Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Modifying Standard Shapes

Have you ever wondered how someone was able to create a logo that looked so perfect? I used to think that someone probably had to draw the logo by hand, but then I learned some very interesting things about creating shapes in Photoshop. I used to think that you could only create standard shapes like ovals, rectangles, squares, and circles. However I recently learned that Photoshop gives you the ability to take these standard shapes and modify them to make new shapes that are very appealing. The way that this is accomplished is by selecting the path of the shape and manipulating it to create a completely new and different shape.
The first thing that you need to do is create a shape like a rectangle or an oval. Then choose the direct selection tool (white arrow), and select the path around the shape. You will know that you have selected the path, because you will see anchor points at the corners of the shape. Once you see the anchor points you will be able to click the anchor points and use them to resize and redesign the shape. The best thing about using paths to change the shape's design is that the shape maintains its crisp lines, and looks just as good as a standard shape. How are you able to do this? The reason these changes are so clean is that the shape is vector based, and not pixel based, so you are able to just manipulate the vectors that comprise the shape. Another great thing about editing a shape in this way is that whatever formatting you have used on the shape will not be affected by modifying the path. If you have a gradient fill on the shape it will be modified as you modify the path of the shape, and it will maintain the same look as before you modified the shape. Now that you know how to modify the path of a shape you are no longer limited by the standard shapes that appear in the tools palette. Use your freedom wisely, and take this new found knowledge to you computer so you can create graphics that everyone else will envy for a change.

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