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Creating vector shapes

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Creating vector shapes

Now that we understand the importance of creating flexible graphics using vector shapes inside of Photoshop, let's explore the vector shape tools and how we can create graphics using them right now. I am going to create a new document. I will just do Command+N or Ctrl+N to do that. And I'll just set up something like 900 pixels wide by let's say 500 pixel tall. It doesn't really matter what the size is, as long as it's a decent-sized canvas to work with. And once I get that done, I am going to go down here to the bottom-left corner of the toolbar and click and hold right here where the shape tools are, and let's take a look at the various shape tools that we have at our disposal.

Creating vector shapes

Now that we understand the importance of creating flexible graphics using vector shapes inside of Photoshop, let's explore the vector shape tools and how we can create graphics using them right now. I am going to create a new document. I will just do Command+N or Ctrl+N to do that. And I'll just set up something like 900 pixels wide by let's say 500 pixel tall. It doesn't really matter what the size is, as long as it's a decent-sized canvas to work with. And once I get that done, I am going to go down here to the bottom-left corner of the toolbar and click and hold right here where the shape tools are, and let's take a look at the various shape tools that we have at our disposal.

We have a Rectangle tool, which allows us to create both rectangles and squares. We've have a Rounded Rectangle tool, an Ellipse tool, a Polygon tool, a Line tool, and a Custom Shape tool. Let's first start off with the Rectangle tool. It's very easy to draw rectangles inside of Photoshop: just click and drag and release your mouse. If you want to draw a perfect square, you hold down the Shift key, click, drag, release your mouse, then release the Shift key. Now if I want to draw an ellipse, same basic principle. Go back and I'll select the Ellipse tool. And to draw out a regular ellipse, just click and drag.

If you want to draw out a perfect circle, hold down Shift, click, drag, and release the mouse, release the Shift key. Let's go back. Let's draw a polygon. Now the interesting thing about the Polygon tool is you can control how many sides it has. By default, it should have something like five, like this. So you can see, as I click and drag, it draws out five sides. Let's undo that, and let's come up here to the Options bar. Right here in the Options bar we have the amount of sides. So let's say I want to draw an octagon. I'll do eight sides, hit Enter, and then I'll just click and drag.

If I hold down Shift, it draws out a perfect shape, and I can release my mouse and release the Shift key. Switch to the Move tool, and I can just move that over a little bit. And let's go back into the shapes and let's check out the Rounded Rectangle tool. Much like the Polygon tool, you will be able to choose the Radius number up here, much like you could the sides on the polygon. In this case you might not know what this number needs to be, and that's okay. Just take a stab at it. In this case I'll shrink this down to about 6 pixels, hit Enter, and I will just draw out a rounded rectangle shape.

Now, one of the downfalls of Photoshop is the fact that I can't alter that corner radius after I've drawn the shape. In other applications like Illustrator and Fireworks, you do have the ability to do that, depending on how you drew to shape. For instance, you have Smart Shapes inside of Fireworks and you have the ability to apply rounded corners as a live effect in Illustrator. So if you're looking to develop rounded rectangles, my suggestion would be to actually do those in another application which supports this more flexible workflow. Now let's go back over here and let's go down to the Custom Shapes tool. The Custom Shapes tool is pretty interesting because you have access to a variety of different shapes in Photoshop by default, but you also have the ability to find shapes online and then load them into Photoshop if you choose to.

So let's go up here to the Options bar and find the Shape menu and click on that to drop it down, and you'll see several options that are available to you inside of the Shapes panel automatically. You can also load other shape libraries by clicking this little Settings icon right here and you can choose Load Shapes, if you have something that you have downloaded from the Internet, or you could simply load up the ones that ship with Photoshop by default. There's actually a Web section towards the bottom. If I click on that, you will get the option to either OK to add or append it. Here. I am just going to click OK so it replaces the current library with the web-based shapes.

Once I do that, you're going to see a lot of different UI type of shapes. So like plus and minus icons, forward and backward, up and down, this little save icon, mail, shopping carts, et cetera. These aren't really complex or even that good to look at, but they are a great starting point, and if you're just looking to learn how to draw some shapes, you could just pick one and bring it out, and there you go. Now if you're not big on clicking and drawing-- I know a lot of people don't like doing that-- you can also just simply click with the Shape tool selected and you can draw out a shape.

You can also, when you're drawing shapes that need to be in proportion like this shopping cart, choose to Preserve Proportions. So in this is case I will just set it I need it to be, let's say 100 pixels wide. It automatically adjusts the Height and then I hit OK and it draws out my shape. Pretty easy! So if you're looking for some places to find vector shapes online, my suggestion would be to do a Google search for "Photoshop Vector Shapes" and see what you come up with. You can also check out the Adobe Exchange. You can search Adobe's web site for that for the exact address.

At the Adobe Exchange people post different things, some of them paid, some of them free, which you can download. You can also check out a great web site at premiumpixels.com. That's www.premiumpixels.com, which is run by a guy named Orman Clark, who develops all types of free Photoshop stuff that you can download: shapes, colors, icon sets, all kinds of things that you can open up and load and use in your Photoshop designs completely for free. So, now that we've seen how to create vector shapes inside Photoshop, let's take that one step further and see how we can start to manipulate these by working with their fills and strokes.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 50109 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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