Paths

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All digital editing and creating applications specialize either in bitmap (pixel) images or vector (geometry outline) images. Photoshop is a bitmap editor but, like most digital editing and creating applications dables in both. The Paths Pallet is where Photoshop keeps the vectors that are created by its pen tool. Madly enough, paths also appear in the layers pallet if the Shape Layer option of the Pen Tool is selected. As the Pen tool is not greatly important to the digital painter I shall not dwell on its use too much. It is not, however, completely without use:

  • A pen path can be stroked with any tool (the last settings of that tool are used). The last time I found this useful I needed to paint a very regular railing that ran along the top of a building.
  • A pen tool is the best way to get a really regular, smooth curve. This, with a bit of stroking, can be useful for making things like bottles and glasses.