9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2012 6:33 AM by blistereen

    Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?

    bjgough Level 1

      I love drawing in Photoshop. But there is one thing that Sketchbook Pro does better that causes me to start a new project there everytime. Quickly I get frustrated at the limitations of the program and the poor handling of keyboard shortcut options...Why do I start in SbP? The adjustable rulers (linear, elliptical)!!!

      Screen Shot 2012-03-24 at 4.34.46 PM.png

      Screen Shot 2012-03-24 at 4.35.20 PM.png

       

      I WISH that Adobe would buy, beg, borrow, or steal this functionality from Autodesk. They are so easy to adjust, reposition, replicate, etc...

       

      I know that I can create a selection with the marquee, lasso and magic wand tools. I know I can add a "stroke" effect to the layer. I know I can add a stroke that supposedly borrows the brush settings to a selection... But, I want to be able to "DRAW" along that path, utilizing the brush settings (like Transfer) to suit the stylistic needs of the project.

       

      What I'm hoping is that someone can tell me how to get this same killer ruler functionality in Photoshop... anyone?

        • 1. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
          Noel Carboni Level 8

          Perhaps I'm missing what you're saying...  Do you not know about stroking a path in Photoshop?

           

          1.  Use the Pen Tool to draw a path.

          2.  Stroke the Path onto a blank layer with whatever tool you have selected.

           

          -Noel

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
            Noel Carboni Level 8

            StrokePath1.jpg

             

            StrokePath2.jpg

             

            -Noel

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
              bjgough Level 1

              Thanks Noel - I'm aware of the stroke path options for the pen tool too (though I didn't specifically call them out in the original post). The problem I have with ALL of the auto-stroke options is that the stroke is so uniform. I'm looking to sketch along the path myself, adjust pressure and opacity with my tablet while Photoshop constrains my marks to the path itself (whether it be defined by a selection or vector path is irrelevant - I just want to constrain the brush stroke).

               

              For example, if you have Snap to Guides turned on, you could create a guide, and then draw closely along the guide and your strokes will stay constratined to that path as long as your brush is within snapping distance. But, you could still texture the lines and make them as "sketchy" as you wanted them to be. Unfortunately, you can only apply a stroke and this creates a too clean, too even application.

              Screen Shot 2012-03-25 at 9.56.06 PM.png

              I realize that I'm not demonstrating the "textural" application of the stroke that I would be using—I'm on my laptop and using the trackpad to respond...

               

              For a minute, I thought I had a solution—converting a path to a guide line, but that's only possible in Illustrator. That would have solved my problem. Unfortunately, PS only allows vertical and horizontal guides.

               

              p.s. Have you found any setbacks to jumping on the CS6 beta? I think it looks fantastic, but I don't want to bung up my production with bug discoveries!

              • 4. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
                Noel Carboni Level 8

                bjgough wrote:

                 

                p.s. Have you found any setbacks to jumping on the CS6 beta? I think it looks fantastic, but I don't want to bung up my production with bug discoveries!

                 

                I put the CS6 beta on a VMware virtual machine myself, for exactly the same reason.  I only install released software on my workstation.  But the CS6 beta is surprisingly bug-free - there are few glitches I'm aware of so far.

                 

                VMware can be set to run full screen on multiple monitors, and with a registry tweak Photoshop will even use its OpenGL implementation, so the test can be fully immersive, yet I don't risk destabilization.  As it turns out I'm running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in the VM.  That's been a fun discovery process as well.

                 

                -Noel

                • 5. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                  bjgough wrote:

                   

                  The problem I have with ALL of the auto-stroke options is that the stroke is so uniform.

                   

                  I'm not sure just what you're looking to accomplish, but you might want to look into the brush dynamics.  You can add randomness (Adobe refers to it as Jitter) to any stroke.  There is a HUGE number of things you can accomplish through dynamics...

                   

                  BrushStuff.jpg

                   

                   

                  -Noel

                  • 6. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
                    bjgough Level 1

                    Thanks, I'm familiar with the brush panel. That's what I'm trying to preserve, actually. Let's say you import a vector image of a car illustration. You want it to be all sketchy and industrial designy... but you still want to maintain the contours, etc. of the design. IF you could constrain your brush strokes to that path, you could sketch "freehand" along that path—applying the varying brush settings that are tied to stylus pressure, etc.—without losing the precision of the path.

                    Also, for someone like myself that has familial tremors in the family (involuntary shaking of the hands during fine motor muscle movements) I can see the writing on the wall that my lines aren't going to get neater as I get older. So, if I could rely on some sort of constraint feature to keep my brush stroke in line, then I could feel free to vary the stroke with brush settings like Transfer, Jitter, etc...

                    Right now, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro allows you to draw along a ruler path—the problem is that the paths are either straight, or elliptical. There is no freeform option. Photoshop allows you to apply lines to any path or selection, but the inverse problem is—you don't really get to control the production of the line quality.

                    • 7. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
                      PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                      Hello!

                      If you are trying to paint along paths with brushes, you could also look into Illustrator.

                      I think that you want to make a suggestion on the http://feedback.photoshop.com for a snap to paths ability (do search first, somebody else maybe already made one that you could supplement, with details.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
                        bjgough Level 1

                        Thank you for the suggestion. I will checkout their feedback string and see what avails. With regards to Ai, I'm am specifically looking to sketch using custom Photoshop brushes that would not translate to the Ai environment. Of course, if Ai allowed you to set the opacity of a stroke by anchor point (similar to a gradient mesh of 1) that would be 'closer.'

                        • 9. Re: Constrain stroke to selection boundary...?
                          blistereen

                          Hi, I'm only replying to say that, if someone from the photoshop team is listening, I agree that this capability would be invaluable in photoshop and should be added as a feature in a future release (essentially I'm trying to turn up the web chatter). I'm replying here because, after searching the web for the same solution I've found that bjgough's description of the issue is the clearest. A way to contrain brush strokes, as in Sketchbook Pro, but to user defined paths. I was sort of surprised that this wasn't configurable in photoshop.  And as bjgough has stated, we know you can stroke a path with brush settings, but this does not allow for user customization of a stroke using the capabilities of the pressure tablet.