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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, we are going to do this chapter in kind of weird order, as opposed to showing you how to draw a vector based shapes inside of Photoshop and then telling you how great they are, I'm going to tell you how great they are first and then I'll show you how to draw your vector based shapes. Because you need to know why you would do it in the first place before you start doing it. And these guys by the way, just in case you are curious, these are your vector based Drawing tools right here. Just the standard stuff, like the Rectangle tool for example. And you know you want to round off the corners, you've got the Rounded Rectangle tool, the Ellipse tool, Polygon tool which also draws stars incidentally and we'll see how that works. The Line tool draws shapes, actually that look lines, they are not stroke shapes the way they are in, say, Adobe Illustrator or InDesign or one of those programs.
And then we have a Custom Shape tool that actually draws custom shapes like crowns or frames or all kinds of stuff as you will see. And you can make your our own custom shapes. And if you decide to go that route where you want to design your own custom shapes, you can use this guy right there, the Pen tool. And we'll see it ever so briefly. I'll show you how that works. Before we get to actually using the tools, I want to show you why shapes are so great, because after all if you know anything about the litany of Adobe products, the various programs in the Creative Suite. Then you know that the true vector based drawing tool is Illustrator. It ain't Photoshop.
It's Illustrator. So why in the world would you sit around and draw vector based shapes, which is Illustrator's bread and butter? Why would you bring it over into Photoshop? Photoshop is a photography tool for crying in a bucket. So why would you do vector stuff? Well, because Photoshop's so great at it and because you can do stuff in Photoshop that you just can't do in Illustrator. Or that's a lot easier to do in Photoshop like the stuff that we are seeing right here which is based largely on layer effects, for example. All right, so before I even tell you how great vector based shapes are, I got to tell you one other thing, I got to tell you this little tricky thing about converting text to shapes. Because it comes up first when you start opening up the images, it becomes an issue. So there is two images I want you to open if you are working along with me.
One is called Tip pixels.psd and the other is called Vector tip.psd, both found inside the 24_vector_shapes folder. And I have a pixel-based version of the tip and we'll see how that differs in just a moment. And then we have a vector based version offset tip, which is a lot of more flexible as you will see. But when you first open the vector-based version of this image, you will get this error message right here. Presumably those of you who are working on a PC will very likely see it; those of you working on the Mac may or may not see it.
But it's basically saying that the font that I have used for the word Tip here is missing on your system. And the font happens to be Myriad, just plain old Myriad which does exist on the Mac but doesn't typically exist on the PC. Myriad Bold, you will just have to click OK. That's your only option to say, "Okay, I get it, I don't have that font." But the text is still going to look fine because Photoshop goes ahead with every file that contains text; it keeps track of the pixels that are associated with that text as well. So that if you do happen to open it up on a different system, you can still see what the text looks like so long as you don't go messing with it. So if I decide, "Hey, I think I'm going to edit this text right here. I'm going to like double click on it or do something." Notice that Photoshop's going to whine at you and say, "Hey, you do not have Myriad Bold on this system." If indeed you don't. Would you like to go ahead and continue? And if you do continue, font substitution will occur.
Now notice it's not telling me what kind of font substitution will occur. What font it's going to use? It's a big roulette wheel is essentially like comes down to, it may decide Couriers, the closest match, you never know. But let's go ahead and click OK and see what it does. And in my case it comes up and says, "Hey, how about Myriad Pro which is actually a very close font, very close substitute?" So that's great. And in fact in many regards it's equivalent, it's the exact same font, it's just an open type version of Myriad. And it ships along with various versions of the Creative Suite, so you may actually have it installed on your system as well.
If so, it will probably come up as Myriad Pro Regular and you will need to switch it out to Myriad Pro Bold like so. You may notice on my screen I have got the big font previews right here, because that's the way I set it up in the previews chapter way long ago when we were discussing text. Anyway you may see smaller samples right there. That's no big deal, doesn't matter. All right thought, now I have got the proper font substitute here so that's grand, I'm going to go ahead and just sort of press the Enter key on the keypad in order to accept my modifications. Now let's say you are worried this is going to happen to somebody else, somebody else is going to open up your document and they are going to be confronted with this message saying, "Hey, you don't have the right font" and you don't want that to occur. Of course you want to make sure that your image that you are sending off to whomever it is, is as system ambivalent as possible.
So you have two options that are available to you. If you right-click on this text layer like so, some place in this empty are right there, you are going to see that you can rasterize the type or you can convert it to a work path which means it's going to go over to the Paths palette right there. Or you can covert it to a shape. Now if you rasterize the type, watch what happens. Go ahead and choose Rasterize Type and it doesn't change its appearance at all. It looks sweet. Right, it totally looks great. It is now pixels. You can't edit it anymore with the Type tool, so you would choose the Save As command in order to preserve the original text.
However, you could send this off to whomever and it would look beautiful for them. Problem is this isn't going to be scalable and I'll show you why that's so very important in a future exercise. But just know for now it's not scalable if you go that route. So if you want true vector type just like you used to have, just a moment ago you had vector type before you converted it over to pixels. If you want to keep that vector type but you don't want any whining out of Photoshop about the fonts and so on. Then go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. And I want you to pay close attention to this text. So go ahead and watch it.
I will right-click once again or Ctrl- click if you don't have a right mouse button on the Mac. And I'll choose Convert to Shape and that will go ahead and convert the text to shape outline, so we are going to have a little bit of change. Did you see how the I and the P changed ever so subtly there? This is before and this is after, actually I should say all the letters have changed ever so subtly. We didn't have that problem with pixels, we'll potentially have that problem with vectors when you convert type to vector based outlines. Especially, if you have some warping involved and that's what we have going.
We have some warped text. And what's Photoshop is doing is it's trying to interpret the math and it's getting it mostly right. But now this is scalable and this is true vector based goodness here inside of Photoshop. Now you are going to see these little path outlines show up right there, they don't print, so those little ratty outlines aren't going to print. They are not really there. It's just Photoshop showing you what the vector outlines look like. If you don't wan to see them anymore, just click on that vector mask thumbnail. That's what that is. And they will go away.
And there you have it. So we have now made vector based text inside of our vector tip photographic illustration, we are going to see how this Vector tip.psd document absolutely wipes the floor with this Tip pixels.psd document starting in the next exercise.
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