In this Photoshop Lesson, we’ll learn about ‘Define Custom Shape command in Photoshop‘ and ‘How to create a custom shape in Photoshop’. Define Custom Shape command is available under Edit menu in Photoshop.
My name is Lalit Adhikari and we are at LTY. Let’s begin!
- Define Custom Shape in Photoshop
- Basic Rule to Define Custom Shape
- Steps to create Custom Shape in Photoshop
- Why should we Define Custom Shape in Photoshop
Define Custom Shape in Photoshop
Here, we’ll learn how to create and save our own reusable custom shape in Photoshop. The reusable custom shape can be used through Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop.
After selecting Custom Shape Tool, we get multiple predefined custom shapes in the option bar. Our finished shape after saving, will end up here.
Custom Shape Tool allows us to place shapes in a cookie cutter fashion in our Photoshop Document. As shown in the image above, predefined Custom Shapes in Photoshop are divided in 4 groups:
- Wild Animals
- Leaf Trees
Basic Rule to Define Custom Shape
To Define a Custom Shape in Photoshop, you need to create a ‘Shape Layer’ or ‘Work Path’. It is my recommendation to have a bit of a knowledge about Vector and Raster. It will improve your understanding of this process.
Steps to create Custom Shape in Photoshop
To create a custom shape in Photoshop, we can either directly create the shape using Pen Tool in Photoshop or we can use an image for reference. In this example, I’ll use the following emoticon image.
Step 1: Open the reference image in Photoshop
Open the image in Photoshop.
Step 2: Create Shape or Path
Now, we need to create either a shape layer of the image or path for our shape. This can be done in any one of the following two ways:
- Using Pen tool and creating shape or path.
- Creating selection and turning selection into path.
As per your expertise, you can choose any one of the above methods. Here, I’ll be showing both ways below.
Creating Path using Pen Tool
Select Pen tool and chose Path option in Option bar.
Then create the circular path around the emoticon.
Now, we need to create path for eyes and lips. These paths will be subtracted from our previous path of the emoticon. For this, we need to select ‘Subtract Front Shape’ in option bar as shown in image below.
Start creating paths for eyes and lips. It’ll automatically be subtracted from the current path. Final path will appear as shown below.
This is how we can create Path using Pen tool. Now, I’ll show you how to create a selection and then convert it into a path.
Creating selection for our image
I’ll use Magic Wand tool to select the yellow portion of the emoticon. The selection will look as shown below.
Then right click inside the selection and chose Make Work Path…
The following dialog box will open up. Here, the Tolerance controls the number of anchor point that will be created with our Path. I’ll keep it to 1.
The path created will be little bit rough, but it will give a good starting point to us.
We can use Pen Tool or Direct Selection Tool to edit the Path.
Now we have created path by both ways. Let’s get ahead.
Step 3: Define Custom Shape Command
After creating path using any of above method, we can go to Edit menu > Define Custom Shape…
It’ll open the following dialog box where we can name our shape as per our choice. I’ll be leaving it for default naming.
Then click OK. It’ll be saved in the Custom Shape Library of Photoshop.
Step 4: Testing our new saved Custom Shape
Create a New Document in Photoshop. Choose Custom Shape Tool and select our recently saved shape. Here’s the testing result.
As with any other shape, we can easily edit our shape from Properties Panel.
Why should we Define Custom Shape in Photoshop
If we need any shape to be created repetitively in our Photoshop Documents, then we should save our custom shape with Define Custom Shape command in Photoshop.