3D: Pen Selections

One of the skills that sets apart the Photoshop amateurs from the Photoshop pros is the ability to make selections using the pen tool.

03_stop_startSimple Pen Selections

The pen tool creates a path between nodes that you lay over an image. From the path panel, you have the ability to make a selection based on the path that you have laid out. For this project, isolate the stop sign using the pen tool. Save your working file with the name 03_stop_working.psd. Place the stop sign on a black background.

Download the project files below to H:Drive > Graphics 161 > Photoshop > Selections

SONY DSCComplex Pen Selections

The paths in between pen tool nodes can be curved. This is where the pen tool really shines. Watch the video below to see how to make complex pen tool curves. Then download the project file to the right, and isolate the orca (killer whale) onto a transparent background. Save your working file as 03_orca_worknig.psd.

The Bezier Game

Click here to play a game to master the pen tool: http://bezier.method.ac/

Pic Stitch Selection Project

For this project, save all of your files into the following folder H: Drive > Graphics 161 > pic_stitch.

You’re going to make a “Pic Stitch” style collage starting off with the Photoshop file below. In each quadrant, use your selection tools to make a composite that represents one aspect of yourself. See the image below as an example.

When you complete the assignment, upload your PSD file to Google Classroom.


To put this together, I used the rectangle marquee tool to selection each quadrant’s background. I used the magic want tool, quick select tool, and pen tool to isolate the composite layers. If you’d like to see what my project file looks like, you may download it here:

Photoshop Challenge

Once you complete the project above, find a picture of a curvy object with hard edges like a car, dolphin, or piece of furniture. Then, use the pen tool to make a selection and isolate that object.  Find another picture to place your isolated selection in.

Save all files to H:Drive > Graphics 161 > selection_tools.

*Orca image from Spencer Write: https://flic.kr/p/8gVnQN