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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
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The Pen tool and the Paths panel


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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: The Pen tool and the Paths panel

This chapter is all about the Pen tool and its ability to draw editable vector-based path outlines. This is the Pen tool right there. It's located along with the other vector-based tools inside of Photoshop including tools that we saw back in the Advanced portion of this series, that is, the Type and the Shape tools. We also have this Arrow tool right there which allows you to select path outlines. But we'll start off with the Pen tool and you can get the Pen tool by clicking on it or pressing the P key. Now, the great thing about the Pen tool is it allows you to draw precise outlines, which you can turn into either vector-based masks or selection outlines one point at a time.
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  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
20h 1m Advanced Sep 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.

Topics include:
  • Using masks and blend modes in radically new ways
  • Mastering the Pen tool and Paths panel
  • Transforming and maximizing Smart Objects
  • Employing Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Exploring the capabilities of Bristle brushes and the Mixer Brush
  • Merging multiple images into seamless panoramas
  • Exploring the full range of luminance with HDR Pro
  • Recording actions and batching-processing images
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

The Pen tool and the Paths panel

This chapter is all about the Pen tool and its ability to draw editable vector-based path outlines. This is the Pen tool right there. It's located along with the other vector-based tools inside of Photoshop including tools that we saw back in the Advanced portion of this series, that is, the Type and the Shape tools. We also have this Arrow tool right there which allows you to select path outlines. But we'll start off with the Pen tool and you can get the Pen tool by clicking on it or pressing the P key. Now, the great thing about the Pen tool is it allows you to draw precise outlines, which you can turn into either vector-based masks or selection outlines one point at a time.

So, you draw what are known as anchor points by either clicking or dragging with the tool and then Photoshop connects the points depending on how you create them with either straight or curving segments. Now, it is that Masking tool that we haven't seen so far because it allows you to draw very precise shape outlines. However, unlike the masking functions that we saw in the previous chapter, you are not using the image to select itself. Rather, you are manually selecting the image, again, one point at a time. Now, there is an exception. There is this Freeform Pen tool right here available from the Pen tool fly-out menu and you use it just like the Lasso tool.

You just drag around inside your image and you cross your fingers and hope for the best and Photoshop automatically creates the points and segments for you. I do not recommend it. I consider it to be largely a waste of time and therefore it does not allow you to fully exploit path outlines. Now, in this exercise I'll give you a basic rundown, a preview of what's going on with the Pen tool so you have a sense of what it's all about. Then, starting in the next exercise I'll show you how to actually draw with it. Now, once you've selected the Pen tool. I want you to go up to the Options Bar and make sure that the second icon in is selected.

This is the default setting, but it's important to make sure it's active. Because if the first item is selected, then you'll just go ahead and draw shape layers, which is not what you want. And those Shape layers will cover up the stuff you're trying to select. It's not useful to you at all. Rather, if you're drawing paths and you'll draw these path outlines that will populate here inside the Paths panel. All right, so here I am working inside this file called Two-image comp.psd. It's found inside the 27_pen_tool folder and it features just two photographs. One that's featured on the man layer which comes to us from Jason Stitt, and then we have the leaf player in the background from Victor Burnside, both associated with the Fotolia Image Library about which you can learn more at fotolia.com.

Let's say we want to select this man, we want to extract him from his white background. Well, that's not a terribly complicated mask as you might imagine. He is very dark skinned, he has on the dark sweater, he's set against a white background. How much easier could it be? I mean we have all the contrast in the world. Why resort to the Pen tool, which requires us to create a selection outline one point at a time and spend probably, where this image is concerned, once you come to terms with things, about 5-10 minutes, let's say. Well, the reason is because you can draw extremely accurate outlines and they will be absolutely smooth.

So, any time you have smooth contours in an image and you want to extract that image, the Pen tool is a great way to go because you're not going to have to apply any post selection processing. In other words, you are not going to have to visit the Refine Edge command in order to smooth out some of the pixel trash that you get with other masking techniques. The Pen tool is always going to deliver smooth results. So, it's not useful for hair I should say that, filigree details are not the Pen tool's strength, smooth contours are its strength. So, in other words faces, portrait shots are great as long as they don't involve hair.

If they do involve hair you can combine a hair mask along with the path outline and I'll show you what that looks like in a future exercise. But for faces or arms, legs, clothing, the Pen tool work great for product shots as well. So anything that's nice and smooth and that's sharply defined as well. Now, I've already drawn a path outline where this image is concerned. We will be tracing it but we need to develop a few skills first. So, I'll show you what I did in advance. Let's go ahead and switch over to the Paths panel and there you will find a path outline called manline.

If you click on it you'll see it. Now, it's kind of difficult to see it. It's very thin gray line, just slightly on the inside edge of the man's face. So, you can see that it's tracing down along his forehead, over along his ear, down his cheek and into his sweater as well. There are a couple of different ways we could now use this path outline in order to mask the layer. One way is to convert it to a vector mask and that way it remains an editable path outline that we can manipulate using one of the Arrow tools and that affords us an awful lot of control and it keep things nice and smooth.

So let's see that. I'll go over to the Layers panel with this path selected, I'll go over to the Layers panel and I would drop down to the bottom of the panel. You see this Add Layer Mask icon, you Ctrl+Click on it or Cmd+Click on that icon on the Mac and that converts the path outline to a vector mask as we're seeing right here. Then, if I click on that vector mask thumbnail to hide the path outline we can see that we have this very smooth transition right here. So, an incredibly accurate definition of this man's face and shoulder. So that's one way to work.

I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Cmd+ Z on the Mac so we can see the other way which is to go ahead and convert the path outline to a pixel-based mask. Then, you can combine it with a hair mask, you can add some blur if need be to account for softly focused edges, that kind of thing. So, I'll go back to the Paths panel and I'll just make sure that this path outline is selected, it is. Now, to convert it to a selection outline, because that's what we need to do in order to convert the path outline to pixels, because the selection outline is a pixel-based object inside of Photoshop.

Go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac and click on it. It's that simple, and that's the way it works when you are converting channels to selection outlines and layers to selection outlines and so on. So it's just a Ctrl+Click, a Cmd+Click on the Mac. Notice that not only gives us the marching ants out here in the Image window but it also deselects the path here in the Paths panel. Now, I'll switch back over to the Layers panel and instead of Ctrl+clicking on this icon or Cmd+Clicking on the Mac, I'll just click on it and we now have a pixel-based layer mask.

Those are your two options when you're working with a path outline. So, that's pretty much everything there is to know about the Pen tool inside of Photoshop except for how to use the darn thing. And I will begin to explain how that works in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
 
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