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6 sizzling pen and path secrets too hot to miss

Added on Monday 27th of August 2007 02:39 am EST
 

Application:

Adobe Photoshop 7/CS/CS2

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

 

In our article “Pump up your passion for the Pen tool” in this issue of Inside Photoshop, we gave you the ins and outs of becoming a Pen tool pro. But you can’t become a pro if you don’t have the inside scoop. Here we’ll reveal six must-have tips and secrets to add to your expertise.

 

1. Drawing gets you down

We’d like for you to master the pen tool, but realize everyone works at their own pace. So if drawing a complete path gets you frustrated, make a selection with your favorite selection tool, and then convert it to a path instead. While your selection is active, simply click on the Load Path As Selection button Load_Path_selection located at the base of the Paths palette, and voila! Now you can refine it with the skills you learned in our aforementioned article.

 

2. Move a clipping path with an image

You can move an image from one document to another along with its clipping path, but it requires a bit of finagling. First, select the path in the Paths palette. Then, go to the Layers palette and [command]-click ([Ctrl]-click in Windows) on the Add Layer Mask button add_layermask at the base of the Layers palette to turn the path into a vector mask. Select the Move tool move and click and drag the image over to another document. Finally, double-click on the vector mask path in the Paths palette, name it, save it, and delete the vector mask from your layer.

 

3. Distinguish edges when drawing

If you’re having a tough time distinguishing edges when drawing a path around an object, there’s an easy fix. Create a Curves, Levels, or Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to increase the contrast in your image. Draw the path, and then delete the adjustment layer.

 

4. Save your Work Path!

If you are going to take the time to create a path, make sure you don’t lose it. Photoshop stores every new path as...