How to Edit, Sharpen, Draw, and Downsample in Photoshop CC
Dotted borders and corner roundness
Let's start things off with a simple exercise in which we surround this text with a dotted board. Notice down here, near the bottom of the tool box are a group of shape tools. You can see a total of six of them listed here inside this fly up menu. They're a pretty straight forward bunch, but they're extremely useful, as we'll see. I'm going to go ahead and select the rounded rectangle tool, which is the second tool in the list. If you're working along with me, make sure that this first option up here in the Options bar, is set to Shape.
You can also draw a path outline that will appear in the Paths panel or you can draw pixels. But we don't want to do either of those things. We want to create an independent vector-based shape layer. Now I'll draw with the tool like so. And notice you draw the rectangle from corner to corner. You also have the option incidentally of pressing the shift key in order to create a perfect square. You've gotta keep that shift key down until after you release the mouse button. Or, if you want to create a shape from the center outward, you press and hold the alt key or the option key on a Mac.
I'll go ahead and release both of those keys. The final keyboard trick is to press the space bar in order to move the shape on the fly. I'm going to go ahead a create it from about here down to this location like so. And I end up with a big black rounded rectangle which is not what I want. Fortunately, you have all kinds of ways to modify this shape including these options that automatically pop up here inside the properties panel. So let's say for example that the corners aren't round enough.
You might assume you could go up to this radius value here on the options bar and change it, for example, I'll take that value up to a 100 and press the enter key and nothing happens. And that's because this value effects the next rectangle you draw. So, just so I don't get super rounded rectangles, I'll go ahead and take this back down to ten pixels. It's the values inside the properties panel. That control the roundness of the active rectangle. So, if I changed any one of these values to 100, then that would round off all the corners, because all four corners are linked together with each other, but you don't have to work that way.
I could go ahead and turn off the link, and I could change the bottom-left value to zero, and then I would have a sharp corner at this location. What I'm really looking for is a radius of 36 pixels all the way around. So I'l go ahead and turn on this link icon, and then I'll change this bottom value to 36 pixels. What ends up happening is that I add 36 pixels to all of the values. Because I raise this one from zero to 36, now the other ones are going up from 100. So what you have to do is click inside here.
Notice how it says 136, 136, 136, and then just 36? Change that 36 value to 136 like so, so that everybody's in alignment with each other, and then change any one of these values to 36 and they will all change to 36. So it works a little differently than you might imagine. I'm also going to change the height value. To 684, because I just happen to know that's the measurement I'm looking for. And now I'll hide the Properties panel. The next thing you want to do is change the Fill and Stroke attributes.
And you can do that, either from the Properties panel, or from the Options bar. I'm going to click inside the fill. And notice that you can fill the shape with a gradient, if you like. You can fill it with a pattern, after which you can then specify which pattern you want to use from the list. But the option I'm looking for is none, because I don't want any fill whatsoever. Instead, I'm looking for a stroke. And notice once again you have the option of using a pattern or a gradient. The gradient is not going to trace around the stroke, however.
It's merely going to fill the stroke as we're seeing here. I'm looking for a solid color so I'll go ahead and click on black even though black is not the color I want. I want white and then I'll click on white either inside my recently used colors or I can select this white swatch. Right there. And if you're having problems finding it you can click on the gear icon and click large thumbnail which is going to give you a little more room to work. I'm going to go ahead and hide my colors, and I need to modify my line weight. But before I do, what I want you to notice The Align Edges checkbox, which is turned on.
And what that's doing is aligning the rectangle to the pixel grid, so we have as little anti aliasing as possible. But for that to work, you need to specify a line weight value in pixels. So I'm going to set the line weight to 12 pixels. Like so, and that'll just ensure the best alignment. Now we want to create a dotted rectangle, so click on this next option over and notice you can switch from a solid stroke to a dashed one. If neither of these dash or dotted options are what you're looking for, go ahead and click on more options.
In order to bring up this Stroke dialog box. And I'm going to change the dash value to zero, which is the way things work when you're looking for dotted lines, and I'll change the gap to 25. We're not going to see anything different on screen until I switch the caps option from **** to Round. And then we'll get these found dots. Problem is my gaps are to big and that's because I failed to specify the distance in pixels, so I need to enter PX. And finally, I'll change a line from inside to center in order to create this effect here.
And I'll click OK, and now you can go ahead and hide those stroke options just by pressing the enter key. Or the Return key on a Mac. Now, you're probably going to see some kind of misalignment going on here, and it's not necessarily really obvious where it is. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to take my Width value down just a little bit so I can demonstrate this. So I'm taking it down to 1512 pixels up here in the options bar and now notice I'll go ahead and zoom in right there that we have a little bit of misalignment of these two dots.
So most likely, if you're working with along with me, you're going to see it in the upper left corner of the rectangle. To solve this problem here's what you do. Go ahead and zoom out. Actually a little further so I can see all of my points. And I'll switch from the black arrow tool to the white arrow tool. Which Photoshop calls the direct selection tool. And then I'll go ahead a Marquis these four points like so. In order to select them. And now you want to make sure that you're zoomed into 100%. And I'll press the left arrow key for starters.
In order to nudge these anchor points, and that just makes the problem worse as you can see. So I'll press the right arrow key in order to nudge them the other direction. And at a width value of 1509 pixels I get the results I'm looking for. So the width is 1509. The height is 684. Now, I'll go ahead and zoom back out by pressing Control-0, or Command-0 on the Mac. And I'm going to switch back to my black arrow tool. Which Photoshop calls the Path Selection Tool. And I'll click on the path to select the entire thing.
And I want you to see something. I'll bring back up my Properties panel. And notice how we have all these Live Shape properties that are available to us. But if I Shift-click on this path outline, to deselect it. They all disappear. So in case you see those options disappear, the problem is that the path is deselected. You have to click on it, with the black arrow tool, and then those options will come back. Now that I've selected the path, I'll go up to the align icon, up here in the options bar. And I'll switch it to align to canvas and then I'll go ahead and choose from the same menu horizontal centers and that'll go ahead and center the shape inside of my image.
And then finally I want to get rid of these dots behind the letters. And you can do that using a layer mask, so I'll go ahead and switch back to my rectangular Marquee tool, and I'll draw selection like so, across all those dots that are crossing the letters. And then you want to drop down to the add layer mask icon and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on it. And that will go ahead and mask that selected region away. And that friends is how you draw a very simple, rounded, dotted border here inside Photoshop.
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