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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.

Converting a path to a selection and a layer mask

Using the Pen tool made it easy to create a precise outline of the orange in the center of the image. But the goal is to change the color of that orange without changing the others, through a layer mask. Creating the layer mask requires making a selection. Fortunately, it’s easy to convert a path to a selection.

The path was a work path, which is temporary; it will be replaced if you draw another path. You can still create a selection from a work path, but first, it’s a good practice to save any path you might want to use again in the future.

  1. In the Paths panel, double-click Work Path. In the Save Path dialog box, type Lemon for the name, and click OK.

  2. Make sure the Lemon path is selected in the Paths panel, and then click the Load Path as a Selection button (load_path_as_selection_icon.jpg) at the bottom of the Paths panel.

You’re going to change the color of the selected orange to lemon yellow, using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer through a layer mask of the orange. You currently have an active selection for this orange. That will make it quick and easy to create the layer mask, because an active selection is automatically converted to a layer mask when you add an adjustment layer.

  1. In the Layers panel, hide the Path Guide layer, because you no longer need it, and select the Background layer.

  2. In the Adjustments panel, click the Hue/Saturation button (huesaturation_adjustment_icon.jpg) to add a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in the Layers panel. It automatically includes a layer mask, created from your selection.

  3. In the Properties panel, change the Hue setting so that the orange in the center changes to a lemon yellow color. We entered a Hue value of +17.

  4. Save the document.

You used the Pen tool to quickly and precisely draw a path that traces the outline of an object in an image (the orange that now looks like a lemon), you converted the path into a selection, and used that selection to create a layer mask that isolates the subject when applying an adjustment layer.

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