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Using the Pen Tool

Previously, we looked at the basics of using the Pen Tool. Here's a short exercise to take you through the process of outlining a simple object - here a coffee cup. Normally it would be easy to select such a simple object against a high-contrast background by using the Magic Wand tool. For this exercise, we've left the background blank.

So right-click on the image, select Copy Image (or Save Image As) get it into Photoshop and try your hand with the Pen Tool.

Don't worry if the curves you draw don't match the mug first time; you can always adjust them later, either by dragging on the curve itself or by dragging an anchor point or handle.

You can also edit the anchor points themselves: when you click the Pen Tool on an active path, you'll create a new anchor point at that position, but if you click on an existing anchor point you'll delete it.

Don't forget that, once you've gone all the way around the cup, you still need to click around the inside of the handle to add it to the path.

Finally, remember - The points should be placed at positions where the curve changes direction

coffee cup original