Shape Tool Tricks


Adobe® Photoshop®: Creative Explorations, Lighting Effects & More


Lesson Info

Shape Tool Tricks

Let's think a little bit about shapes because we use the shape tool to define that oval that was there and let's see what we can do with those shape tools. When I go down to the shape tool, you'll find that we have these choices for our shapes rectangle, rounded corner rectangle, ellipse, polygon line in customs. Now, these air pretty basic shapes in here, but let's, see how we can create more complex results using these simple shapes? I'm going to start off with the polygon tool, and I'm actually gonna make a gear uh, let's see how we could do it? I'll start off with a square document just so it's easy to keep track of where the centre is and my gear will end up being centered, so I'll create a brand new document of whatever size I desire, and I'm not gonna make it grayscale and I would like to mark where the center of that document is. In order to do that, I'll go to the view menu, and near the bottom is a choice called new guide that's goingto put a guide down for me, and it wants t...

o know how many inches over to put it, but just like when I was creating text box and it defaulted two points in, I typed in inches. I'd do the same thing here. I'm just going to type in fifty and put the percentage symbol, and that should make a vertical guide fifty percent of the way across. Then I'll go back. New guide in this time, I'll make a horizontal one. Fifty percent makes sense. I'm going to go to our polygon tool at the top of my screen. I'm going to tell it to create a shape and then somewhere up here where I want my top of my geared b I'm gonna click and I'm gonna drag straight down that's gonna be one little tooth on our gear. Now I want to rotate that and move it. So I'll go to the edit menu and choose free, transform and remember when you rotate things, how they pivot around that little centerpoint that's marked by a little cross there, why don't we grab that cross hair and drag it put it right here in the middle of our document, so that now when you rotate it it's going to pivot it around, that point said, makes sense. Yeah, and let's, just bring it over when you rotate. If we want to get it to be even all the way across, you could hold on the shift key. And it'll limit how far you can move this. We'll do it in fifteen percent increments. I'm just going to make it however far it takes me to rotate. So there's a gap between the tooth it's already there and this one now I didn't work on a duplicate, so it just moved the one that was there. But you remember, there was a keyboard shortcut if I press return her enter to apply this, that would simply apply the same transformation over again. Didn't we do it to an image that scaled down and rotated? We had multiple and if you remember it, senator the edit menu under transform, called again shift command tea is the keyboard truck out on windows, the keyboard truck, it would be shift control t let's see what happens if I type that shift command tea all right, there's, a way to get photoshopped to apply that to a duplicate there's a key on your keyboard that often means work on a duplicate it's the same key you could hold down when you're in the move tool, and if you want to move a layer over but you want to move a duplicate, you could hold down this key the same key used for a whole bunch of things where you work on a duplicate and it's the option key houlton windows so all I'm gonna do is I'm going to type the keyboard shortcut over here for again, and I'm just going to add to that keyboard shortcut the option key alton windows so here's the keyboard truck adult type on a mac shift option command tea t stands for transform on windows that would have been shift ault control tea and if you forget what it is which I know, you're going to forget it, just go to the edit menu, go down here to transform and just look at the shortcut for again and say, well, there's the main keyboard shortcut then what key works on a duplicate? If you happen to be able to remember, just add it to that and you will get what you need so that's going to be all the teeth on our gear and now we just need the when he called the middle part the sprocket the I don't know what you what you call the middle and too create that I'm going to go back to my shape tool in this time I'll used the ellipse tool in with the ellipse tool I need to make sure it's centred on the middle of this document, so I'm going to get my mouse centered right where the crosshairs go I'm gonna click right there but usually when you drag out where you first click defines one corner of that circle, it doesn't define the middle well, there's a way you can get it to define the middle kind of weird, but when you're dragging like this before you've let go, you can hold down option option then means go from middle, then you probably already know the keyboard shark at to make this a perfect circle it's the same keyboard shortcut you hold down to make sure when you're transforming things, you don't distort it like stretch it horizontally more than you do vertically it's a shifty so I'm holding down two keys at the moment shift to make it a perfect circle and option, which is alton windows to say go from the center I'm going to pull this out intel this shape joins the corners of those teeth or g I can go a little further if I want, but at least until it gets to that little corner where the part of the teeth are now, I don't want to let go of the shift key or the option key until I've already released the mouse button because the moment I let go those keys it would no longer be a perfect circle it would no longer go from the center, so I need to keep those two keys held down let go my mass but so we just made the middle park now we need to make a hole in the middle so let's, go to our tool again, move my mouse right to the centre one more time, click start dragging and I actually before I do that, I just realized something looking my layers panel, we got two layers, I want this on one layer, I wanted all one piece and we made that circle it ended up going on it's own layer. The reason for that is if I go to that particular tool there's a setting at the top of my screen with that setting is is right here by click on it, it says, hey, when I use this tool, your default behavior each time I use it should be to make a new layer, and I wanted that to be on its own layer, so let me just do that one more time. I'll just hit the delete key when I'm in the move tool that will complete the layer will do that over before I use that circle tool at the top of my screen. All I'm going to do is tell it not to create a new layer instead, when I use this tool, it should combine with shapes that are on the layer it's currently active, then I can come down here shift and option like that and now I'm going to make it even another one, so I will click in the middle again, shift an option, and this is going to create the whole in the middle of the gear and it's up to me how big that whole should be. I'm going to make it about that big, but this tool right now is set to combine these shapes together. I just need to tell it well, that little middle pieces active to subtract from the shape it's on this layer, and that should cause it to make a hole. At this point, I no longer need the guides so we could go to the view menu and there's a choice in there to clear our gods. We have our gear, but I'd rather not see all these little pieces every time I go to this layer to use it, because it would be pretty darn easy to, uh, click on any one of those little parts and accidentally move it, that type of thing if I'm in here. So, uh, it'll take me a moment to find it, but if I'm in any of the shape tools or I think the air o'toole, remember when we went to this menu here to tell it what the active piece should do if it should add to the other pieces on this layer takeaway or in the case of when we use text we made it so created a hole where the overlap we'll look at what else we got down here merge shaped components means simplify this shape so that it's on ly made out of what needs to be used to create the outer and inner edges. The parts that aren't aren't really needed here that aren't being used to define thie actual and result could be eliminated when I choose merge shaped components watch what happens now it no longer thinks of it as a bunch of polygons and two circles. Now it thinks of it is if I use the pen tool to draw each and every little dot that would make this up and if I come here and click on it I can no longer move the individual teeth or the circle in the middle or anything like that and if I give it to a client they have no clue how I made it they think, oh, maybe they drew that thing saying they're good and they have no clue that I just used the polygon tool too created so you see how you can use the shape tool that has very simple primitive shapes but you can use it to make much more complex on results the main keys are when you use the shape, make sure that it's not set to create a new layer every time otherwise you'll end up with like a eight layers instead tell it to combine which means really add to what's already there or if you need a hole in it tell it to subtract if you used the next choice you would get on lee were two shapes overlap just the intersection uh where you can exclude it where it overlaps mean create a whole word overlaps that's what we use with some text so uh I mean I can use a few of those features of you like a king come in here and let's say I still have the center of this document I don't but if I did imagine that's perfectly centered in before I use that imagine I had it told it to use one of these instead of creating a new layer but here I can say excluded were the overlap okay, where does this shape overlap? What's under it? Well that's where it's gonna exclude it? I just made a hole right around there if I still had the center marked which I don't I could make another hole, that kind of stuff there's all sorts of things you can do but we're just going to go with a simple gear. So the main thing is to experiment with this choice when you're using shape tools because then you can create much more complex results than being limited to that simple shape once you've created you're more complex shaped like this one, you could go to the edit menu and there's a choice called define custom shape, and now this shape is going to be stored within photoshopped. And if I ever want to make another one, all I need to do is go to the shape tool instead of working with the normal, uh, primitives, I go to the custom shaped tool and up here near the top of my screen is where I choose the shape I want to apply, and the very last one should be the one I just defined. And so you could define a bunch of things so that now I want to do a layout using that gear, and I'm going to just go in here and drop a bunch of them, and you'd never really guess that that was created using the simplest of tools and photo shop to do it. And so it doesn't have to be a gear sometimes it's a more organic shape. I made these using the general basic, uh, shape tools. Um, I don't know if I can reproduce such a thing, but you see, my marking of the center is rotated things around that center ah, but let's just see if I go up to the top here and create a new one, this was just me playing around, I used the ellipse tool to making a lips, then I had no idea what I did, but I'm guessing I told it to next, uh, draw another one. You can press the space bar by the way, when you're dragging to reposition what you're still drawing before you'll release the mouse. But I could do that until this one two hopes. I didn't mean it to credit a layer on before I do that. Tell it what to do, ben, subtract. Can you put this in here? Have that subtract I can draw another one till to add another one. Tell it to it's cracked, and you get the idea that I can make a funky shape or if you happen to know how to use pencil, which is nice to know how to use, you can just draw that stuff. Uh, but just like some people can only draw a stick figure when you're painting, some people need to rely on the basic shape tools to make more complex ones. And for those of you that are that way, um, that's what you can go with.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Explore the creative side of Adobe® Photoshop®. Take a walk down the filter menu and learn what's lurking in the not-so-obvious filters like Displacement Maps and Lighting Effects. See how the simple text and shape tools can be taken to the next level by incorporating layer styles, clipping masks and more.

