Articles, Blog

Photoshop Quick Tip: The Curvature Pen Tool (CC 2018 and later)

November 4, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Starting in Photoshop CC 2018, Adobe introduced
the Curvature Pen Tool, which allows us to draw shapes simply by clicking controls points
on paths in the shape of the curve, rather than the click-and-drag motion of the traditional pen tool. I provided this image that you can download,
since it contains multiple shapes made with a variety of curves and sharp corners. Its link is in my video’s description of project files. Open the Curvature Pen Tool and choose “Path”. Click the gear icon. You can choose how thick you’d like the work
paths to be, as well as the color. A thicker size may help you to visualize the shape better. The Rubber Band option lets you previsualize
a path based on your cursor’s movement. I’ll show you that in a minute. Click once on the canvas and move the tool
to another area. Click again to draw your first line. Go to another area and click again. As you can see, the path intuitively arced the path. To delete a point, click it to make it active. You know it’s active when the point becomes solid. Then, just press the “Delete” key. To create more points, click on the paths and drag the points – no need to change tools for this. To switch between curves and corners, just
double-click a point to switch smooth points and corner points. A quick tip: Shift-click to constrain your
path to 90° and 45° angles. To delete a path, press the Delete key a couple of times. Let’s check out the “Rubber Band” feature. As soon as you start drawing your paths, it
previsualizes it to allow you to adjust it before committing to it. Before we recreate the fish shapes, I’ll
uncheck rubber band to keep my paths as simple as possible. Click on a corner to make the first point. When you’re at a corner, double-click that
point to draw the next path as a straight line. Continue to draw paths using the steps we
just went over. Next, we’ll add the shape for eye, but since
it’s inside another shape, click the shape interaction icon and click “Exclude Overlapping
Shapes”. Zoom into the eye by pressing “z” on your
keyboard and dragging your Zoom Tool over the eye. Press “p” on your keyboard to open back the
Curvature pen Tool. Click on the perimeter of the left, middle
of the circle to create a start point and click on the top, middle of its perimeter. Click on the right, middle to create a circular arc. Click the bottom, middle and close the path
by clicking back on the left middle point. To fit your document back onto your canvas,
press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. To change your paths into shapes, click the
“Shape” button at the top. To change its color, double-click the shape layer, which opens the Color Picker and pick a color you like. To hide the work paths, press Ctrl or Cmd
+ H or open your Paths panel and click anywhere on an empty area below the paths. Open back your Layers panel. We’ll make a new layer below our shape by
Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking the New layer icon. Press Shift + F5 key at the top of your keyboard
to open the “Fill” window. To keep it simple, let’s fill it with white. To reposition your entire shape, make your shape active and open your “Path Selection Tool”. Drag over the entire shape to select it all. Go to anywhere on the path and drag it. To modify your shapes, open the “Direct Selection Tool”. Click anywhere on your path and drag it. I’ll undo it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + z. You can modify multiple paths by Shift-clicking
on another point to make both points active and then dragging either point. You can modify the shape of a curve, by dragging
a path handle. I’ll hide the paths by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + H. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply Bassman Riyadh March 13, 2019 at 8:03 pm


  • Reply Jack Kraken March 13, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    This seems more intuitive than the standard pen tool. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Ramiro Rodriguez G. March 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm


  • Reply Bassman Riyadh March 13, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    too useful tool, thanks

  • Reply Anarchix le gaulΓΈis March 13, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    It's a good kind of video, do more tools tips please.

  • Reply Steven Brener March 13, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    So useful…thank you!

  • Reply Hamza Meliha Tv March 13, 2019 at 8:39 pm


  • Reply Keith Dennis March 13, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for this clear and concise explaination! While I've seen dozens of tutorials about the pen tool, I've generally been disappointed with my attempts to master it, resorting, instead to grabbing the polygonal lasso tool; zooming in, and then just slowly add new points along the rasterized shape I was following. I know this seems very dumb and tedious, but I'd get so annoyed trying to understand how to properly use the pen tool that it seemed the polygonal lasso tool was faster than the wasted time I spent trying to correct what I was doing with the pen tool. Sad me. Anyway, I've not been using Photoshop regularly for the last number of years, so I guess I never even realized that that added this new feature. Again, I appreciated this tutorial. 'Wondering if this same pen tool is available in Adobe Illustrator?

