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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
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Creating cusp points


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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Creating cusp points

All right, so here we are looking at this custom path that I have drawn so far using the Pen tool. I'm going to go ahead and save it out for you so that you can open it up if you need to, so you have a progress file. But I'm going to do it in front of you, so you see how it works. The first thing I need to do is make sure that I have saved my path, so that I don't end up wiping it out the way I wiped out the last path that I drew. You do that just by double-clicking anywhere on Work Path right here, and then you go ahead and name it, and I'll call mine something like Heart shape or something along those lines, because that's ultimately what it's going to be, and then I'll click OK. And now if I click off of this path outline in order to make it inactive and I started drawing something else like so, like this incredibly realistically rendered hourglass here, it becomes my new Work Path, but my Heart shape still survives.
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  1. 21m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
      51s
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 23m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
      58s
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 54s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 54s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
      46s
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 41s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 51s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 38s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 42s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
      42s
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 50s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 51s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 7m Advanced May 29, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Defining the essentials of masking
  • Resizing images with content-aware scaling
  • Adjusting perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Applying Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Using the Auto-Align tool to build composite images
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Creating cusp points

All right, so here we are looking at this custom path that I have drawn so far using the Pen tool. I'm going to go ahead and save it out for you so that you can open it up if you need to, so you have a progress file. But I'm going to do it in front of you, so you see how it works. The first thing I need to do is make sure that I have saved my path, so that I don't end up wiping it out the way I wiped out the last path that I drew. You do that just by double-clicking anywhere on Work Path right here, and then you go ahead and name it, and I'll call mine something like Heart shape or something along those lines, because that's ultimately what it's going to be, and then I'll click OK. And now if I click off of this path outline in order to make it inactive and I started drawing something else like so, like this incredibly realistically rendered hourglass here, it becomes my new Work Path, but my Heart shape still survives.

All right, so very important. Let's go ahead and get rid of that guy, however, and I did that just by pressing the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac. Now I'll go ahead and save out this file. I'll choose Save As from the File menu, and this is terribly interesting I think you will see. I'll call this Heart with path, and I get rid of that extra T there and I'm going to save it to the JPEG format. What gives? Since when is JPEG able to accommodate specialty information? Well, you can save paths to any file format. It's amazing, anything that Photoshop supports, you can go ahead and save the path outline to, because all of the various file formats support metadata. There is not a path checkbox, you don't have to worry about it; they just get automatically saved.

And just choose the Save command and then go with whatever compression options you like. Baseline Optimized gives you smaller file sizes generally speaking. Click OK. The path has totally disappeared. How do we bring it up and keep working on it? Well, you may end up having this problem, where all of a sudden your path goes inactive on you accidentally, and you are like, ah curses! What do I do? So irritating, this darn Pen tool. Go ahead and click on Heart shape in order to make it active, so you can see, sort of see anyways, it's not super easy to see, but you can see that path outline right there. It's inactive. Anytime you see the Pen tool with little x next to it, it means you are going to start a new path.

So even though you got this one path sitting there raring to go, it's not active. Okay, so what you do is you press and hold the Ctrl key, Command key on the Mac, to get that white arrow tool once again. Click on that point or click somewhere on the path outline to make it active. That is to say you will now see the points and handles that are associated with the path. However, if I now release the Ctrl key or the Command key, the Pen tool still sees this as being an inactive path because we still have that x. Now to get the Pen tool to recognize that path outline so it knows that you want to continue to draw this path, you need to go ahead and click on the end point from which you want to continue. So in our case, that's this end point right there, because we are going around this direction. You could change directions at this point. You could decide you are going to go counterclockwise now if you wanted to. But I'm going to go this way, and all you got to do is you just click on that end point and now the Pen tool is happy.

It no longer has any sort of markings next to it; it's just a pen nib. That tells you, you now have an active path and you will continue to draw from it. Now you need to create a cusp point at this location right down there, that includes control handle, so it's a corner between two curving segments. I'm going to go ahead and drag like this in order to create a smooth point at this location. So there is a couple of different ways to work. I just want to show them both to you, even though one is much easier than the other. But we'll start with the sort of harder way I guess. I'll go ahead and zoom in here by pressing Ctrl+Plus, Command+ Plus on the Mac, and also Ctrl+drag this handle up a little bit, that would be a Command+drag on the Mac, in order to get that white arrow tool for a moment, just so that we are pulling these two apart.