  • Learn which filters have a special relationship with the Adobe® Photoshop® Blending Modes, which allows for unexpectedly creative results
  • See how puppet warping and layer masks will allow you to make a single layer look as if it's intertwined around another layer
  • Start to use Adobe® Photoshop® 3D features to add dimension to otherwise flat imagery
  • Create animated slide shows that better keep your viewer's attention
  • Add texture to your images to give them more personality
  • Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0



    This is the second class on PS filters that I've taken with Ben Willmore. He is handsdown a fabulous teacher and one I highly recommend. I purchased both classes and I feel that for the price, they are worth their weight in gold. I applied his PS filter techniques to some of my surface pattern designs that were created using my original artwork and I've received great comments. So I owe a great deal of gratitude to CL and to Ben Wilmore for giving me the opportunity to grow my PS knowledge and to apply it with confidence to my artwork. Thank you!

    a Creativelive Student

    well I would recommend it sort of. I think much of the chapters show you how to use things without giving good examples or reasons such as with the brushes part. The photo on the cover is never worked on or really any of the topics didn't talk about how to achieve that look. I did learn some things as I have a lot to learn. I have been using the textures with great success. He does a nice job of explaining...I just don;t think we saw enough start to finish work.

    a Creativelive Student

    Fantastic tutor and course content! Ben Willmore truly is a master of Photoshop and has the ability to teach all aspects of Photoshop in such and easy-to-understand manner. Thanks so much for making Photoshop so much more understandable. Highly recommended.