Among many powerful tools in Photoshop is the king of kings: the pen tool. This tool is shrouded by personal anecdotes of confusion and frustration. Although creating paths with the pen tool is difficult at first, the process becomes easier with practice and is well worth the effort. Every path is vector-based which means you can scale it larger or smaller without any quality loss.
But paths can be very frustrating if you don’t know how to use them. I’d like to cover the process of converting a path into a shape layer. In case you didn’t already know, shape layers are merely paths that can hold fills & outlines. This also means you can apply layer effects and even filters if you convert the same into a smart object. Note that a path is merely a series of points like an outline which can become a selection. It’s the raw material of shapes but not quite a shape in-itself.
Everyone who’s tried their hand at Photoshop knows about the pen tool. At first it’s agonizingly difficult and practically mocks every newcomer. But there is a rhyme & reason to the madness. I do hope this post offers enough useful tips for anyone interested in learning this tool.
I’ll preface by saying that to get truly comfortable you’ll need to spend hours and hours of time practicing. There is no shortcut to hard work and real practice when it comes to learning Photoshop. The pen tool could be listed as one of the most difficult skills to grasp. But once it clicks you’ll never really forget – sorta like riding a bicycle or a similar heartfelt cliché.
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