Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie, I'll show you how to adjust the curvature of a path by dragging control handles. So the first thing that we want to do here is switch to the white arrow tool, and so I'll click and hold on the arrow tool, and select the Direct Selection tool from the flyout menu. Then I'll go ahead and zoom in to the top of this left-hand page. And notice that we've got a couple of smooth points here, and you can identify smooth points by clicking on them, and then you'll see the anchor points still appear square, because they always do inside Photoshop. But the point is surrounded by two lines, ending in circles, and those circles are the control handles.
And if you drag one of these circles, you'll see a couple of things happen. First of all, you're pulling, in my case, at the curvature of the segment, and secondly, you're also moving the opposing control handle in the opposite direction. So the control handles operate like a kind of seesaw, with the anchor point at the fulcrum. The difference is that the seesaw can get shorter or longer depending on your needs. So notice, if I go with a very short control handle like this, then the segment curves abruptly right at the beginning, and then it flattens out.
If you want to add curvature to that segment, then you have to drag the control handle outward, so that you have a very long lever, as you see here. All right. I'm going to go ahead and move this guy down a little bit to about this location; looks pretty good. And I might press the up arrow key in order to nudge that anchor point up, which is going to require me to drag this control handle down a little bit. And by the way, it's the anchor point that's selected, so if you press the up and down arrow keys, you're always going to change the position of the anchor point.
To change the position of a control handle, you have to drag inside of the image window. All right, now let's go ahead and drag this opposing control handle now. Once you've gotten one control handle in place, you have to be very careful when you drag the other control handle, because obviously the position of the opposite handle is at its disposal, because the two are locked into alignment with eachother. And that's the basic nature of the smooth point. The fact that they're locked into alignment with eachother ensures that you have a smooth, continuous curve from one segment into the other, so that constraint, wherein moving one control handle affects the other one, is actually a good thing. All right.
I'm going to Spacebar+drag the image over here a little bit. I'll select this anchor point, another smooth point, by clicking on it, and then I'll nudge it upward there. And I need to drag this control handle over to the right a little bit, like so. Then I'm going to have to go back to this control handle, and ease up on it, so that we're cutting into the page. Again, I want to make sure to select too few pixels, as opposed to too many. All right. Let's go over to this control handle. He is a little tougher. This is over at the top of the right-hand page. I'm going to click on it to make it active.
And incidentally, when you're working with curved segments like these, you can drag them directly in order to change the curvature of the path outline. And notice what I have done over there on the left-hand side; I've added a control handle to what was formerly a corner point right there, which turns it into what's known as a cusp point, and we'll visit those later, but that's really a great thing, because it gives me more control. And so I can go ahead and drag this control handle down, like so, and then I can drag this one up, so that I do a better job of masking those pixels on the inside edge of that page.
And then I will go ahead and drag this guy over to about here. This guy might have come up a little bit too far, so I might take him down to about that location. I'm cutting in on this page pretty significantly, but I kind of think I need to in order to avoid getting any of those dark pixels on the edge. All right, now let's check out this anchor point. Obviously it needs help, so I'll click on it to make it active, and then I'll go ahead and drag up on its control handle. It looks like this guy is a little too high for me, so I'll back off of it, but I need to make sure that I'm not doing any lifting over here on the left-hand side of the anchor point.
It looks pretty good, actually. And this area looks to be in good shape too. We won't really know if it's exactly accurate until we assign the path as a vector mask, which we'll do in the next movie, but we can get a sense of what's going on right now. All right. This guy looks to be in pretty good shape. I might drag him up just a little bit, like so. And then I'll select this anchor point right there, and drag its control handle out, and over. If I want just a little bit of additional control, I can do that same trick I did before, where I drag the segment directly, and that's going to go ahead and pull a control handle out of that corner in the middle of the magazine.
Now, I'll drag this control handle up and over in order to match the curvature of the page. And then, so far as the left page is concerned, I think we're fine as is. I might go ahead and click on this anchor point there, and just nudge this control handle down a little bit, but that ends up lifting up on the other side as well. That actually looks okay. So I'll press Control+0, Command+0 on a Mac, in order to zoom out from the image, and I'll also click off the path outline, so I am no longer seeing the anchor points.
That is my completed path outline, complete with gently curving segments, thanks to my ability to drag control handles, as well as directly drag curving segments. In the next movie, I'll show you how to assign this path outline as a vector mask.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 43024 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 54345 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 14570 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 82927 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.