# Understanding paths

## Video: Understanding paths

Well now that we know a little about how paths works, let's de-construct how they work even further. Now here you can see I have this little icon of a cannon. I'm going to use that to talk a little bit about how I think paths and the Pen tool actually works. So let's press P on the keyboard to select the Pen tool and then when I click to create an anchor point right here at the mouth of the canon and click and drag out. One of the things that you can think about with the canon is wherever it's pointing, you would know the trajectory of that canon ball, right? So if I click and drag over here, we can see I have the trajectory kind of following that line. Let's go ahead and undo that for a moment and let's say that we have the canon at a different trajectory. Now it's pointed up, so I'll go ahead and click and drag up and then click and drag over here. We can see that wherever this handle is pointing, it's showing my overall trajectory of where that path or where that curved line is going to actually go.

## Understanding paths

Well now that we know a little about how paths works, let's de-construct how they work even further. Now here you can see I have this little icon of a cannon. I'm going to use that to talk a little bit about how I think paths and the Pen tool actually works. So let's press P on the keyboard to select the Pen tool and then when I click to create an anchor point right here at the mouth of the canon and click and drag out. One of the things that you can think about with the canon is wherever it's pointing, you would know the trajectory of that canon ball, right? So if I click and drag over here, we can see I have the trajectory kind of following that line. Let's go ahead and undo that for a moment and let's say that we have the canon at a different trajectory. Now it's pointed up, so I'll go ahead and click and drag up and then click and drag over here. We can see that wherever this handle is pointing, it's showing my overall trajectory of where that path or where that curved line is going to actually go.

Okay well let's undo that even further and then talk about how this applies to our image. Now one of the things that we can see here with this particular image is that if I want to create a path around the edge of this portion of the building, we can see that this is bending in a specific way. Now if we were to turn that bent line into an arrow or more specifically an arrow that looks something like this, we can see that that bent line realistically is pointing right about here. Well how then does that relate to creating a path? Well, let's go ahead and turn off these layers for a moment and I'm going to then grab my Pen tool, press the P on the keyboard and I'm going to click to create an anchor point and drag out towards where that curve is pointing, right it's pointing up, it's not pointing down here because I want to go to the outer edge of this particular curve and then I'll click and drag over here and now that you can see I have the beginnings of our edge or a line around that curve.

Now it wasn't perfect, yet your edges will become more perfect with practice. So I need to fix it up. Well all I need to do is hold down the Option key on Mac/Alt key on a PC and slowly move that until I can get that right around the edge of this particular curve. And so I'll go ahead and pull it down and I'll also pull it closer and further away from the anchor point, until I can find the sweet spot where it's a combination of both handles in order to get that right on the money. Okay, well now that I have created this little edge, what I can do is navigate to my Paths panel. Now here you can see the beginning path that I have, I'll double click that and I'll name this 'top' for just the top curve. Now what can I do with this? Well there are a number of different things, if I had completed this and may be gone around, I could have turned this into a selection or I can add a Brush Stroke around this.

So I'll go and go back to my Layers and create a new layer, the Visibility on, go to the Paths tab and then I'm going to click on the Brush Stroke icon and there we can see if I click off this that I now have this black line along that edge. So one of the things that you can begin to do with your path selections is you can add brush strokes to them. Okay well that's kind of interesting. What about this other path that we have here? If you click on Middle, you will notice that I have a nice path around this portion of the building. In this case what I'm going to do is go ahead and Fill that. So now here we can see that that's filled with black. Okay it's kind of interesting; I'll undo that, Command+ Z on the Mac/Ctrl+Z on a PC. I can also turn this into a selection.

So I'll click on this icon here to allow the path as a selection. So now that that's a selection, I can then go back to my Layers palette and I can do a wide range of things here. One is I could click on the Adjustment layer icon and choose Curves. That will then open up the Curves dialog and here I'm able to control the overall the brightness or contrast or density of that particular area. For that matter I can go into some of the different channels of the curve and I could then begin to modify the overall color or tone of that specific area. Now at this image do I actually want to make a change like that? No. Yet all that I want to do in this movie is we are going to de-construct a few more things about paths. All right well now that we have seen a little bit more about how to work with paths and how you may want to work with paths, let's talk about how we can make a selection or make a selection just like this using the Pen tool and we will do that in the next movie.