  • Reply XJAND March 13, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Muchas gracias maestro!!!

  • Reply Raevyn76 March 13, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    I've learned so many shortcuts and tips and tricks with photoshop from you! Love this quick, but informative video! Thanks Marty!

  • Reply Coffee 4 March 13, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Well at least something good happened today than my new phone getting stolen

  • Reply sherif salah March 13, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Very nice 😍

  • Reply Bouncin Goat March 13, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Please do more video like this

  • Reply Redha Nessah March 14, 2019 at 12:10 am

    Thanks bro for your job
    Great πŸ‘πŸ»

  • Reply badftj March 14, 2019 at 12:39 am


  • Reply MARTIAN me March 14, 2019 at 12:50 am

    Can I still download a copy of the latest CC and where??

  • Reply Jaime E. Campuzano T. March 14, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Thank you

  • Reply Eric March 14, 2019 at 1:24 am


  • Reply Sukha Sri Venkatesh Babu March 14, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Very nice tks for posting

  • Reply Vandan M Patel March 14, 2019 at 3:42 am

    Very useful video… Thank u sir…

  • Reply Sterling Williams March 14, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Wow SO much easier to do now! Thank$ MARTY!!

  • Reply oobqoo design March 14, 2019 at 6:28 am


  • Reply Peter J. March 14, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Thanks Marty very nice, your are my perfect teacher for the Photoshop techniques

  • Reply komla Affo March 14, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    very nice! Thanks

  • Reply TheBlack Pap March 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Super great one! Thanks a lot, sir.

  • Reply Jim Isaac March 14, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    What a great video and tool. this new feature will get me using the Pen tool more often. Thanks for posting

  • Reply A MODUR MILON TV March 14, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Very useful video Thank

  • Reply Susi Schulze March 14, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Wow thats great. Thank you very much ^^

  • Reply QBox March 15, 2019 at 5:17 am

    I can't not wait to do this, thanks.

  • Reply King of Fire March 15, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Thanks so much for sharing Sir … Glad to find it nice and easier.. LIKE!

  • Reply Just Dude March 15, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Dear marty,

    I always enjoy your tutorials πŸ˜€ and I am a big fan. πŸ˜€
    I would like to ask you to make a tutorial on how to make the David tennant time vortex from doctor who.
    I just enjoy it so much and would like it if you made a tutorial for it.
    If you don't I am still thankful for all you video's πŸ˜€

    Cheers Marco

  • Reply peel my banana March 16, 2019 at 12:24 am

    Since i started subbing you , i watch to your videos almost everyday to make my ps editing improve and now i learned allot from you .

    Thanks for the help πŸ€—

  • Reply Sachin Tompe March 16, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Hello Marty βœ‹

  • Reply Mo El Agouz March 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    PLZ URGENT, could u please make a tutorial for the attached image how to soften and unify the color tone.

  • Reply Rudy2053 March 17, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    What a wonderful tutorial Sir….you are the greatest.

  • Reply SALL SOHUN March 17, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    thank you for sharing.πŸ™πŸ™

  • Reply Susan Pratt March 19, 2019 at 6:50 am

    This is a helpful video on the curvature tool, and the paths and converting to shapes.

  • Reply Saitou Mikhail March 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply Michael Katz March 24, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Great video I struggle mightily with the pen tool. I’d love to see a side by side comparison of the pen and curvature pen tools

  • Reply Laulal Hawa March 28, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    How to convert PSD to illustrator..
    Raster to Vector..thanks..

  • Reply Manny D March 29, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Thanks for the great explanation of this pen tool. Not a fan of the traditional pen tool but I like how easy this one is use. πŸ‘πŸΌ

  • Reply MONIR HOSSAIN April 25, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    plz make tutorial for illustrator

  • Reply Drew Conroy May 6, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Marty: Great explanation! Your attention to the details is much appreciated since many of the other tutorials tend to leave them out:)

  • Reply T C August 11, 2019 at 3:57 pm


  • Reply Jan Torleif Seneca September 1, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Problem: The path option is greyed out. Dont have acess

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