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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.
In this exercise we are going to add a Custom Shape to this photo illustration, and I'm calling it a photo illustration just because it's not the most photographic thing on earth, but it does have a combination of photographic elements and illustration elements and so on. So that's where that's coming from. This document is called Happy vector mash.psd. Found inside the 24_vector_shapes folder. So called because we have many happily coexisting vector-based path outlines here inside of this one shape layer. We are going to add another one now, Custom Shape. Here is how you make a Custom Shape and more importantly, because it is really easy to draw, here is how you get to all the custom shapes, a big rich library of shapes that ships along with Photoshop.
Go to the Line tool, click and hold choose the Custom Shape tool. I love this tool so much that if you load a Deke keys, I got rid off the keyboard shortcuts for everybody else, but the Custom Shape tool because my reasoning, at least my experiences the one Shape tool that I use over and over and over again is the Custom Shape tool. I don't use the others nearly as much. The Line tool is a distant second, because every once in a while I need arrows, but the Custom Shape tool that one is just plane old wonderfully useful. So go ahead and select it. And then go up to the Shape options right there, click the down pointing arrowhead and you will see this collection of Custom Shapes.
Now if these were all the custom shapes that were available to you, I would say phooey on the Custom Shape tool, because it's just such a random little rinky-dink collection including a copyright and registered trademark symbol and the trademark symbol. Whatever. I mean those are characters or type that you can use fairly easily, but watch this. Click the right pointing arrowhead and you'll see that among some other options that are available to you, we have a list of libraries. So we have Animals, Arrows, Banners and Awards, all these different libraries. We have this one right here called All, and that will load all the libraries.
What I love about this option is that there is all kinds of other libraries out there. There is this pattern libraries out there, there is Pattern Libraries, there is Contour Libraries that kind of thing, Gradient Libraries, and they come in individual libraries that ship along with Photoshop and you have to load them independently of each other. There is no All command except for the Custom Shape tool it come with All so that you can load all the libraries. So you don't have to load each one dependently. And what's great about it is it does include all these other libraries, and it includes all the ones that are available by default right here. So you just choose it and then you say okay, you don't say Append because you duplicate all the ones that are here like the notes, and little fleur-de-lis and so on. You just click OK, and then you get them all. And it's so many, it's like a couple of hundred, and then you can take these over and use them inside of Illustrator as well, which I do and I'll teach you how to do in Illustrator series. It's very easy, but I do show you how to do it, because it can come in very handy for symbols and so on.
So I'm going to go ahead and grab Crown in order to make it active. Then just go ahead and hide this bunch of junk there by clicking on the arrowhead and now in order to make sure that I'm adding this crown to the current election shape mash up right there, I'll press and hold the Shift key and I'll get a little plus next to my cross shaped cursor, and I'm going to drag from here, upward like so. And because I have that Shape key down, I'm constraining my crown so that it's not all tall or short or something along this line. So it constrains it to its original proposition. So I still have the Shift key down there in order to get that affect. And I'll press the Spacebar in order to move the crown over a little bit. So it's right there above the T in election, and then release and now, well, we have a crown. And then I would click on my vector mask thumbnail right there in order to deactivate that mask so that I can see my composition without any of that other garbage going on screen.
Now I'm going to press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with it. Zoom in so that we can see the shapes more up close and personal. In the next exercise we are going to switch over to a different project in which I'll show you a basic overview of how to use the Pen tool. A very useful custom shape creation tool inside of Photoshop.
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