Master The Pen Tool in 30 minutes — Photoshop Professional Techniques | Nawaz Shariff | Skillshare

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Master The Pen Tool in 30 minutes — Photoshop Professional Techniques

teacher avatar Nawaz Shariff, Graphic Designer • Art Director

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

2 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:33
    • 2. Master The Pen Tool

      29:15
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About This Class

The "Pen Tool" has been one of the best options programmed, throughout the graphic design applications history.

It is a very important tool to understand, as it is widely used in Digital Compositing, Image Editing, and Graphic Design. It lets you select, draw, or trace anything and everything. And mastering this tool in Photoshop will help you out in every other 2d and 3d design software as well because the functionality of the Pen Tool remains the same. 

In this class, I have tried to simplify its use and show you how powerful it is in creating selections and masks. And how easily the pen tool can be controlled with the help of a few shortcuts.

Meet Your Teacher

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Nawaz Shariff

Graphic Designer • Art Director

Teacher

I am a graphic designer and an art director from India, working professionally, and teaching various aspects of design for over 10 years. I have a great passion for Compositing, Typography, and Motions Design.

Now as I venture into training online, I am extremely happy for the opportunity to share my knowledge with the world, and also learn along the way.

Dream Big, Work Hard, and Keep Learning :)

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Compositing in Photoshop requires us to constantly select and mask out different elements in a scene. Although Photoshop offers us various automated options to select objects, the pen tool is what gives us complete manual control to create precise selections and masks. No matter how complex the scene is, the pen is one of the most important tools in Photoshop, but every graphic design and image editing software. So let's have a look at how you can use the pen tool to create selections and masks in Photoshop. 2. Master The Pen Tool: You can access the pen tool by hitting P on the keyboard. Or you can just select it from the tools by here. If you click and hold on this icon, it's the first one which we need. And when you're using the Pen Tool to select all the objects, make sure it is set to path. And not just cheap. And it set to shape. It just creates out these graphic design elements. You can use it to draw different things. But for our compositional techniques, we're not need it. So let's set this to path. Let's turn on these shapes layer here and try to trace it out with our pen tool. The pen tool works out by laying out different points and creating a line between those two points. So in order to train this triangle, Let's create a point over here. And one more here. And as you can see, it has created a line between those two points. And let's continue. Click. Now as you can see, the line is not quite straight. So in order to get a straight line, you can hold down the Shift key and then click and to create a straight line between those two points. Now finally, when you go back to the first, you can see the icon has a circle near it. That means that we are about to complete the path. Once you click, our path is complete. Now in order to turn this path into a selection, can just right-click while the pen tool is selected and go to make selection. And we have some options here, can lead the anti-alias beta and on, but we don't need to feather it here. We can use weathering by using different options later on. But for this I'm just going to click Okay. And now as you can see, we have those marching ends representing the selection. I'm going to come here to the triangle layer. And let's fill this up. Can hit Shift F5 to bring up the fill panel. And I'm just going to fill it up it black. And to deselect the selection, you can hit control D. I'll go to select and deselect. Right? I'm going to bring up the move tool by hitting B. Just move this down a bit. And let's come down to our second shape. Here you can see it's entirely made up of curves. So let's see how you can draw a curve with the pen tool. I'm going to start off in the middle over here. And this time instead of just clicking, I'm going to click and drag. And as you can see, we get these two handles. These are called the Bezier handles, and we're just drag them out. And again, if you hold down the Shift key, they are constraint two straight lines. So you can just drag it out here. Alright, library time, we have these handles. They are going to affect the next point we are going to draw. It is no longer going to be a straight line, but rather a curved one. So let's click here and drag again. And as you can see, we have nice curves now. And again, if you hold down the Shift key, it will constrain it to vertical. Alright, well let's come down to here. Again. Click and drag. Hold down the