IN THIS CHAPTER
Introduction to Bézier paths
Defining paths and vector tools
Creating vector paths
Paths as selections
For many Photoshop users, paths are one of the most useful but least understood parts of the photo editing and graphic arts process. They are somewhat more complex than other selection and shape creation tools, but also extremely powerful and flexible.
While you are not likely to find much campaigning for the use of paths in quick-fix style tutorials, the one skill set that often separates the more serious Photoshop user from the dabbler is the ability to efficiently utilize paths.
Across different applications, paths can be used to make precise selections, aid in the creation of complex illustrations, and define the motion of animated objects. All that's required is a little curiosity and determination.
This chapter is broken into five primary topics, each building on the prior one to give you a solid grounding in the use of Photoshop's vector-based tools. I'll talk more about what is meant by "vector" in the coming pages, but for now open your mind, check your hesitation at the door, and prepare to experiment with paths as you read through the examples.
The best way to learn paths is by doing, so open up a new blank document and give the examples a shot. You've got nothing to lose and much to gain!