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Mastering Photoshop With Paths | Smashing Magazine

Wow, no-one seems to know how to do this. I’ve been searching for months to see how to combine paths. These guys obviously know their stuff. I’ve saved this here to remind me – please read the original – it has helpful pictures.

 

Boolean Operators

USE

To allow for more complex shapes, multiple paths can be grouped together into a compound path, on which  Boolean operations can be set. These are accessible in the properties bar of the Path Selection Tool (A) and include: Add (+), Subtract (-), Intersect and Exclude. Add specifies a fill area and Subtract defines an area that is not filled; if only one path exists, the entire canvas is considered the fill area from which the shape is subtracted. Intersect sets the fill to areas included in all paths, while Exclude fills all path areas except those that overlap; these modes work only in compound paths.

STACKING ORDER

When creating compound paths, it’s important to take note of the paths’ positions in the stacking order.  A compound shape with an Add path on the bottom and a Subtract on top will be completely different with swapped depths. A path’s Boolean operator takes effect on all of the paths below it. Unfortunately, there are no commands or palettes to simply swap depths in Photoshop; you’ll need to use a series of Cut (Command + X) and Paste (Command + V) to rearrange them.

 

COMBINING

Combining paths can help reduce complexity by creating a single path from the perimeter of a compound path’s fill area. To do so, select the paths to combine using the Path Selection Tool(A) and click the Combine button in the Tool Properties bar.

 

via Mastering Photoshop With Paths | Smashing Magazine.

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