photoshop creative

How to make your own Custom Shapes in Photoshop

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
March 7, 2012

Sick of the preset shapes Photoshop has? Well, it could be time for you to venture into the realms of custom-made Custom Shapes!

This is easier than it sounds and involves a selection to kick things off. They’re ideal for illustrations and scrapbooking.

Shapes can be saved to use at any point in your artwork, and they’re also vector-based which means they can be resized to any dimension without losing quality.

Custom shape

Step 1 – Choose your weapon

Pick either the Quick Selection tool or the Magic Wand tool. For something as busy as a tree for example, try using the latter of the two.

custom shape

Step 2 – Make selection

Start to form the selection from the inside out. When using the Magic Wand, hold Shift to continually add to the selected area. Press Alt/Opt to remove any errors.

Step 3 – Make Path

To turn a selection from a bundle of marching ants to a Path, Ctrl/right-click inside its area and choose the option Make Work Path. Press OK in the pop-up box.

Step 4 – Define Shape

Now the Path has been set, go to Edit and down to Define Custom Shape. The Shape Name box will open. Enter a straightforward name such as Tree.

Step 5 – Use the Shape!

Open up a blank document, or keep the current image open, and select your Custom Shape tool (U). In the Options bar lies all the presets and custom-made shapes. New shapes appear at base of this window. Apply the shape holding Shift to maintain proportions.

  • Steve King

    Very nice and it seems not just for CS5 or CS5.5. I have CS4 and have missed many a tutorial that works for CS4 cleanly. So, thanks for a nice job, well done!

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