Updated: August 30th, 2015
graphicxtras.com > Shapes by Andrew Buckle
BEST Photoshop shapes for CC 2015 CS6 CS5 CS4 Elements inc. cookie cutters arrows, cats, embellish ... 1,000s of Photoshop custom shapes for CC 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 CS4 etc and standalone Adobe PS 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 and PS Elements 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 etc, royalty free all for commercial use, CSH PC and MAC OS X. All are by graphicxtras.com / Andrew Buckle and can be used with no credits, no time limits. Great for PSE cookie cutters as well. Some sets also include PDFs for use in many other apps such as Illustrator and PSP and GIMP
What do you get when you buy our Photoshop shapes sets ?
Great vector artwork for all your projects at a great price. The set includes a selection of vector shapes for use in PS and PS Elements + 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 etc files.
You can use the Photoshop shapes in commercial use as well as personal use. You can use the items to create items that can be sold. You can use them to create logos, backgrounds, textures, textiles, hats, posters, mugs, fabrics, shirts, fashions, leaflets, web pages, adverts, packaging, videos, web sites and 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. You can also check out our license details at the bottom of the page.
CSH format and Photoshop shapes
The first thing to know is that they are in standard CSH format (unless stated otherwise as some of the sets include the vectors in PDF and some of the sets also include EPS files as well as the CSH files). They are great for use on the PC and MAC as well as most versions of your favourite Adobe app. One thing with the CSH format, it is only really supported in PS and PS Elements but if you have that tool then it is all fine and also you can take any of the resources in the app and quickly convert to EPS or PNG so you can use them in many other apps.
How to load them ?? They can be loaded in a number of ways. In some versions you can load them via the file open (PC) 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 palette 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 palette - 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 palette. 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. So once they are loaded into the app, you can access all the vector artwork via the preset palette. You can add, of course, 1000s of vector artworks to the palette 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 photoshop shapes 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 PS 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.
Browsing the Photoshop shapes
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 palette 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 ABR 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 palette 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.
Different tool options
OK, once you have the items installed in your presets palette 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. They all 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 palette. First add the layer and you can add the layer using a number of options such as unconstained (can be set to any size and this is the default) as well as square, fixed size, proportional and a checkbox 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 also other options such as that the item can be combined with other created items on the same layer, can be subtracted from existing items and so on. You can also do much the same from the layer menu and the combine command 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 layer option 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. You can also align the artworks as well as distribute them 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 palette. 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. 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. 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 palette 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. 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.
As a smart object
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 (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. 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 that can also be used as smart filters. 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 Photoshop shape 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 them to 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.
As brushes etc
You don't have to keep them as purely Photoshop shapes 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 palette. 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 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.
Use with channels
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 palette. 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. This can also be the same for the image mode and bits per channel such as using the vectors in 32 bits / channel. The results of working in 32bit mode should be far superior than working in 8bit. The only issue with the 32bit mode is that to re-work in 8bit mode is that you have to use the HDR toning dialog.
Export them to other apps
The Photoshop custom shapes 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 creative cloud CC 2015 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 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 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.
If you are using the latest versions of PS then you can also the artworks in the new "design space" feature. To see 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
Use with scripts
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.
Type / text combination
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 pathfinder options to add to the layer or exclude or subtract.
Create an edge
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 saves 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 palette 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 keyframes 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 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 images and use them in Adobe After Effects. You can add keyframes to the layer timelines 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.
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. 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.