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Adding strokes to shape layers

From: Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers

Video: Adding strokes to shape layers

Here we're going to look at creating strokes and dashed strokes to apply to our shape layers. Let me just point out that this treasure map has been drawn using some pirate custom shapes that I downloaded from Adobe Exchange, and if you wanted to do the same, they're right here. Pirates05 by Karl Bihlmeier. And they include the palm tree, the treasure chest, and the anchor. The others, the waves and the compass, just come from the standard custom shapes that are part of Photoshop itself.

Adding strokes to shape layers

Here we're going to look at creating strokes and dashed strokes to apply to our shape layers. Let me just point out that this treasure map has been drawn using some pirate custom shapes that I downloaded from Adobe Exchange, and if you wanted to do the same, they're right here. Pirates05 by Karl Bihlmeier. And they include the palm tree, the treasure chest, and the anchor. The others, the waves and the compass, just come from the standard custom shapes that are part of Photoshop itself.

Firstly, I want to put a stroke around my map. Now my map is derived from some rendered clouds, and then a vector mask, but it's going to function just as a shape layer would. The vector mask is just drawn with the Pen tool to create this rough outline of our Treasure Island. And there are a few layer effects applied to that, but what we're missing though is a Stroke layer effect. So whenever you want to put a stroke around a shape layer, the easiest way to do it is through a Stroke layer style, and I'm just going to increase the size of that.

So that's one issue. The other issue is a dashed stroke and this is a lot harder to achieve. I'm going to use my Pen tool just to create a pen path. Now I want to make sure that I'm working in my Pen Path mode, rather than my Shape Layer mode, and I don't want to be drawing this pen path on a new layer. So I'm going to come and crate a new blank layer and then draw the path to my hidden treasure, just by clicking and dragging with the Pen tool.

Now what I've created there is a work path. It's going to show up on my Paths panel as a work path, and I can now stoke that path by coming to the Paths panel menu and choosing Stroke Path. When you use this you can stroke a path using any of your painting or retouching tools, and then we'll use whatever that tool we last used. So if I choose my Brush, I don't even remember what the last use of my brush was, but I doubt it's going to be what I want, but let's just see what I get.

Click OK and it's just a black stroke. Okay, so what we need to do though is stroke the pen path with a dashed stroke. So I'm going to undo that, and the best way to create a dashed stroke. And this is not going to end up being a shape layer. This is going to end up being pixels, but there really is no other way of doing it. So it's a bit of a work around really rather than a feature. But what I need to is choose my Brush tool and set up my brush options first of all. Now for a dash stroke, I need a square brush, so I'm going to come to my brush picker and I'm going to choose Square Brushes. And do I want to append these, or do I want to replace what's already there? I think I want to append them, so those square brushes are going to end up being at the bottom of my brush list.

So I'm going to choose that one maybe, a 16 pixel. That might be a little bit on the big side. Maybe a 12 pixel brush. Let's just paint with that and see how wide that looks. Yeah, maybe go down in size a fraction, so I'm just going to press my left bracket couple of times, go down to 9 pixels, or try that once again. Still not going to work, but I want you to see why it's not going to work. So when I fill it now, it's sharp. Well, it's the step in the right direction, but we don't have any dashes there.

So I'm going to undo that and now I need to come to my Brush panel. Come to my Brush panel where I'm going to change my brush spacing. So I want the Spacing to be probably 200% so that we have the size of the brush itself working as the size of the dash. Let's just type that in, 200%. Now in addition to that I also need to sort out the angle of the brush, because otherwise--and if we just go ahead and stroke it now--we can see that that dash is not angling to follow the line of the pen path.

So I'll undo that and then we need to come to the Shape Dynamics, and in this area here Angle Jitter, I'm going to turn the Angle Jitter down to 0 and the Control is going to be changed to Direction. So now when we go ahead and apply the stroke, we get those squares of the brush stroke actually following the shape of our pen path.

And because we've chosen New Layer, that has actually gone onto a new layer and we can now come and deselect the path and that's going to go away. So not really a feature so much as a workaround, but if you do need to achieve a dashed line, then that's the best way to do it.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers
Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers

42 video lessons · 13829 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 30m 57s
    1. Three ways to use the shape tools
      6m 49s
    2. Converting shapes to paths and vice versa
      1m 24s
    3. Moving, deleting, copying, and rasterizing shape layers
      5m 28s
    4. Drawing rectangles, rounded rectangles, and ellipses
      2m 59s
    5. Drawing lines
      2m 40s
    6. Drawing polygons and stars
      1m 48s
    7. Drawing pen paths by adding, deleting, and converting anchor points
      5m 51s
    8. Drawing pen paths with hybrid anchor points
      2m 58s
    9. Inverting paths
      1m 0s
  3. 28m 19s
    1. Adding, subtracting, intersecting, excluding, and combining shapes
      3m 50s
    2. Aligning and distributing shapes
      2m 19s
    3. Coloring shape layers
      2m 1s
    4. Creating a poster by combining simple shapes, part 1
      11m 32s
    5. Creating a poster by combining simple shapes, part 2
      8m 37s
  4. 52m 55s
    1. Creating a logo with shape layers
      10m 47s
    2. Applying blend modes to shape layers
      3m 36s
    3. Applying layer effects and styles to shape layers
      2m 53s
    4. Adding strokes to shape layers
      5m 14s
    5. Applying Smart Filters to shape layers
      4m 0s
    6. Combining shape layers with layer effects, blending modes, and Smart Objects
      5m 31s
    7. Creating shape layers from type
      3m 32s
    8. Creating web buttons using shape layers
      2m 33s
    9. Using shape layers to mask multiple layers
      3m 6s
    10. Adding shape layers to a photo illustration
      7m 38s
    11. Using shape layers to apply custom gradients to type
      4m 5s
  5. 28m 52s
    1. Finding and loading custom shapes
      3m 13s
    2. Creating your own custom shape
      5m 2s
    3. Creating a custom shape from an Illustrator symbol
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a custom shape from an Illustrator Live Trace object
      9m 40s
    5. Creating seamless patterns from shape layers
      4m 18s
    6. Saving and loading shapes with the Preset Manager
      1m 38s
  6. 30m 10s
    1. What is a vector mask?
      6m 39s
    2. Converting to a selection, vector mask, or layer mask
      5m 17s
    3. Linking and unlinking vector masks
      4m 47s
    4. Using shape layers to create a photo grid
      1m 42s
    5. Feathering a vector mask edge
      2m 54s
    6. Adjusting vector mask density
      3m 16s
    7. Combining vector masks with layer masks
      3m 34s
    8. Working with paths and clipping paths
      2m 1s
  7. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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