graphicxtras.com > BEST Photoshop shapes for CC 2015 CS6 CS5 CS4 CS3 Elements inc. cookie cutters, arrows, cats, embellishments
Great vector artwork for all your projects at a great price. All the custom shapes sets are much the same in their components though the actual contents, obviously vary depending on the theme. The sets includes a selection of vector shapes for use in Photoshop CC CS6 CS5 CS4 CS3 etc and PS Elements 14 - 1 + gallery + serial + documentation. All the items are sent by zip compressed format by shareit.com and the set includes the previous items along with (in some cases) bonus material etc such as EPS and PDF and JPG etc files. The downloaded set includes the artworks in a zip file and that needs to be expanded before use and this should require nothing more than the features of the PC and MAC but if you do need an additional tool then something like smith micro's stuffit expander is a good bet as it is cross platform. It is also free
All the artwork supplied is by graphicxtras.com / Andrew Buckle. You get an extended license to use them in any projects you wish
You can use them in commercial use as well as personal use. You are supplied with the full extended license so you can use the Photoshop custom shapes in 99.999% of your projects. You can use the items to create items that can be sold as well as re-sold and resale
You can use them to create logos, backgrounds, textures, textiles, hats, posters, mugs, fabrics, shirts, fashions, leaflets, web pages, adverts, packaging, videos, web sites, items for resaleand much more. You can use them without any credit. You can use them world wide and there are no time limits on the use of the artworks. If you have any questions about the set, please contact us.
How to load them ?? The custom shapes can be loaded in a number of ways.
In some versions of Adobe PS you can load them via the file open (though this is only on the PC, never noticed this feature on the mac) but the quickest and easiest is probably by double clicking the CSH file or right clicking the CSH file and selecting the open with command and then they will be loaded into the app.
Another option is to place the CSH file into the presets folder and then the items will be quickly available via the preset panel in PS via the right side menu of the presets. You can also use that same right side menu to load and replace the items in the current panel - the load adding to the existing set and the replace command can be used to delete existing and add the new CSH into the presets panel. You can also do much the same thing via the edit menu preset manager though this is not available for all versions of the app. The load and replace is useful if you don't want to include all the CSH files in a particular preset location but perhaps store the items on a cloud etc and then use them from there.
Another option is to select multiple CSH files and then right click them and select the open with Adobe PS (CC 2015 etc) and then all the CSH files are added in one quick go. That may be the best way for many users who want to access 1000s and 1000s of vector shapes in one go but then you may quickly hit the limits on the panel though the actual limits vary from version to version (in the early days it was 500 but it is probably a lot greater now)
So once they are loaded into the app, you can access all the vector artwork via the preset panel.
You can add, of course, 1000s of vector artworks to the panel and just search for that particular artwork. You can also just load and replace them individually as well. Really depends on you.
The location of the preset folder may vary depending on the version that you are using such as if you are using the 32bit version of PS or the 64bit version and also the location of the presets has varied depending on the language etc in the past. You can also store the presets into the library (on the mac) for the user if you prefer to add them to a non admin account. On the PC the non admin folder can be found in the AppData section (roaming / Adobe / Adobe ® Photoshop ® CC 2015 / presets etc).
The vector artwork CSH files work fine on both versions of PS: 32bit and 64bit. Personally I prefer to add them to the AppData / user library section as I use my machine in non admin mode though it does mean a few hassles.
If you have a lot of CSH files then it becomes tricky to find a particular vector graphic though if you keep the sets in themed CSH files it is not such an issue say that you want dolphins or panda bears etc then you can quickly find the related CSH file and all our sets are clearly listed based on certain themes such as pandas, clover, bears etc.
You can load many different exciting graphics into a single panel but there is a useful tool from Tumasoft called the Presetviewer breeze. It allows you to quickly search through 1000s of images as well as export them to PNG files.
You can also browse for PS brushes ABR such as stars, etc and PAT etc files. You can use the tool on the PC and MAC. There are a number of different apps available on the site. You can, of course, create your own CSH files and add them to particular themes and that may make organizing all the vectors a whole lot easier. To do this, simply open the CSH files and use the load option so you can add more and more vectors and then use the ALT click to delete all the items that you don't want to include and then you can simply go to the right side menu of the presets panel and then save a new CSH file with all your vector artworks in a single theme.
