Photoshop Split and Join Paths

Uploaded by HelenLBradley on 03.01.2013

Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I'm
going to show you how to split and join paths to make custom shapes in
Before we have a look at how we can split and join paths in Photoshop let's just see
one of the things that we can do with split paths.
I have a custom shape here. This is the original Photoshop custom shape and
it's in your collection so you can use any time.
When I go to fill that shape with a fill color it fills really nicely but
sometimes I might not want lines that thick.
And if I go ahead and then try and stroke it with a brush, let's just
select it again,
click the Brush tool. And when I stroke it with a brush even quite a narrow
let's see that,
and I'll stroke it with a brush, and you can see that I get double lines. Now if I
wanted that sort of line effect but without the edges on it I can do that
in Photoshop if I first
create a more open path. Now these paths don't have the end on them.
While the fill option gives me something very different,
when I go to stroke it with a brush, let's just select our brush here,
you can see that I get lines that perhaps I want in this certain situation.
So we're going to see how we can split this particular shape and
just split it apart so that we get separate lines instead of a shape that
fills that way.
In another situation this is something else you might want to do. This is a
path and again, it will fill really nicely. But if I go to,
let's just undo it,
if I go to brush it I get that sort of brush effect. Now if I wanted a
brushed path that looks like this
then I'll need to split it in parts.
And again, that's what I'm going to show you how to do. So let's just tuck this
image away for now. Let's go and get a brand new image.
And let's draw these shapes. So the first one I want to do, these are both
from the Photoshop's own collection so that you can go and try this yourself,
the first one I'm going to use is this wave shape.
Now when I draw the wave shape into Photoshop and select it using the
Path Selection tool
you can see these are the nodes in the shape. Now
the trick is to delete the nodes that you don't want. The problem is as soon as
we go into one of things nodes, let's just go to the Direct Selection tool here,
as soon as I try to delete this one
you can see I lose part of my path. And that's really not what I want to happen.
So the solution is to go in here with this tool which is the Add Anchor Point
tool and just click to add
some extra anchors.
These anchors are all now added and they're selected. You can see there are little black
marks there so now if I press the Delete key
I'm going to delete the anchors that I created. But watch what's happened. We've
actually split the path.
So we've been able to split the path by adding anchors and then just
deleting them
and that split the path into six individual lines instead of two thick
Now let's look and see what happens when we go and stroke it with a brush.
Now we get those thin lines that are not joined together.
Let's have a look at the spiral because that's a slightly different situation
in that Photoshop already has given us the points for this spiral
that we can use to undo it. So I'm just going to select the spiral,
it's here. So I'm clicking it to select it,
and I'm just going to draw it into my
document holding the Shift key to constrain it to its proportions.
Now let's go and have a look at the spiral. And we can see that on the ends
of it it already has this
Extra node that we can use to split it apart. So I'm going to select the
Direct Selection tool here and I'm just going to click on this one node, the one
node that I want to remove,
and then press Delete.
And then I'll go here again and make sure that only this one is black. Anything
that is black right now is going to be deleted. So we only want this one
node to be deleted
and again, I'll press the Delete key.
And now let's go ahead and
select these and I'm going to start deleting them.
And as soon as I delete the first one you may notice
that Photoshop has now actually
selected all the nodes on this outside path so it's actually the path I want to get
rid of. So let's just press Delete and it will all disappear
and now I have
just a single shape.
So let's just zoom back out again
and I've got a single shape. So when I brush it
that's how it brushes.
So now that we've got these shapes created we could actually save them if
we want to. The first thing I've got to is
actually grab this shape and do Edit, Copy
and then let's just add a new layer here,
and then let's do Edit, Paste.
And I just want this one shape in this path here.
So let's just make sure that's selected and now I'll choose Edit,
Define Custom Shape and we're just going to define this as a custom shape.
And now I can
delete it.
We could go back to this path,
grab this shape, delete it entirely since we have it already selected, and this is the shape
that we want to this time save, again Edit, Define Custom Shape.
And now we have it as a shape that we can use anytime in future.
And we can use this exactly the same way
as we would use
a regular Photoshop shape. Let's just go and create a new document.
Let's go to our shapes. This time our shapes are going to be at the very end
here so here are our lines
and then
here is our spiral shape.
Now if we want to join lines up together again, let's see how we do that.
Let's go into this. I just want to see the ends here.
And I want to select the Direct Selection tool so I can see the nodes that I
want to join up. And all we need to do to join them is to go to the Pen tool,
click on the first one
and then click on the second one and that will just join them up together.
Now sometimes Photoshop may not join them up the way you want in that we may
want a flat end. But we've got our join. We just don't have the end that we want.
I'm going to select on these so that I can see where the handles are.
This is the handle that I'm interested in
so I'm making sure that I'm using the Direct Selection tool. I'm going to poise over the
top of this handle, which is the one I want to move, and because I only want to
move it
I'm going to click and then hold the Alt key as I drag it into position,
so I want this to be a straight bar,
and then click outside. And you can see that we have exactly what we want. Let's
just do this once more
again, the Direct Selection tool because we want to see these nodes because we want to join
them with the Pen tool,
click once
and click again.
It hasn't exactly been the right shape but that's not a problem because we're just
going to click on it
see what is causing the problem, which is that this node here,
hold our mouse pointer over it because we're going to edit it and press the Alt
key as we drag it to make it a straight line.
So you can now
shapes and join shapes in Photoshop
using these features.