Techniques to Master the Pen Tool
Posted March 28, 2011on:
To become a successful design master, you must first master the pen tool. Pen tool is one of most important design tools that are used while working in Photoshop and illustrator. Pen tool allows you all types of design facilities including creating, removing and tweaking curves and points. I also work as designer and most of the time use pen tool to create unique variations in curves. I want to share two important techniques for using pen tool.
The first technique I am going to share with you works best in Photoshop when you have to create a clipping path or cut out an image. Follow the following steps to use this technique of pen tool:
- Add a plain and starting point before the curve. Don’t drag out Bezier handles.
- Add a point at the end of curve. Leave a straight line between both the points. Avoid dragging out Bezier handles.
- Add a point over the straight path line half along. In Photoshop, you can do so automatically but Illustrator does not offer this facility.
- Hold CTRL key to switch the pen tool to direct selection. Drag new point in the same position to draw new curve.
- To match the curves to original image, hold CTRL key and drag Bezier handle into position.
- Return to the starting point curve to complete the path. Small circle would be shown on design interface and you will find the path closed.
Second technique of using pen tool is more suitable for drawing different shapes. But the process is slightly different in Photoshop and Illustrator. Followings are the steps to use this technique:
- Click and drag a point to create curve.
- Add second point to create curved line by clicking and dragging Bezier handle. Move the handle around before releasing mouse.
- Single click in case of using Illustrator and ALT+click in case of using Photoshop the end point of curve to remove the Bezier handle. If your line is going straight, you don’t need to do this.
- Return to the start point for completing the path.
By following these techniques you can create unique drawing images in your design interface.