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Photoshop® CS4 Bible by Dan Moughamian, Simon Abrams, Stacy Cates

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12.7. Summary

This chapter discussed and defined the concept of vector shape layers and how they can be created within your Photoshop documents. Multiple creative options for each vector shape tool were discussed, as well as important keyboard shortcuts to make your vector workflow more efficient.

Among the most important concepts you learned are that vector shape layers are created from a combination of either color, gradient, or pattern fill layer, with a vector mask applied. The shape is created when the areas outside the mask boundary are hidden from view. Also important is the fact that vector shape layers can be created with both the Pen tool and the vector shape tools, and utilize many of the same options including the ability to create either working paths or shape layers, as well as the ability to combine those path components or shapes by using the Add To, Subtract From, Intersect With, and Ignore Overlap buttons found on the Options Bar.

Alignment and distribution of vector shape layers is handled with exactly the same tools and methods as those used for aligning and distributing paths (the Path Selection tool options). Vector shape layers can also have their shapes modified by using the Direct Selection tool and Fill Slider on the Layers panel to isolate the actual path that the shape layer's mask is based upon, and editing it as you would any other path.

Finally it's important to remember that any closed path you create with Photoshop's vector tools can be made into ...

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