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Control when Drawing in Photoshop CS3

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Sydney Hyman
Control when Drawing in Photoshop CS3
on Apr 9, 2009 at 2:15:43 pm

Hi, I am trying to figure out how I can draw in Photoshop CS3 with control, such as with the kind of control I have in Illustrator. For example, in Photoshop I see that I can use the pencil, brush or freeform pen tools to draw lines. I do not see how I can control the line after I draw it as I can in Illustrator, e.g., controlling the "stroke's" width, it's color, or even it's shape with anchor points. In Photoshop I can use anchor points with the freeform pen tool, which is good control but how do I delete the fill and just have the line in the color and width of my choice?

I tried opening my photograph .tiff file in Illustrator, doing my drawing there, saving the file as a .ai or .pdf file, and then opening it up a .pdf in Photoshop. But the lines drawn in Illustrator do not always transfer into Photoshop very well, e.g., they become broken lines.

I hope someone will help! Thank you!!

Best regards,


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Emily Carmichael
Re: Control when Drawing in Photoshop CS3
on May 12, 2009 at 10:30:26 pm

Well, you're never going to have the kind of editable curves in PS that you get in illustrator.
But here are some things you can try:

Once you define a path with the pen tool you can stroke it with any brush style you want. (This is a DIFFERENT OPTION than "stroke" from the edit menu which just gives you a simple line of the desired width.)

Select the pen tool and make sure the mode is set to "paths." (The second button right after the pen tool... just hover around all the option buttons and you'll find which one it is. If your curves are always filled it's because your mode is set to "shape layers" or "fill pixels"--"shape layers" is default.)

Select the brush you want. You can play with all the shape and color dynamics to make basically any type of line.

Now WITH THE BRUSH TOOL STILL SELECTED, click stroke (the filled circle at the bottom of the layers panel.) You'll stroke the present path on the present layer with the desired brush. (If you click stroke with another tool selected, it will function like the "edit" version of stroke and give a simple line.)

As long as you save the path you can then stroke it with a different brush later if you decide that's what you want. The path will also be editable. But yes, each time you stroke it will be "stamped" on to one of the layers and not editable once that's done.

Alternately, if you stay in "shape layers" mode, those stay editable forever. You can play around with different layer styles and in effect create different types of lines. Or try a vector mask.

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