The presetviewer does make it a whole lot easier. I would love to see Adobe add this sort of tool as it should now be a lot easier to browse for brushes / patterns etc as well as all the other presets included in the app. This is a feature that should be added to PS as well as Lightroom and also Bridge but I can't see it happening any time soon.
OK, once you have the items installed in your presets panel then the next step is to select one from the display (it is a pity that there is not an option to be able to select multiple items but at present you can only select one item). You can then add the item to your document and you can add the item in three different ways by selecting the shape layer / path / fill options.
Each of the tool options have their uses with path perhaps being the least useful for most work but even the path option has its uses such as in brush strokes and flame renders etc. If you want to use them as a layer then select the first option and as a layer, you can manipulate the item in many different ways such as adding styles to the layer via the layer menu layer styles or via the styles panel.
You can add the shape layer using a number of oontrol options such as unconstrained (can be set to any size and this is the default) as well as square, fixed size, proportional and a check-box for from the center and each of these options can be of use (the same settings are also available for the fill pixel option). The fixed size is useful if you wish to generate the same size for all the created items forcing the tool to ignore any proportions etc. The proportional is useful if you wish to keep the item in the same proportions as the original creation of the artwork.
There are additional options along the top bar such as set options. The options are new layer so the generated layer is added unattached to any other layer. You can then set the set option to 'combine' (or unite in Illustrator) and then all subsequent paths added via the CSH tool will be combined with the first generated layer. If you wish to continue to subtract etc (that is the second option) it is best to first use the 'merge' command and then use the 'subtract' or 'intersect' etc (set options dropdown) as without the merge, the results may be not as expected.
You can also do much the same as the set options dropdown from the layer menu by using the layer 'combine shapes' command (and all the same unite, subtract etc) but the difference there is that you have to select more than one shape and if you wish to merge them all (especially if live items are included) then use the merge feature found in the combine on the top bar of PS.
With the layers, you can also modify the color of the applied item via the fill and stroke setting as well as add different dashes etc to the stroke though this is only available while you select the custom shape tool or the rectangle tool etc (I really think the color options should be available at all times but the application works on the basis of the tool being selected before changing the color or modifying the dashes etc). The dashes options combined with the other stroke settings (align, cap etc) can results in some very interesting designs and there are a number of presets available to start with as well as a preview of any changes made to the dashes.
You can also align the artworks as well as distribute them (as long as you select multiple layer custom shapes) and you can also re-order them such as placing the item below or above all the items though the same can be done via the layer panel.
Another useful feature of the layer option is that you can duplicate them via the ALT key by selecting and dragging while holding down the ALT key. It is a pity that there is no tilde feature as in earlier versions of Illustrator where multiple copies of the shapes can be generated as that would be one very useful feature in PS.
You can also transform them such as flip them, scale them, rotate them and warp and distort and apply perspective and more and this makes it very useful to create 1000s of different graphics based on a single vector - this is not so easy if you use the pixel option. Sadly, there is no transformation and copies feature as in Illustrator and so it is often useful to copy the layers to Illustrator and do all the edits and transformations there via the effects panel or using third party plugins to generate millions of great designs.
The path option allows for the much of the same as the layer but it does not allow for any color or stroke etc but it does allow for you to add a quick brush stroke to follow the path as well as turning the path into a selection etc. You can do all this via the path panel where you can select the work path and click the right side menu and fill / stroke / selection. You can also use the top bar option beside the path command to make a selection from the current path as well as simply turning the item into a shape which is very useful as this can be done in a fraction of second and does not require any loading of the path panel.
The (fill) pixel option allows for the simple application of the vector in the current color (foreground) and this can be done in any size. You can add them once or multiple times and you can add the CSH artwork any size and in any position (though the angle is unchanging which is a pity as that is available in the brushes panel - it would be a really cool feature if the application had a similar custom shapes panel with scattering and angle and opacity and fade etc).
