This tutorial introduces the basics of adding, deleting, and converting anchors points using the Pen tool in Photoshop.
- Here's a simple exercise that's going to get us familiar with the basics of the Pen Tool, creating pen paths, adding anchor points, deleting anchor points and converting anchor points. You can see that I have some guides and these guides are just to indicate where to draw my initial square. I should say that if you really want a square in a real world situation, then use the rectangle tool. This is just an exercise. So, I'm going to draw my square with my Pen Tool. By clicking once to put down an anchor point, hold down the shift key, click, keeping the shift key held down, moving around those points and then when I get to this point where I began, I'm about to close the path.
We see a circle up here next to the pen. So, I now have a closed shape. What I want to do next is add additional anchor points that will give me more flexibility in editing this shape. Not absolutely necessary but just to aid me in this, I'm going to turn on a grid. I'll come to the View menu, and choose Show, Grid. Let me just point out the increment of my grid. Preferences, Guides, Grid and Slices. I have a Gridline Every 250 Pixels with a Subdivision of 4.
And my color is grey. I'll just zoom in on that. Now, with my Pen Tool, I'm going to add anchor points between each pair of existing anchor points. I could use the Add Anchor Point Tool, but I don't need to. I'll just stay in the Pen Tool. And when you hover over a path segment where there isn't already an anchor point, you get the chance to add one. You'll see that plus appears. I'm going to do that between each existing pair of anchor points. These have been added as curve points so that when I choose my Direct Selection Tool, and select those points individually.
Now, if you found that you selected all points together which can sometimes happen, just click away from the path and then click back on it. That will allow you to select the points individually. I'm going to pull that point towards the center. I'm going to actually stop one grid square short of the center and when I'm pulling it down, I'm also holding down the shift key to constrain the movement. And I'll repeat that so that we end up with this shape.
Now, if I want to convert this to a four pointed star, those points that I added has curve points, I can convert them to corner points. I could use my Convert Point Tool but I can just stay in my Pen Tool holding down the optional alt key. I'm now going to zoom out, command minus. If I want to make my four pointed star into a four leaf clover, then I need to convert the corner points to curve points.
Once again, I'll hold down the optional alt key but this time I have to click and drag rather than just click. And it might be an idea to also hold down the shift key here which will constrain your movement to 45 degrees. So, I'm going to go five grid squares. And then I'm going to do the equivalent on each of those. Now, to reverse this and get back to a square, option or alt click on the curve points to make them into corners.
And just move over those points that we added. You'll see that a minus appears next to the Pen Tool. You can click on those, delete them and we're back to a square. Taking this further, I'm now going to rotate my square and make it into a diamond. So, to do this, I'm going to press command or control t which is going to bring out my Free Transform which is the option right here under the Edit menu. I will constrain the rotation to 45 degree increments by holding down the shift key.
I'm now going to convert this diamond into a circle. It may not end up being a perfect circle but it will spherical. I'll come and choose my Pen Tool. I'll first of all have to apply that transformation and then on each of these corner points, I'm going to convert them to curve points. Holding down the option or alt key, clicking and dragging and I'm holding down the shift key and I'm going to move six grid squares. I'll repeat that on all of them.
And there we should have a circle. Now, I'm going to convert the circle into a heart. To do this, I'll switch back to my Direct Selection Tool and select this anchor point at the bottom and bring this down to change the shape. And then also going to convert that curve point to a corner point. I'll press P to access my Pen Tool and then optional alt, click on that point to make it into a corner point or sharp point. Now, back to my Direct Selection Tool.
I'll select the anchor at the top. Holding down the shift key, I'm going to drag this down to flatten it off at the top. And we're going to run into a problem here because when I drag this side up, the other side is going to go down. So, in order to be able to edit either side of this anchor independently, I need to hold down the option or alt key. And I'll drag out this one. Now, that I've separated them, I don't need to hold down the option key when I drag up the equivalent point.
- Creating basic shapes and lines
- Converting shapes to paths (and vice versa)
- Inverting paths and shapes
- Transforming shapes
- Designing with shape layers
- Creating web buttons, guides, and collages with shape layers
- Working with type and shape layers
- Creating custom shapes with Adobe Capture and Illustrator