Learn how to communicate visual concepts without drawing so much as a stick figure. Start saving time with Photoshop, which ships with hundreds of pre-drawn custom shapes.
- Hi, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to the first in my quick-moving, high output series, No Drawing Necessary. The idea is this. Whether you consider yourself an artist or you can't even draw a stick figure, I mean, come on, you can draw a stick figure, you have projects, presentations, and just plain ideas that require some form of graphic presentation. And you need a head start in a form of a computer assisted power up that'll help you sketch your concept, not over the course of a few days or even hours, but by your next meeting, which is in like 15 minutes. Which is what No Drawing Necessary is all about. These are methods that will help you envision your idea and share that vision as quickly as possible. For example, custom shapes, not rectangles and ellipses, but real representational forms like the outline of a car or an airplane or an animal or even the detailed silhouette of a tree. Photoshop contains tons of these things. Predefined vector-based path outlines known as custom shapes. And there are hundreds of them organized into groups in the Shapes panel. Next, you need to be able to copy your custom shapes and paste them into another program, in our case, Illustrator, which doesn't always work the way it's supposed to, but don't worry, I'll show you how to fix that. Now, some of Photoshop's custom shapes look to be carefully crafted. Others exhibit jagged outlines, which is why I'm going to show you how to clean up those jagged outlines using a very powerful command known very simply as Simplify. Okay, so just because Photoshop provides hundreds of shapes doesn't mean that you're going to find the one you're looking for, which is why I'm going to show you how to prepare a photographic image in Photoshop so that you can convert it to your own custom shape using an automated function inside Illustrator called Image Trace. Now, there are times I love to draw, to the point I get lost in it for hours. But there are times I just want to get it over with, which is why I like it when there's No Drawing Necessary. Here's how.
- Creating custom shapes with a simple drag
- Combining custom shapes onto a single Photoshop layer
- Copying and pasting custom shapes
- Smoothing out jagged outlines with the Simplify command
- Creating your own custom shape with Image Trace
- Integrating custom shapes into vector-based artwork