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Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features

Video: Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes

All right, now let's take look at the other enhancements to shape layers, path outlines, basically anything that's a vector inside of Photoshop. Notice these scissors down here toward the bottom of artwork. Obviously they should be aligned to each other and we do have Alignment control where shape outlines are concerned. So I'll go ahead and click on this scissors layer here. Now I'm not seeing the path outlines, because I had turned them off in the previous movie, so I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac to bring them back. Then I'll grab my black arrow tool and I'll go ahead and marquee the shapes like so in order to select them.

Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes

All right, now let's take look at the other enhancements to shape layers, path outlines, basically anything that's a vector inside of Photoshop. Notice these scissors down here toward the bottom of artwork. Obviously they should be aligned to each other and we do have Alignment control where shape outlines are concerned. So I'll go ahead and click on this scissors layer here. Now I'm not seeing the path outlines, because I had turned them off in the previous movie, so I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac to bring them back. Then I'll grab my black arrow tool and I'll go ahead and marquee the shapes like so in order to select them.

Now I can press Ctrl+H again, by the way, or Command+H on a Mac, so I can better see what I'm doing. And I'll go up to the Path alignment icon in the Options bar, click on it, and change it to Align To Selection. Then I'll go back to that icon and choose Vertical Centers and that'll go ahead and line up all the scissors. It also brings back the path outlines, which I can hide again by pressing Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac. And then finally, I'll revisit that alignment icon and I'll choose Distribute Widths in order to produce this effect right there.

So, for the first time we can align multiple path outlines on a single layer here inside Photoshop. You also have control over the stacking order, incidentally. I'm going to switch over to this other image that I have open. And notice this time, I have some path outlines that are expressed as a vector mask assigned to a pixel-based image layer. I'm going to go ahead and click on that vector mask thumbnail to make it active. Now this is a pretty complicated mask. What I've done is I've drawn a lot of basic path outlines, such as circles and rectangles and so forth.

And then use this option right here in order to change how those shapes interact with each other. Now these options are not new, although they are newly organized into a pop-up menu. However you can see that these big circles along the side are set to subtract from the shape. The problem is that we've got this rectangle in the middle here which is set to add to the shapes; it's now called Combine Shapes here. However, by virtue of the fact that it's in front of all the other paths, it is not getting sliced away by the big circles on the side, so we need to send it to the back.

Now in CS5 there were no stacking controls, so what you would have done is selected the two circles, so click on one, Shift+Click on the other, and then press Ctrl+X or Command+X on a Mac in order to cut those shapes and then press Ctrl+V or Command+V on a Mac in order paste them back into place. However there's an easier way to work now here inside CS6. All I need to do is select the path that's a problem which is this rectangle then go up to the Path arrangement command and in our case we want to choose to Send the Shape To the Back of this particular layer and then we get the proper interaction.

And now if I go ahead and click on this Vector mask thumbnail in order to hide those paths, you can see I'm getting the effect that I want. All right, one last behavioral change, and and this one could potentially make a big difference to you if you spend a lot of time drawing path outlines, especially with the Pen tool. I'm going to go ahead and scroll over here a little bit and turn my vector path outlines back on. And notice this checkbox right there, Constrain Path Dragging. It's tured off by default. I'm going to turn it on, so you can see the legacy behavior, that is how things used to work in CS5.

I'm going to ahead switch to my white arrow tool which Photoshop calls a Direct Selection tool. Then I'll click on this curve segment at the top of the light bulb. Now you've always been able to drag directly on a segment like so. But notice as I drag on the segment, the control handles remain locked into place, and the good news there is we don't end up harming any of the other neighboring segments. The bad news is that we don't have a lot of control where bending this segment is concerned. In CS6, assuming that you turn Constrain Path Dragging off, then you can drag this guy any way you want.

Now you're going to modify the curvature of the surrounding segments as you can see here, but it gives you a lot more freedom where bending a path outline is concerned. Anyway, however you look at it, you have a lot more control over vector-based shapes and path outlines here inside Photoshop CS6.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 New Features
Photoshop CS6 New Features

38 video lessons · 42456 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 37s
  2. 2h 27m
    1. The secrets of the dark interface
      3m 55s
    2. Background and Auto-Save
      3m 22s
    3. The altogether revamped Crop tool
      4m 0s
    4. The consolidated Properties panel
      3m 58s
    5. The searchable Layers panel
      5m 2s
    6. Modifying multiple layers at a time
      4m 50s
    7. The wide world of layer enhancements
      6m 48s
    8. Content-Aware Move and Extend
      6m 16s
    9. Content-Aware Patch
      3m 14s
    10. Auto-Power color adjustments
      6m 3s
    11. The brave new world of Camera Raw 7
      6m 16s
    12. The new three-part Blur Gallery
      8m 9s
    13. The Adaptive Wide-Angle filter
      7m 7s
    14. Correcting wide-angle panoramas
      7m 14s
    15. Text enhancements & styles
      4m 48s
    16. Filling & stroking shape layers
      4m 37s
    17. Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes
      4m 17s
    18. Working with the Scripted Patterns
      3m 32s
    19. Erodible brush tips & airbrushes
      5m 44s
    20. The enhanced Liquify filter
      4m 20s
    21. The new Oil Paint filter
      4m 10s
    22. Selecting skin tones and faces
      5m 11s
    23. The new Lighting Effects filter
      6m 29s
    24. Editing videos in the Timeline panel
      10m 16s
    25. Making editable 3D type
      8m 8s
    26. 3D shadows and reflections
      6m 35s
    27. Aligning and distributing meshes in 3D
      3m 0s
  3. 50m 34s
    1. Introducing the first Photoshop Creative Cloud update
      1m 36s
    2. Liquify and Blur Gallery support Smart Objects
      8m 42s
    3. Creating conditional actions
      9m 51s
    4. Moving a point with the Pen tool on the fly
      3m 32s
    5. Autonaming merged layers
      4m 42s
    6. Creating global default type styles
      4m 57s
    7. Copying CSS code from specialty layers
      4m 54s
    8. Enhanced 3D lighting with 32-bit bit color
      6m 42s
    9. The new default 3D image-based light
      5m 38s
  4. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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