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Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Chapter 13. Drawing with the Vector Tools

If your first thought when someone mentions drawing is, “But I can’t even draw a straight line!” don’t worry: You can draw in Photoshop. To draw a straight line, just grab the Line tool (it’s one of the shape tools—see Drawing with the Shape Tools) and drag from one spot to another. Or, as you learned in the previous chapter, grab the Brush tool, click in one spot, and then Shift-click another spot; it’s that simple. The program also includes all kinds of built-in shapes like circles, rectangles, and rounded rectangles that are incredibly easy to use.

But what about creating more sophisticated drawings and illustrations? The good news is you don’t have to worry about drawing anything freehand, whether it’s a line or a curvy shape. Instead, the vector drawing tools you’ll learn about in this chapter let you create a series of points; Photoshop then adds a path in between those points to form the outline of the shape. Unlike the things you draw by hand with the Brush tool or a real-world pencil, these vector objects are infinitely tweakable: You can move points and adjust the paths to create any shape you want, letting you make complex yet flexible works of art from scratch, as Figure 13-1 shows.

Now, if you’re tempted to bail from this chapter because you’re not an artist, hold your horses—you can use the vector drawing tools in a variety of other ways. For example:

  • Once you get the hang of these tools, you can use them to add elements to images ...

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