Anomalously residing within the pixel-gridded world of Photoshop are a series of tools waiting to break out of the canvas’ inherent squareness. Mastering these tools opens the stage for a higher level of flexibility, full of clean lines and non-destructive editing. Presented here is a guide to help you build proficiency, increase productivity and demystify the elusive world of Paths.
The Pen tool (P) – simple to use but difficult to master. It provides a precise method for creating paths, but requires an experienced hand to plot naturally flown curves. The power unlocked by mastering this tool is well worth the time needed to do so. While no amount of instruction can make you a Bezier master, below are some tips to keep in mind as you practice.
- Always use as few points as possible.
- Place an anchor at every acute or abrupt angle.
- Mid-curve anchors should be placed to comfortably accommodate curve transitions.
- To help set anchor points, you can turn on the ‘Rubber Band’ option – located in the drop-down next to the Custom Shape Tool button in the Pen’s property bar. This setting will allow you to see the curve connecting the last anchor point with the mouse’s current position.
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