How to add Multiple strokes to Photoshop custom shapes to give an edge to your designs
You can create a vector layer via the CSH tool in PS. You can also add the multiple strokes / gradients to the artwork.
The key thing is that it is a layer and the layer can have layer effects applied and key to that is the stroke feature.
Select the layer and then go to the layer menu and select the layer effects menu and apply a stroke and you can set either to a solid color, pattern or gradient.
See below for the update to the latest version where multiple strokes can be added via the layer styles panel
With the latest release of Photoshop, you can now add multiple strokes as well as gradients and glows etc. Still, this does require some setup. Say select a circle and then go to the layer menu and then layer styles. Depends on the order of the added style and also the position which can be outside or inside or center.
For simplicity, set the first stroke in red to outside at 16px. Click the '+' next to the field and this will create another and to see the result, simply set the value to a little more than the 16px otherwise you just won't see it. So set the second entry to 24px say and a different color such as black and you will now see two strokes - this can be repeated with the outside options so you can click '+' and then added another say with a value of 50px. Again, the result can end up fairly coarse in Photoshop.
The key thing for adding strokes is the order of the strokes, sometimes you will find you are just covering the previous strokes
Now, go to the layer menu and smart objects and convert to smart object.
You can now go back to the layer menu and layer effects and add an additional stroke to the Photoshop shape new object.
This process can now be repeated, simply by converting the path again and again into a smart object (though clearly there are limits as you will see Photoshop get slower and slower processing all these additional smart objects). The only problem with this is the coarseness of the applied vector once you add too many or too large a size.
As you can see left, the vector is a circle and there is a slight coarseness already to the artwork - this is definitely multiplied if you have a more complex artwork. You can also add multiple strokes via the smart object method to type as well.
For some objects, there is an easy option - simply duplicate the original path and then re-size and re-size (reducing the size and changing the layer style for each of the layers or perhaps the stroke added via the properties for the vector). You can then just use the group option in the layer menu to group the stroked objects together. Perhaps not such as elegant solution and definitely does not work well for all paths.
In Illustrator, by default, you can only add one but you can select a shape and go to the appearance panel and then select the right side menu and add new stroke. You can repeat this multiple times but the same issue is hit where you have to get the width and the right order otherwise they will be hidden.
You can then copy them to the CC library and use them in PS (not that they won't be a CSH vector though but it can be used as a layer)
It should be noted that you can also do much the same with fonts such as adding multiple strokes via the layer styles panel
You can find many other tutorials on the site such as how to combine Photoshop shape layers / path operations and how to create brushes using custom shapes and if you you want more about the Photoshop gradients there are tutorials such as how to use photoshop gradients in different image modes and how to create frame borders using Photoshop gradients (much the same approach for shapes as well) and how to create multiple contour designs with Photoshop gradients