Chapter 11: Non-Destructive Editing

11.4 Exercise 4: Adding a shape layer

  1. Choose the Rounded Rectangle tool from the Toolbar. This tool hides behind the Rectangle tool. All of the tools grouped beneath the Rectangle tool are called Shape tools. In Photoshop®, Shape tools and typography created with the Type tool can be added to the document as vector layers.Selecting the Rounded Rectangle Tool from the Tools panel.
  2. Look in the Options Bar to verify that you are using the Rounded Rectangle tool to make a Shape layer, instead of a Path (which creates a path like the Pen tool) or a Pixel layer (which creates a selection).
    Setting Rounded Rectangle tool to create a Shape layer.
  3. Draw a rounded rectangle in the image near Dali’s fingers. Notice that you will have a new layer named “Rounded Rectangle 1” in the Layers Panel. Shape layers can be moved with the Move tool and they appear in the Layers panel as an overall path of color with a vector mask defining where the color is applied and where it is hidden, based on the way the shape was drawn. Additionally, after you draw the shape, the Properties Panel will open allowing you to set various attributes of the rounded rectangle shape you created.
    Drawing a rounded rectangle near the bottom of the Dali and Cat image.
  4. It’s easy to change the color of a Shape layer as long as the document is in a mode that supports color! Try to load a red hue into the foreground color chip. It’s gray! Use Image > Mode > RGB Color to convert this grayscale image to RGB color mode. At the “Merge layers before mode change?” warning, choose “Don’t Merge.” We want to preserve all of the non-destructive work that we’ve done, and merging would eliminate that!
  5. Now put a red hue into the foreground color chip using the Color Picker or the Color Panel. As long as the Shape Layer is active, use the key command Alt/Opt+Delete to fill the “Rounded Rectangle 1” layer with the color you loaded into the foreground color chip. You can also set the color for a Shape Layer by double-clicking its thumbnail icon in the Layers Panel, or by using the color chips in the Properties panel while the Shape Layer is active.
  6. Activate the Type Tool (press T on your keyboard) and click into the red rectangle. Type Dali and his cat on top of the rectangular box and click the checkmark button in the Options Bar to exit type editing mode.

    Note: If you still have red set as your foreground color, you’ll need to change the type color to black. You can fill your type with black however you like, but try a fill key command on this layer, too. We loaded black in the background color chip and used Cmd+Delete to fill with the background color.

    Now set your font and other type specifications. We used Myriad Pro Semibold Italic as our font, set in 78 points with 40 point tracking. You can set the tracking and other type attributes in the Character Panel (use Window > Character if you don’t have the Character Panel displayed).

    Finally, use the Move Tool to position the type layer so that it’s vertically centered on the rectangle.

    Text added to the rounded rectangle.

    That’s it, you’ve made it through another chapter! Save your work and take a well-earned break.

Full image of final result: Dali and His Cat (with his eyes and mustache on the cat).
Our final result.



Digital Foundations – Intro to Media Design” by Xtine Burroughs and Michael Mandiberg is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 / This is a derivative from the original work. Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike unless otherwise noted.

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