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Using shapes

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Using shapes

Elements comes with a collection of graphic shapes that you can use to embellish a project like a scrapbook page, a card, an invitation or a collage. These shapes are vector graphics, which means that unlike photographs they can be reshaped or distorted without losing image quality. To access the shapes that comes with Elements, I'll go to Shape tool slot, which is right here in the toolbox. And from the flyout menu, I can choose from any of these geometric shape tools: the Rectangle, the Rounded Rectangle, which is good for making buttons for a website, the Ellipse tool for making ovals and circles, the Polygon tool for making triangles and other polygons, the Line tool and finally the Custom Shape tool, which is the most flexible of the Shape tools, and the one that I'm going to show you here.

Using shapes

Elements comes with a collection of graphic shapes that you can use to embellish a project like a scrapbook page, a card, an invitation or a collage. These shapes are vector graphics, which means that unlike photographs they can be reshaped or distorted without losing image quality. To access the shapes that comes with Elements, I'll go to Shape tool slot, which is right here in the toolbox. And from the flyout menu, I can choose from any of these geometric shape tools: the Rectangle, the Rounded Rectangle, which is good for making buttons for a website, the Ellipse tool for making ovals and circles, the Polygon tool for making triangles and other polygons, the Line tool and finally the Custom Shape tool, which is the most flexible of the Shape tools, and the one that I'm going to show you here.

I'll select the Custom Shape tool, and then I am going to come up the Options bar for this tool, and click the arrow to the right of the Shape field. This opens the Shape Picker, where you can see some of the shapes that come with Elements. But this is just a small subset of all the available shapes. To see more, I'm going to click this double pointed arrow here, and from the menu that pops-up, I am going to choose All Elements Shapes. I still can't see them in this picker, so I am going to make the picker longer by going to it's bottom right corner and dragging down.

As you can see there are many shapes available. I am going to go to the scrollbar on the right side of this picker and drag down to see even more shapes. Down at the bottom of the menu are some Talk Bubble Shapes. I am going to select one of those, and then I'm going to close this Shape Picker, by going up to the little X on the top right of the picker and clicking. And you can see, the shape that I have selected here in the Shape field. Before I apply this shape, I want to select a color for it from this menu, so I'll click the arrow to the right of the Color Field in the Options bar, and that brings up these Swatches.

I can make the Swatches panel bigger by going to the bottom right corner and dragging, and I could just click on a swatch here or I can click More Colors, and that opens the Color Picker from which I can choose a color. I am going to go to the gold area and choose a gold color from there, and click OK. Now, also before drawing out this shape, I'm going to select a Style for the shape. The default is No Style, represented by this icon. I am going to click the arrow to the right of the Style Field, and at first, what I see are some different Bevel Styles.

If I click the double pointed arrow on the right side of the Style Picker, I see that there are other categories of styles. I am going to choose the Drop Shadow Style. That changes the thumbnails available here. I'm going to select the Low Drop Shadow, and then I'm going to close this Style Picker by clicking in a blank area of the Options bar. Now, I am finally ready to draw out this shape. So I'll come into the image. I am going to hold down the Shift key on my keyboard to constrain proportions, so the shape doesn't distort, and I'm going to drag out a Talk Bubble like this.

Notice in the layers panel there's now a new layer. This is a special kind of layer called a Shape layer. And it comes with this thumbnail representing the vector outline that creates this shape. I am going to rename this Shape layer by double-clicking it's name, and I'll call this Talk Bubble Shape, and then I'll press Return. And you can see that there is a Drop Shadow Style on the shape, because there's an fx icon on the Shape layer. The jaggedy edge that you see here is really just the vector outline around the shape.

If you don't want to see that, you can always click off of the Shape layer onto another layer, like this Background layer, and now you can see that the shape is indeed really smooth around the edge. Because this is a vector shape, I can resize it, reshape it, rotate it, all without disturbing its quality. To do that I'll select the Shape layer again, and then I'm going to go over to the toolbar, click on the Custom Shape tool, and from the flyout menu I'm going to choose the Shape Selection tool. With this tool I'll click inside the shape, and that creates this bounding box with anchor points.

If I want to change the size of this shape, I'll move my mouse over one of the anchor points on a corner, I'll hold the Shift key to constrain proportions, and I can make the shape bigger or smaller. If I want to rotate the shape, I'll move my mouse outside one of the anchor points till the cursor changes to a curved double-pointed arrow, and then I'll drag to rotate the shape. And if I do want to distort or change the shape, I can move my cursor over any of the anchor points and drag. So I'm making the shape a little bit narrower this time.

When I'm all done with these changes. I'll go down to this green checkmark and click to commit my changes to the shape. And now, I'm going to click off of the Shape layer onto the Background layer to see how the shape looks without the vector outline. Another thing that I like to use a Custom Shape for is to mask a photograph to give it a more interesting outline. This is similar to applying a full layer mask, which I showed you how to do in the layers chapter. And it's a really specialized technique, the one that I think you are going to like. The first thing I am going to do is go to the layers panel, and notice that the photograph is on a special layer called a Background layer.

I am going to change this into a regular type layer by double-clicking the word Background on this layer. I'll name the Regular layer 'cowboy', and I'll click OK. Now that that's a regular layer, I can create a new layer beneath it. To do that, with the cowboy layer selected, I'll hold down the Command key on my keyboard, and I'll click the Create New layer icon down here at the bottom left of the layers panel, and that makes a new layer beneath the selected cowboy layer. I'll double-click this layer name, and I am going to call this one 'color', and then I'll press the Return key.

