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"Select a path in the paths pallete" - how to?


littleberry

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I'm trying to learn how to "storke" a path. First, I define a path (using the pen tool) consisting of only two anchor points (both corners), and Photoshop draws me a thin line between them with little squares on top of each ot the two points. Now, I want to "STROKE" this line with one of the brush tools, but, I am unable to get photoshop (CS2) to allow me to select "stroke", either in the popout (from right clicking on that "path" in the paths pallete, or by using the "stroke" icon at the bottom (when I move my cursor over it, I get a circle with diagonal line through it). That tells me that I have not yet "SELECTED" that path.

How do I do that?

PS. I realize there are better ways to draw a simple straight line, but, I am using this most simple of OPEN PATHS so that I can learn how I get a path stroked - once I get that down pat, I'll create more complicated paths, but, first I need to know how to "select" the path so I can "stroke" it.

Please help - I don't see any instructions on how to "select" a path.
 
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IamSam

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re: "Select a path in the paths pallete" - how to?

Select your Pen Tool.
Set the Tool mode to shape.
Turn off the Fill type.
Turn on the stroke type.
Set to the color you want.
Set the shape stroke width.

That's it.

edit: SORRY! This was for a completely different process!
 
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IamSam

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re: "Select a path in the paths pallete" - how to?

Sorry, try this.

With the Pen Tool selected, hold down the Cmd/Cntrl key. Then click the path to select it.
 

MrToM

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re: "Select a path in the paths pallete" - how to?

To add to Sam's excellent advice you need to make sure of one or two things before you can stroke a 'Path'.

When you use the 'Pen' tool it needs to be set to make a 'Path'....not a shape. The icons at the top left of the workspace denote which the 'Pen' tool creates. The middle icon is the 'Path' option...

CS2_Create_Path_MT_01.png

This creates a 'Work' path. Its called a 'Work' path because you don't really use it as it stands but rather use it as a 'Working' template to do all kinds of other things....erase, blur, feather, text alignment....and stroking.

CS2_Work_Path_MT_01.png

Stroking with the 'Brush' tool or 'Pencil' tool is essentially adding pixels to an editable layer using the 'Work Path' as a guide....or template. You therefore need to have an 'Editable Layer' selected for the process to work on....text layers, locked layers, adjustment layers etc do not allow you to place pixels on them and you get the greying out of the 'Stroke' option.

So, make sure you have an editable layer in the stack and that it is selected...

CS2_Editable_Layer_MT_01.png

(As a side note, its all too easy to fill a layer then stroke a path on another layer without changing the foreground colour....it will look as if nothing has happened but in reality its just the same colour stroke on the same colour BG.....make sure to change the FG colour for the stroke!)

Be aware though that once you do 'Stroke' a 'Work Path' the resulting pixels are 'fixed'.....and changing, (editing), the 'Path' will have no effect.....think of the 'Path' as a stencil...once you spray a stencil with paint its permanent....moving the 'stencil' has no effect on previous operations. By all means you can move the layer but as a whole, not as individually 'Stroked' paths.

If you need to have more than one 'Stroke' and keep them separate then 'Stroke' each one one its own layer.

Also, for your amusement, try hitting the 'Return' or 'Enter' key with different tools selected...like the 'Eraser' tool, or the 'Blur' tool.....you can get some really good effects by using this method.

This is also a shortcut to 'Stroking' a path too.

Confusingly, 'Paths' can be either 'Open' or 'Closed'...and so can 'Shapes' for that matter.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

Tom Mann

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At the risk of stating the obvious, once you followed Sam and MrTom's excellent advice (eg, having a layer on which to add the stroke, adjusting the pencil or brush before you perform the stroke, etc.), have you re-tried right-clicking on the path of interest in the "paths" pallete, and then selecting "stroke" from the context menu?

stroke_path_by_right_clicking.jpg

Tom M
 
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littleberry

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re: "Select a path in the paths pallete" - how to?

Mr. Tom, your drawing attention to the distinction between a "shape" and a "path", as indicated on the top options bar, is what I was missing. After I read that, I remember reading something about it, but, I had overlooked it. That is what I was doing wrong - once I choose "path", then it worked just as described in the manual. I was able to use several drawing tools, such as pencil, clone stamp, smudge, etc., and it does exactly as described, where the path directs the tool as if that would be how I would move the mouse. That is just what I needed.

Even though you cannot adjust the stroke afterwards, a trick I have been using elsewhere is to "stepbackward" when I need to make a small adjustment, and, repeat that for fine tuning, so, it works out ok.

