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Working with Photoshop Shapes

Article Description

Take Helen Bradley's quick course in using Photoshop's built-in shapes and learn how to make your own custom shapes to add life and dimension to your digital art projects.

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Shapes to Use

The Photoshop shapes collections offer lots of pre-built shapes. Select the Custom shape and then open the Custom Shape Picker and double-click a shape to use. Click the image and drag to draw your shape.

To find more shapes, click the fly-out menu in the Custom Shape Picker and choose a collection of shapes to load from the list at the foot of the menu. Any of these shapes can be used to create a path, filled shape, or shape layer.

One way to use the shapes is to add a subtle visual element to a collage:

  1. Open a photo and add a new layer to it.
  2. Choose a foreground color to use for the shape.
  3. Select a custom shape.
  4. Choose the Fill Pixels option and draw the filled shape on your photo.
  5. Use the layer blend modes in the Layer palette to blend the shape into the photo. You can also reduce the opacity to blend the effect even more.

With some filled shapes and colored text, both treated the same way, you can create attractive collage-like photo effects, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 03

Figure 3 Using filled shapes with blend modes, you can add dimension to photos to use in a digital collage.

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