Create Custom Shapes As Needed in Photoshop


In this article I will explain how to create your own Custom shapes in Photoshop.

Step 1

Open Adobe Photoshop CS5.1.


Step 2

Open an image using "Ctrl+o". if you want to make the shape the same as an image then image selection is required and if you want to customize the shape then image selection is not required. So we can say image selection is optional.


Step 3

I want to make the shape of this image the same as a flower. Since this image is small we can increase its size temporarily for better visibility. I will increase the percentage from the bottom-left corner from 100% to 400%.


Image at 400%:


Step 4

Select the pen tool from the toolbar. You can select the pen tool by pressing the letter "P" from the keyboard.  It's the shortcut for the pen tool selection.


Step 5

Shape Layers:  for making shapes using the pen tool we need to select "Shape Layers" in the "Options Bar".



Step 6

Start drawing your shape using the pen tool. When we start tracing it will fill the shape with the foreground color and this will block the object from view.


Step 7

The Opacity value will be lower; the shape layer will look like the transparent layer and the tracing object will be within the view. I will set my opacity 50% from the layer palette.


Step 8

The object is visible, after giving it a lower value for the opacity.


Step 9

Continue tracing the flower for this image.


The Shape Layer after initial tracing:

Step 9

You will see the initial shape of the flower after tracing. Now we will see that the middle portion of this flower is like a rounded shape. We can make this shape either using a pen tool or using the Ellipse Tool. Select the Ellipse Tool from the toolbar.


Step 10

Subtract from Shape Area: When we select the Ellipse tool, in the options bar we will see a number of icons together. These icons look like small squares. These small icons are combined together in various ways. In these icons the third one is for subtracting from the shape area. Do select it.


Step 11

Draw your elliptical shape in the middle portion of the object (flower).


In the layer palette, at the shape layer, you will see the shape of the object is like a cropped flower.


Step 12

I will increase the shape layer's opacity back to 100%.


Step 13

The Shape is done. I will now hide my background image layer.


The background image layer is hidden and the opacity is 100% so we can see the flower clearly.


Step 14

If you want to hide outlines of the shape then click on the shape in the shape layer.


I will define this shape as a custom shape.

Custom shape definition: Select shape layer, go to the "Edit" menu and select "Define Custom Shape".


You can give a name to the shape. When you select "Define Custom Shape" a pop-up window will be opened where you can give a name to your shape.


Step 15

Open a new Photoshop document to use the custom shape you created, then press "Ctrl+n".


Step 16

To fill in with a foreground color press "alt+delete" and right-click on the shape tool in the toolbar and select the "Custom Shape Tool" from the pop-up window.


Step 17

You can select your custom shape. Do that by right-clicking anywhere inside your Photoshop document.


Step 18

You can draw your shape in different sizes and colors.  Custom shapes in the layer palette are:


Finale Output


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