You can also add them using blending modes via the mode dropdown (such as difference, darken etc but sadly it is not particularly interactive so you have to trial the blending modes or just remember the possible effects depending on the color of the vector as well as the background) as well as change the opacity so you can add the item at 10% or 100% opacity.
You can add the pixels to the background layer but you can add them to any raster layer as well so you can always create a new layer and then add the artwork to that and the advantage of this means that you can add the usual layer effects etc as well as delete the layer or disable the layer or move the layer.
That is a quick run through of some of the basics of adding the items as a layer / path / fill though as with most things Photoshop, there are probably a hundred other ways to use them
If you add the items to a layer, you can go to the layer menu and layer styles and add layer effects such as a bevel or texture or pattern overlay or gradient or stroke (combined with the existing stroke if a vector layer).
With the latest release of the creative cloud, you can now add multiple gradients and glows and shadows and strokes via the layer effects panel (though they are not useful as contours sadly) and much more.
There are 1000s of styles available on the web and you can turn the Photoshop custom shape into an instant metallic masterpiece or wood or water vector in seconds. You can also find 7000 additional styles on this site.
As a layer, the layer can be turned into a smart object and as a smart object you can add smart adjustments and smart filters. To turn the layer into a smart object, go to the layer menu and smart objects and convert to smart object command. The advantage of the smart object is that you can edit the source material at any point so you can add other items to it and remove or add brush strokes etc and then all the changes are reflected in the smart object. The smart object can also have smart filters added and removed and the effects can be changed at any point and these include all the standard PS filters such as filter gallery and blurs etc.
You can also find a number of third party plugins (color effects etc) that can also be used as smart filters. The Andrew's Plugins for the PC can be used as smart filters and they can be found on this site, 180 different plugins. You may also find the powerful free Nik plugins of use and they can be found on the google plugins site and they also can be used as smart filters with the smart objects.
With the recent release of the creative cloud CC you can now also add smart adjustments into the mix as long as the item is a smart object so you can then add a black and white adjustment or photo filter adjustment and these will only modify the selected item and as they are smart, they can be changed at any point or deleted if you no longer need them. You can also add layer effects into the mix of the smart object thus creating a very complex little artwork that can be used over and over (the item can be saved as a PSB file or by selecting the convert to smart object the entire set of artworks and smart filters and adjustments etc can be saved to the CC creative cloud libraries for future re-use in all your projects and also the art is then secure / re-usable and more.
If you are using the pixel option you can do much the same as the raster layer can also be turned into a standard smart object and all these effects etc can be added and changed as required and also as a raster layer you can add brush strokes and other patterns etc and effects to the artwork as not all adjustments are available as smart adjustments (HDR toning comes to mind)
If you want to use them as overlays you can add them using opacity less than 100%. This can be done with the layer mode as well as the fill mode. You can add one or multiple artworks with different opacities. As they are vectors, you can them to a small part of an image or perhaps cover the entire image or beyond. You can add them on top of each other to create a more painted effect.
You can use them to create a motion effect by adding them as 100% then 90% then 80% etc. You can also use them as a watermark.
You can also add the Photoshop custom shapes as a layer mask / quick mask and use that to an overlay. The overlay may be a solid color but as the shape option as well as mask can be filled with patterns as well as gradients etc then all kinds of overlays can be added. Overlays can be created using the layer style pattern / gradient overlays if you are using the styles.
You don't have to keep them as purely vectors as they can be used as a source for brushes and patterns and displacement maps and much more. You can also use them to create new vector artworks that can be stored in the CSH panel.
To create a new brush stroke you can use them as layers / paths (selections) / fills etc and you can use them once or multiple times and combine with effects as well as adjustments etc and once you are happy with your artwork, select the rectangular marquee / selection tool and then use the edit menu define brush command. As they are vectors, the brush strokes can be set to any size. The key thing here is that there is only grayscale colors so if you add the layers etc in red that just is reduced to gray. You can repeat this as many times to create as many brushes as you wish and as long as they are defined via the edit menu, they can be used with all the tools such as paint tool and art history etc.
