Using paths with artwork

Now that you've had some practice using the templates, you'll use the pen tool to make selections in the fanciful image of a flying saucer traveling through outer space. The saucer has long, smooth, curved edges that would be difficult to select using other methods.

You'll draw a path around the image and create two paths inside the image. After you've drawn the paths, you'll convert them to selections. Then you'll subtract one selection from the other so that only the saucer is selected and none of the starry sky. Finally, you'll make a new layer from the saucer image and change the image that appears behind it.

Note: If you want to review the final results of this project, choose File > Open and select the 09End.psd file in your Lessons/Lesson09 folder.

When drawing a freehand path using the pen tool, use as few points as possible to create the shape you want. The fewer points you use, the smoother the curves are and the more efficient your file is.

Correct number Too many points of points

Essentially, in this procedure you're going to use the pen tool to connect the dots from point A to point N and then back to point A, practicing what you learned earlier in this lesson about how to set different kinds of points.

• You'll set some straight segments (by simply clicking the points) at points C, F, J, and M

• You'll set smooth curve points (by dragging to the red dots) for points A, D, E, G, H, I, K, and L.

• You'll set a corner point for a transition from a curved to a straight segment

(at point B) by first creating a smooth curve point—again, by dragging to the red dots— and then removing one of the directional lines by Alt+clicking (Windows) or Option+clicking (Mac OS) the point itself.

• You'll set a corner point for a transition from a straight to a curved segment (by first clicking without dragging to create a corner point and then holding down Alt or Option and clicking the point) for point N.

If you're ready to challenge yourself, you can try to do this task using just the instructions above. Or, follow the steps below first, to make sure that you make all the right moves.

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