8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2012 9:13 AM by Paulo Skylar RSS

    Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6

    GameViewPoint Community Member

      I have a shape, it has no fill, so it's just an outline, let's say it's an outline of a leg.

       

      Now what I want to do is draw another outline inside that leg outline, but I don't want 2 end up with 2 separate shapes (2 layers), I want to draw the 2nd outline directly into the first one, so it's all one big vector shape.

       

      For some reason this seems impossible to do in Photoshop CS6. If I select combine shapes, from the menu, free form pen tool and then draw the 2nd outline into the 1st outline, when I stop drawing I don't end up with one outline combined (on top of) the first, instead it just seems to do some weird clipping and I end up with the first outline shrinking, and the outline I just drew appearing not as an outline but as a path.

       

      This is something that works perfectly in Flash pro, you draw a shape, you draw another one on top and you then have both perfectly combined, no fuss no bother. You can even vary the stroke strength at any point along the line in Flash, I'm not sure this is even possible in Photoshop.

       

      Any ideas what's going wrong in photoshop or how to do that in photoshop?

       

      Thanks for any advice.

        • 1. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
          Brett N Employee Hosts

          Can you post a screen shot? I think you may not be seeing what you think you're seeing. Photoshop is a raster-based application and it does not handle vector the same way a vector-based application, like Flash, does. Flash doesn't use layers in the same way that Photoshop does, it does not group shapes together the same way Photoshop does.

           

          When you create a shape, that is a closed object, even if you do not have a Fill color applied. Only paths on the outside of the shape get a Stroke. Try using Subtract from Shape instead and see if that gives you what you are looking for.

          • 2. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
            Paulo Skylar Community Member

            Photoshop almost certainly does what you want. I can't be sure not seeing exactly what you are trying to accomplish, but ....

             

            As an example, using the pen tool set to create shapes and using the various combinations provided in the drop down menu you can get the following results  combininig a blob with a triangle:

             

            Paulo

             

            combine.png

            If you want a doughnut topology, then put the second shape fully inside the first using subtract .

             

            Paulo

            • 3. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
              GameViewPoint Community Member

              3 screen shots attached although reading the above I think I see what the issue is, I'm trying to add a shape inside another shape and maybe that's not something it does, anyway here's the screens.BeforeLeg.jpgAfterLeg.jpgWhatItShouldBe.jpg

              In order from top to bottom, left to right....first is before, 2nd is what I see once I've drawn the new shape (outline) and last is what I wanted it to look like, but can only get that if the 2nd outline is on a 2nd layer, i'e doesn't seem to be a way to combine that with the first outline.

              • 4. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
                Brett N Employee Hosts

                Yes, that is exactly as expected. You may want to work with Illustrator rather than Photoshop for this type of work.

                • 5. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
                  Paulo Skylar Community Member

                  GameViewPoint wrote:

                   

                  ......but can only get that if the 2nd outline is on a 2nd layer, i'e doesn't seem to be a way to combine that with the first outline.

                  You can almost get what you want by working slightly differently.

                   

                  When you use the pen tool choose from the options bar the Path instead of the Shape option. Draw each of your paths as you normally do. When all the paths you want on a single layer are drawn click on the paths panel. Then choose the brush tool and select the color and width of the outline stroke. Then select one of the paths by clicking on it with the "black arrow" tool. At the bottom of the path's panel click on the icon for "stroke path with brush" . You can then repeat this process to stroke the other paths.  If all the paths on a layer will have the same stroke then select them all and one click on the stroke icon will stroke them all.

                   

                  Note that for the kind of work you seem to be doing this approach has the benefit of using ANY brush (see bottom path in example), which can produce quite interesting effects.  The vector paths in the paths panel should be named if you want them saved in the document.  Also, if you want all the paths on a layer to be merged then alt click on the thumbnail of the relevant path and then from the Path Operations dropdown menu choose merge shape components.

                  Capture.PNG

                  Hope this helps.

                   

                  Paulo

                  • 6. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
                    GameViewPoint Community Member

                    Thanks for that, but the "stroke path with brush" option is greyed out for me and I cannot click on it, see attached screen shot.

                    Screen Shot 2012-08-15 at 14.51.39.png

                    • 7. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
                      GameViewPoint Community Member

                      Ok I think I figured it out, it's still not quite what I need though because it's basically just creating a pixel version of the path, but maybe it's something I can do something with, still might just go back and draw all the outlines with Flash pro though seems easier

                       

                      Thanks for your help.

                      • 8. Re: Combining 2 shapes in Photoshop CS6
                        Paulo Skylar Community Member

                        GameViewPoint wrote:

                         

                        .... it's basically just creating a pixel version of the path, .............still might just go back and draw all the outlines with Flash pro though seems easier

                         

                        Thanks for your help.

                        It is creating a pixel representation of the path, but the vector path is still there if you want to edit it later in any way.

                         

                        Agreed, it would be easier in some other applications. Something else  to think about, however.

                         

                        If you use the pen tool to create shapes and each new shape is on a separate layer because that is the path operation you choose, you still have the option of selecting all of those layers that fit into some logical grouping like thigh, or calf or foot, or whatever and group them (Ctrl+g) and name that group. Now you have one effective layer and it is vector based, all the elements in that group can be moved as one, and it can be transformed or recolored,....  In other words, it behaves substantially like you want it to and it takes up only one spot in your layer panel.  Also, even though you may already be aware of this, as long as you are not using any fill you do not have to draw closed paths - this may same a little time

                         

                        Paulo