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Drawing a Circle

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  • Drawing a Circle

    Some of you may have seen this question on dpreview, but I didn't get too many responses.

    I'd like to know how to draw a circle around an object in a photo. I know how to use the ellipse tool but I can't figure out how to make the fill in the circle become transparent and ,at the same time, increase the stroke of the circle's line.

    I'm using PS CS, the only book I have, other than the manual, is Photoshop 7 WOW, and can't find anything in either.



  • #2
    Sometimes it's the simple things

    There are other ways I'm sure, but what I do is:

    1. use the square/ellipse selection tool to scribe where I want the circle to appear.

    2. Edit > Stroke, pick a color, set width in pixels, set Inside, Center, Outside

    3. click OK

    I think this is what you mean (to make a circle, hold down the shift key while you scribe with the selection tool - but you already knew that ):

    Attached Files


    • #3
      That's the direction I was going, but when I go to edit>fill/stroke both are greyed out. Any idea why that is happening?



      • #4
        The easiest thing to do is to make your circle selection with the circle marquee, then (at the bottom of the Layers palette), make a ne Solid Color layer. Make it white. Then set the layer's mode (top of palette) to Multiply.
        Now your layer is invisible, but it's still there. Double click it and go to the bottom left: Stroke. Turn it on, and select your color and thickness there. Click OK. If you later change your mind, double click the layer again to adjust.

        Plus you can fill this Solid Color Layer with black to start over if you don't like the shape. Then make a new circle selection and fill it with white.

        By the way, if you want it to be semi-transparent, don't set the layer to multiply, just ease back the transparancy slider.


        • #5
          Thanks Jim, that seems to do the job. Do you have any idea why stroke and fill are greyed out when I use the ellipse tool?


          • #6
            Maybe the planets aren't lined up right?

            I noticed your question earlier but I didn't want to venture a response 'cuz I don't have CS and I'm on a Mac, but my best guess would be "it's just one of those things"

            I sometimes notice menu items that should be there are grayed out and then they mysteriously reappear and I attribute them to elusive bugs in the software.

            My former life as a computer programmer who spent years debugging other people's code has taught me that there are millions of ways to make things go wrong. It might just be a sequence of events prior to accessing the particular menu that's gotten the program all confused. If shutting down and restarting doesn't cure it, there are more drastic measures but I'm sure someone here has a better explanation.

            Glad you got your problem solved.



            • #7
              E.B., do you get the greayed out options just when you use the ellipse tool, or does it also happen when you use the circle tool too?

              I unsuccessfully tried to duplicate your greyed out fill and stroke options while using the ellipse tool.

              I have PhotoShop CS and tried changing the mode of the image to see if that would cause the greyed out options. No luck. I also experimented working on the background layer vs a regular layer and still no luck. I also worked on different file formats to see if that would trigger it...nope. I then searched the web and didn't find anything either. The only time I got the stroke command to be greyed out was when I didn't have anything selected. All I can say now is do you have the most recent updates?


              • #8
                I've tried every combination that I know of and still get the stroke and fill greyed out under the edit menu. When I double click on the layer I get a dialogue box where I can change the stroke but not the fill.

                I got this (CS) in June but the computer it's on is not connected to the internet (and can't be). I live in a motorhome, well that's another story. Anyhow I don't get the automatic updates that you get when you're connected. I checked on the Adobe site but all I found was some raw updates, no program updates.


                • #9
                  Interesting. Try sending an email to Adobe. Perhaps they can offer a remedy.


                  • #10
                    That was my next step, thanks a lot for your help.



                    • #11
                      Let us know if you find the fix!


                      • #12
                        E.B., some more food for thougth:

                        I was messing with a file to see if I could recreate your problem, and I think I may have. When I use the ellipse tool set to "shape layers," the stroke and fill options are grayed out. Originally I thought you were using the elliptical marquee but now I assume you were using the shape tool? (Okay, I'm a bit slow! LOL!)

                        If that is the case and you still want to stroke the shape you made, you can ctrl+click on the the shape layer to select it, create a new layer, and fill or stroke as desired. If you change the blending mode of the shape layer to "overlay" you can see the underlying picture. You can even move the shape layer around to better frame your picture before you make your selection and stroke it.

                        Hope this helps!
                        Last edited by FrannyMae; 10-30-2004, 10:16 PM.


                        • #13
                          Okay, I'm back....I think I figured out how to make an elliptical shape transparent and to stroke it all in one fell swoop:

                          Click on your elliptical shape tool, then on the "shape layers" button. Change the layer style to 1px stroke 0% fill opacity (the thumbnail shows the rounded square with a narrow black line around it and gray on the inside) This will give you a transparent shape with a thin stroke. Now go to the layer pallette and change the "stroke" effect to increase the width of your stroke.

                          I may be all wet, but I figured it was worth a shot...good luck!


                          • #14
                            Isn't it easier to use the ellipse selection tool, scribe around the area as if you're going to select it and then use edit>stroke??

                            No messing around with blending modes etc.

                            But maybe I'm just too simple-minded for this.



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FrannyMae
                              E.B., some more food for thougth:

                              Originally I thought you were using the elliptical marquee but now I assume you were using the shape tool?
                              Nicely done FrannyMae. I thought it was the elliptical marquee and only tested that way. It didn't cross my mind to try the shape tool.


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