Because you don't want them to overlap each other like that because you are going to get weird, bizarre curves, unless that's what you want. If you want smooth organic curves, then you want each handle to basically go about a third of the length of the segment. Do you see that this guy takes up about a third, this guy takes up about a third? More importantly, they both together take up about two-thirds of the length of the segment and then there is about a third that's left open in the middle and that's going to give you smooth results, is what it comes down to. It's an old rule but a goody. All right, we have got two symmetrical control handles associated with this smooth point right here. We want these control handles to separate from each other, so that they can move independently of each other and you do that by pressing and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag from that anchor point and now you have got a new control handle that's going off on its own direction. These two are no longer locked into alignment with each other.

I'll go ahead and release the Alt or Option key, by the way. If you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and now drag one of these control handles, you can see that it is totally independent. All right, so that's one way to create a cusp point right there. Now, let's go ahead and add some more smooth points. I'll drag from here up, I'm continuing around the path in the clockwise direction now that I have now reestablished that as the direction in which I'm drawing this path outline. Then I'll drag over the hump like so, and if ever I feel like things aren't working out the way I want them to, I can press that Ctrl key, that Command key on the Mac in order to get the white arrow tool. Now let's say it's this segment that I'm concerned about. I don't like the way it looks, but I can't see those control handles anymore. Ctrl- click, with that Ctrl key down, Command key down on the Mac, and you will see its control handles and then you could drag this guy inward.

So I might not be completely accurately tracing this edge now but it's aesthetically more pleasing to me. This is the edge that I want. So sometimes you are going to make aesthetic decisions. That's fine, of course. Then I want to adjust this segment, let's say. Click on it with the Ctrl key down, Command key is still down on the Mac, and I would drag this guy inward a little bit. That kind of a thing and you can move the points around and whatever you want to do. But he is still active. That endpoint is still active, as warranted by fact that I release the Ctrl key or the Command key and I still have just a pen nib, which is telling you that the path is active, you are going to continue from it.

You can only continue from an endpoint and it must be this last endpoint that you are going to continue from. Sure enough that's the way it is. Now this is another location where I want a cusp point. So I'm going to begin dragging until I get the previous hump the way I want it. Then there is another way to work. Instead of releasing and then Alt+dragging or Option+dragging on the Mac, while you still have the mouse button down, press and hold the Alt key or the Option key. Keep that Alt or Option key down though because if you release it, you are going to get this. It will go back to being a smooth point and you will mess everything up. So get that guy where you want it again, press and hold Alt or Option, move this out of alignment like so, beautiful, and then let's go ahead and close the path and you can do that by dragging from this smooth point like so.

But the problem with working this way is you end up kind of messing up the angle of the control handles and you had already gotten it exactly the way you wanted it, so you run the risk of messing things up. All right, so Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that modification. Watch this. Now you can just click on that smooth point in order to complete the shape and all my anchor points and handles have disappeared, but if I press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and click on that path outline, I'll see that this is still a smooth point. I'll go ahead and Ctrl+drag this point in a little bit, so that I'm shaving off the interior of that heart ever so slightly. I'll drag this control handle in. I'll drag this control handle out, so we have more of a smooth organic curve going on at this point.

And this looks like a really nice path outline. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how we save it off as a custom shape and then we'll see how to employ this path outline as a vector mask.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: My Polygon tool is locked into a very small size. I can use the Transform tool to increase it's size once drawn, but I must have something set that will not allow me to freely draw it like I can the other shapes. What could be causing this problem?
A: This could be caused by a value associated with the Radius option of the tool. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to the right (a few tool icons over) from the Polygon tool in the options bar at the top of the screen. This brings up pop-up panel. If the Radius option has a number value, select that value and press Delete or Backspace to clear it out. That should fix the problem.
 
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