The following tutorial will discuss the simple uses of the Pen Tool. You may think that after seeing the name of the tool it would be self-explanatory, but the feature is really more than it seems. I will show why this true. It is a very unique feature that has many good uses in Adobe Photoshop CS3. It is being used in other Adobe programs such as Adobe Fireworks and Adobe Illustrator. It even goes back to the days before Adobe owned the company Macromedia. With no further distractions, lets continue with the tutorial.
The first thing you should do is open up Adobe Photoshop CS3 and make a new document. Then you will see the Pen Tool located on the left side of the screen with the rest of the features.
Now once you have selected the Pen tool point to a space on the screen and select your first point. The 360 degree bars that point out of that single point will come into play later. You will see this in the next couple of steps.
Now select a second point somewhere else on the screen. You can follow the way I have done it as well just for testing purposes.
Now make a third point.
Now make a fourth point.
Now make a fifth point in the middle of the document so that it wont be a complete box. I will use this obstruction later in the tutorial.
Now make the last mark on the exact same spot of the first mark. Once your cursor gets close to the first mark it will try to connect them. That is basically what the Pen tool tries to do when you reach the original point again with a connected line.
Now go back to the left where the features are and right-click the pen tool feature and you will see the various options that it has below it. Please select the Add Anchor Point Tool from the list.
Now point the cursor at part of the line and click. Now you have a new Anchor Point. An Anchor Point is a position on a line that can be altered to change the shape of the line.
Now add another Anchor Point on another spot on the line.
Now we can manipulate the line by click and holding on one of the Anchor Points and dragging it in any direction that we may like.
Try that same with the other Anchor Point that you have added.
Now go to the feature menu again and select the Delete Anchor Point Tool.
Now select one of the added Anchor Points.
Now select it. You will find that the shape of the image changes. The shape changes because it does not conform to the 2 bars position from the middle Anchor point. It has to determine the way it is shaped from the next 2 closest bars.
Now select the other added Anchor Point.
You will see the image changes again.
Now select the Convert Point Tool
Now point at the lower left Anchor Point that I have created in my illustration below.
Now you will see that the Pen Tool style Anchor Point has turned into a regular Anchor that cannot be manipulated by the 2 axis bars. The axis bars are not gone. All you can do now is move the Anchor Point itself.
Now select the Freeform Pen Tool
Now make an object in the middle of the document. You will have to make sure it connects to the original start point.
Now you can see that the Freeform Pen Tool acts like an actual pen. Now why could they have not called this the Pen Tool? Maybe they did it because it is just too simple?
Now select the Add Anchor Point Tool.
If you a point on it you will see that some other anchor points will appear at important parts of the Freeform Pen Tool line that you created. These points are the bending spots that appeared in your natural drawing. This is how the computer will replicate your natural movements if it were to make them for you.
Now select the Pen Tool again.
Now hover the cursor over one of the anchor points. You will notice the symbol next to the cursor will have a - on it. This means that it has turned into a Delete Anchor Point Tool.
Now click on it and the Anchor Point will go away. I took it into the liberty of myself to use that tool to drag the shape upwards just to show how easy it is to manipulate a line with the Pen Tool. Hopefully, you will find good uses for this feature that Adobe Photoshop CS3 has provided.
I am sure you will have much better ideas of what to do with this knowledge and how to use it. Now that I think about it I think that I could use it in some places right now that would help me out a little. I think I will get to work on that. Speaking of learning things, you should invest some time in learning more yourself!
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