Photoshop Quick Tip: The Curvature Pen Tool (CC 2018 and later)

October 12, 2019 0 By Peter Engel


Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Starting in Photoshop CC 2018, Adobe introduced
the Curvature Pen Tool, which allows us to draw shapes simply by clicking controls points
on paths in the shape of the curve, rather than the click-and-drag motion of the traditional pen tool. I provided this image that you can download,
since it contains multiple shapes made with a variety of curves and sharp corners. Its link is in my video’s description of project files. Open the Curvature Pen Tool and choose “Path”. Click the gear icon. You can choose how thick you’d like the work
paths to be, as well as the color. A thicker size may help you to visualize the shape better. The Rubber Band option lets you previsualize
a path based on your cursor’s movement. I’ll show you that in a minute. Click once on the canvas and move the tool
to another area. Click again to draw your first line. Go to another area and click again. As you can see, the path intuitively arced the path. To delete a point, click it to make it active. You know it’s active when the point becomes solid. Then, just press the “Delete” key. To create more points, click on the paths and drag the points – no need to change tools for this. To switch between curves and corners, just
double-click a point to switch smooth points and corner points. A quick tip: Shift-click to constrain your
path to 90° and 45° angles. To delete a path, press the Delete key a couple of times. Let’s check out the “Rubber Band” feature. As soon as you start drawing your paths, it
previsualizes it to allow you to adjust it before committing to it. Before we recreate the fish shapes, I’ll
uncheck rubber band to keep my paths as simple as possible. Click on a corner to make the first point. When you’re at a corner, double-click that
point to draw the next path as a straight line. Continue to draw paths using the steps we
just went over. Next, we’ll add the shape for eye, but since
it’s inside another shape, click the shape interaction icon and click “Exclude Overlapping
Shapes”. Zoom into the eye by pressing “z” on your
keyboard and dragging your Zoom Tool over the eye. Press “p” on your keyboard to open back the
Curvature pen Tool. Click on the perimeter of the left, middle
of the circle to create a start point and click on the top, middle of its perimeter. Click on the right, middle to create a circular arc. Click the bottom, middle and close the path
by clicking back on the left middle point. To fit your document back onto your canvas,
press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. To change your paths into shapes, click the
“Shape” button at the top. To change its color, double-click the shape layer, which opens the Color Picker and pick a color you like. To hide the work paths, press Ctrl or Cmd
+ H or open your Paths panel and click anywhere on an empty area below the paths. Open back your Layers panel. We’ll make a new layer below our shape by
Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking the New layer icon. Press Shift + F5 key at the top of your keyboard
to open the “Fill” window. To keep it simple, let’s fill it with white. To reposition your entire shape, make your shape active and open your “Path Selection Tool”. Drag over the entire shape to select it all. Go to anywhere on the path and drag it. To modify your shapes, open the “Direct Selection Tool”. Click anywhere on your path and drag it. I’ll undo it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + z. You can modify multiple paths by Shift-clicking
on another point to make both points active and then dragging either point. You can modify the shape of a curve, by dragging
a path handle. I’ll hide the paths by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + H. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!