Custom shapes for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

How to import custom shapes into 2021

How to import CSH shapes into Photoshop ? 2021 comes with a selection of shapes sets in groups such as trees etc and you can also have access to the legacy shapes via the legacy command in the shapes panel. What if you want to load your own CSH shapes or ones that you have bought or downloaded from the web. You can use the import command found in the shapes panel (the shapes panel is accessible via the window menu). Once you are in the shapes panel, go to the right side menu and go down to close to the bottom and select the import command and that will display the browser and then you can search for the Photoshop shapes files in CSH format. Select a CSH file and then import, the set will then be loaded into the panel for you to access via the custom shapes tool as well as the central shapes panel. You can also import them via the custom shapes tool and the central (top) panel for that tool and again by using the right side menu and the import command. The Photoshop shapes are all imported in a group but you can move the groups around as well as delete shapes from the group and add items to the group as well as re-arrange the presets.

Details on how to import CSH Photoshop custom shapes into 2021

Use custom shapes as a source for random fill patterns in Photoshop

Custom shapes can be used as shapes, of course, but they can also be used as a great source for patterns as well as the script feature found in the edit / fill command. You can create 1000s of unique designs using these vectors by using them as a shape layer or using them as a pixel design on a layer and then removing the background layer to add some transparency to the design. The created artwork can then be selected by using the selection tool / rectangular marquee and then you can define the art as a pattern preset via the edit menu and define pattern command. Once that is done you can go to the edit menu again and use the fill command and select the pattern option and set the scripts to on and select the random fill in the script dropdown (or any of the others) and then select the art you have just created from the presets panel and then press ok and that will show an additional panel where you can set the size, rotation randomness, color randomness etc. To create a vast range of color variation is probably best to use a grayscale colored shape as the source but that does not need to be the case. You can apply the fill to the background layer but you can always use the layer menu and create a new layer for the fill and then repeat this process over and over with perhaps different settings and even different tiles selected to build up all kinds of unique designs in Photoshop. This can be done in 2021 but much the same approach can be done in earlier versions as well though scripts only came in with Creative Cloud

Fill custom shapes as random fill designs

Use shapes as vector masks

You can use the custom shapes as a great source for vector masks for a layer. Select a layer and then go to the layer menu and select the vector mask section 'reveal all' and then go to the custom shapes tool and select a shape from the panel. Make certain you go to the top left of the application and select the 'path' option and then draw the path over the current layer and there you have your vector mask. You can edit the custom shape design / vector mask to show more or less of the image or layer by using the direct selection tools as well as the curvature etc tools in Photoshop.

Use the designs as a great source for vector masks to show more or less of the design tutorial

Shapes into 3D models for Adobe Dimension (Blender etc)

The shapes as a vector layer can be converted quickly into a 3D model via the 3D menu in Photoshop using the extrude features. The model you get is not that exciting in that you cannot modify it in many ways but there are options to deform it, change the extrusion and change the materials etc for the design. You can also export it as an ONJ or other format and then load that in Adobe Dimension where you can combine it quickly with other models as well as add additional materials to the design and you can then tweak those materials in countless ways to create endless designs. You can also then render the image and create an image which can be imported back into Photoshop etc and manipulated there

How to take a shape and turn into 3D and use in Adobe Dimension

Adding dot options to custom shapes

Custom shapes can have no stroke, they can have a standard solid stroke and they can have dash strokes as well as dot shapes. You can use this with one shape but you can also do this with multiple selected shapes and you can then modify the dot / dash options to create a variety of different dot designs in Photoshop. You can use Photoshop actions (a basic one such as duplicate current shape and transform it) and repeat this to create multiple paths and select all the paths and change the dots for that set. You can then also turn the whole lot into a smart object and then add effects to the smart object such as blurs as well as add adjustments and more to the design.

How to add dot options to a custom shape in Photoshop