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How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers

From: Creative Quick Tips

Video: How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers

Hi, there. My name is Justin Seeley, and I want to welcome you back to Creative Quick Tips. This week I'm going to be showing you how to take artwork from Illustrator and put it into Photoshop not as a smart object as you might think but as a completely vector shape layer. It's really easy and it's really awesome as well. So I have a bunch of icons that I've designed here inside of Adobe Illustrator, and I think they would serve a great dual purpose as shape layers inside of Photoshop. The problem is, most people just know that when you copy and paste from Illustrator to Photoshop, it comes in as a smart object, or as pixels.

How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers

Hi, there. My name is Justin Seeley, and I want to welcome you back to Creative Quick Tips. This week I'm going to be showing you how to take artwork from Illustrator and put it into Photoshop not as a smart object as you might think but as a completely vector shape layer. It's really easy and it's really awesome as well. So I have a bunch of icons that I've designed here inside of Adobe Illustrator, and I think they would serve a great dual purpose as shape layers inside of Photoshop. The problem is, most people just know that when you copy and paste from Illustrator to Photoshop, it comes in as a smart object, or as pixels.

But nowadays, in Photoshop, you can actually export out, or copy and paste out, rather, Illustrator artwork as a complete vector shape layer into Photoshop. I'm going to zoom in here. And I'm just going to grab an icon. So let's just grab something like this little alien face right here. And I'm going to copy that to my clipboard with Command or Control c. Then I'm going to jump over into Photoshop. I'm just going to create a new document. Does not matter how big or how small. And this case, I'm going to do about 800 by 600, and then hit okay. Then we're going to choose Edit > Paste.

Once I do that it's going to ask me what I want to paste it in as. In most cases most people are going to choose a Smart Object. But in this case, I have the option to paste a Shape Layer. So I'm going to do that. And hit OK. Once I do that, it pastes it in. There's my Shape Layer. If I wanted to save this as a complete custom shape in Photoshop, I can do that as well. Just go up to the edit menu and you'll notice that define custom shape is actually grayed out. Well, what's the deal here? We've got the shape, why can't I define it as a custom shape? Here's the trick. You have to either come over to the paths panel and select the path or come over here and grab the path selection tool.

And I'll zoom in so you can see it. And you have to click on the path. To make it select it and then go to Edit>Define Custom Shape. You can then call this alien head. Hit okay. And now I'll go back to the Layers panel. I'll actually throw this layer away. Don't need it anymore. Pick command or control zero to view all this on screen. I'm going to press the letter u on my keyboard to access the shape tools. You're not going to press Shift-U until I get to the custom shape tool, which looks sort of like a little starfish down there. I'm then going to go up to my shape dropdown, and the alien head should be at the bottom.

There it is. And if I mouse over it, you can see it says, Alien head. I'll select it. Then I'm also going to select my color. So let's do a fill color of green. And then, for this, we're going to set it to no stroke. So we'll just set it to zero points. And we'll make sure that the color is none as well. Now I'll just hold down my Shift key, click and drag. And there is a vector shape. The same as the alien head that we had in Illustrator. And the best part about it is, it is a vector object. So it will scale infinitely, without penalty, even in Photoshop.

Because it has a vector mask applied to it. I can also change the color at any time by double-clicking on the shape. And then. Changing up the color, any way I want. It's really quick and really simple, and you can build yourself some really nice shape libraries completely from your Illustrator artwork. I move over logos, I've done my signature this way. There's all different types of use cases for this. My suggestion is just to start bringing stuff over; start building up your own shape libraries, and see what you can come up with.

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This video is part of

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Creative Quick Tips

55 video lessons · 36186 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome to the series
      48s
    2. How to send feedback
      57s
  2. 16m 10s
    1. Using PNG Hat to export Photoshop assets
      4m 56s
    2. How to setup two-step authentication in WordPress
      3m 50s
    3. Analyzing the speed of your website
      2m 19s
    4. How to create beveled text in Illustrator
      5m 5s
  3. 11m 50s
    1. How to create layers from Photoshop Layer Styles
      3m 14s
    2. How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers
      3m 15s
    3. How to combine vector shapes in Photoshop
      2m 49s
    4. How to use text wrapping in Illustrator
      2m 32s
  4. 15m 41s
    1. How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator
      2m 39s
    2. How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator
      3m 29s
    3. How to speed up Photoshop's performance
      3m 25s
    4. How to use tool shortcuts in Photoshop
      2m 52s
    5. How to use springloaded shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 16s
  5. 9m 27s
    1. How to create a better Twitter avatar
      3m 59s
    2. How to embed videos in WordPress without a plugin
      1m 45s
    3. How to embed real tweets into any WordPress post
      2m 15s
    4. Create your own Photoshop shortcut cheat sheet
      1m 28s
  6. 17m 53s
    1. How to create better Facebook cover photos
      4m 31s
    2. How to use keyboard shortcuts in WordPress
      2m 47s
    3. How to add Apple touch icons to your website
      5m 27s
    4. How to use Font Awesome in design applications
      5m 8s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. How to create your own pixel grids
      4m 25s
    2. How to sample colors from anywhere
      2m 5s
    3. How to create diagonal guides in Illustrator
      2m 20s
  8. 13m 48s
    1. How to round individual corners on Illustrator shapes
      3m 21s
    2. How to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
      4m 8s
    3. How to use the Shape Builder Tool to recolor artwork
      3m 34s
    4. How to use "Align to Key Object" in Illustrator
      2m 45s
  9. 8m 26s
    1. Exploring the Kuler Panel in Illustrator CC
      1m 50s
    2. How to draw awesome shapes with the tilde key
      2m 12s
    3. How to reset your bounding box in Illustrator
      2m 6s
    4. How to change your artboard color in Illustrator
      2m 18s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. How to use Photoshop and Illustrator to write CSS
      4m 1s
    2. How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator
      4m 16s
    3. How to use the fill commands in Photoshop
      3m 52s
    4. How to accurately space objects in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    5. Ten WordPress plugins that you should know
      9m 5s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Unlocking background layers in Photoshop
      1m 8s
    2. Using opacity shortcuts in Photoshop
      1m 50s
    3. Using Illustrator's Glyphs Panel for icon fonts
      3m 15s
    4. Creating flexible buttons in Illustrator
      3m 28s
  12. 6m 31s
    1. Locking artwork in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    2. Five free fonts for your next project
      2m 0s
    3. Improving the SEO of your Muse website
      2m 26s
  13. 17m 7s
    1. Fitting content into your InDesign frames
      2m 37s
    2. Setting up your own Autocorrect in InDesign
      2m 33s
    3. Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator
      3m 14s
    4. Using the snapshots feature in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    5. Creating awesome product shots with Placeit
      4m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. How to find free stock photos online
      1m 55s
    2. Using the transform command in Illustrator
      4m 14s
    3. Five tools for wireframing & mockups
      7m 36s
    4. How to convert videos into GIFs using Photoshop
      4m 25s

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