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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this movie we will be working on the file getty.psd. Let's go ahead and double-click that one and open in Photoshop. F to go to Full Screen View mode and then Spacebar to reposition the image. Now a quick word of warning. In the next couple of movies we are going to learn about how to make path selections with the Pen tool. And these few movies are not for the faint of heart, because creating path selections can be actually quite tricky. Yet it's totally worth it, and here's why. This is the most advanced way to make a selection; this is the way that all the pros make their selections. So again, this stuff is really worthwhile to learn.
Well, in this movie all that I want to do initially in de-construct how we can begin to work with paths, and also talk about a few shortcuts. Okay, well first thing you need to do is select the Pen tool from the Tools panel; you can see it there, the shortcut key is P. Then you want to make sure you have the option to create what's called the path, not a shape layer. So click on this option here. The next thing that I'm going to do here is in this area up top I'm going to go ahead and click and drag, and that's one of the ways that you first start to create what's called a path. Now before we actually get into the path I want to de-construct a few things that we are seeing here and also talk about some shortcuts that we are definitely going to need.
All right, well for starters, we can see that I have this little square. I also have these two circles radiating out from that square. What is that square? Well, that's an anchor. What's this little circle out here? That's a little handle. We have a couple of shortcuts to move either the handle or the anchor. Now a handle is actually going to control our trajectory or the direction of the path. Now I know that doesn't make sense yet, but just stick with me for a second. So to move the handle, you think of like a handle on a bike that steers the bike, we want to press the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC. Give me a new option, give me an alternative view. So you press that key and then we can click and reposition that handle. And we can do that to reposition either handle here.
Now the anchor, we are going to press the Command key on a Mac/Ctrl key on a PC, and then we can click and reposition that anchor that way and you can see that it's much more of a dominant move, because we are saying, hey, I command this! Or I'm a controlling person, lift the anchor! So again it's the Command key on a Mac/Ctrl key on a PC. Well, let's turn all of this off for a moment and let's talk a little bit more about paths. I'm going to press the Escape key to escape out of that one and create a new one so that we can begin to think about how this will work. What I'm going to do here is click and drag. Now when I click and drag one of things that I'll notice is that I'm pulling a handle off of this particular area. When I move over to the right and then click and drag down, we then notice that I have a new handle and I have these two handles in between my two anchor points.
Now the handles in between your anchor points are actually controlling the trajectory of this particular path, and there we can see we have a little bit of a bend path. So if I hold the Option key and I click to reposition the handle I can control one-half of that trajectory. I could even make an S out of this because this half of the trajectory is now going down. And you can think of the handle as the direction where the path is going towards. So in this case if I want it to go towards something very high up here, now the path is being pulled up to the top.
On the other hand I can control the other half and keep in mind the paths connected so it's not exactly half, but it is for the most part this portion of the path, I'm going to hold down the Option key here, and click and reposition this, again you can see that I'm controlling the shape of that curve as well as where that curve is actually bending. Now I can bring both of these down to create a little bit of an art there. Now if they are both at the same size and both about, straight up, we have this nice shape. Okay, well, so far so good we have seen how we can create the shape. We now have a trajectory or a handle pointing downward. What happens if I click-and-drag in this way? Well, because the trajectory was pointing downward my path then started to go down, if I wanted to go up I would just click and reposition, and then the other handle as well click and reposition. So in this case you can see that I'm starting to create a little bit of a scallop type of a shape. I'll go ahead and modify that even further.
One of the problems with this little shape that I'm creating is the second path is too big, and again, I'm just making that up just in order to illustrate how this works. If I hold down the Command key I can then reposition that anchor. So again keep in mind Option key for the handle, Command key for the anchor. You also notice when I activate or click on this anchor it then shows me the handles that are surrounding that one. When I go back over here it shows me that handles that are surrounding this anchor point. So again, to reactivate the handle points you can then click on the anchor with the Command key, and then click on the handles with the Option key.
Now you may be thinking, gosh, this is just absolutely crazy. I don't even see how I would actually use this or why I would actually use this. So I don't even know if I really want to use this. Well again, all I want to do in this movie is begin to talk a little bit about paths. And the only two things that you need to know about in this movie is that when you are working with paths there are two things: there is an anchor and there is a handle. You move the anchor by pressing the Command or Ctrl key, you move the handle by pressing the Option or the Alt key. All right, well, now that we know those things and we know just a little bit about paths, let's take a look at how one could use a path in order to create a selection and let's talk about why we would actually want to make a selection this way. And we will do that in the next movie working on this exact file, so go ahead and keep this one open.
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