23 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2012 10:52 AM by timeofthemoon RSS

    Help with using the pen tool

    timeofthemoon Community Member

      I have a few different problems with the pen tool.

       

      1. When using the pen tool I keep finding that the shape I'm doing is slightly overlapping where I've already gone with the pen tool.

       

      If I try and go over that area again the path I've just drawn then jumps and ruins the shape I was creating.

       

      How can I stop this from happening?

       

      2. Also is there a limit to the amount of paths you can create and add text to? I created two paths and typed on them fine but when I added a third path it refused to type. The cursor didn't change to show I could type and if I did click on the path line and try to type jumped to my other path and typed there. All paths were on different layers and none were overlapping, but it is 3 circles inside each other that get smaller if this makes a difference.

       

      How can I type on the third path?

       

      3. When I have done a path and clicked stroke it is only a thin line. How can I make this line thicker?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Help with using the pen tool
          c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

          If I try and go over that area again the path I've just drawn then jumps and ruins the shape I was creating.

          Could you please post a screenshot with the pertinent Panels visible?

          Could it be you have set the Preferences > General > Snap Vector Tools …?

           

          All paths were on different layers and none were overlapping, but it is 3 circles inside each other that get smaller if this makes a difference.

          Could you please post a screenshot with the pertinent Panels visible?

           

          3. When I have done a path and clicked stroke it is only a thin line. How can I make this line thicker?

          What is the selected Tool and does it have Shape Dynamics set in the Brush Panel?

          • 2. Re: Help with using the pen tool
            timeofthemoon Community Member

            Ok, the first example would be something like this. Pretending the lines go elsewhere, say I've drawn a path with the pen tool, gone round the bottom box and that then goes round the two lines going down. So if I go down the one on the left side it hits the previous path I did, but to go up the line on the right side I'd need to go across there. But if I make a point where the two lines meet to do this it then throws the line off elsewhere.

             

            I did have snap vector tools on but it does that without it on.

            Example 1.jpg

             

            The next one I was creating a car speedometer so it has lines on the outside, dots inside of that and then, where I've done the blue circle, would be the third path where I then write the numbers in. But I can never write on that third path.

             

            Example 2.jpg

             

            And finally, the pen tool and I think it dd have Shape Dynamics set. I've changed a couple of things and it looks a bit better now so I think that should be ok. Thanks

             

            I know I haven't shown the panels but I haven't got any for the first as it won't go right so I deleted what I was doing. And each thing I've done is on a different layer for the speedometer, all just paths created with the circle tool with the text on.

            • 3. Re: Help with using the pen tool
              c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

              The next one I was creating a car speedometer so it has lines on the outside, dots inside of that and then, where I've done the blue circle, would be the third path where I then write the numbers in. But I can never write on that third path.

              Could you post a screenshot with the Layers and Paths Panels visible?

              Is the active Path the Work Path or a Vector Mask?

              • 4. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                timeofthemoon Community Member

                I'm sure they are all work paths. I'll do a screen shot in a moment.

                • 5. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                  timeofthemoon Community Member

                  Screenshot:

                   

                  Screenshot.jpg

                  • 6. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                    timeofthemoon Community Member

                    Screenshot with the third path:

                     

                    Screenshot 2.jpg

                    • 7. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                      conroy Community Member

                      2. Also is there a limit to the amount of paths you can create and add text to? I created two paths and typed on them fine but when I added a third path it refused to type. The cursor didn't change to show I could type and if I did click on the path line and try to type jumped to my other path and typed there. All paths were on different layers and none were overlapping, but it is 3 circles inside each other that get smaller if this makes a difference.

                       

                      How can I type on the third path?

                       

                      Ps seems easily confused by the presence of text nearby the path to which you want to add text. Hide the first two text layers then you'll be able to create the third one.

                       

                      By the way, don't you find it tricky to get the result you want when you transform the path only of a text-on-path layer; the text doesn't update until you confirm the transform. Yet again, Ps is surprisingly non-interactive for a graphics application in 2012, especially one so expensive!

                      • 8. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                        timeofthemoon Community Member

                        conroy2009 wrote:

                         

                        2. Also is there a limit to the amount of paths you can create and add text to? I created two paths and typed on them fine but when I added a third path it refused to type. The cursor didn't change to show I could type and if I did click on the path line and try to type jumped to my other path and typed there. All paths were on different layers and none were overlapping, but it is 3 circles inside each other that get smaller if this makes a difference.

