Updated: August 29th, 2014
1000s of Photoshop custom shapes for CC 2014 CS3 CS5 CS2 CS6 CS1 CS4 Elements 12 11 10 etc, royalty free all for commercial use, CSH format designs PC and MAC OS X. All by graphicxtras.com / Andrew Buckle
Photoshop custom shapes for 32 bit / 64 bit versions
You can use the Photoshop custom shapes in 32bit and 64bit. They work just as well. If you use the 32bit version (of CS5 CS6 CC) you will have to place the presets in the x86 folder of the program files on the PC. You can use the load / replace as well as file open command and access the presets from a central folder
Use as a layer
The Photoshop custom shapes can be used as a layer and layers can have a layer effect applied such as metallic or blue gel creating stunning metal / gel / wood / plastic designs and more. layers can also be transformed, distorted, slanted, scaled, rotated and much more. The transform path menu and warp can be used to warp the preset into an arc / twirled form and more. Modify the applied effect via the layer effects menu
If you have a lot of CSH Photoshop custom shapes files then it becomes tricky to find a particular vector design. You can load many different designs into a single palette but there is a useful tool from Tumasoft called the Presetviewer breeze. It allows you to quickly search through 1000s of designs as well as export them to PNG format. You can also browse for ABR and PAT etc files. You can use the tool on the PC and MAC.
Use as paths
You can create the designs in three different modes, layers and paths and fills. The one trouble with the path option is that there is no fill so all you can see is a very thin line and if this is applied against a messy background it is often hard to see the path. The path can be converted into a selection via the paths palette. The selection can then be transformed, filled, used as a selection for effects. So even if they initially appear to be the least useful, they can be used to create many different designs. You can also export the paths into Illustrator for further modifications.
CC 2014 & CS 6 5 4 3 2 1 & Elements 12 - 1
Use for ??
Video and more
Fills and presets
The presets can be applied as a layer but you can also apply the design as a fill pixel (it is the third option on the option bar of PS). The CSH tool is found beneath the rectangle tool, ellipse tool, line tool etc. Once you have selected the tool, the available CSH presets for the fill are made available via the dropdown on the option bar (to load new presets, use the load / replace functionality). To apply the design as a basic fill, just set the color for the fill via the foreground color and then apply the design to the document (that depends on you). They can be applied once or multiple times and can fill the entire document or just a small part of the document. You can also use them as a source for a brush (edit menu define brush) and then apply the design as a fill via the brush stroke - again, up to you. The fill is applied with the current opacity and mode setting (you can set the mode to normal, difference, multiply, darken and other modes). You can then combine multiple fills by using the blend modes or opacity. You can also create a new layer and apply as a fill on that layer, this does have an advantage of allowing the transparency to be used with layer effects and drop shadows and bevels (otherwise the normal fill is just a flat design). The fill design can also be further modified, either applied on the background or on a layer, via effects which can be applied to the fill to create blurred versions of the design or stained glass fill effects etc. The fills can also be constrained by the selection tool / marquee tool or other selection tools found via the select menu. If you try and apply the fill outside of the selection, nothing will be applied - only the part inside the selection will be filled. You can also use the fill design to create masks which can then be used to create complex and exciting selections.
Used as overlays
They can be applied to an image with 100% opacity, you can use the preset as an overlay with say 50% opacity. This also means the presets can be used as a watermark over an image
1) Select tool in PS
2) Select fill pixel option (top bar of PS)
3) Set opacity setting to 50%
4) Apply current selected design
5) Re-apply (great for creating a blurry design or smudged look)
Use with scripting
You can quickly create scripts using the powerful listener plugin (add to the plugins path) The scripts can modified and used to create all kinds of amazing designs using the vector designs.
Modify the designs
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 design. This can be saved via the define command in the edit menu. The best way to modify the vector design is to copy it via the pasteboard into Illustrator and back again
Use with text
They 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 pathfinder options to add to the layer or exclude or subtract.
They can can be blurred, stain glass filter applied, distorted, lens flare, oil paint, camera raw filter etc; either as a layer or as a selection (path) and as a fill. The layer needs to be rasterized before it can be blurred (sharpened isn't perhaps as useful for a vector) or a better solution now is to use the presets as a smart object (convert via the layer menu) and use with the filters as smart filters. Smart filters order can be moved up and down, the settings can be changed, the smart filters can also be duplicated as well as removed or disabled.
Use to create edges
Use them to create a edges / masks. Use the design combined with pathfinder and subtract or add to the preset to create an edge.
Use in animations
You can use the presets in animation in PS. Add designs, transform, apply effects etc and apply them across new layers. Go to the animation palette 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 designs and use them in Adobe After Effects
Cookie cutter tool / scrapbooking
They can be used with the cookie cutter tool in PS Elements. 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
Use with actions
You can use the presets with actions. Just click the record action and apply the designs as you wish. The action stores the name of the preset and not the preset itself so if you want to create a design with a different preset, just change the name of the design and then re-apply the action.
1) from Iryne Cummins (of Pixlwrks Studio): "I LOVE YOUR STUFF!!! I have the craziest uses for all of this -- I'm a jewelry Designer, and using the layers and strokes to design jewelry has been phenomenal! I going to write to PS User and tell everyone to your stuff "
2) from Ann Brown (annbrownphotography.com) "Thank you for having enough time on your hands to sit and create all these lovelies, Andrew. There are zillions of them and they are very affordable. I'm sure I will find many uses for them"
3) From Carol Goodell Bingham Farms, Michigan, USA Member: MacGroup Detroit/NAPP: "From my perspective, using tools from Abneil Software Ltd/tools, leads me to places and designs I would never have arrived at without them. The path itself is exciting and allows my artist's soul to play freely and happily."