Deke’s Techniques: Turning Illustrator paths into Photoshop shapes

Published by | Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

In last week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke showed you how to create a shiny star-spangled superhero shield from scratch in Adobe Illustrator. This week, Deke will show you a different approach to the project that brings your illustrator paths into Photoshop as shape layers, and uses Photoshop to give your shield a more realistic, beveled-edge effect.

Whether you’re defending the world against evil, or just trying to create stellar graphics, it’s always important to employ the right tool for the job. So the first trick to this project is to grab the vector-based shapes from last week’s Illustrator project and bring them into Photoshop on separate shape layers.

Creating the shapes in Illustrator then importing them into Photoshop allows you to exploit Illustrator’s shape-creating strengths, and then enhance your perfectly aligned star and circles with Photoshop’s layer effects. Once you have the shapes set up properly in Photoshop, a careful application of some Bevel and Emboss effects create a sense of depth and the illusion that your shield is built up from individual discs of evil-resistant metal.

Dimensional superhero shield created in Photoshop with Bevel and Emboss effects.

For members of, Deke’s also has another member-exclusive movie this week called  Creating a photorealistic superhero shield in which he shows you how to continue this Photoshop portion of the shield project using Smart Filters and adjustment layers to take the dimension and realism of your shield to a more photorealistic level:

Realistic superhero shield with dimension and light reflection created in Photoshop.

Stay tuned as Deke will be back next week with something special: An onslaught of tutorials and a chance for you to share what you’ve gleaned from 138 episodes of Deke’s Techniques.


Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on
• Courses by Deke McClelland on
• All Photoshop courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Photoshop CS6: New Features
 Illustrator CS6: One-on-One: Fundamentals

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