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Filling & stroking shape layers

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features

Video: Filling & stroking shape layers

Vector-based shape layers have gotten a huge shot in the arm inside Photoshop CS6. Among other things, you can assign fills and strokes to shape layers, much as you can inside Illustrator, down to applying dashed outlines. Now let me show you how that works. I'm going to drop-down to my Shape tool fly out menu and select the Rounded Rectangle tool. And let's say what I want to do is surround this text with a dash-border. I could just drag with the tool to create the shape, but I want you to see yet another way to work. You can click with the tool to bring up the dialog box that allows you to enter numerical settings, and I just happen to know that these settings work well for this image.

Filling & stroking shape layers

Vector-based shape layers have gotten a huge shot in the arm inside Photoshop CS6. Among other things, you can assign fills and strokes to shape layers, much as you can inside Illustrator, down to applying dashed outlines. Now let me show you how that works. I'm going to drop-down to my Shape tool fly out menu and select the Rounded Rectangle tool. And let's say what I want to do is surround this text with a dash-border. I could just drag with the tool to create the shape, but I want you to see yet another way to work. You can click with the tool to bring up the dialog box that allows you to enter numerical settings, and I just happen to know that these settings work well for this image.

Now I'll click OK in order to create the shape. Very minor thing here, but notice that CS6 is smart enough to name the layer after what it is. That doesn't solve our larger problem though, which is that we're covering up the text instead of surrounding it. Now in the old days, you would dial the Fill value down to 0% and then you would have applied a Stroke effect. But that's not necessarily the most intuitive approach. In these days it's not the most powerful approach either. What you do in CS6 is you go up to the Fill and Stroke options in the Options bar. I'll click on the Fill icon and notice that I can fill the shape with a Gradient, I can fill it with a Pattern, or I can fill it with no color at all, which is what I will choose to do in this case.

Then I'll click on the Strokes swatch. Notice that I can assign a Gradient to a stroke. Now technically that fills the stroke with a gradient as opposed to tracing the gradient around the shape. You can also create a Pattern stroke. In my case I'm going to create a Solid Color stroke and then I'm going to make that color white. Now I want to call your attention to this Align Edges check box over here on the right-hand side of the Options bar. It's on by default and that means Photoshop automatically aligns each and every shape layer to the pixel grid, which is a great thing for those of you who are web designers. It ensures sharp outlines all the way around as long as you're working in pixels.

So, my recommendation is not to work in points, but rather in my case I'm going to change this Line Weight value to 12px like so. All right, now let's say I want to align this shape to the image; currently it's too far over to the right. Well, you can do that in CS6 by going up to the Path alignment option here in the Options bar. Selecting this final option here, Align To Canvas, and then once you've done that, you need to make sure the shape is selected, which I haven't done yet. So I'll go ahead and switch to my black arrow tool, which Photoshop calls the Path Selection tool.

I'll go ahead and click on this path outline selected. Then I'll go back up to the Alignment options and choose Horizontal Centers. All right, now I want a nudge to shape up a little bit and I'll do that by pressing the up arrow key a few times. To assign a dash boundary, you go up to this line icon right there and click on it and I'm going to select the first preset, which gives me this result here, which is okay, but not exactly what I'm looking for. Let's say I want to create round dots that are spread apart from each other. I'll go ahead and click More Options in order to bring up the Stroke dialog box, I'm going change the alignment from Inside to Center like so.

Then I'm going to change the Dash value to 0, which at first is not going to give me the effect I'm looking for, but it will in a moment. And I'll change the Gap value to 25px, meaning 25 pixels. And then I will change the Caps setting to Round in order to achieve this effect here. Now if you end up liking it dashed outline that you come up with, you might as well go ahead and save it out as a preset just by clicking the Save button. You don't have to name it or anything else. Then click OK and you'll see your new preset listed here in the Stroke Options panel.

All right, so one last little thing. Let's say you want to hide the path outline. You may be used to the method where you just click on the vector thumbnail there inside Layers panel in order to hide things on screen. That doesn't work anymore. Instead what you can do is press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac in order to hide that outline, so you can actually see what's going on. All right, now I don't really want the dots running through this top text, so I'm going to mask them away. Fortunately you can still combine layer masks along with your vector-based shape layers.

So, I'm going to go ahead and grab my Rectangle tool and I'm going to trace right about here in order to select the area that I want to have to go away. Then I'll drop down to the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of Layers panel and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click on it, and that goes ahead and gets rid of those overlapping dots. And that's how you assign fills and strokes to shape layers here inside Photoshop CS6.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 New Features
Photoshop CS6 New Features

38 video lessons · 41959 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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