Shift key. Keep those handles street. Come back here, do the same thing. And finally, if you go back to the first, you see that circle appearing, representing that we are about to close the path. You can just click. Now as you see, our path is not so precise. Now Photoshop offers us to more tools to edit the path. After it is complete. We have the Path Selection Tool and the Direct Selection Tool. Now the path selection tool, select the path entirely and again move it around. But the one we need here is the direct selection tool. I generally call them the white arrow and the black arrow tool. So what we need is the white arrow tool and the shortcut is a. So now when you have this white arrow tool or the direct selection tool, you can click on each point and edited separately. And as you see, we have control over these handles again. And you can hold down the Shift key to constrain it. Let's try moving. This part. Can either move these handles or you can move the part itself. Alright? Now just like with the pen tool, we have the same options when you right-click my layer using the direct selection tool and go to Make Selection. Click Okay. And now when you have this election, the easier way to fill this up is by using the keyboard shortcuts. We have the black as the foreground color here. So I'm going to hit Alt Backspace to fill that selection with the foreground color. And again, you can hit control D or go to select and deselect. To get rid of the selection. I'll hit V to bring up the Move tool and just bring it down onto our next shape. Now this shape has both curves as well as straight lines. So let's start out from here. I'm just going to click. And for our next point, I'm going to click and drag to bring out the handles. And match, and match this curve. Alright, let's place our next point to click. But as you see every time we have these handles, they're going to affect the curvature of the next point. It is no longer going to be straight, but rather have a curve. So let's try editing it with the Direct Selection Tool. Now I don't have to go here every time to select the tool. Whenever the pen tool is active, you can just hold down the Control key and it will give you access to the direct selection tool temporarily. So I'm holding down Control and let's start moving the handles. Now as you can see, it's not working out for us because the direct selection tool is kinda of affecting both the handles at the same time. So I'm just going to let go and hit Control Z to undo. Now what we need here is the individual control or these handles. So to get that you can just hold down the Alt key and go near one of the handles. And you can see the icon changes to this tool. This is known as the Convert Point tool. Using this tool, we can convert a curved line into a straight one by individually affecting the handles. So I'm holding down the Alt key and I'm going to click and bring this handle around here to create this straight line. And then see I'm just matting the angle of this handle to the angle of the line. And you're gonna get a straight line through there. Well, let's continue the path. Now. To do that, we need to activate the part that came by clicking from baby ended. And just finish it off by clicking again. All right, now the best way to convert this path into a selection is just by hitting Control and Enter. And there you have your selection. I'm going to hit Control Z to undo this, remember the shortcut, you don't have to every time just right-click and click on Make selection. You have to do that every time. Again, I'm going to hit Control Z to undo and hit Control Enter to convert the path into a selection instantly. Let's fill this up with the foreground color, my hitting Alt backspace, and just move it down and hit control D to de-select. Now those are the basics of using the pen tool to create selections. Now let's have a look at a more complex example by selecting out these anti clock by using the Pen tool. Although every time we have an image like this, it has a clear background. We don't need the Pen tool in Photoshop automated options. I have enough to have a very good selection. But let's just take it up as a challenge and use nothing but the pen tool to select out this clock. Again, I'm going to hit P to bring up the Pen tool is start off with this intro. We're here. I've just clicked and lay down a point. Now we won't be able to select the entire clock with the single path. We need to create a multiple parts and combine them together to create a complete selection. So I have laid on my first over here, and I'm going to click here and drag out the handles to create this curve. And if we feel like we're pleased, appointed, or wrong, please, and you need to move it in. Just hold down the spacebar. And you can move around the point freely. I'm just going to place it over here. And lentils, these handles. All right. For the next point, I'll try placing her right in the middle here. Click and drag. Hold on this piece to move on to point. All right, now if you want to edit the points on the fly, you can hold down the Control key to bring up the direct