Photoshop: Better Custom Shape Tool

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  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
I love the vector draw tools (line tool, rectangle, circle, polygon tool custom shape tool etc.) What I'd like to see is a way to draw the custom shape tool in the way the line tool works. With a click and drag I like to be able to set the angle as well as scale of a vector path. (As it is now, the orientation of the object is baked) This would be an enormous time saver for making interesting designs. I also think a tool that allows you to gesture a line and the custom shape would conform and distort to it, similar to illustrators brushes, could be a great tool. Thanks!
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Roman Laney

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Posted 7 years ago

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Howard Pinsky, Champion

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Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it sounds like you're describing the Pen Tool, which would allow you to draw out your own shape. You can also save your shape as a "custom shape" once it's complete.

Let us know if you're asking for something else.
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Roman Laney

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No my idea is a little different. I'm talking about how the custom shape tool works. It's this guy:

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Howard Pinsky, Champion

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Oh, I see. You want an 'A to B' approach for creating certain shapes. I can see this working in some cases (arrows/lines), but it may be a limited feature.
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Roman Laney

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Howard,

Limited feature? That sounds somewhat dismissive. I can think of tons of uses. Come on! It'll be awesome!!!

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Howard Pinsky, Champion

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Nothing that can't be done currently with the Path Selection Tool.

Again, I can see this being implemented with arrows/lines, but I don't think the engineers would dedicate the time add this for irregular shapes, like fire.
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Roman Laney

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I'm not asking for them to make fire shapes... your missing the point. I'm saying that if you add the feature... easy drawing of custom shapes defined by the user, creative people will find uses for it. I am asking for a slight minor tweak to how the tool functions, not anything that major.
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Howard Pinsky, Champion

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Personally, I don't see how this would be easier except for arrows, like I mentioned. If I want to create a custom shape, I want to be able to define the width/length. Using an 'A to B' clicking method won't really allow for that flexibility.

Maybe I'm still not understanding completely.
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Roman Laney

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Howard,

I just think it is a speed issue. For the examples above, in PS as it is now, I had to make the shapes then dupe um rotate them and move them around. Many many many clicks. My idea makes it all very simple and could have many uses for illustrators and designers who want to use repeating graphic shapes. Making stars, apples on trees, bottles on a ledge... the tool does it now, you are correct, but is very rigid without allowing rotation.

I think my request is within the realm of possibility. Currently the line tool rotates when drawn, and so does the polygon tool. I'm simply asking that the custom shape tool shares the same behavior. I really don't think an engineer would break a sweat making this change. Sure, it's not a feature that goes on the box... but it's a nice tweak that I ( and others) could use.

Alright, I'm done defending it. I'm sorry I used an arrow as my first example, it seems to have over-powered my argument.
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Chris Cox

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You've only got 2 points to drag out -- how do you know which axis to drag?

We could treat it like dragging diagonal corners, but always keep the aspect ratio fixed (kind of like the polygon tool). But it would still be difficult to predict on any given shape, and it would remove the flexibility of changing the aspect ratio.

Or you could click the center, drag to scale, and move to rotate (more like the polygon tool). Again, not the easiest way to work unless your artwork already went corner to corner. And again you lose some existing flexibility.

And so far I can't find other applications that work the way you describe with arbitrary shapes.