Photoshop tutorial: Dragging control handles to modify curves | lynda.com

Photoshop tutorial: Dragging control handles to modify curves | lynda.com

In this movie, I'll show you how to adjustthe curvature of a path by dragging control handles.

So the first thing that we want todo here is switch to the white arrow tool, and so I'll click and hold on the arrow tool,and select the Direct Selection tool from the flyout menu.

Then I'll go ahead and zoomin to the top of this left-hand page.

And notice that we've got a couple of smooth pointshere, and you can identify smooth points by clicking on them, and then you'll see theanchor points still appear square, because they always do inside Photoshop.

But the pointis surrounded by two lines, ending in circles, and those circles are the control handles.

And if you drag one of these circles, you'll see a couple of things happen.

First of all,you're pulling, in my case, at the curvature of the segment, and secondly, you're alsomoving the opposing control handle in the opposite direction.

So the control handlesoperate like a kind of seesaw, with the anchor point at the fulcrum.

The difference is thatthe seesaw can get shorter or longer depending on your needs.

So notice, if I go with a veryshort control handle like this, then the segment curves abruptly right at the beginning, andthen it flattens out.

If you want to add curvature to that segment, then you have to drag thecontrol handle outward, so that you have a very long lever, as you see here.

All right.

I'm going to go ahead and move this guy down a little bit to about this location; lookspretty good.

And I might press the up arrow key in order to nudge that anchor point up,which is going to require me to drag this control handle down a little bit.

And by theway, it's the anchor point that's selected, so if you press the up and down arrow keys,you're always going to change the position of the anchor point.

To change the positionof a control handle, you have to drag inside of the image window.

All right, now let'sgo ahead and drag this opposing control handle now.

Once you've gotten one control handlein place, you have to be very careful when you drag the other control handle, becauseobviously the position of the opposite handle is at its disposal, because the two are lockedinto alignment with eachother.

And that's the basic nature of the smooth point.

Thefact that they're locked into alignment with eachother ensures that you have a smooth,continuous curve from one segment into the other, so that constraint, wherein movingone control handle affects the other one, is actually a good thing.

All right.

I'm goingto Spacebar+drag the image over here a little bit.

I'll select this anchor point, anothersmooth point, by clicking on it, and then I'll nudge it upward there.

And I need todrag this control handle over to the right a little bit, like so.

Then I'm going to haveto go back to this control handle, and ease up on it, so that we're cutting into the page.

Again, I want to make sure to select too few pixels, as opposed to too many.

All right.

Let's go over to this control handle.

He is a little tougher.

This is over at the topof the right-hand page.

I'm going to click on it to make it active.

And incidentally,when you're working with curved segments like these, you can drag them directly in orderto change the curvature of the path outline.

And notice what I have done over there onthe left-hand side; I've added a control handle to what was formerly a corner point rightthere, which turns it into what's known as a cusp point, and we'll visit those later,but that's really a great thing, because it gives me more control.

And so I can go aheadand drag this control handle down, like so, and then I can drag this one up, so that Ido a better job of masking those pixels on the inside edge of that page.

And then I willgo ahead and drag this guy over to about here.

This guy might have come up a little bit toofar, so I might take him down to about that location.

I'm cutting in on this page prettysignificantly, but I kind of think I need to in order to avoid getting any of thosedark pixels on the edge.

All right, now let's check out this anchor point.

Obviously itneeds help, so I'll click on it to make it active, and then I'll go ahead and drag upon its control handle.

It looks like this guy is a little too high for me, so I'll backoff of it, but I need to make sure that I'm not doing any lifting over here on the left-handside of the anchor point.

It looks pretty good, actually.

And this area looks to bein good shape too.

We won't really know if it's exactly accurate until we assign thepath as a vector mask, which we'll do in the next movie, but we can get a sense of what'sgoing on right now.

All right.

This guy looks to be in pretty good shape.

I might drag himup just a little bit, like so.

And then I'll select this anchor point right there, anddrag its control handle out, and over.

If I want just a little bit of additional control,I can do that same trick I did before, where I drag the segment directly, and that's goingto go ahead and pull a control handle out of that corner in the middle of the magazine.

Now, I'll drag this control handle up and over in order to match the curvature of thepage.

And then, so far as the left page is concerned, I think we're fine as is.

I mightgo ahead and click on this anchor point there, and just nudge this control handle down alittle bit, but that ends up lifting up on the other side as well.

That actually looksokay.

So I'll press Control+0, Command+0 on a Mac, in order to zoom out from the image,and I'll also click off the path outline, so I am no longer seeing the anchor points.

That is my completed path outline, complete with gently curving segments, thanks to myability to drag control handles, as well as directly drag curving segments.

In the nextmovie, I'll show you how to assign this path outline as a vector mask.

Source: Youtube