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Using the Convert Point tool

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Using the Convert Point tool

Now, we have seen how to convert points. For example, how to convert a smooth point to a cusp point, or a corner point to a cusp point, by dragging or Alt dragging on it, using the Pen tool, but that only works with the last point you drew; that is to say, with an endpoint. If you try those maneuvers on an interior point, it's not really going to work. For example, if I were going to click on an interior point in this path, I would delete it, like so. So I will go ahead and press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change. The solution is to take advantage of a tool we haven't see yet, which is also available in the Pen tool flyout menu, and that's this tool right there: the Convert Point tool. And you can cycle to it, by the way, by pressing Shift+P a couple of times.

Using the Convert Point tool

Now, we have seen how to convert points. For example, how to convert a smooth point to a cusp point, or a corner point to a cusp point, by dragging or Alt dragging on it, using the Pen tool, but that only works with the last point you drew; that is to say, with an endpoint. If you try those maneuvers on an interior point, it's not really going to work. For example, if I were going to click on an interior point in this path, I would delete it, like so. So I will go ahead and press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change. The solution is to take advantage of a tool we haven't see yet, which is also available in the Pen tool flyout menu, and that's this tool right there: the Convert Point tool. And you can cycle to it, by the way, by pressing Shift+P a couple of times.

Notice, it has the most unremarkable tool icon, which is sort of the tip of an arrow, or a caret, if you prefer. And sure enough, the cursor looks like that caret when you hover it over an existing anchor point. So you may recall, we've got two corner points here that require our attention, and here's how we can modify them using the Convert Point tool. The first option is to drag from the point, and if you do that, then you'll convert that corner point into a smooth point, as you see me doing here. You need to make sure you're dragging in the right direction.

It's often difficult to predict which direction you should go, but if you get it wrong in the first place, then just drag the other way. So that's one to work, and you can continue to do that, by the way; if you keep dragging from that point, you are going to continue to create a smooth point over and over again. If you want to turn a smooth point into a cusp instead, then you drag one of its control handles, like so, and that will move the control handle in an independent direction. If you want to convert either a smooth point or a cusp point to a corner point, you just click on the anchor point, like so, and that will get rid of all the control handles that are coming out of that point.

In my case, I want this point to be a smooth point, so I will go ahead and drag out from it, like so, and then if I decide I want to make a change to this opposing control handle, I am not going to drag it, because that would move in independently, and create a cusp point. So I will press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change. Instead, what you want to do is press and hold the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, which will give you temporary access to the white arrow tool, and then you can move those two control handles together, thus ensuring that you maintain the smooth point. Now, it may seem like a lot of work here to switch between all these tools.

We now have three tools that you need to pay attention to; that is, the Pen tool, which allows you to create the points in the first place. The white arrow tool, which allows you to make standard modifications, and then of course, we have got the Convert Point tool, which allows you to convert the character of an interior point. So that means you are going to be switching around between tools quite a bit. It turns out you can make all of those modifications using the Pen tool by itself. So if the Pen tool is selected, you press and hold the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, in order to gain temporary access to that white arrow tool, so that eliminates your need to switch back and forth to it.

And then if you want to gain access to the Convert Point tool, you press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and then hover your cursor over an existing anchor point, and now with Alt or Option down, I can go ahead and drag from this point, for example, in order to convert it to a smooth point, as we are seeing here. And then if I keep the Alt or Option key down, and drag from this control handle, I can move it up to a better location, and thus convert this anchor point to a cusp point. And finally, if I Alt+Click or Option+Click on the point, I will go ahead and convert it to a corner, as I had in the first place.

That's obviously now what I want, so I will press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, in order to restore that cusp point. All right, now comes the moment of truth. As things stand now, our path outline exist entirely independently of the layer composition, which is the way it is inside Photoshop layers, and alpha channels, and path outlines are utterly and completely independent of eachother, until they're merged together inside the Layers panel. And by merged together, I mean we need to convert this path outline to a vector mask.

So make sure the man layer is selected if you're working along with me, and then go up to the options bar, and click on the Mask button in order to convert that path outline to a vector mask, and then I will click on the vector mask to make it active, and click again in order to hide the mask, so that we can see if we've got any problems. Now, this portion of the shoulder looks really good. However, right there we have got a little bit of brightness from the background, so I will press the A key to switch back to my white arrow tool, and I will click the vector mask to select it. Now let's go ahead and grab this anchor point right there, which seems to be the problem, and nudge it down just a little bit.

So if you go too far into the sweater, who is going to notice? That's just fine. But people are going to notice if they see white edge fringing, obviously. All right, now I will click on the vector mask in order to hide it, and we have got a little bit of a bright edge on the side of his jaw there; looks a lot like Homer Simpson from this vantage point. I will go ahead and click on layer mask again in order to make it active, and then I will select this path outline, and I will drag it up just a little bit, and I think that might solve my problem, but it looks like it introduces a bigger problem up here along his cheek.

So let's go ahead and take this edge in, like so, and I might just need to nudge that anchor point in a little bit by pressing the right arrow key a couple of times, and I will click, once again, on the vector mask to hide it. This is looking pretty darn good, I think. I will go ahead and scroll up to his ear, which has some problems. So I will bring back the path outline. We have got a problem up here at the tip of the ear, so I will go ahead and drag this control handle down, and we had a problem at the base of the ear as well, so I will go ahead and move this point upward, like so. Make sure I am not clipping away too much of his face, and I might drag this control handle up a little bit too.

And notice that these control handles are very long. I'm completely violating that two thirds rule. I have got 100% of the segment covered, but after all, that's the way his ear is shaped. All right, so I will go ahead and hide the vector mask once again. Looks like we are pretty good, actually. In fact, I think we are great! So I will go ahead and press Control+0, or Command+0 on the Mac, in order to zoom out from the image, and then I will press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode, and we might as well zoom in a little bit as well. And that is the final version of this guys face masked against this ginormous leaf background, and by golly, he's masked with perfection, thanks to the incredible level of precision afforded to you by the Pen tool, and the Paths panel here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

124 video lessons · 19374 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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