I'm sure this is very easy if you know how, but I can't work out how to do it! I want to use one of the 'custom shape tools' to cut out a bit of a photograph. I want to position the star shape over part of the photo, and retain the bit inside the star only.
I have a book entitled Photoshop 6 made Simple - not simple enough for me obviously.
The easiest way to do what you are asking is to take the airbrush tool and draw the shape you require on the selected part of the image then,using the eraser tool, erase everything outside the shape. When you've done that just save as. Before you do anything you should right click on the title bar of the original image and create a duplicate and work on that - this preserves your original just in case you mess up.
When you say 'custom shape tool' do you mean the pen tool or the lasso - I've never actually used a 'custom shape tool'before so I've gone into Photoshop to try it and the only way I could achieve what you require was by using layers and masks. I'm sure there must be someone on this forum who has used this tool who will be able to point you in the right direction.
Go to the adobe website where the tutorials are fantastic and many other useful ideas are supplied by other Photoshoppers. You can do what you are trying to do but the Adobe site is the best place for a detailled answer.
Thanks for that bit of knowledge - it's gone in the notebook. The problem is that carafaraday wishes to use the star and it's a solid fill so it masks eveything, that's why I had to use layers to make it work with the star. Is there a way of doing it so that the body of the star is transparent?
I see what you mean. PSP actually draws the shapes transparent, as will using the freehand lasso tool, and this will keep the layer fully raster. I can't really say any more for the moment. If I get time I will "play" with Photoshop tonight, and post back.