selection tool. Just try adjusting the handles on the point even. All right. Now to continue the path, you go back to the last created point, click and drag out and continue the process. Let's place our next point over here and drag out handles. And finally, let's go back to the first. And instead of just clicking and click and drag out the handles. And complete this curve. Let's zoom in and try editing. Some of these points can hold down the Control key to bring up the text selection tool. And try slightly adjusting the handle. And you feel like you need to pick up the handle. I can just hold on the Alt key and slowly manage those curves. Just one part of the handle. Let's try to adhere as well. This clicking and moving this handle. Right. Now are part is complete. In order to see if the parts can go here in the bots panel. And let's rename it as a circle. Alright, Now apart the saved. I'm going back to the layer and let's add in these feet. That's going to click. Can see it's a straight line so we don't need to drag out the handles and just clicking and click. And once you get here, you see that we need a curve. So I'm just going to click and drag out to create this curve. And you can see the part over here is kind of straight. So let's try using the direct selection tool. But TOC, it's not working. So if you remember, he just hold on the Alt key while the pen tool is active. And I'd just be handled separately. And try writing the angle of the line here. And if you click See, you can get a much better result. And now on to our final curve here, click and drag, get this nice curve. But you can see that our handle is kind of going in this direction. And if you try to add a line here, and then to have this really bad curve. So again, we hold on the Alt key, click and drag it out. Now in order to make this process much easier and faster. And instead of editing it after laying them, don't mind. You can do it on the fly. For example, I'll undo this. And let's drag out that curve again. And while I'm dragging it out, once I get to this region, I'm not letting it go. And you can hold on the Alt key on the fly. And chin the direction of the next curve. Is it so intuitive? And nicotinic really felt this way? So I'm holding down the Alt key and just moving it around. Try to make this angle. And now when I click on the next point, you see we get a really straight line. So let me do that again to make it clear. We'll add a curve here by clicking and dragging out the handles. Now before letting it go, hold on the Alt key, when do we reach this curve? I'm holding down the Alt key and moving this handle around. And now I'll click and get a straight line. And from here on we just need straight lines and come up and closed apart. Now we have our second part as well. And add in the second feet. I'm going to zoom in. I'm going to start off from here. Let us create lines, straight line again. And in this curve, clicking and dragging the handles and hold on the space bar to move it around. And let go of the spacebar and keep it precisely. And I'm going to hold down the Alt key to obtain the direction a bit. And click and drag. Adding a curve, hold down the space bar to move around the point. And before letting it go, just hold on the Alt key, tin the direction of the curve. Again, straight line, straight line, and complete. And here we have the second MOOC, but let's save it by clicking and dragging onto the plus icon and rename it as V and de-selected. And the next thing, Let's add in this top part over here to hit P, to bring up the Pen tool again. And just click straight line. And we have a sharp curve over here. And zoom in a bit. To undo this click again, you can see there's a curve surface. So this is going to slightly drag out the handles. And don't let go. Hold on the Alt key. Bring this in and make it goes crazy. Now you have a straight line. Now again, we have a straight line. And of course that, so I'll hold down the Shift key. So the next point will be a curve. So once again, the Lendu. Here we have this great point and I'm going to just click and drag and hold down the Shift key so that we have a straight line. And then we can add in a curve using this handle. I'm just going to click and drag out another short handle. And then I'm going to click and drag out a handle and hold down the Spacebar to move on the point. And also holding down Shift to keep it straight. Knowing hear this clicking in another clip. These are all straight lines. Don't have to drag. Here we click and drag and hold on the Shift key to get the curvature on the next line. I'm just going to click here. Hold down the space bar to move around the point. Click and drag. And get another curve here. Hold on the Shift key to drag out handles the space bar to move it as well. All right, here we need another small curvature. So I'm going to click and drag out the handles. And when to get there. Without letting go, hold down the Alt key and bring it down. All right, Let's complete this by coming back here. And let's go to another work, but there's going to be save it and call it. What is that thing? Maybe, I