This represents my first and only 30 seconds using Bezier curves; you know. That dreaded Photoshop tool that everyone avoids. I was the same way. Text books make it look easy, yet it isn’t! Join me while I explain this phenomenal experience, and the valuable lesson I learned by just choosing to dive in and see what happens… : Please click header to view full size.
Understanding Bezier Curves
Most people won’t go near the pen tool. They’re afraid of it; and with good cause. The thing acts more like a bucking bronco than a tool. To complicate things still further, it works with the: “Add Anchor Point” tool, the: “Convert Anchor Point tool (from a curve point to a corner point and visa versa), the: “Delete Anchor Point” tool, the: “Path Eraser” tool, the: “Scissors” tool, the “Knife” tool, the “Pencil” tool, the: “Smooth” tool, the “Direct selection” tool, all are or can be involved when working with Bezier curves…
What with all those tools, no wonder people shy away from it. All I used though, was the pen tool, and the add anchor point tool on a rounded black rectangle. Don’t ask me how come it’s grey now because I don’t know. I may have had my foreground color set to grey, more than likely. The thing was, I wasn’t manipulating the handles with any set plan at all. I just came upon the design. Not bad for 30 seconds of playing around. It occurs to me that any designer should at least know how to make Bezier curves; even that I told you before that I was using the ellipse tool as a cookie cutter to bypass the pen tool. That’s not great counseling.
http://www.math.iastate.edu/thesisarchive/MSM/KasparCCF09.pdf This site should give you the basic concept.
If this is what I can get just goofing off, imagine what I could come up with if I mastered the tools? Wiley Coyote: Super Genius! Why, I could rule the world… LOL! Trust me, it’s worthwhile experimenting with the pen tool in Photoshop. As it turns out, these are a very important set of tools, though awkward to work with in the beginning.
Some rules about Bezier curves
– The length and angle of the handles “anticipate” the curves that will follow.
– To ensure that the curve is smooth, place anchor points on either side of an arc, not in between.
– The fewer the anchor points, the smoother the curve will look and the faster it will print.
– Adjust a curve’s height and angle by dragging the direction points, or grab the curve itself to adjust its height.
Here is a blank one if you’d like to use it and decorate it how you please, or save it for some other project. Mine is in grey scale, because my site is in grey scale. It could easily be decorated with color as well. Experiment on your own. See what you can come up with in 30 seconds? LOL! Seriously though, you have nothing to lose, working with Bezier curves…