I'm on CS5.
I have a photo, and I want to highlight the central portion of this using a custom shape - let's say a star. When I do this I can work with the shape.
I don't want to work with the shape, I want it to be there, but the image inside the shape I want to remain visisble. Then round the edges of the shape I want to add borders (?Stroke) of colours selected from the image. Obviously I don't want to hand draw the shape because I won't make it symetrical.
So, once I've chosen my shape, how can I work outside the shape, whilst still retaining visibilty inside the shape?
I do not think you actually want use Photoshop custom shapes. What you most likely want to do to to make selections that may have a regular shape like a star. Then create a layer containing the contents of the select image area. Using Copy Paste or duping the layers and adding the selection as a layer mask. You can also save the selection as names alpha channels. If you need them again in your processing. Once you have these layers you can add the embellishments you want. Using layer styles is something you may want to look at,
You can draw out a Path using a custom shape. Then convert the shape to a selection. If you add guide lines you can draw thing quite symmetric using the polygon lasso tool. There are many ways to do thing in Photoshop.
Custom shape layers can be filled with a color or pattern and can be stroked. If they have no filling I guess you can see way is below. If you stroke its outline with pixels you may be able to add a layer style to the stroke.
You want to work on layers.
Thank you. I had thought along those lines myself, but the problem I saw was getting the shape I wanted truly regular. I'll have a try with guide lines as you suggest.