Show transcript

#### This video is part of

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers

228 video lessons · 36500 viewers

Author

Expand all | Collapse all
1. ### Welcome

3m 28s
1. Introduction
2m 43s
2. Using the exercise files
45s
2. ### 1. Strategies and Resources for Learning

19m 32s
1. Taking visual snapshots
2m 33s
2. What's new in the Photoshop CS4 menus
1m 24s
3. The importance of the 30-minute blink
2m 38s
4. Isolation
3m 32s
5. Taking notes
2m 29s
6. Creative memorization
2m 16s
7. Verbalize, human, fun
1m 18s
8. Lessons from a legend: Douglas Kirkland
2m 10s
1m 12s
3. ### 2. Getting Started

30m 42s
1. Is Photoshop CS4 worth it?
2m 50s
2. Seeing the new Tools panel
3m 22s
3. Working with the Application bar
2m 51s
4. Navigating with the Hand and Zoom tools
4m 27s
5. Rotating with the new Rotate View tool
2m 0s
6. New ways of arranging documents
5m 41s
7. Working with the panels
2m 34s
2m 11s
9. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
3m 12s
1m 34s
4. ### 3. Color Settings and Preferences

39m 36s
5m 4s
2. Setting Image Interpolation preferences
3m 1s
3. Zoom preferences
2m 40s
4. Interface preferences
7m 46s
5. File-handling preferences
2m 33s
6. Performance preferences: Memory
5m 40s
7. Performance preferences: Cursor
5m 46s
8. Performance preferences: Transparency and Gamut
4m 44s
9. Reviewing the other preferences
2m 22s
5. ### 4. The Digital Image

21m 14s
1. Bit Depth 101
4m 34s
2. Introducing image size
2m 47s
3. Image Resize overview
7m 54s
4. Resizing by cropping
3m 33s
5. Straightening
2m 26s
6. ### 5. Foundations of Color Management

10m 10s
1. Introducing color management
2m 3s
2. Monitor calibration basics
2m 43s
2m 36s
4. Creating a neutral work environment
2m 48s
7. ### 6. Introducing Adobe Bridge

11m 17s
1. Using Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom together
2m 20s
2. Bridge as a digital light box
1m 19s
3. General Bridge preferences
2m 49s
4. Thumbnail Bridge preferences
1m 38s
5. Advanced and Cache Bridge preferences
3m 11s
8. ### 7. Getting Started with Bridge

28m 1s
1. Creative tip 1: Discarding, the great selection technique
4m 6s
2. Introducing the Bridge interface
3m 27s
3. Getting photos from your camera
4m 14s
4. Choosing a workspace
4m 16s
5. Customizing the workspace and the Synchronized window
4m 10s
6. Using Bridge to rate and sort
4m 3s
7. Sorting with filters
3m 45s
9. ### 8. Working with Bridge

33m 53s
1. Previewing multiple files
5m 6s
2. The Bridge Review mode
7m 4s
3. The Bridge Full Screen mode
3m 8s
4. Bridge slideshows
4m 25s
5. Stacking images
3m 24s
6. Renaming and batch-renaming
4m 11s
1m 58s
8. Grouping images with Collections
4m 37s
10. ### 9. Using Metadata in Bridge

15m 3s
3m 34s
2. Customizing the workspace for metadata
2m 20s
3m 55s
4. Keywording images
3m 33s
5. Filtering images based on metadata
1m 41s
11. ### 10. Bridge Essentials

9m 54s
1. Recording an action
2m 16s
2. Batch-processing an action
2m 11s
3. Simplifying repetitive steps using the Image Processor
2m 21s
4. Opening multiple images as layers
3m 6s
12. ### 11. Introduction to Camera Raw