If you wish to use them as a source for patterns the items need to avoid hitting the seams of any selected area or image though if you want to create abstract disjointed patterns or texture this is of no issue. Add the vectors multiple times in different colors to an image. You can build up more complex patterns by using the filter menu offset command to shift the image and then add additional items to the image. Once you are happy with your seamless tile then you can go to the edit menu define pattern command and give it a name and then you can use the tile in edit fills as well as new fill content and also pattern overlays etc
The same tile artwork can also be saved as a Photoshop PSD file and the PSD file can then be used as a source for amazing displacements via the displace filter and via the glass distortion filter and more. You can also use the shapes as a great source for new presets via features such as 3D menu as the layer can be turned into a 3D model and that can then also be saved as a new pattern or brush stroke.
They can be used with channels. If you add them in pixel mode then you can add them in RGB but you can also add them to the separate channels such as red green and blue but if you are using them in CMYK then you can add the pixel vector to the cyan channel and not the magenta etc. You can also then combine them with different effects / filters in different channels. You can do this all via the channel panel. You can also split the RGB image into a red image and green image etc and then apply the vectors and then add effects and then merge the result into a single image again.
You can, as mentioned above, use the pixels / layers etc in other color modes such as RGB and CMYK and LAB and other modes by going to the image menu and adding the layers etc in that mode. Some filters will not be available.
You can also use the tools in different color modes. You can use them in CMYK as well as RGB and LAB etc. Image Modes for Photoshop Shapes Tutorial
They can be used solely in PS and PS Elements but they can be used in others by exporting the items. If you load them as a layer then you can export them as PSD files to keep the layer information and many apps support the layers from PS. You can also export the pixel / fill option by saving the file as a PNG or TIFF or JPG or using the export menu and save to web or the export command.
You can also now (with the CC version) save the vector layers to a SVG format file and that can be then quickly used in web pages / html.
You can save the vector format via other formats such as AI. That can be done via the path option and export and save to Illustrator (the menu structure changed in the most recent version of the app). You can also copy many of the artworks from PS into applications such as Affinity Photo. You can also export them via the clipboard into apps such as Illustrator.
You can the Photoshop custom shapes with the latest versions of PS save the layers into CC libraries by dragging the item from the document into the library. The item will be saved as a shape. The artwork can then also be used in Illustrator as well as other versions of PS that are connected to the CC subscription.
Another good thing about the CC library, the item is saved and secure on the creative cloud and secure server at Adobe.
You can add all the items in the CSH panel to the cloud and that means you won't have to re-load the CSH file. The best way to do this is to create a new library and give it a theme name and then add the items to the document and then copy into the CC library (it is a pity there is no automatic feature to transfer the items). You can also add them to the document as a pixel / fill and the layer can also be saved to the CC library for future use.
Simply copy the layer over to Adobe ® Illustrator and then use the various vector tools in AI to modify the path (as well as add other paths such as symbols to the path) and then copy the artwork back as the same format. You can also use many third party plugins such as VectorScribe from Astute as well as tools from this site (if using the correct version of AI) filter to manipulate the points and paths in 1000s of new ways and those edited vectors can then be defined as a new preset for use throughout PS and PS Elements.
If you are using the latest versions of PS then you can also the artworks in the new "design space" feature. It is still not particular well developed but it is worth checking out the new features and you may find it easier to use than the main space (I assume that is the name for the standard PS).
To use the design space, go to the preferences and the technology preview option and select the design space feature. You can use them there but at present there is no way to add them - they have to be added before you go into the design space. Even features such as the libraries are not available in that new experimental space. I am certain new features will be added to that new space.
They can also be used with the 3D features of PS though this is only possible if your video card allows the use of the 3D menu. You can create 3D extrusions from the layer / path and you can also add the image to the mesh presets such as cube wrap, bottle etc.
The results of any 3D work can also be exported in various formats via the export 3D layer command or the share 3D layer command. You can also use the results of any 3D work to create even more amazing brushes and patterns and displacements. You can extrude the vector artwork as well as add a number of basic effects such as twists.