                         

                        How can I type on the third path?

                         

                        Ps seems easily confused by the presence of text nearby the path to which you want to add text. Hide the first two text layers then you'll be able to create the third one.

                         

                        By the way, don't you find it tricky to get the result you want when you transform the path only of a text-on-path layer; the text doesn't update until you confirm the transform. Yet again, Ps is surprisingly non-interactive for a graphics application in 2012, especially one so expensive!

                         

                        I tried hiding the layers below, it didn't help, it just refused to type. I tried locking the other layers and it wouldn't type. I even tried deleting the other paths and creating the third and it still jumped down to the other layers. I've tried creating a new document and starting over but it's still the same...

                         

                        While I think about it, how do you get the text to be on the inside of a path instead of the outside? I know I've done it before but I can't remember how.

                        • 9. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                          conroy Community Member

                          timeofthemoon wrote:

                          I tried hiding the layers below, it didn't help, it just refused to type. I tried locking the other layers and it wouldn't type. I even tried deleting the other paths and creating the third and it still jumped down to the other layers. I've tried creating a new document and starting over but it's still the same...

                           

                          Hmm... hiding interfering text layers lets me proceed with creating new layers of text on a path, so I don't know what to suggest.

                           

                          While I think about it, how do you get the text to be on the inside of a path instead of the outside? I know I've done it before but I can't remember how.

                           

                          Quick tut at http://www.photoshopessentials.com/basics/type-on-a-path/

                          • 10. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                            timeofthemoon Community Member

                            conroy2009 wrote:

                             

                            timeofthemoon wrote:

                            I tried hiding the layers below, it didn't help, it just refused to type. I tried locking the other layers and it wouldn't type. I even tried deleting the other paths and creating the third and it still jumped down to the other layers. I've tried creating a new document and starting over but it's still the same...

                             

                            Hmm... hiding interfering text layers lets me proceed with creating new layers of text on a path, so I don't know what to suggest.

                             

                            While I think about it, how do you get the text to be on the inside of a path instead of the outside? I know I've done it before but I can't remember how.

                             

                            Quick tut at http://www.photoshopessentials.com/basics/type-on-a-path/

                             

                            It's worked for me to hide layers in the past using CS3. CS6 doesn't seem to like the idea though lol.

                             

                            Thanks for the tutorial. Easier than I thought!

                             

                            Do you know anything about the other problem I asked about at the start with the paths overlapping?

                            • 11. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                              conroy Community Member

                              Do you know anything about the other problem I asked about at the start with the paths overlapping?

                               

                              No, I don't know what's happening there.

                              • 12. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

                                Pretending the lines go elsewhere, say I've drawn a path with the pen tool, gone round the bottom box and that then goes round the two lines going down. So if I go down the one on the left side it hits the previous path I did, but to go up the line on the right side I'd need to go across there. But if I make a point where the two lines meet to do this it then throws the line off elsewhere.

                                I don’t understand what you mean.

                                Could you post step by step screenshots?

                                • 13. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                  timeofthemoon Community Member

                                  Example 3.jpg

                                   

                                  Ok, I did draw arrows on this using Photoshop (although it refused to let me move them or anything) but after inserted the image here I noticed they'd gone so sorry about the badly drawn arrows, I had to use Paint -_-

                                   

                                  Right, so starting with the pen tool, I draw a line across to the left through 1 and 2 so it's all the way across the bottom. Then I pen tool around the rest of the image (on the left) and that brings me to arrow 3 where I then need a line going down. However, this then reaches the line I drew previously (where the big red circle is).

                                   

                                  Now I need to pen tool across where arrow 4 is because I need to get to the other line on the right where arrow 5 is, but obviously I've already pen tooled there. If I pen tool just above that line it won't look right when I add a stroke to the path. If I click on the other line and go across it anyway when I go up where arrow 5 is the line I just drew (by arrow 4) jumps so it's completely in the wrong place.

                                   

                                  If I try doing the bottom half on one layer (arrows 1 and 2) and do the top half (3, 4 and 5) on another layer it just doesn't go right.

                                   

                                  If I stop at line/arrow 3 and start again at line/arrow 5 the path isn't closed which causes other problems. And I thought paths were always supposed to be closed, but I may be wrong?

                                  • 14. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                    R_Kelly Community Member

                                    Could you post a screenshot of the whole path?

