Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Drawing curved path, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Design.
- [Instructor] While creating straight line paths just requires clicking the mouse, creating curved paths takes a little bit of practice. We're going to click off of any paths in the paths panel and I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut command plus in order to zoom in and then hold down the spacebar in order to move over to this first curved paths area. I also want to use the view menu. Choose show and then guides. They're just going to help us as we drag the direction lines.
So I don't want to click on this first anchor point. I actually want to click and drag without releasing the cursor. So I'll click and drag up and I'm going to hold down the shift key as I drag up. And that's just going to constrain this to a vertical line. And then, I'll release the cursor. Now, I haven't actually drawn a path. All I've done is I've set down my first anchor point and I've told Photoshop what direction I want the path to go in so that when I click and drag on this second anchor point, I draw the path, and you can see that path as I drag the next direction line down.
That path is creating the curve using both of those direction lines. So the first direction line made the path go up, and then this direction line, as I dragged it down on the back end, because they're parallel to one another, it's dragging this up. Alright, now, I want the path to go down, which is great, 'cause that's the direction line that I've just dragged out. But here, I want it to start curving and going up so I'll click and then again if you want to hold down the shift key to keep that a vertical line, you can do so.
And you should get a nice path like this. Alright, I want to end the path so again, I could go and select either my path selection tool or the direct selection tool, or if I don't want to change tools, I'll just hold down the command key and then just click besides the path. We see I have the work path in the paths panel. I'll double-click on that in order to save that path. So now in this next shape, I want the first path to start going up but then I want to create this wave.
So I need to click here and drag up to set the first direction line. Then I'm going to click and drag up again and then click and drag up a third time. So I'll tap p to select the pen tool again. I'll click and drag up to set the direction line for the first curve. Then I'll click and drag up again to set the direction line for the next curve. And then I'll click and drag up one more time in order to set the direction for that next curve.
And now, I get this wavy line. Alright, because I still had path three selected, Photoshop has added this path to it. That's fine for now. I'm going to hold down the command key and click to the right of the path in order to deselect it. Then, I'll hold down the space bar to temporarily access the hand tool so that we can see the third path that we're going to draw. So in this case, I need to click and drag on the first square here. I'll click and drag up which will set my direction going up.
Then, I'll click and drag down in order to set the next direction line to go down. And then all I need to do is click at the starting point in order to close the path. So we'll click and drag up. Then, I'll click and drag down. And then to close the circle, all I need to do is click on the starting point. Now, if you ever want to make any changes to any of the anchor points, again, I could just switch to the command key, but let's see what happens when I use the path selection tool.
I'll click off the path so that right now none of the paths in path three are selected. But when I click on the path, you'll notice that the direct selection tool selects the entire path. So I could easily move that path. If instead, I choose the direct selection tool, and then I just click on one anchor point, well, that one becomes selected and I know it's selected because it's filled. So I would only be moving that anchor point. I wouldn't be repositioning the other one.
Of course, the line segments will change based on the position of that anchor point. I could also select any of the direction lines and change them in order to change the shape of the path. Alright, let's deselect path three so that none of the paths are selected in my document. And choose file, save as. I'll append this with o two. Save it as a Photoshop document. Clicking save and there you go.
That's how you create simple, curved paths in Photoshop.
Photoshop CC boasts tools and features for making tonal and color adjustments, applying effects and treatments to type and graphics, and distorting, filtering, and layering elements—all while maintaining the highest-quality output. In this course, Julieanne demonstrates how to efficiently perform common design tasks, including editing images, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, she shares the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and helps you master features such as layers, filters, blending modes, typography, custom brushes, vector masks, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Working with Smart Objects
- Linked vs. embedded Smart Objects
- Creative transformations and warping
- Essential filters for designers
- Emulating traditional drawing techniques
- Working with shape and fill layers
- Pen tool basics
- Applying layer effects and styles
- Type essentials
- Creative brush techniques
- Working with libraries and artboards
- Exporting files and sharing images