In this movie, we'll finish tracing this guy's head and shoulders by creating a series of anchor points out here inside the pasteboard, which is entirely acceptable. Your path can be much larger than the physical confines of the canvas. And along the way, I'll show you how to sever off unwanted control handles, as well as how to add control handles to corner points. So as you can see here, I'm in the middle of drawing this path outline, and I've got the Rubber Band feature turned on. I'm going to go ahead and turn that feature off for now -- you can keep it on if you like -- by clicking on the gear icon, and turning off the Rubber Band checkbox.
And now I'll press Control+0, or Command+0 on the Mac, in order to zoom out from the image. And take a look at this little thumbnail of the path outline here inside the Paths panel. You can see it's a little sliver of a path filled with white. And what's happening is, were I to go ahead and convert this partial path outline to a vector mask, then Photoshop would treat the two endpoints; the one up here at the top of the image, and the one down here at the intersection of his chin and his sweater, as being connected by a straight segment.
So we just mask off the side of his face. That's not what I want, so we need to go ahead and completely encircle the guy by creating a series of points over here beyond the right side of the image. Now, I could drag in order to set some more smooth points if I just kind of wanted to be sloppy, and that would work just fine actually, for our purposes. But let's say I want to be really super neat and tidy, not because I'm compulsive or anything. I just want to pass along a few more techniques. So I'll press Control+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z a few times to get back to that top point there.
I want to create a straight horizontal line out here inside the pasteboard, and so I need to sever away this top control handle, and you do that by pressing the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and clicking on the anchor point. That gets rid of that outgoing control handle. Then I can Shift+click over here in order to join these two points, not only with a straight segment, but an absolutely horizontal one. And then I'll Shift+click down around here in order to join those two points with a vertical segment, and then I'll Shift+click way over here in order to join the last two points with another horizontal segment.
All right, now I'm going to go ahead and zoom on in. Now, my last point is a corner point, but I've got a curving segment coming up here, so I need to turn it into a cusp, in which case, all you have to do is drag from the anchor point, like so. So dragging from a corner point gives it a control handle in the direction of your drag. All right, now I'm going to scroll over just a little bit here, and I'm going to drag from this smooth point up and to the right, like so, in order to match the position of the control handle opposite my cursor, so the one down and to the left there.
And then once I do, I'll release. And I'll press the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, to temporarily access the white arrow tool. Now I'll go ahead and drag this control handle back to this closer location right there. And notice, as soon as you start getting closer and closer to the anchor point, you have less and less control, so you just have to be aware of that. All right, now I'm going to make a few purposeful mistakes, because we'll come back and correct these mistakes in the next movie. I'll just click at the location of this anchor point, approximately; actually it wants to be nudged up and over a little bit. And I'll click right there as well.
And so I've set up a couple of corner points where there should be a smooth points, and a cusp point. And finally, I'm going to go ahead and close this path outline. Now, here is probably the trickiest maneuver where this kind of stuff is concerned. Notice, if I hover the Pen cursor over that first endpoint, then I'll see the little circle showing me that I'm going to close the path outline. And actually, this is a point at which the Rubber Band feature can come in handy. I'm going to click on the gear icon, and turn it back on. So we can see here that as I move my cursor around, I have a straight segment until the moment I hover over that endpoint, and all of a sudden it curves.
And that's because it's showing me what would happen if I click at that point, and I go ahead and accept the control handle that had already been drawn. And so now that I've done that, I'll go ahead and Control+click or Command+click on that segment, so you can see, there is the default control handle coming out of that smooth point. That's not what I want at all, so I'll press Control+Alt+Z, or Command+Option+Z on the Mac, to backstep, and reactivate my path. Instead, what you do is you hover your cursor over that endpoint, and then you press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and notice that flattens out the segment.
And you drag from that anchor point, and you drag in the opposite direction of where you actually want to place the control handle; notice that, because if you were to drag in the same direction, like that, then you would curve the path outline up and over that anchor point, and obviously that's not what we want. But it is a little bit confusing, because there is no control handle whatsoever underneath your cursor; in fact, there's nothing going on. In fact, you're performing a kind of mirror image maneuver, so that may seem like a really wacky UI decision, but what Photoshop is trying to do is maintain consistency in terms of how the Pen tool experience works.
All right, that goes ahead and deselects and deactivates the path. So I'll press the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, and click on that path outline to select it. I'm actually going to move this point up a little bit, because I don't want his chin to suddenly go in a different direction once it encounters the mask, so I'll drag that anchor point up, and I'm dragging the control handle over and to the left. And by the way, I'm doing all of this while the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, is down. And now I'll Spacebar+drag up, and I'll Control+drag or Command+drag this control handle upward. All right, so at this point I've veered away from the template, so I might as well switch back to the Layers panel, and turn the points & handles layer off.
That completes the path outline, more or less. The problem is that I inserted a couple of clunky corner points. I don't want those corner points. I want the first one here to be a smooth point, and then I want this guy to be a cusp. The question is, how do you convert interior points? And the answer is, I'll tell you in the next movie.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 47433 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 34415 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 80289 Viewers
116 Video lessons · 70209 Viewers