Photoshop paths help ... something not working?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Christian G, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Christian G macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    Sorry this is off topic so much, but I though maybe somebody could help me. :)
    So I've traced with the pen, and now set certain path components to "add to shape area" and some to "subtract from shape area." Here's what I've come up with:
    The add to shape area lines I traced in blue (just so you guys can see them), and the subtract from image lines are in red.
    Here's what I'm aiming for, when filling the path with black:

    However, when I try to fill the path, this is what happens:

    What could be going wrong here? It seems like my concept is working, just for some reason not all the path components set to subtract are working.

  2. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Drawing complex paths is better done in Illustrator (Ai) which include more advanced path operations than Photoshop (Ps). Anyway, your problem is common and you may be able to correct it if you have Ai.

    1. In Ps, highlight Path Selection tool.
    2. Option-click path layer to select all path shapes.
    3. Copy from Ps.
    4. Paste into Ai. (Paste Options: "Compound Path (faster)")
    5. Select: Object->Compound Path->Make
    6. Copy from Ai.
    7. Create new Path layer in Ps.
    8. Paste into Ps. (Paste option: "Paste As: Path")

    You can now activate the path selection to fill with desired color. Alternatively, if you select the color in advance, when pasting the new paths into Ps, select "Shape Layer" path option, eliminating step 7.
  3. Christian G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    Thanks for the reply.

    I don't have there no other way to do it?

  4. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Alternate method in Ps

    I suspected the absence of Ai when viewing how complex your Ps paths work was. There is a more tedious method within Ps. Pay attention to the tool options bar as the attachments show. You'll use various path operations to "combine" related elements; then "exclude" some from others.

    1. Highlight Path Selection tool.
    2. Shift-click (3) outermost shapes on path layer.
    3. Select 1st Path operation on options bar ("Add to shape area").
    4. Press "Combine" button on options bar.
    5. On History palette, press camera icon to take snapshot.
    6. Shift-click another group of elements (teeth), repeating steps 3 and 5.
    7. Work your way through, combining remaining related shapes.
    8. Shift-click two of the groups.
    9. Select 4th Path operation on options bar ("Exclude overlapping shape layers").
    10. Thumbnail preview of path layer depicts result.
    11. Press "Combine" button on options bar.

    There may be a bit of trial and error to determine how and which groups should be combined. Keep reviewing the thumbnail preview as you go. Saving snapshots of history states will enable you to go back and try another option. (It shouldn't be too bad but you may wish you had Illustrator by the time you're done.)

    Attached Files:

  5. Christian G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    Thanks! Got it working.

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