Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the Convert Point tool


Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Using the Convert Point tool

Now we've 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 end point. 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'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to undo that change. The solution is to take advantage of a tool we haven't seen yet which is also available in the pen tool fly out menu.
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 0s
  2. 44m 47s
    1. Adding shortcuts and adjusting preferences
    2. Loading my dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      4m 36s
    3. Reviewing your new custom keyboard shortcuts
      14m 46s
    4. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    5. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    6. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    7. The interface and performance settings
      7m 28s
    8. Adjusting Photoshop color settings
      8m 2s
  3. 54m 30s
    1. Smart Object means "indestructible"
      1m 38s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      5m 2s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 9s
    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 27s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Editing originals; updating clones
      4m 38s
    12. Embedding versus linking (CC 2014)
      7m 22s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 43s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      5m 55s
    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
  5. 49m 8s
    1. How the Curves graph works
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors; smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 55s
  6. 1h 50m
    1. Photoshop's digital darkroom
      2m 29s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      6m 3s
    3. Previewing and applying your changes (CC 2014)
      6m 41s
    4. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    5. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 9s
    6. Working with archival Camera Raw images
      6m 41s
    7. Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 9s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 52s
    9. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 53s
    10. Tone curves (and why you don't need them)
      6m 3s
    11. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 26s
    12. Auto-upright and manual lens corrections
      8m 1s
    13. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 55s
    14. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      8m 19s
    15. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    16. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 10s
    17. The Camera Raw filter and Radial Filter tool
      7m 34s
    18. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  7. 32m 30s
    1. Infusing black and white with color
      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
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Noise isn't all bad
      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 36s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Masking blur and sharpen layers
      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
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Why blur focuses your attention
      1m 27s
    2. Creating a depth-of-field effect with Field Blur
      4m 46s
    3. Adjusting your Field Blur settings
      5m 0s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      9m 24s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      6m 15s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      6m 42s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 31s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 54s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 5s
    10. Adding a slow flash effect with Path Blur (CC 2014)
      9m 30s
    11. Adding elliptical motion with Spin Blur (CC 2014)
      6m 12s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. Blending layers with (basic) math
      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
  11. 44m 20s
    1. The best automatic selection functions
      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
  12. 1h 24m
    1. The best automatic selection enhancements
      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
    10. Creating a mask with Select > Focus Area (CC 2014)
      8m 10s
    11. Cleaning up a jagged Focus Area mask (CC 2014)
      6m 46s
    12. Real-world compositing (CC 2014)
      10m 2s
  13. 1h 18m
    1. Tracing an image point by point
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 59s
    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 35s
    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 51s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s
  14. 57s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced
12h 39m Advanced Sep 10, 2013 Updated Sep 19, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CC One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.

Topics include:
  • Adding shortcuts and adjusting preferences
  • Placing and blending Smart Objects
  • Transforming and warping vector objects
  • Correcting for lens distortion
  • Mitigating halos and enhancing contrast with Shadows/Highlights
  • Working with the Curves graph
  • Editing multiple images in Camera Raw
  • Infusing a black-and-white image with color
  • Colorizing with blend modes and opacity
  • Correcting a noisy photo
  • Using blur to focus the viewer's attention
  • Blending inside blend modes
  • Selecting a complex image with Color Range
  • Perfecting a mask with Refine Edge
  • Drawing a straight-sided path outline with the Pen tool
  • Converting path outlines to vector masks
Design Photography
Photoshop Camera Raw
Deke McClelland

Using the Convert Point tool

Now we've 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 end point. 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'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to undo that change. The solution is to take advantage of a tool we haven't seen yet which is also available in the pen tool fly out 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 carrot if you prefer and sure enough the cursor looks like that carrot when you hover over an existing anchor point. So you may recall, we have two corner points 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 way to work. And, you can continue to do that, by the way. If you keep dragging from that point, you're 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'll 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'm not going to drag it. Because that would move it independently and create a cusp point. So I'll 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 a 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've got the convert point tool, which allows you to convert the character of an interior point. So that means you're going to be switching around between tools quite a bit. Well 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 ctrl key, or the command key on a mac in order to gain temporary access to that white arrow tool, so that's 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're seeing here. And then if I keep the alter 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 alter option click on the point, I will go ahead and convert it into a corner, as I have in the first place.

That's obviously not what I want, so I'll go ahead and press control z or command z on a mac. In order to restore that cusp point. Alright, now comes the moment of truth. As things stand now, our path outline exists 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 each other 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's 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'll 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've got a little bit of brightness from the background, so I'll press the A key to switch back to my wide arrow tool and I'll click the vector mask to select it. And 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 to far into the sweater, who's going to notice. That's just fine. People are going to notice if they see white edge fringing, obviously. Now, click on the vector mask in order to hide it. And we've 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'll go ahead and click on Layer mask again in order to make it active and then I'll select this path outline and I'll drag it up just a little bit, and I think that might solve my problem. Thats looks like it introduces a bigger problem up here along his cheek.

So lets 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'll click once again on the vector mask to hide it. This is looking pretty darn good I think. I'll go ahead and scroll up to his ear which has some problems So I'll bring back the path outline. We've got a problem up here at the tip of the ear, so I'll go ahead and drag this control handle down. And we had a problem at the base of the ear as well, so I'll go ahead and move this point upward like so, make sure I'm not clipping away too much of his face.

And I might drag this contorl handle up a little bit too. And notice that these control handles are very long. I'm completely violating that 2/3 rule. I've got a 100% of the segment covered. But after all, that's the way his ear is shaped. All right,so we'll go ahead and hide the vector mask once again. Looks like we're pretty good actually, in fact, I think we're great. So I'll go ahead and press ctrl+ 0. Or command zero on the Mac in order to zoom out from the image. And then I'll 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 guy's faced 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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: This course was updated on 09/19/2014. What changed?
A: Deke updated the course to reflect changes in the 2014 version of Photoshop CC. The changes affect how you work with Smart Objects, Camera Raw, the Blur Gallery, layer masks, and other features in Photoshop.
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