1h 13m
1. What is Camera Raw?
2m 47s
2. Understanding the Camera Raw preferences
3m 15s
3. Opening files in Camera Raw
5m 23s
4. The Camera Raw interface and essential controls
5m 13s
5. White Balance, Straighten, and Tone
3m 2s
6. Crop, Rotate, and Vignette
5m 6s
7. Improving color and tone
4m 45s
8. Saturation vs. Vibrance
4m 46s
9. Converting an image to black and white
4m 7s
10. Split-toning an image
3m 32s
11. Working with tone subjectively
5m 56s
3m 19s
7m 24s
14. Working with the Graduated filter
4m 6s
15. Sharpening and noise reduction
6m 10s
16. Working with multiple images
4m 45s
13. ### 12. Layers

38m 42s
1. Creative tip 2: Worth the risk
2m 30s
2. Introducing layers
2m 53s
3. Working with layers
2m 21s
4. Working with History and the History Brush
4m 1s
5. Aligning layers
1m 56s
6. Organizing layers
4m 17s
7. Layer style effects
4m 21s
4m 27s
9. Creating a reflection of an image
2m 37s
10. Targeting and moving layers
5m 36s
11. Reviewing layers shortcuts
3m 43s
14. ### 13. The Masks Panel

31m 31s
2m 8s
2. Creating a simple layer mask
3m 51s
3m 25s
4. Using Color Range to create a detailed mask
3m 48s
5. Creating a layer mask with Color Range
5m 5s
3m 35s
2m 58s
6m 41s
15. ### 14. Custom Borders

24m 15s
1. Creating a custom border with masking
5m 41s
2. Using pre-built borders
7m 6s
3. Exploring sample image frames
4m 59s
4. Frame plugin highlight: Photoframe
6m 29s
16. ### 15. Selections

51m 47s
1. Creating a mask with the Quick Selection tool
5m 39s
2. Working with the Quick Selection tool
4m 12s
3. Creating color range selections
4m 46s
5m 1s
5. Using the Magic Wand
2m 33s
6. Using the Lasso tool
5m 37s
7. Pen and path shortcuts
5m 20s
8. Understanding paths
4m 7s
9. Creating path selections
6m 3s
10. The Magnetic Lasso tool and paths
8m 29s
17. ### 16. The Adjustments Panel

21m 10s
2m 26s
2. Brightness and contrast
3m 39s
3. Understanding the difference between Vibrance and Saturation
2m 55s
4. Using the Target Adjustment tool
4m 9s
3m 15s
4m 46s
18. ### 17. Levels

17m 45s
1. Introducing levels
1m 58s
2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
3m 3s
3. Modifying color with levels
3m 47s
3m 13s
5. Using levels and masking to get the most out of adjustments
5m 44s
19. ### 18. Curves

40m 58s
1. Demystifying curves
6m 52s
2. Using curves for contrast and tone
3m 33s
2m 50s
4. Curves and general Hue/Saturation
2m 54s
5. Enhancing color with curves
6m 18s
6. Curves, color, masking, and tone
5m 10s
4m 54s
8. Creative tip 3: Using curves for publication
5m 14s
9. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
3m 13s
20. ### 19. Blending Modes

24m 7s
1. Creative tip 4: Ordinary ingredients = extraordinary results
2m 23s
2. Introducing blend modes
5m 36s
3. Blend modes visualized
6m 48s
4. Blending multiple images
6m 9s
5. Blend modes shortcuts
3m 11s
21. ### 20. Color Correction

42m 57s
1. Correcting color with eyedroppers
4m 37s
2. Advanced color correction with eyedroppers
2m 27s
3. Color correction with Camera Raw
3m 3s
4. Performing difficult color correction with Camera Raw
3m 1s
5. Performing easier color correction with a color chart
2m 31s
6. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
3m 42s
7. Color-correcting by the numbers
4m 10s
8. Color correction: Studio shot
3m 6s
9. Color correction: Light skin tone
3m 6s
10. Color correction: Dark skin tone
3m 44s
11. Color correction: Multiple skin tones
6m 40s
12. Color correction plugin highlight: SkinTune 2
2m 50s
22. ### 21. Modifying Color and Tone

