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Photoshop Tutorial -Cool effect with the shape tool

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Here’s a cool effect that you may want to try out at sometime.

Create a new file 500px X 600 px with a transparent b/ground @ 72 dpi and then duplicate the layer. This is just a file to practise on :-)

Grab your Shape Tool and choose Custom, then go to the top toolbar and pick the black triangle shape. Working from the centre of the image, draw the shape upwards past the top of the file edge (see image below), you might want to bring up the transform tool by using Ctrl + T on the keyboard to get the shape how you want it, then duplicate the shape layer.

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Once you have duplicated the shape layer, go to the history palette and take a snapshot of the work so far. If your history palette isn’t visible go to Window>History and click on History. To take the snapshot use the middle icon (it looks like a camera). With the duplicate layer active, bring up the Transform Tool by clicking Ctrl + T on the keyboard. In the centre of the box that appears for the transform tool you will see a small circle with four small arms sticking out (this is the rotation axis for the transform) you will need to drag that down to the centre of the bottom line.

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With your cursor outside of the transform bounding box, rotate the shape to the right or left – whatever takes your fancy. Then you can hit the enter button to accept it.

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You’re probably wondering why I told you to take a snapshot when you had duplicated the shape layer – it was because the next part of this doesn’t always turn out correctly spaced and you will have to go back to the snapshot to start again :-) Taking the snapshot after you duplicated the shape layer, means that you can bring up the transform tool again and try a different rotation – more or less, depending on how it turned out the first time. You should still be working on the shape copy layer, now, hold down the Ctrl + Shift + Alt keys and then press the T key repeatedly until you have as many of the shapes in place as you want. You should end up with something similar to the first image – although yours may be properly centered :-)

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When you click onto the previous shape layer or b/ground layer, the bounding boxes will go away.

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You can see that mine didn’t quite end up centered and that I would need to paint in the small area top right that didn’t quite fill. You could merge the 2 shape layers at this point and lock the transparency to fill the shapes with a gradient or different colour. You could also clip an image with the shapes, you could also fill the b/ground with a colour or image – play around with it a little bit and see what you can come up with.

On the first image I filled the b/ground layer with black, merged the 2 shape layers, locked the transparency of the layer and then filled with a circular gradient. On the 2nd image I simply used a 3 pixel black centered stroke on the shapes after I had filled it with the gradient.

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