I have one. I could go back in and I could suck those handles right back in, right there, but it's kind of a pain, cause I've gotta get in there and do that. So, a cool way to go in and take the handles out, just suck the handles back in, hold down the option key, and hover over that point. And option click on any point that has handles. Sucks them right back in. Sucks em' right back in. Sucks em' right back in. Sucks em' right back in. And now I end up with corners. Option, click, and drag is going to pull them out. Option, click, and drag, pull it out. Option, click, and drag, will pull em' out. Option, click, and drag will pull em' out. Hold down the command key. Adjust the points. Pull the handles. Now, you'll notice when I grab on one of the bezier handles themselves, this is my point, this is my handle. Not to confuse them. When I pull on one, you'll see that when I pull down on the one handle, it goes up on the other side. Absolutely. Because if it didn't, it would make teeter totters no fun. You'd sit on one side, and the other person would still be sitting on the ground. You'd go up and down, and the other person would still be sitting there. What's the fun in that? So, with this, I push down on one side, the other side goes up. Because it's a smooth curve here, I wanna be able to go in and keep the curve smooth. So, I push it down here, other side goes up, there you have it. Clicked off it there. And that's what I dealing with when I deal with my points. If I can actually click on that little thing there. Working so you can see it away from the screen is kinda hard. Okay, so there's my points right there. So I think we're kinda gettin' the jive of this, right? Uh huh, awesome. So now, how do we go in and create all these absolutely wild crazy shapes? Well, what I'd like to do is I'd to go in and I would like to go in and I would like to make this curve go this way. So I'm gonna kinda do concave curve right over here. So I know that by listening to my voice in my head, and hopefully my voice is in your head. Buy the video. If I pull this handle the direction that I'd like this to go, I would like this to then curve down here, so I know if I hold down my command key and pull the handle this way, that curve's here, but clearly I get this blump coming out the other side. Well I don't want that. So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna do something different. I'm actually going to change the direction of the points. So, if I use my direct selection tool here, and I pull the handle, I'm always gonna get a symmetrical curve no matter what. But here I would like to do what's called a change of direction. So I'm gonna hold down my option key, and I know if I option click on the point, it's gonna suck the handles back in, if there are handles. Or if I option click on something that doesn't have handles, it's gonna pull handles out. And that's why option clicking on that point. But if I option click on a handle, I can now drive that separately. And that allows me to do a change of direction. So, option click on a handle, I change the direction. And now I can come to a point, stop that point, and curve all the way on back. Why is that useful? Because I said so. But let me show you an example. I start off here and I would like to create a nice wave. So I'm gonna click here and I'm gonna pull. Which way am I pulling? To the right. I'm gonna come up here, and I'm gonna create the curve of my wave. Whatever direction I turn it, I'm going to get that direction. The more I pull, the more of a curve. I'm gonna come up here to the very tip of my wave, right there, there's the tip of my wave. I want that to be a sharp point. If I come back down here, it gives me this rounded point and that my wave looks all crazy. Well, I could finish my line here, with my wave, and try to do it really good, and then I could go back here and I could then pull that handle in by holding down my option key and turning it the other direction here and getting kind of a saw blade. And I'm not really good at kind of doing that. And it's like, blah. So, I'm going to go back here and I'm gonna draw my wave and I'm gonna draw it, and I'm gonna edit it on the fly. So I'm gonna come and do my curve. I'm gonna come up to the very point right here, and now I wanna take that handle and I wanna point at the direction. So as I'm building, I'm gonna be editing this. So, in order to change the direction, I'm gonna hold down my option key, and I'm just gonna change this handle. And I'm gonna point it the direction that I want it to go. Pretty simple. Then I'm gonna come back down here, and sure enough, I get that little point. And now I can come down and I can create another curve. And I get kinda my saw tooth or my wave. And I stopped in midstream and I was able to change the direction right there. We're gonna change the direction all the time with these things. So, I'm gonna draw a quick little heart right here. Click, click, and now, I'm gonna come up here and I'm gonna do the one lump of the heart. So I'm going to get that little bump, right there. I'm gonna come back down into the middle. I've pulled my handle this way. It's gonna come out this way. And it's gonna come back down, boom. But now, I know if I were to pull down here, it's going to change the direction. So if I come down here, and I click and pull, and I get my curve, my handle's going down. Which way is my curve gonna come out? The way I pulled my handle. I don't want it to come out that way. I want to come out this way. So I'm gonna turn the handle the direction I want to go. And then when I do my next curve, it changes the direction, comes back down here, and I can do my heart. Now, another way that I can do a change of direction that's even better than that. But, we just wanna keep in mind, that whatever direction the handle goes is the way the path is gonna come out. So, I'm gonna do this again here. I'm gonna draw the heart, I'm gonna put it over here as well. And I'm going to then drag down here. I wanna go in and point the handle whatever direction. But it's kind of a hassle to go in and then move that, and make sure it goes the right direction. Well, what I'm gonna do is because I'm in the process of building my path here, I'm actually gonna option click on that open end, and it sucks the handle right back in. I have no handle. Which means I can go any direction that I want to. So now if I decide to come out over here, go up over here, I haven't even put a direction in. This little handle suck in thing only works when I'm in the middle of drawing. I could go in and option click. And you see when I do that, my pen tool, turns into the pen tool with the little convert. And I can suck that handle in. While I'm in the middle of drawing. If I have completed my path, and I go in, and I hold down my option key, and I option click on something, it's then going to suck all those handles in. But when I'm in the middle of drawing here, and I'm doing my curves, option click on that end point, sucks it in, and now it can go any direction that I want to. So now I can change the direction right on the fly as I go. And you can see why it's very important to have the pen tool extremely large because this is gonna convert my point right here and this is going to go ahead and change the direction of my open point. A lot of different things to go ahead and realize. Which is why you need to buy the video, and you need to watch this over again and again and again. Cause Drivers' Ed isn't learned in five minutes.

Class Description

The Pen tool doesn’t have to be your enemy. Find out how useful, versatile, and easy-to-use it can be in Mastering the Pen Tool and Shape Layers with Jason Hoppe.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Drive the Pen tool like a pro
  • Make perfect curves
  • Steer the handles with ease
  • Make quick and easy selections 
You’ll also learn how Shape Layers can make building vector based shapes a breeze.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2

Reviews

Janie Parks
 

Great instructor, good voice. The pace is good and I like the way Jason quickly repeats an instruction.

deBrady
 

Jason is one of my favorite instructors...great sense of humor and breaks down the most complex processes into yummy, edible pieces for easy consumption! Highly recommend.

LeCompte
 

Crisp, clean, dry humor, ton of info. Recommend for sure