guess. And click outside and go back to our layers onto our belts. P to bring up the Pen tool and start selecting out these belt. Clip and click to get that straight line. Here we have a bit of a curvature. So I'm going to click and drag out little bit. We can always move around to match the handle. Alright. Don't let go. Hold down the Alt key and bring it down. And hold down the Control key has are working and get access to the direct selection tool. And move around the point. And again click and drag to get this curvature. And once you are here, hold on the Alt key to obtain the direction of the curve and go around this edge. And here I'm just clicking. We don't need handles here. And these are all street, so maybe a little bit of global. Yeah. Once again, the handles are moving in opposite directions. Hold down the Alt key. Once I click again. Let's zoom in and hold down the Spacebar to move on to point. Whenever we have this kind of s-shaped curve, will constantly need to move around the point by holding down the space bar to get it right. All right. I'm going to hold on the Alt key and 10. This a bit long curves. All right, If you click, you see now, but really bad because it's handle is too long. So I'm going to hold down the Alt key and bring this in. And just continue down the space bar and bring this in here. And hold down the Control key to adjust the handle. Again, hold down the Alt key. And we'll continue with straight lines, straight lines. And back to the curves. I can drag. Hold down the Alt key and the angle. Little bit of an angle. Same thing here. Let's go around and finish our selection. There we have the outer parts of the bells and the handle. Let's go back to the Path. Click on the word pot over to the plus icon to save it and rename it has else out. All right, Now our path selection is almost complete now how do we add them together? And there are two ways of doing this. One is by using masks and individually adding their selections into the Layer Mask. For example, I can go back to the paths and select the circle. And I can either use the pen tool and right-click and click on Make selection, or you can just hit Control Enter. To convert the part into a selection. We'll go back into the layers and click on the Layer Mask icon and to add the selection as a layer mask. Now in order to add the other parts, you can go back to the parts again. This time I'm going to select the feet. And you can see them appearing here. Again, event hit Control Enter. You have the selection, can go back to the mask and hit Alt Backspace to fill it with white. Since white is our foreground color, it all backspace to facilitate bite and you get back that selection. I'm going to undo this. And I'll show you a faster way of getting this done. So I'll go back to the paths. I'm going to select this circle. And I'll hit Control Enter again to get back the selection. I'll go back to the feet this time. Instead of just pressing Control Enter, I, press Control Shift and Enter. Now the Shift key includes the mask into the active selection. So now if you hit Control Shift and Enter, you can see the feet also get added to the previously active selection. So it adds to the selection. The same way. I'll go back to the head and hit Control Shift Enter again and again c, Given that has been added into this election. And finally, you go back to the bells and again, press Control Shift and Enter. And you'll get the entire selection. So I'll go back to the layers and click on the Add Layer Mask icon. And here we have the clocks elected. Alright? And we have this, if your click on the layer mask can see how it has come about and go back to the image. Now one thing you'll notice is that we are not de-selected the inner parts of the clock. So let's go ahead and create a quick selection of the inner regions. Just going to start up from here. Click and drag. Alright, the inside part is now complete and hit Control Enter. Now to hide these regions, again, go back to the mass and fill these areas with black. And since black is our background color, I can press Control Backspace to hide it. But now you can see I've also got rid of the head inside part. So let me undo that. Lighting controls it. And now since we already had created a path for the head, and go back to the paths panel and select it. Remember we use the shortcut Control Shift Enter to add in to an active selection. Now to subtract from an active selection, just hold on, Control Alt and Enter. And as you can see here, you have set bracket the head from the active selection. And now if I go back to the layers and fill this region with black, we have a perfect selection. Now let's add in some background color. I'm going to Control click on this, Add New Layer icon. And let's sample in color from these regions and hit Alt Backspace to fill it with that color. All right, so that's how you use the pen tool to create precise selections and masks in Photoshop. And if you are new to using the pen tool, I would recommend you to practice with it every day. And once you master it. And it's going to be really useful in your compositing work.