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Chapter 8. Painting and Drawing > Drawing Basic Shapes

Drawing Basic Shapes

In Photoshop Elements, you can draw five basic geometric shapes (a shape selection tool and a tool for creating custom shapes are discussed in detail later in this chapter). Shapes can be drawn freely simply by clicking and dragging, or they can be constrained according to your specification of size, proportion, and special characteristics. You can use the shape tools to create logos or geometric designs, or, because a new layer is created with every shape you draw, you can draw shapes directly over any photograph or scanned image without fear of damaging the image itself.

To draw a shape:

Select a shape tool from the toolbox (U) (Figure 8.82).

Figure 8.82. The Ellipse shape tool.

To cycle through the shape tools, press Shift+U until you arrive at the shape you want.

Alternatively, once you’ve selected a shape tool in the toolbox, you can select a different shape from the options bar (Figure 8.83).

Figure 8.83. All of the shape tools are accessible from both the toolbox and the options bar.

To select a shape color, do one of following:

  • Click the current foreground color swatch at the bottom of the toolbox, or click the color box on the options bar, to open the Color Picker.

  • Choose a color from the Swatches palette.

If they’re available for the tool you’ve selected, you can set special properties for your shape before you draw. On the options bar, enter values specific to the shape you’ve chosen (Figure 8.84).

Figure 8.84. Some shape tools, such as the Polygon tool, have properties you can set on the options bar.

For the Rounded Rectangle tool, you can enter a corner radius. For the Polygon tool, you can enter the number of sides. For the Line tool, you can enter a pixel weight.

On the options bar, click the arrow next to the shape buttons to open the Geometry Options palette (Figure 8.85).

Figure 8.85. Every shape tool has its own particular set of geometry options.

In the Geometry Options palette, select from the available options for that particular shape or leave the options set to the default of Unconstrained.

In the image window, click and drag to draw the shape (Figure 8.86).

Figure 8.86. Drawing a shape is as simple as clicking and dragging.

If you like, you can add a style to your shape from the Custom Shape tool’s built-in style picker.

On the options bar, click the icon or arrow to open the style picker (Figure 8.87).

Figure 8.87. Whenever any of the custom shape tools are selected, the shape tool style picker appears on the options bar.

Choose from the list of available styles or click the arrow button to the right of the thumbnail images to open the Style palette menu (Figure 8.88).

Figure 8.88. The style picker’s palette menu contains a variety of fun and interesting style sets.

The style picker displays the new style set.

Click a style in the style picker to apply it to your shape (Figure 8.89).

Figure 8.89. A simple circle drawn with the ellipse shape tool (left) is transformed into a shiny, chrome button (right) using just one of the many styles from the style picker.

To deselect the shape and hide the path outline, press Enter/Return.



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