View Full Version : PS CS5 Qs & Tut Qs

08-30-2011, 09:23 PM
Hello everyone!

First; I have a question concerning PS CS5 and a few of the tools. One of the problems I am having, is with the Pen tool. In the Saderun tutorial, for the rivers part, it says you can drag the pen around and it will leave anchor squares you can adjust if you make mistakes....but none of the Pen options seems to allow that. One allows me to drag it around, but it won't allow me to move the anchor squares. I press [A] and the anchors appear, but I can only move a few circle anchor points, nothing else. I was wondering if I am using the incorrect pen and if so, how do I switch or if this is the correct pen the tutorial speaks of (image shows square anchors, so that's why I'm confused :P).

Second; I can't seem to keep my layers/channels/paths window up. Sometimes it turns off and when I open up Photoshop, I have to manually add it again. Is there any way I can make it so it stays up? :blush:

*And yes, I looked at the Basic Photoshop links in the tutorial area; it didn't say anything about what I'm asking for the Pens, though it did speak about the differences of the Pen tool etc*

Lastly; I hope this is the correct place to ask this as well (didn't want to spam different topics >.>), I was wondering if there were another other tutorials on how to do what the Saderrun tutorial shows, but on hand-drawn maps. I've only found this one (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?5664-Award-Winner-Hand-drawn-mtns.-and-other-stylistic-map-elements-for-use-in-PS-GIMP) and I will begin reading it right now, but I was just curious if there were anymore available :)

Thanks for reading! :)


08-31-2011, 12:56 AM
I'm not 100% sure I understand, but I'll take a stab at it. First, to be sure you're using the right tool, the Pen is accessed by pressing P, and it looks like an old-style fountain pen nib. In a default installation, it should be the 15th tool from the top of the tools palette, right above the Text tool.

The Pen tool can make two kinds of anchors: smooth and cusp. If you just click, you'll get a cusp, which will make a sharp corner. It should be represented by a square. If you click and drag, you'll get a smooth anchor, which has two handles that control how much that anchor point influences the curve of the path. The handles have a line that connects the square anchor point to a round dot.

You cannot manipulate the anchors with any of the Pen tool variations. To do that, you need the Direct Selection tool. CS5 changed things a little bit such that A will, by default, get you the Path Selection tool. It looks like a black arrow pointed up and to the left. The Direct Selection tool is a white arrow. If the black arrow is highlighted, press Shift-A, or just click and hold on the icon to get to the Direct Selection tool.

Now you should be able to move points around and adjust the handles. If you have an anchor that you just wish was the other kind, there is a tool called Convert Point among the Pen tool variants. It looks like an acute angle, pointed up and to the left. If you click once on a cusp anchor, it will turn into a smooth anchor. Likewise, click on a smooth anchor, and it wil be converted to a cusp.

I haven't had the problem of my palettes vanishing, but the Layers palette can be accessed quickly by pressing F7.

08-31-2011, 10:51 AM
Regarding the Pen Tool, here is an excellent document that will help you learn to control the anchors and make it behave the way you'd like: http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-tips/illustrators-pen-tool-the-comprehensive-guide/ It is designed for Illustrator, but the basic Pen Tool behavior works 99.99% identically between Photoshop and Illustrator.

The zip file at the end of the article contains a file you can use to pratice tracing, making curves, sharp angles, etc. It is what we used in the last cartography course I taught to teach students how to manipulate anchors.

08-31-2011, 03:10 PM
Thanks so much for replying guys! I couldn't figure it out at all! >.>

Yes, that's what I meant! I'm sorry if I was confusing. I read up what it was called and they called it anchors so I thought that's what they are called. And thank you once more! Click the white arrow (the short cut for it doesn't work for some strange reason) allowed me to move and bend the Paths like in the tutorials!

And thanks for the layer help too. :)

Oh wow, thanks! This will help me out loads! :o I will download and start the tracing now!

Thanks for replying guys!