- Table of Contents
- Photoshop CS3, CS4, and Lightroom
- Photoshop CS2
- What is Photoshop?
- Basics and Setup
- Color Management
- Paths and Shapes
- Painting and Brushes
- Color and Value
- Restoring, Manipulating, and Compositing
- Saving and Exporting
- Actions and Automation
- Building Web Graphics With ImageReady
- Working With Adobe Version Cue
- Cool, Quick Effects
Creating Curved Lines With the Pen Tool
Last updated Mar 14, 2003.
One of the most compelling reasons to use vector paths is that they enable you to draw precise, smooth curves called Bezier curves. Bezier curves take some practice to get used to, but learning how to properly draw using bezier curves will not only help you to draw using the pen tool in Photoshop, but many other applicationssuch as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and even Quark XPressutilize bezier curves as well. To draw a path with bezier curves, follow these steps:
Create a new image.
Select the Pen tool from the toolbox.
Click on the screen to insert an anchor point.
Click somewhere else, but before letting go of the mouse button, drag the mouse around. You'll see Bezier handles (lines extending out from the anchor point you created with small dots at each end) appear. As you continue to hold down the mouse button and drag, the Bezier curve changes shape, as shown in the following figure:
Click on the first anchor point you created to create a closed path, as shown in the following figure:
Using the Direct selection tool, click the anchor point on the left side of the path, as shown in the following figure:
Click and hold on the pen tool in the toolbox. From the optional tools that appear, choose the Convert Point toolas shown in the following screen shot:
Then, simply drag the corner point that you selected in step 6. As you drag, you'll notice bezier handles extending out from thatnowanchor point, as shown in the following figure:
First, make sure you have your direct selection tool selected and you have an anchor point selectedas you did in step 6.
Then, drag the bezier handle left, right, up, or down to change the shape of the curve, as shown in the following figure:
Figure 9 Creating a Bezier curve with the Pen tool
When drawing with bezier curves, the important thing to keep in mind is that you should drag towards the direction that you want the path to curve.
Figure 10 Closing the path by clicking on the first corner point
Additionally, you can change the shape of your path using the Bezier handles. To adjust the Bezier curve of the bottom line, follow these steps:
Figure 11 Modifying a Bezier curve
Depending on if you clicked and dragged, or just simply clicked, when you clicked on the first anchor point in step 5, you may or may notrespectivelysee bezier handles appear for that first anchor point. If you don't see bezier handlesas is shown in the screen shot aboveyou'll need to perform an extra step. This is the same step you'll need to follow whenever you want to add bezier curves to an anchor point that lacks them (called a corner point):
Figure 12 Selecting the convert point tool
Figure 13 Adding bezier curves to a corner point
Modifying bezier curves is, thankfully, easy to do.
Figure 14 Modifying a path's curve with a bezier handle
The direction of the curve handles determines the angle, or the total amount of bend, in the curve. The length of the curve handles determines the radius, or location where the bend will occur.
When you've achieved the exact shape you want, release the mouse button. You can then apply a fill, as discussed earlier.