How Do You Make a Transparent Background in Photoshop with Pen Tool?

What is Transparency in Photoshop?

Transparent means See Through like a Glass.

In Photoshop if you see below pattern that means that Layer has nothing on it. That is, it is an Empty Layer.   

Transparent_Checker Board Pattern-background-Photoshop
Transparent Checker Board Pattern Background in Photoshop

Images with Transparent Backgrounds will have a background like this in Photoshop but when you open that in Windows Explorer you will see nothing behind the image. This is Photoshop’s way of displaying Transparency. 

How to Remove Background of a Photo?

There are many ways and tools available to Cut Out Backgrounds in Photoshop. But the most precise and accurate one is Pen Tool when it comes to Removing Background where there is no or very little contrast between the Subject and Background. All other techniques like Color Range, Channel Masking, Refine Edge, Magic Wand, Eraser Tool etc. works well when there is Contrast available between foreground and background. 

Pen Tool is found in various Adobe applications and other design soft wares like Corel Draw, Illustrator, In-design etc. The working of Pen Tool is very much the same in other applications. 

In this Free Photoshop Tutorial, Aaron Nace from Phlearn will teach you the fundamentals of it and how to use it to make elegant curves, perfect angles, and accurate selections. Whether you need to cut a subject out of a photo or create a precision shape or design, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Curves and Angles in Photoshop

Any path you create using the Pen Tool will either be a straight line, a simple curve, a complex curve, or an angle. Knowing how to identify and create each will be key to understanding the process of making precision paths.

Simple Curve created with Pen Tool in Photoshop

Simple Curve

Complex Curve created with Pen Tool Photoshop
Complex Curve
Complex Angle created with Pen Tool Photoshop

Pen Tool Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop

There’s no shortcut to learning and practicing the Pen Tool. Except these.

These keyboard shortcuts will help you whenever you need to adjust a curve or alter the direction of the your path.

To change a point into a curve or vice versa, use ALT or OPTN.

To move a point or a curve and change direction, use CTRL or CMD.

The Nuts and Bolts (or Points and Curves)

The basics of the Pen Tool are pretty easy to grasp. Click to create a point then click again to create the next. Photoshop will connect the two points with a straight line, which you can then adjust to become any sort of simple or complex curve. Click to create a new point and the process continues until you’ve completed your path.

Once you’re finished with the outline, you can convert the Path into a Selection. Simply open the Paths dialog, hold CTRL or CMD, then click on the thumbnail of the path you wish to load. This will create a selection in the shape of the path you created, which you can then use as you would any other selection in Photoshop.

These tips will help but the key to mastering the Pen Tool is practice and patience! Once you’ve completed this tutorial, try it again using more complex shapes. Developing a thorough understanding of how to use this tool will help you work smarter and faster in Photoshop, no matter the job.

Visit Phlearn for 600 Free Photoshop Tutorials
Visit Phlearn for 600 Free Photoshop Tutorials

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