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Line tool and layer attributes

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Line tool and layer attributes

All right so here we are, people, in the 24th chapter of this gianormous series, 3000 movies inside of Photoshop CS4 One-on-One. We are in the portion of the series called Mastery, in which I purport to tell you how to master Photoshop. How to make it do anything you wanted to do. And I'm going to tell you with a straight face that this exercise is all about drawing a horizontal line. And it's actually it is an important little lesson because Photoshop doesn't handle lines like any of the other programs out there, like your Illustrators and your Flashes and your InDesigns and so on.

Line tool and layer attributes

All right so here we are, people, in the 24th chapter of this gianormous series, 3000 movies inside of Photoshop CS4 One-on-One. We are in the portion of the series called Mastery, in which I purport to tell you how to master Photoshop. How to make it do anything you wanted to do. And I'm going to tell you with a straight face that this exercise is all about drawing a horizontal line. And it's actually it is an important little lesson because Photoshop doesn't handle lines like any of the other programs out there, like your Illustrators and your Flashes and your InDesigns and so on.

Instead it draws a line as a shape because it has to be filled in, and that's just the paradigm. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Field & stripes.psd found inside of the 24_vector_shapes folder. I want you to click on the election layer right there to make it active. And you might want to twirl it open too, so that you can see your drop shadow there, which tells you that we have a Drop Shadow layer effect assigned to this layer. Now it will become important in just a moment. Now I want to create an underscore, under the word election, using a horizontal line. And you might say, "Deke, if you wanted to do that, why didn't you just add an underscore type style to this text before you went and converted it to a shape layer? You could have done that, buddy." Well, here are two reasons I didn't. One, you don't really have control over an underscore. You don't have the control over the spacing. You don't have control over the weight. And I want this underscore to go all the way to the left edge of my photo illustration here.

So lots of reasons that we are going to draw it by hand. It gives us more control. We are going to go over here to the toolbox, click and hold on the Polygon tool, which happens to be the last tool I used. We are going to switch to the Line tool and I want to draw a thick line. That's going to have a Weight of 12 pixels. So I'm going to press Shift+Right Bracket. Notice that increases the Weight value by 10 pixels so up to 11. And then I'll press Right Bracket again for 12 pixels. And of course you could change the value manually, if you had a mind to.

Now something else to note about the Line tool. It's great for creating arrows. So if you click this down pointing arrowhead. You have the option of choosing to Add Arrowheads to your line. And it can be at the start of the line or at the end of the line, either way and you can set the Width, which is going to be how wide the arrowhead is. How long it is. By the way these percentages are with respect to the Weight value. So 500% of the line weight wide and 1000% of the line weight tall. So in other words you are going to have a 120 pixel tall arrowhead, because the 1000% is ten times. And then Concavity, you know let me show you that one.

Let's go ahead and draw an arrowhead at the start of this line for just a moment. So we can see what I'm talking about. And so there is our arrowhead right there at the start of the line. But notice that it has a perpendicular edge to it right there. So it goes from a diagonal line to a differently diagonal headline right there. But let's say you want a more standard arrow that actually pulls back this thing a little bit. So it's more of a spear. Then you would want to change the Concavity value and I'll show you how that works. Let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on Mac to undo the creation of that arrow line. And I'll change the Concavity value to something I like to use a lot, which is 20%. It turns out to work out pretty nicely. This is the value I just kind of default to and I don't like it so long. I want this more like 500% Length and let's go with something wider, like let's try 1000% wide.

Why don't we, just for fun? And then I'll drag. Oh! That looks terrible. But notice there is the Concavity right there. So we have some arching going on. That is just awful though. Let's go ahead and switch here to something better. Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Let's change that Length value to 1000% as well. So 1000, 1000 and let's go ahead and drag once again. And that's more like it. I still think that arrowhead is way too big for this line, 500, 500 might have been better. But you get a sense for how it works. So there is your concavity going on right there. We don't want that, so Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. I want no arrowheads, so I'm going to turn off the arrowhead like so. And also I want to match the style and both the color that's associated with election, white, so we are not drawing these gray things all the time. And I want that exact Drop Shadow, how do I get it? Well you can come up here and click on this chain icon right there. Ain't going to work for me though. Notice I'm clicking on that chain. You can't really see me clicking away here, but I'm telling you I am. And it's not working for me.

The reason is because the mask has to be active. I don't know why that is, but the vector mask has to be active. So you have to click on that vector mask all the sudden, Ooh! It goes ahead and selects itself. A moment ago it wouldn't respond to anything I was doing, but as soon as it sees the vector mask -- Oh! Oh yeah, I get it. It goes ahead and selects itself, great. Anyway you can turn it off if you want to, if you want to go your own way. Anyway I want it on. Now because we have these guides up on screen, we are going to snap to the guide. I want it kind of keep it right there in the middle of the guides like that.

But I don't want the snapping to occur. So I'll press Ctrl+; or Command+; on the Mac, get rid of those guides. So they are not intruding on my ability to draw horizontal line. And now I'll draw like so. And notice it's going to be at whatever crazy angle you want to make it. I'm going to press and hold the Shift key, in order to get a horizontal line, or it could be vertical or diagonal, depends on the direction of your drag and draw all the way off screen. Far enough so that you are going off of the illustration and you get a line just like this one here. That's so very pretty. And then let's go ahead and name it something like underscore.

Now somebody who is paying attention might say "Hey, since you wanted the same fill and you wanted the same drop shadow and everything and this was already a shape layer. Couldn't have you just added it to that same vector mask?" To which I would tell you nice! Yes, that's there is no reason on earth to make this an independent layer. We could have done that. If I wanted to do that, well I would have done. Let's just go ahead and back step a couple steps or Ctrl+Alt+Z a couple times, Command+Opiton+Z a couple times on the Mac. Click on that vector-based mask right there, in order to make it active. So that you can see the outlines and press and hold the Shift key like so, so that we are going to add to that vector mask and drag like so, like that there. You can press the Spacebar in order to move the line on the fly if you want to, if you need to. Get it in exactly the right position like so. This looks pretty darn good to me I think.

And then release and now they are together, and notice that it is a filled shape. So just something to bear in mind. You are not going to change the Line Weight after drawing the line. Photoshop must be like the only program on the face of the planet that's left that after you draw a line you can't change the Line Weight value anymore. And that's because it's not a line with a Weight value with the stroke associated with it. Instead what it is is a shape. All right so there you have it. We drew a horizontal line in Photoshop.

In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to draw a custom shape and I'm going to show you how to load a world of custom shapes that are available to you that you would never know about coming right up.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

147 video lessons · 27709 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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