One thing I haven't found yet is a brush that will allow for the width, color, brightness, and other attributes to vary along the path - so that, for example, a stroke might start out at, say, 10 pixels thick and increase to 20 pixels in the middle of the stroke, and, then reduce back to 10 pixels toward the end of the stroke. I fear that feature is not offered by photoshop cs2.

Still, being able to craft a path with such precision (multiple anchor points, with varying and finely tuned direction points) provides a workable method of precisely outline an edge, to be either selected, stroked, or filled, or whatever. Getting pixel-level precision is the solution I was seeking.

Thanks.

I don't know what a "shape" is, but, I'll get to it as I continue learning about photoshop in practice. But, already I know you can't "stroke" a shape.

Oh, and, I also notice that whenever I select "stoke" from the popout, it gives me a little box which reminds me of the particular tool that will be used to complete the stroke, and waits for me to respond - I wish I could skip that, but, I don't see any option to make that an automatic "yes".

Oh, and, I am usually only working with the initial layer, which photoshop gives you when you use the BROWSE application to choose an existing photo to load - it gives you an editable layer which it calls "background". I will get extra layers whenever I paste from the clipboard, but, once I have finished positioning and editing the paste, I usually merge visible and continue with the one "background" layer. I suppose I am missing out on a more comprehensive method by not making better use of multiple layers, but, I'll eventually see the advantage and get the hang of that (I am reminded of OBAMA's birth certificate, which was on the 'net and had many layers, which made me wonder why on earth?).

There's just a whole whole lot about photoshop to learn - a lifetime's worth.
 

MrToM

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re: "Select a path in the paths pallete" - how to?

...MrToM, your drawing attention to the distinction between a "shape" and a "path"... is what I was missing...
OK.


...Even though you cannot adjust the stroke afterwards...
Thats right....because it creates pixels on the layer which cannot be edited via the 'Stroke' option but can still be edited as 'pixels' just as any other pixels can...there is no difference.


...One thing I haven't found yet is a brush that will allow for the width, color, brightness, and other attributes to vary along the path... I fear that feature is not offered by photoshop cs2...
To do this you need to set up the 'Brush' tool to how you want it to look when used.
Stroking with the 'Brush' tool uses the settings in the 'Brush' settings dialog.....change those and you can do whatever you want.


...Thanks...
No worries.


...I don't know what a "shape" is...But, already I know you can't "stroke" a shape....
You do do you? :biglaff:

So I'd be wasting my time telling you otherwise then eh?

It can be done but its not as easy as later versions....you have to apply a 'Style' to the path.
First you need to create your 'Style' and save it as such....there are numerous tutorials on how to do this if you look on YouTube....it would be easier than explaining it here.

(You could also use a preset style and edit it to how you want)

Once you have saved your 'Style' you can then use it on a 'Shape'. Its not quite as flexible as later versions but once you have applied the 'Style' to the shape you can edit it just as any other 'Style' attribute.....if you set up a 'general' style that you know you will use often then do that and edit it as needed.....or just use one of the preset 'Styles' and edit that instead.

You can also save an 'edited' preset Style once you get it right instead of doing it first....many, many options.


...whenever I select "stoke" from the popout, it gives me a little box...I wish I could skip that...
I refer to my previous post where I posted the shortcut for just this issue.

Do this:
1. Create your 'path'....keep it selected.
2. make sure you have an editable layer selected in the 'Layers' panel.
3. Select the 'brush' tool.
4. Hit 'ENTER' or 'RETURN' on your keyboard.....the 'path' will be stroked according to the 'Brush' tool settings..as mentioned above.


...Oh, and, I am usually only working with the initial layer, which photoshop gives you when you use the BROWSE application to choose an existing photo to load - it gives you an editable layer which it calls "background"...
You should NEVER work on the 'background' layer....in fact the first thing you should do is duplicate it and lock the original if it isn't already....then work on a NEW blank layer above those.

The NEW blank layer icon is at the bottom of the 'Layers' Panel.....6TH icon from the left, next to the bin.

Make sure this layer is selected before stroking....or any other layer you create.....but never stroke on the original image......its not UNDOABLE!

Working with, and on, layers is a means to keep everything separate so that it can easily be removed or edited without affecting anything else....its called 'Non -Destructive' editing.

Some process cannot be done 'Non Destructively' which is where you duplicate the layer first so that you have a copy in reserve in case you change your mind later.

Its easy to say but you need to think ahead as to what you need to do and adjust your workflow accordingly.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

IamSam

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Thanks MrToM, littleberry does not realize how lucky he/she is to still have someone around who is familiar with CS2 and still has an old copy on their computer.
 

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