It's infuriating: Not only is there no indicated means of doing this in the GUI or menus, but there's no result in attempting to search the Web for it.
Once a path is closed, how do you break it open?
And while I'm at it: I have a vector mask. I want to draw another vector shape and subtract it from this vector mask. How would I do this?
Mobius Strip wrote:
I have a vector mask. I want to draw another vector shape and subtract it from this vector mask. How would I do this?
Target the vector mask. Either set the vector tool's combining mode to "Subtract" or hold down Alt key when starting to draw a path to subtract from the mask. You'll see a minus sign at the cursor when the mode is subtractive. The Alt key can be released during the drawing action in order to use, for example, the Shift key to constrain proportions.
As conroy wrote you can have many sub paths in is a work path and you can use selection tools to select paths and change the mode they have. Here I have several sub path is a work path. All in add to path mode. I used the path selection tool and the path mode icon pull down to change two of the sub paths to subtract mode.
Thanks, guys. I will resist going on a tirade about how pathetic this UI is (Delete key having undocumented functionality different from Delete in the menu).
Question about the multiple shapes, however. I've selected the vector mask and picked the freeform pen tool to add another shape.
The original shape is the boat outline, and everything around it was masked out. Now I want to draw another shape at the bottom for the "waterline", also eliminating its contents from the final image. But as you can see, the result only shows the intersection of the two shapes. No matter what I select for "path operations" in the toolbar, the result is exactly the same. Except "merge shape components"; then the empty outlines disappear and I'm left with just the filled section.
The filled region indeed does indicate an intersection of the paths instead of one being subtracted from the other. Use the Path Selection Tool to select the boat path and ensure it has "Combine Shapes" mode. Then select the water path, ensure it has "Subtract Front Shape" mode and pick "Bring Shape to Front" in the Path Arrangement options. The names of these options may differ depending on version of Ps and I've used the CS6 terms, but they are all in Options bar for Path Selection Tool.