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

Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways..

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  #1  
Old 06-06-2009, 12:52 PM
jtd131 jtd131 is offline
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Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways..

When/why do you actually need the pen tool? Why develop paths? Forgive me if this was already answered in another post. In reference to retouching, that is.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:13 PM
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Chain Chain is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

You need the pen tool for several reasons:
  1. If you want to make a clipping path (or even several different paths) for your image when you use it in your page layout software (like InDesign).
  2. If you need to make perfectly smooth curves
  3. To use as a base for a nice smooth and sharp selection.
  4. If you want sharp shapes, masks, etc. that are vectorized and can be transformed without loosing quality.
  5. Annoy beginners as they never get the hang of the tool for some reason :P
(and I'm sure people can think of other uses...)

Edit:
One more: I guess it could also be used as a path for cutting machines (example: the file is printed then cut into shape for use as a car decal in one operation)

Last edited by Chain; 06-07-2009 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:39 PM
Steve13 Steve13 is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

I mostly use it for making a path to separate the subject from the background (to blur the backgrount or put the subject on a different background. Also (per #1) to make a clipping path to place just the object into a publishing program like Quark.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:45 PM
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hawkeye60 hawkeye60 is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

Short answer:easily alterable precision
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2009, 12:55 PM
jtd131 jtd131 is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

As far as masking goes, I haven't really been using it much up to now. I actually started cheating and using maskpro, but I just wonder the potential of masking using the pen tool vs other methods. Thanks for all of your responses.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:21 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

masking software and techniques generally rely on contrast (tonal or color) between edges. But what to do when that is laking. Imagine a white table cloth upon which sits a white candle, white napkin, white plate with a white egg in it, and you are asked to separate each item. Masking will fail you.

There are also times when you want to create shapes that don't already exist with mechanical precision.

I was late to arrive at the pen tool myself, but for many things it's really indispensable.

These are the two best tutorials I've found thus far. You may not be ready for the pen tool now but bookmark these for when you're ready. Most pen tuts suck.

http://revision3.com/pixelperfect/pentool/

http://www.photoworkshop.com/adobe/s...pp/index5.html
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:51 PM
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

-the "revision3" pentool tutorial was unfortunately low video quality so you can't see what's going on (i guess you get high quality if you register on the site).

Both tutorials seemed good as a first intro to the pen tool.

When done, remember you don't have to convert the path to a selection and then use the selection as a mask. You can add it as an editable vector mask directly (only need a "normal" layer mask for soft areas/partial transparency).
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:21 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chain View Post
Both tutorials seemed good as a first intro to the pen tool.
Intro, yes, and those are the best I've found. If you know of better I'd love to see them. There's good stuff for Illustrator, but Illustrator has options PS doesn't.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:40 AM
Steve uk Steve uk is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chain View Post
-the "revision3" pentool tutorial was unfortunately low video quality so you can't see what's going on (i guess you get high quality if you register on the site).
There's an option to download an HD Quicktime version of the tutorial under the "Download" tab below the embedded movie. Very good quality and a good intro to the pen tool.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2009, 04:47 AM
bymasson bymasson is offline
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Re: Stupid Question? Maybe so, but I ask anyways.

I'll be keeping these as I really need to get the hang of the pen
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