Shaping Up: Five Useful Observations for Understanding Photoshop Shape Layers

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I don't use shape layers that much

...But after watching the improvements they've made I need to reevaluate that. In the past I've usually done all my complex vector work in Illustrator and copied and pasted them into Photoshop as smart objects or paths. I just need to use the shape tool more and get used to it. Now that they added stroke effects it becomes really useful.

While watching the video I was wondering why the dash line tool doesn't have the "Align dashes to corners" option that Illustrator does.

Good call on Align Dashes to Corners

For whatever reason, the programs are progressing at different rates. Photoshop lacks the align feature (plus such simplicities as Join) but is soon to offer the ability to adjust round the corners of a rectangle independently, a function that Illustrator curiously lacks.

It's part of Photoshop's Live Shape feature, which I'm confident will confuse just about everyone. Case in point: In addition to rectangles, ellipses are regarded as Live Shapes, which means the mere act of drawing an ellipse invokes the Properties: Live Shape panel. But while the Live Shapes feature benefits rectangles in the round corner department, it benefits ellipses in no way whatsoever.

I could go on. (I really could.) But this is not to dismiss shape layers. In fact, I quite like them. In an upcoming sequence of DTs, I explore shapes in more creative detail, using them to create painterly organics and shading, with precision control. Shape layers may defy intuition---more so as they grow more capable---but combined with Photoshop's other capabilities, they're quite handy.

Will keep you posted as things become additionally interesting.

learning to love vector

Thanks for these. I needed extra help with vector application. Light bulbs gone on in head.

Kind comment.

I too need extra help with vectors!