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Vector Drawing Techniques

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book (2020 release), authors Faulkner and Chavez cover the differences between bitmap images and vector graphics. You'll then learn to draw straight and curved paths using the Pen tool, save paths, draw and edit shape layers, and more.

Getting started

In this lesson, you’ll create a postcard that will help promote a citrus fruit farm. You’ve been given an image of oranges, but because the farm wants to convey the idea that they grow more than just oranges, it’s been decided that one of the oranges will be recolored to look like a lemon. Recoloring one item requires isolating it by creating a mask of its outline, and in this case, the quickest way to create a clean outline of that item is using the Pen tool to draw a vector path.

Before you begin, view the image you’ll be creating.

  1. Start Photoshop, and then immediately hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac) to restore the default preferences. (See “Restoring Default Preferences” on page 5.)

  2. When prompted, click Yes to delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file.

  1. Choose File > Browse In Bridge.

  2. In the Favorites panel, click the Lessons folder, and then double-click the Lesson08 folder in the Content panel.

  3. Select the 08End.psd file, and press the spacebar to see it in full-screen view.

To create this postcard, you’ll trace an image, and use that tracing to make a vector mask that lets you change the color of one of the oranges. First, you’ll practice making paths and selections using the Pen tool.

  1. When you’ve finished looking at the 08End.psd file, press the spacebar again. Then double-click the 08Practice_Start.psd file to open it in Photoshop.

  1. Choose File > Save As, rename the file 08Practice_Working.psd, and click Save. If the Photoshop Format Options dialog box appears, click OK.

4. Drawing a shape with the Pen tool | Next Section Previous Section

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