44m 44s
1. Replacing color with Hue/Saturation
3m 2s
2. Replacing a color
5m 6s
3. Modifying color with Selective Color
3m 5s
4. Color focus
5m 59s
5. Experimenting with cool and warm colors
5m 18s
6. Enhancing a portrait with sunset colors
5m 16s
7. Enhancing a landscape with sunrise colors
5m 19s
8. Enhancing a color group shot
3m 17s
9. Using photo filters with black-and-white photos
3m 14s
10. Using photo filters with color photos
5m 8s
23. ### 22. Burning and Dodging

22m 3s
1. Introducing the Burn and Dodge tools
2m 56s
2. Using the Burn and Dodge tools
3m 47s
3. Darkening corners with the Soft Light blend mode
3m 0s
4. Adding contrast to the highlights
2m 30s
5. Darkening a portion of an image
2m 45s
6. Correcting bright and dark tones
3m 56s
7. Reducing highlights with the Multiply blend mode
3m 9s
24. ### 23. Black-and-White Conversion

19m 30s
1. Creative tip 5: Seeing beyond the color - your gear is good enough
4m 58s
2. Introducing black-and-white conversion
3m 37s
3. Portrait black-and-white conversion
3m 31s
4. Landscape black-and-white conversion
2m 40s
5. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
4m 44s
25. ### 24. Filters

11m 16s
1. Introducing Smart Filters
2m 36s
2. Applying Smart Filters
3m 21s
3. Blending and masking Smart Filters
5m 19s
26. ### 25. Removing Noise

19m 38s
1. Noise reduction with Surface Blur
4m 36s
2. The Noise Reduction filter
2m 54s
3. Advanced noise reduction with Channels
5m 32s
4. Advanced noise reduction with the Dfine plugin
6m 36s
27. ### 26. Image Cleanup

33m 29s
1. The Dust and Scratches Filter
3m 57s
2. Using masking to remove dust and scratches
5m 10s
3. Introducing the trio of healing tools
6m 18s
4. Using the Healing and Clone Stamp tools
4m 21s
5. Using the Patch tool
7m 40s
6. Cleaning up an image with what's there
6m 3s
28. ### 27. Retouching Essentials

58m 58s
1. Creative tip 6: A beautiful mistake
2m 51s
2. Cleaning up a background
3m 21s
3. Removing blemishes
4m 19s
4. Cleaning up backgrounds and blemishes
3m 46s
5. Brightening eyes
3m 12s
6. Changing eye color
4m 55s
7. Darkening the edge of an eye
1m 32s
2m 25s
9. Correcting distortion
2m 19s
10. Reducing eye wrinkles
4m 4s
11. Adding height and reducing wrinkles
7m 55s
12. Whitening teeth
4m 6s
13. Whitening teeth using Quick Mask
3m 39s
14. Softening skin
5m 5s
15. Removing red-eye
2m 21s
16. The next steps in retouching
3m 8s
29. ### 28. Sharpening

38m 35s
1. Introducing Smart Sharpen
3m 23s
2. Smart Sharpen demystified
4m 10s
8m 46s
4. Using the Unsharpen Mask filter
5m 19s
5. Black-and-white High Pass sharpening
8m 2s
6. Color High Pass sharpening
3m 27s
7. Sharpening and tone
5m 28s
30. ### 29. Getting Images Online

28m 38s
1. Resizing for email and the web
3m 1s
2. Image size considerations
2m 54s
3. Preparing files for the web
4m 37s
4. Sharpening for the web
2m 12s
5. Correcting color for the web
3m 10s
6. The Save for Web dialog
3m 51s
7. Creating a web gallery
6m 21s
2m 32s
31. ### 30. Printing

23m 33s
1. Creating contact sheets
4m 19s
2. Presenting your photos as a PDF slideshow
2m 55s
3. Desktop printing recommendations
1m 40s
4. Preparing to print
5m 53s
5. Using Soft Proof to pre-visualize printing
3m 46s
6. Using the Print dialog
3m 31s
7. Print settings
1m 29s

23s
1. Goodbye
23s

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