                                     

                                    Paths don't have to be closed and you can start new paths (subpaths) as in the example below:

                                    (click on the screenshots for larger views)

                                     

                                     

                                    unclosed paths:

                                     

                                     

                                    path-1.png

                                     

                                     

                                    the paths selected:

                                     

                                     

                                    path-2.png

                                     

                                    the paths stroked with the bush tool:

                                     

                                     

                                    path-3.png

                                    • 15. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                      timeofthemoon Community Member

                                      Thanks.

                                       

                                      I don't have the whole path at the moment. I had to switch computers because I'm having Internet problems and this computer doesn't have Photoshop. But I've had the same problem on different things I'm creating. With some there's probably a really simple solution like where you start from, but I've not used the pen tool much so...

                                       

                                      I'll try and do it with unclosed paths again but last time it just didn't work. It either joins it up to whatever I do next or jumps things around.

                                       

                                      Not sure if it's the version of Photoshop I'm using that's causing problems.

                                      • 16. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                        timeofthemoon Community Member

                                        I did one path, created a new layer, started the second path and it joined the two up. Despite being on two layers it appears to have placed them both on one because if I hide the layer with the first path nothing changes, but both paths are hidden when I hide the second layer.

                                         

                                        Is there something I need to press or click on when I've done the first path?

                                         

                                        Edit: New path is what I needed to click. It seems ok now.

                                         

                                        Thanks for your help. 2 problems sorted, 1 to go lol.

                                        • 17. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                          R_Kelly Community Member

                                          Paths and layers are two different things and you don't need to create a layer to draw paths.

                                          (well there are shape layers and vector masks which use paths)

                                           

                                          maybe some of these tutorials will help: (none are specific to cs6, but the basics are the same)

                                           

                                           

                                          http://www.elated.com/articles/photoshop-paths-explained/

                                           

                                           

                                          http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=732109

                                           

                                           

                                          http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photoshop/cs/using/WSfd1234e1c4b69f30ea53e41001031ab64-73a0a.h tml

                                          • 18. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                            timeofthemoon Community Member

                                            I know they're different, I just didn't think about having to click new path to then do another one. I was just thinking that by starting on a new layer I would have different paths on each layer that weren't connected. If I'd done them on one layer I would still have been confused about them connecting, I just wouldn't have wondered why they were on one layer instead of two. The answer should have been obvious, I don't know why it didn't sink in earlier lol.

                                             

                                            But thanks for the link,.especially the last one.  Some useful information there so I'll bookmark that in case I forget anything

                                            • 19. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                              WidmarkRob

                                              Okay, I just started learning Photoshop about three weeks ago… I'm a quick learner.

                                               

                                              Maybe some of the older pros can correct me on this.

                                               

                                              When you're creating the new path for line 5…the path going up

                                               

                                               

                                              Add an anchor point on the bottom line/path/stroke before you continue creating your path going up…

                                              • 20. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                                timeofthemoon Community Member

                                                WidmarkRob wrote:

                                                 

                                                Okay, I just started learning Photoshop about three weeks ago… I'm a quick learner.

                                                 

                                                Maybe some of the older pros can correct me on this.

                                                 

                                                When you're creating the new path for line 5…the path going up

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Add an anchor point on the bottom line/path/stroke before you continue creating your path going up…

                                                 

                                                Thanks. Adding an anchor point sent the line off, but it was just a case of adding a new path correctly so I could add the anchor point there.

                                                • 21. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                                  DocPixel-BMW Community Member

                                                  I don't know if I should say this or not, but I would seriously consider learning Illustrator to do your vector work in, especially "advanced or complicated" vectors. You can import them later to Photoshop to add "photo realism and effects".

                                                   

                                                  This approach just seems so masochistic to me... sorry. Even IF you can do some pretty amazing things within Photoshop and using vectors, the question remains: do you want to, or should you not explore another program within the Creative Suite to do it better and easier?

                                                   

                                                  Just a humble opinion.

                                                  • 22. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                                    c.pfaffenbichler Community Member

                                                    Illustrator certainly offers superior path manipulation functionalities … and yet in some regards I consider it inferior to Photoshop’s path manipulation.

                                                    Two issue come to mind: the path closing behaviour and the free/perspectival transformation of paths.

                                                    • 23. Re: Help with using the pen tool
                                                      timeofthemoon Community Member

                                                      I'd like to be able to use both but I can't afford to buy Illustrator and it's not really worth it when I'll probably need Photoshop more. I used Illustrator when at college but now all I have is Photoshop so...