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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Is learning the pen tool necessary?

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  #11  
Old 01-06-2008, 05:37 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

The pen tool is well worth your time to master. Although it does seem intimidating at first, that is only because it is a bit different than what you are used too. It really isn't that difficult, and will save you much more time than it will cost you to learn it. Go ahead and skip the chapter, until you can devote some quality study time to it, but don't wait too long.

Here is a short tutorial I put together that might help.
http://davesdfr.com/Media/PenTool2.htm
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2008, 06:40 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

Thanks to all for responding & indeed I'll learn the pen tool. JMB's & Dave's tutorials helped immensely, esp. knowing about the rubber band feature in JMB's tutorial & adjusting handles in Dave's. Makes me a little embarrassed to have had all these doubts, but I'm glad I asked. Now, to continue practicing on that "S" image that I made by following Katrin's instructions.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2008, 04:40 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

The pen tool is as easy to learn as ABC....

Meaning:

Trace A B C in Arial Black....

The A is only straight lines (easiest)
The B has straight lines and some curves (intermediate)
The C has no straight lines (hard)

It's the easiest and quickest way to learn the pen tool. Which by all means you should learn. Really.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2008, 05:49 AM
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creeduk creeduk is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

Once you finally learn it you will wish you learned it sooner. It is something many Photoshop users put off at first and even struggle with when they start but once you fins what you can do with it you will always want it in your toolbox.
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2008, 11:12 AM
punkjumper punkjumper is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

and should you ever venture over to Illustrator, you'll be glad you spent the time learning the pen tool
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2008, 05:32 PM
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

It's not necessary, but you should learn it to make decent curves (no way you're cutting them better with the lasso tool), and, as said above, sooner or later you will be in Illustrator, where it's very necessary
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2008, 09:08 AM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

Yes on good quality imagery you can mostly get away with proper channel based masking, in practice it tends to be quicker. Smooth artificial edges produced by pen selections can be damaging to fashion images especially if those are used as the basis for color and tonal adjustments, and images are reworked several times. Thats unless you want to produce robots. As Benny has said there are times when proper curved selections are necessary (cars are one example), and thats where the pen becomes your friend. It's an important part of the tool box, learn it.
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2008, 02:12 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

I should have phrased my question as, "Is learning the pen tool necessary *for retouching*"? I raised the question because accessing this forum on a daily basis since Oct., I could not recall one post that used the pen tool in topics I viewed/participated in. Further examination of the forum shows that out of about 660 topics since Oct., only 6 had a post that used the pen tool.

I don't doubt the sincerity of responders in insisting on learning the pen tool. Experts in this forum are adept with the tool. It's just that they haven't used it very much since Oct.

I've spent many hours learning this tool and have achieved a fair amount of proficiency, but enough is enough. I don't need to create paths to export to Illustrator or QuarkXpress. For me, the pen tool is only a more precise option to the polygonal tool.

All I can say is, If you're not compositing, or if you're not exporting to Illustrator or QuarkXpress, etc., you don't need to learn the pen tool. It depends on your objective. If the pen tool comes easily, fine. If it doesn't, skip it, until you absolutely need it for the above purposes, because then it will ensure your livelihood.

Responders in this topic have given me helpful links, esp. to YouTube tutorials, so go to YouTube & do a search on "pen tool." You'll get tutorials, galore.
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  #19  
Old 01-13-2008, 03:04 PM
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

One4All, NOTHING in Photoshop is absolutly necessary to learn. There are so many other ways of making a selection. Everyone has their favorite so the pen tool is not the be-all-end-all.

I'm not surprised that if you searched on "pen tool" you may not have found many references in the RetouchPRO threads. I would guess that if you searched on "selection" or "make a selection" you will found hundreds and hundreds of posts that include the term because so much of manipulating or creating masks in Photoshop REQUIRES some kind of selection. To say that people haven't used the pen tool very much since October is an assumption based on bad information. You assume that they don't use the pen tool to make a selection because they didn't specifically say they did. As you said, "Experts in this forum are adept with the tool". Perhaps they are considered "experts" because they use all the tools that are available and continue to learn new and better ways to use them.

Creating paths to export to Illustrator or QuarkExpress is not the reason most folks use the pen too. That process is pretty specialized. But the use of the pen tool is pretty common, but nobody said you HAVE to use it.

It's entirely up to you. Use your selection tool of choice.
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2008, 03:08 AM
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mquest mquest is offline
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Re: Is learning the pen tool necessary?

I couldn't agree more with Swampy.
As with everything you do in Photoshop, there is always another way to do it. But if you want to be a better Photoshop user, obviously you should have the aim to learn all of Photoshops tools, including the Pen tool.

I use the Pen tool on a daily basis for masking, but only in situations where i consider it to be more effective than the other tools i know.
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