How To Stroke a Path in Photoshop

Stroking a path is one of the most commonly used features in Adobe Photoshop. It is a very useful tool in enhancing or creating images. Usually, stroke path is used if you want to enhance the border of an image, define the lines of a particular shape, or when you want to make an image look like a comic book page. Stroke is also used when you have a bunch of complex shapes that you selected via the marquee and want to redefine that area as well. There are many other reasons why you need to stroke a particular shape enclosed by your selector and this article will tell you how you can do that.

What you will need:

Latest version of Adobe Photoshop
Enough space in your machine for the newly created image
Open file

  • Creating a new layer. One of the best things about working with Adobe Photoshop is that you can create a new layer each time you want some changes to be done. Creating a new layer can make your new items independent of the existing images and thus makes revisions or the complete cancellation of the changes, very easy to do. This is also true when you want to stroke something. Create a new layer either from the File menu or from the action tool box icons at the bottom part of the box. You can also choose to label this layer or just let it be a regular numbered layer.
  • Creating a path. Once you have created a new layer, this is where you will create a new path. You can do this by selecting the image that you want to enclose from the previous layer and then, creating a new layer that will house your new changes.
  • Selecting a color that you want to use for the stroking. When you have opened a new layer while selecting the shape that you want to outline, pick a color that you want to use for defining it. For example, if you want to put a rectangular border around a photograph (so that it will look like it is framed) then you can select the color black from your swatches or from the foreground color square from your toolbar. If you are not content with the swatches in your swatches tool bar then select a custom defined color or if you have the RGB or hex value of the color, you can enter that, too.
  • Direct selection and stroking a path. When you are happy with your color selection, right click on the path that you have selected. Or you can also access the stroke path from the Edit options menu and then find the command, “Stroke”. There is also another way of doing this from the white arrow tool, selecting the path and the select “stroke path” from the right click menu options. From this point on, you can choose which brush you want to use for the actual stroking.
  • Selecting your brush and seeing the final effect. You can now choose how thick you want the stroking to be. The brushes options will let you choose how heavy you want the line to be, how transparent and what type of texture you want to be implemented.

When you have done all these, you should have stroked the path that you wish with the type of brush appropriate for your artwork. Take a step back and zoom out your image to see if you are happy with the overall effect of your stroking. If not, you can always delete that layer and create a new one until you are happy with the end result.


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