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Curved Lines in Photoshop

This article is based on an idea passed on to me from Ohmbray, a member of VYS after I had seen how well his skins had displayed fine curved lines, such as sail seams.   It's an easy technique and I'm grateful for his permission to explain it here.   It is a great help when trying to create transparent sails but still with a sense of 3-D shape.   I find drawing curved lines in Photoshop difficult and keeping them to 1 pixel width is nearly impossible.   In essence the idea is that you create a BMP file of the sail shape using your template in Photoshop.   Then you open it in Windows Paint and create the lines you want and save it.   Then you re-open it with Photoshop, select the lines only and paste them as a new layer in your template.


h This picture shows the finished lines on the Sails2.psd for the template of 'White Rabbit V' and this article is to explain how they were drawn.
i Create a layer with the shapes of the sail in a single medium-light shade of colour and select one of the shapes.   Click Edit, Copy.
a Make a New File and use Edit, Paste to put the selected sail shape into the new file.
d Rotate the Image 90 degrees CCW, so that the long side is horizontal.   Make sure the Image is small enough that you will be able to see the whole of it in your monitor at 100% zoom.  In my case for my setup, it is 1024 pixels long.   Flatten the layers and Save as a BMP file on your PC.
b Launch Windows Paint (Start, All Programs, Accessories) and open the BMP file you have just created.   Select a contrasting colour for the lines and click on the icon for drawing curved lines.   Click on the start point of the line & drag the pointer to the finishing point. 
f Then click near the line where you want the curve to be centred & drag the line into the shape you want.  You'll want to practice this a bit & use the undo function till you are happy.   Once the line is the shape you want, click on the straight line icon to 'lock' your curve.
j Repeat the process for the next line.  Continue until you are happy you have all the lines in place.   Then Save the file.
k Now open the saved file in Photoshop...
c ...and rotate it back 90 CW
e Zoom in & use the magic wand to select just your lines.   Now you can see why the colour of the lines had to contrast.   Click Edit, Copy.
g Open your Sails2.psd template file and use Edit, Paste to create a new layer with your lines.
l Use the Move tool to put the lines on the sail shape in the correct place.   It's done, except for copying onto the second sail shape & changing the colour.   Time for a drink ...