You can also turn the 3D model into a sketch (which uses the current brush stroke) / cartoon artwork / line effects and more and these can be saved as a normal layer and not just as a 3D layer
If you convert the custom shape into a raster design and use as a layer and define it as a pattern via the edit menu pattern command (and remove the background), you can use the preset then as a great source for amazing patterns using the edit menu fill command and fill and pattern with scripts and use the items with the symmetry feature, random fill etc
The presets can be used as is but they can also be modified by warp and slant and perspective as well as by individual points of the path can be modified and pulled in or out and angled and this can result in a totally different vector graphic. This can be saved via the define command in the edit menu.
The best way to modify the vector graphic is to copy it via the pasteboard into Illustrator and back again. Illustrator is definitely the best tools to modify the paths as you have a whole range of vector tools (such as the curvature tool and pen tool etc) as well as third party plugins such as MirrorMe and VectorScribe and WidthScribe you can manipulate the vector into all kinds of forms.
You can also store the vector paths into the library feature (if you have the latest subscription of the CC with Adobe) as the artwork can then be quickly imported back and forth between Illustrator and PS - the paths can be changed in 1000s of ways and saved as a selection of graphic resources.
The Photoshop shapes can be combined with text. The text needs to be converted to a layer and then additional vectors can be added to the text via the set options to add to the layer or exclude or subtract.
You can, of course, simply add the text as a layer and flatten and then use all the artworks included in the CSH set as a pixel and add them over the top (or below) the type and then combine the type with the CSH and effects. Millions of artworks can be generated using the resources in the CSH files
You can use them to create an edge. One approach is to use multiple copies of the vector paths and align them as a frame (use the alignment tools to create a row and column of the vectors if using as layers).
You can also use transformation tools (rotate) and transform again command to create a circular selection of the paths. You can also duplicate multiple paths and place them randomly but all distributed around an image and this is a great way of create an unusual frame. You can also use the pathfinder / unite / subtract / intersect etc options to create all kinds of vector layer frames and these can be transformed and distorted as well as stored as a new CSH file.
You can also store the edges into the library (creative cloud) for use in future projects.
You can use them with the layer comps feature in PS. The layer comps can be created with one or multiple layers.
The layer comps save the information such as opacity and position and layer effects associated with the layer. You can move the items around and add new shadows etc and then go to the layer comp panel and create a new comp and repeat this a number of times with different positions etc as well as perhaps different vectors added to the mix.
The comps are also of use with animations as you can set up a vast number of snapshots which can then be quickly added to key frames and a video can be generated a lot quicker than by manually using the layer effects dialog / styles (a modal dialog - I wish it was just a standard panel without an OK / cancel)
You can use the presets in video animation in PS. You can add the layers as well as transform them (such as scale and rotate etc), use visual effects etc and apply them across new layers. Go to the animation panel and use the 'create from layers' command to create a basic animated film from a set of presets. Export to GIF or even SWF or a movie format. Personally, the animation features in PS is a little clunky and it is probably better to export the images and use them in Adobe After Effects.
You can add key frames to the layer timeline and these can be visibility and position and layer effects (which means you can vary drop shadows etc over time). You can also combine the layers with smart objects and the smart objects can also include different properties such as transformations.
If you use the 3D features then you can add additional properties to the timeline
The Photoshop custom shapes can be used with the cookie cutter tool in PS Elements 14 - 1
The cookie cutter tool offers a number of features such as feather, skew, scale, rotate etc. The cookie cutter can be used once or multiple times. The resulting layer can be modified by effects, adjustment layers etc. All the Photoshop shapes in CSH format can be used with the CSH tool in PSE as well as the cookie cutter. To use them, they must be added to the presets folder as mentioned earlier in the page
You can use the presets with actions. Just click the record action and add them as you wish. The action stores the name of the preset and not the preset itself so if you want to create with a different preset you will have to change the name to match the item in the action.
There are 1000s of actions available for PS on the web. You can make the action include a number of different vector paths / layers etc as well as blending modes and much more.
If you want to find out more information about the vectors on this site, please check out the Adobe website - this is definitely the best place to check out the latest version as well as any trial versions etc. You can also find out more information about how to edit the custom shapes via the main Adobe site. You can also find a lot of information about the vectors via the magazine, Photoshop user . If you are a Photoshop elements user then another similar magazine to check out for information about the shapes is Photoshop Elements user