• Looking at Shapes in a New Way in Photoshp and PSE

    The past few weeks, we’ve been working through our series of video tips that will show you how to work with shapes to create interesting accents for your digital projects. Sometimes making a new shape just means looking at old shapes in a new way.

    Photoshop and Elements come preloaded with an array of Custom Shapes. Chances are, you’ve looked at them many times without feeling very inspired. But if you try looking at them with a creative eye, you just might be surprised. The heart, for example can be supersized, stretched and tilted to create a great wave across your digital project. Here’s how:


    Begin by opening a new document in Photoshop or Elements. Set the Foreground color to a color that contrasts with your background.


    Get the Custom Shape tool (keyboard shortcut U) and make your choices in the Options bar. Select the heart shape and the Create a New Shape Layer icon. In the full version of Photoshop, also select the Shape Layers icon. Click and drag out a huge heart without holding the Shift key. Let it stretch out larger than your canvas.

    Get the Move tool and press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transform controls. This places a bounding box around your heart. Position your cursor over the side handle. When the cursor changes to a curved arrow, twist the heart around to make a large wave across your page and drag it into position.


    Click the checkmark to confirm the tilt.


    To make more waves, click the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel. Choose a different color from the Color picker in the Options bar and drag out a new heart shape. Drag the heart into position, then hold the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key) as you click-drag the corner handle to warp the second wave in a different way. Stack the waves for a fun summer accent.

    Use the wave shapes as clipping masks to digitally glue patterned papers to your design and create a whole new look with the kits you purchase.


    What else can you make with your Custom Shape tool? Try supersizing a few shapes to get a different perspective on their potential this week and post your creations in the Idea Gallery. Be sure to check back next week for the next tip in our Shape Up series