Being only familiar with how to use the mere basic functions of Photoshop, I heard very little about the pen tool. However, whenever I did hear about the tool, nine times out of ten was usually about how frustrating it is. By completing this Empowered User badge, I now see that those complaining people are correct. The pen tool is very frustrating! Like Felice, Hubbert, and Patterson stressed in their tutorials, this tool takes practice. This Photoshop tool is not just something you can master in a few hours, but a practice you need to give a considerable amount of time.
However, despite my frustrations with the pen tool, this badge help me see the value of the skill. Although my silhouette and magazine cover are a bit rough around the edges, I could see the potential of creating exact replicas of images even as a beginner. I found myself getting absorbed in deciding which anchor points to put where and trying to practice with different images. The pen tool is definitely a important and one should continue to utilize as much as possible.
For the human silhouette in motion, I used an image of Bojana Todorovic, a UCLA volleyball player, just about to hit the ball. Having played the sport for many years, I know volleyball is a sport where the players are constantly in motion. I chose a jumping play to further emphasize the athleticism of the sport. While creating my silhouette, I encountered a couple of problems. Even though Patterson’s silhouette tutorial helped a lot, I had trouble creating a single shape. For some reason, my pen tool kept wanting to create another shape instead of adding another anchor point. Thankfully, I found that clicking on a smaller distance between anchor points helps.
When it came to finding a good photograph of myself, I was amazed of how much better my pen skills had become. However, I had some trouble using the pen tool on some of the elements on the magazine. For example, I tried using the pen tool on the letters of Seventeen,but it was difficult to get a clean trace because the title was in front of the original cover girl, Rihanna’s hair. However, I think the end result looks pretty decent, especially since I am new to the pen tool.
The pen tool is a valuable skill to have in your Photoshop arsenal. Although I still need more practice, I am glad I now have to foundation to continue to learn how to use the tool to its fullest potential.