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How to use Photoshop Brushes to Make Custom Shapes in Photoshop Tutorial

how to use Photoshop brushes to make custom shapes

How to use the Photoshop brushes to create unique custom shapes by using selections / image trace etc tutorial. Brushes can be used as an interesting source of custom shapes. The brushes in Photoshop are all raster designs but they can be converted to vector custom shapes by a combination of selection tools as well as paths panel and work path. You can then define the brushes into a single custom shapes via the edit menu define custom shape in Photoshop. A better solution would be to take the brushes and copy them to Illustrator and use the trace features or perhaps use the pen tools in Illustrator and then copy the results of the vector shape back into Photoshop. Another option would be Corel Trace to convert the brushes. Another being Stipplism from Astute Graphics. There also online raster brushes to vector shapes conversion tools available. This tutorial shows you how to make amazing new custom shapes from brushes in Photoshop

  1. Select a Photoshop brush

  2. Apply single dab or multiple dabs as required (perhaps apply as a brush stroke)

  3. Select the stroke using the selection tools (magic wand tool perhaps)

  4. Window menu and paths

  5. Make work path

  6. Edit menu and define custom shape

  7. Shape can now be saved via the custom shapes panel

Use Photoshop brushes to make paths and shapes

You can create millions of different brush designs using the brushes available from this site along with the millions that exist on the web. The best conversion from brushes to shapes will be brushes that are fairly hard and sharp with little blurriness. You can then use the paths panel to make a work path for use as a custom shape in Photoshop

Use Illustrator to create shapes from brushes

photoshop brushes into Photoshop custom shapes

An alternative approach and probably better would be to export the Photoshop brushes design via the pasteboard or via the export of a PNG image and re-edited the design in a vector application and use an image trace tool to create a brush path based on the created brush dabs on Photoshop. The vector trace can then be imported into the application via the pasteboard and saved as a new shape.

Other alternatives

photoshop brushes into Photoshop custom shapes

Personally, I prefer tools such as Corel Trace for the vector trace of artworks and there are also many online vector trace tools (some that you have to pay for) but with a little tidying up and a little care, decent results can be achieved with the trace feature in Illustrator (though I would love to see a proper overhaul of the tool to include a variety of different ways to do the trace). Another alternative can be found via the Stipplism plugin (for Illustrator) from Astute Graphics though not particularly a trace tool, the results can be very impressive in creating all kinds of sketched and rough variant traces from Photoshop brushes depending on the symbols etc used to create the trace and then from there the results can be re-imported into Photoshop and then defined as a new custom shape / vector design.

Other tutorials

1. how to combine multiple gradients in Photoshop CC 2017 2015 etc

2. how to use Photoshop brushes on layers

3. how to export the brushes for use in other applications such as PSP

4. how to use the Photoshop brushes across channels

5. how to use the Photoshop custom shape panel options like constrain and center

Related items

1. triangle and polygon brushes

2. stroke and rough circular brushes

Sources and references

1. Corel Trace

2. Live trace in Illustrator on



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Updated: August 2017