Create complex shapes with shape layers using path operations.

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Download a sample file to practice with. This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: How to create custom shapes with the Pen tool, then add complexity using the Merge Paths command and Repeaters

Create a custom shape with the Pen tool

  1. Make sure no layers are selected in the timeline and choose the Pen tool from the Toolbar.
  2. Adjust the Fill and Stroke options to set the fill and stroke colors and styles.
  3. Click in the Composition panel to add points that define the shape, and drag to round the shape of the path through the points you created.
  4. Click back on the first path point to close the path and create a custom shape.
  5. Use the handles and drag points to customize the appearance of the shape.

Add complexity to a shape using the Merge Paths command

  1. Select the shape layer in the timeline and press UU to open any previously customized parameters.
  2. Select the name of the shape to duplicate in the timeline and press Command+D (MacOS) or Control+D (Windows) to duplicate the shape.
  3. Adjust the shape transform controls of the duplicate shape so that it is no longer the same as the original shape.
  4. Select Contents on the shape layer, then choose the Merge Paths command from the Add button in the timeline.
  5. In the Merge Paths command, change the Mode dropdown menu to specify how the overlapping paths will operate with each other.

Add more complexity to a shape with a Repeater

  1. Select Contents from the shape layer and choose Repeater from the Add button in the timeline.
  2. Adjust the Repeater transform options to customize the appearance of the duplicate shapes created by the Repeater. 
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