I am going to fill the new color layer with color, so I have it selected in the layers panel. I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and choose Fill layer. Here in the Use menu, I'll choose 50% Gray, and I'll click OK. That will fill the color layer with 50% Gray. But I don't see that in the document window, because the Cowboy layer is completely obscuring the Color layer right now. The next thing I am going to do is to add a Custom Shape between the Color layer and the Cowboy layer. So with the color layer selected, I'm going to go back to the toolbar and select the Custom Shape tool.

I'll go up to the Options bar, and click the arrow to the right of the Shape field. I am going to scroll up in this list of shapes, until I see these mask shapes. I'll select one of those, and then I'll close the Shape Picker by clicking the X at the top right. Next, I'll choose a color for this mask by going to the arrow to the right of the Color field, clicking there, and I'm going to select a Black Chip, from these color swatches. And then I'll click in a blank area of the Options bar to close that menu.

Next, I am going to go to the Style Picker, click the arrow there, and what I want to do is set this to, No style, so I'll click the double pointed arrow, and I'm going to choose Remove Style, and then I'll click in a blank area of the Options bar to close that picker. Now I am ready to add a new shape layer, containing this mask shape. So I'll come into the image to the top left corner, and I'll draw out a mask moving down to the bottom right corner, and then I'll release my mouse. That creates a new Shape layer here, in the layers panel.

I am going to double-click its default name and call it Mask, and then press Return. Now comes the last and a really important step. And that is to clip this Mask layer to the Cowboy layer, so that the mask acts like a clipping mask or a layer mask, defining the area where the cowboy image will appear. So to clip the cowboy and the mask layers together, I am going to hold the Option key, as I move my mouse over the border between the cowboy and mask layers. And when the cursor changes to this double-circle icon, I'll click, and that clips the two layers together.

Now I am going to click off of the mask layer. I'll click on the color layer instead, so you can see the final result. The mask is limiting where the cowboy is showing up, and if I make the color layer temporarily invisible by clicking it's eye icon, you can see the transparent pixels around the edge of that mask. So try using shapes to embellish a photograph, or to create a mask as I have shown you here, or to make some interesting graphics in your projects like scrapbook pages, invitations or cards.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

81 video lessons · 7175 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
  2. 13m 0s
    1. Touring Elements
      7m 24s
    2. Starting from the Welcome screen
      5m 36s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Importing photos from a camera
      8m 48s
    2. Dividing scanned photos
      3m 52s
    3. Capturing frames from video
      3m 31s
  4. 23m 13s
    1. Touring Bridge CS4
      7m 44s
    2. Opening files from Bridge into Elements
      5m 1s
    3. Rotating photos
      1m 17s
    4. Moving, deleting, and hiding photos
      4m 11s
    5. Renaming photos
      5m 0s
  5. 29m 16s
    1. Tagging photos with keywords
      6m 28s
    2. Rating and labeling photos
      5m 55s
    3. Sorting photos by filter
      6m 23s
    4. Finding photos
      4m 33s
    5. Organizing photos in Collections
      5m 57s
  6. 52m 52s
    1. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      8m 34s
    2. Applying Quick Fix lighting controls
      3m 33s
    3. Applying Quick Fix color controls
      6m 30s
    4. Applying Quick Fix sharpening
      3m 44s
    5. Using Quick Fix touchup tools
      7m 43s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      6m 25s
    7. Merging multiple exposures in Guided Edit
      7m 24s
    8. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      6m 31s
    9. Running Automated Actions in Guided Edit
      2m 28s
  7. 30m 57s
    1. Touring the Full Edit workspace
      6m 5s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 28s
    3. Arranging panels
      4m 14s
    4. Using tools
      8m 15s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      3m 8s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 47s
  8. 46m 0s
    1. Using Undo History
      6m 6s
    2. Zooming and navigating
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a blank file
      5m 43s
    4. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 21s
    5. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 10s
    6. Cropping and straightening an image
      3m 12s
    7. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 23s
    8. Processing multiple files
      6m 16s
    9. Saving and formats
      4m 11s
  9. 23m 25s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 30s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      8m 53s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      11m 2s
  10. 22m 24s
    1. Understanding selections
      3m 39s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 36s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      3m 9s
    4. Refining a selection
      3m 59s
    5. Modifying and saving selections
      4m 1s
  11. 55m 51s
    1. Using adjustment layers
      9m 21s
    2. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 49s
    3. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      3m 24s
    4. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 30s
    5. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 3s
    6. Removing a color cast
      3m 55s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 10s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      3m 44s
    9. Sharpening photos
      9m 42s
    10. Working with raw photos
      9m 13s
  12. 18m 58s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      5m 20s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      3m 30s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 49s
    4. Healing blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 15s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 13s
  13. 26m 26s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 6s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 0s
    3. Using layer styles
      3m 36s
    4. Using shapes
      8m 25s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 54s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 25s
  14. 7m 35s
    1. Creating text
      4m 7s
    2. Editing text
      3m 28s
  15. 27m 26s
    1. Making a photo collage
      7m 15s
    2. Stitching a photo panorama
      3m 43s
    3. Saving for the web
      6m 40s
    4. Creating web galleries in Bridge
      6m 47s
    5. Creating a PDF slideshow
      3m 1s
  16. 4m 34s
    1. Printing photos and contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Sending photos by mail
      1m 45s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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