Shapes

What You'll Do

In this lesson, you'll create two shapes, then modify and add a style to a shape layer.

Using Shape Tools

You might find that the imagery you are working with is not enough, and you need to create your own shapes. There are six shape tools on the toolbox for creating shapes. A shape can occupy its own layer, called a shape layer. When you select a shape or pen tool, three buttons appear on the options bar to let you specify whether you want your shape to be on a new or existing shape layer, be a new work path, or be rasterized and filled with a color. Shapes and paths contain vector data, meaning that they will not lose their crisp appearance if resized or reshaped. You can create a rasterized shape using the Fill pixels button, but you cannot resize or reshape the rasterized shape.

Creating Rasterized Shapes

You cannot create a rasterized shape on a vector-based layer, such as a type or shape layer. So, to create a rasterized shape, you must first select or create a non-vector-based layer, select the shape you desire, then click the Fill pixels button on the options bar. You can change the blending mode to alter how the shape affects existing pixels in the image. You can change the opacity setting to make the shape more transparent or opaque. You can use the anti-aliasing option to blend the pixels on the shape's edge with the surrounding pixels. If you want to make changes to the content of a shape's blending mode, opacity, and anti-aliasing, you must make these changes before creating the rasterized shape; since the rasterization process converts the detail of the shape to an object layer. After you rasterize the shape, you can make changes to blending mode and opacity to the layer containing the shape.

Creating Shapes

A path and a shape are essentially the same, in that you edit them using the same tools. For example, you can modify a path and a shape using the Direct Selection Tool. When selected, the anchor points are white or hollow, and can then be moved to alter the appearance of the shape or path. When you click a shape or path with the Path Selection Tool, the anchor points become solid. In this case, the entire path is selected, and the individual components cannot be moved: the path or shape is moved as a single unit. A shape can be created on its own layer and can be filled with a color. Multiple shapes can also be added to a single layer, and you can specify how overlapping shapes interact.

(Painting tools are used when individual pixels are edited, such as by changing a pixel's color on a rasterized shape.)

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