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How to Use Path Modification Tools in DesignScape
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 16 May 2022
  • 11 Mins
  • Intermediate
  • DesignScape

How to Use Path Modification Tools in DesignScape

In this step by step tutorial learn how to use the path modification tools in DesignScape.

Being able to modify path shapes in DesignScape is an essential tool in designing. So far we have already discussed using the Pen Tool as well as the Pen Tool selections in DesignScape. In this tutorial we will show you how those tools work with path modifications.

DesignScape is a great browser based editing program available to Plus Members. Want to give DesignScape a try but not a member yet? Then sign up today for a free 30 day trial of the Gold Plus Membership!

Step 1 - Path Modifications Explained

We are going to be using the Shapes Tool to create some basic shapes. You can also use the Pen Tool to create your shapes. The modifications below extend to both the Shapes Tool and Pen Tool.

By default, each new shape is placed on its own layer. In order for us to modify shapes, we need to place them on the same layer. Don’t worry, we are going to show you exactly what to do.

Add An Ellipse

After starting a new project in DesignScape, go to the left side panel. Now, click on the Shapes Tool menu. Choose a shape, like the Ellipse, then draw it out on the document.

You can adjust the size of the shape as you want.

While using the Shapes Tool, you will see a toolbar appear on the top. The one setting will say New Layer. When this is selected, any shape added will be placed on a new layer.Add shapes in DesignScape

Use the Unite Tool

We are going to start from the top and work our way down the modification tools. Click on the drop down settings that reads New Layer. Now select Unite.

Draw out another shape but don’t let it overlap the ellipse just yet. If you look under the Layers Panel, you will see that both shapes are on the same layer.Use Unite tool in DesignScape

You can add more shapes to the same layer as long as Unite is still selected. You can change the fill color, however this will affect all of the shapes on the layer.Add more shapes to document

To move the shape around you need to use one of two options. While the Shapes Tool is selected, hold Ctrl/Command then click + drag the shape.

The second option is to use the Path Select tool on the left side panel. If you use the Move Tool, you will instead be moving all the shapes as one object.

Now click + drag the smaller ellipse and rectangle so they overlap the larger ellipse.

Move shapes with Path Select

While it may look like nothing has happened, the shapes have been united into one. The really great thing about this feature is that it’s non-destructive.

You can click on another layer then click back and edit further with the Path Select and Direct Select Tools. In the image below we edited and shifted the shapes around. We also added a Stroke to see how the shapes have been joined.Add stroke to united shapes

Edit with the Subtract Tool

As the name implies, this tool subtracts one shape from another. In the example below, we first created a rectangle. Then we selected Subtract from the options and drew out a custom shape.

The custom shape was removed from the rectangle leaving an outline as a result.Subtract a custom shape in DesignScape

As with the Unite tool, you can also move the shapes around. Now, if you have applied a Stroke to the shapes, you will get a different result. Below is an example of how a stroke can change the look of a design.Subtract shapes with and without stroke

Intersect the Shapes

With the Intersect tool only the overlapped or intersecting area is kept. We show how this works in the image below. Where two shapes overlap, that area is kept and everything else removed.Intersect option in DesignScape

You can still see the outline of the custom shape while the layer is selected. Once you click away, only the “Play” symbol will remain.Intersect result of two shapes

Exclude Tool

With the Exclude tool, any areas that overlap are removed.Exclude tool in DesignScape

You can see the difference with and without a stroke.Stroke removed from shapes in DesignScape

Step 2 - Use Merge with Path Select Option

There is one more modification option to discuss. The Merge Tool is found under the Path Select settings. On the left side toolbar, click on Path Select.

At the top toolbar you will see the same modification settings but with one extra option. You will also see a path number. The number indicates how many paths/shapes are present in the design.

Merge will do exactly as the name says, merge all objects together. Now, while you will still be able to edit the nodes, you won’t be able to edit the shapes. This option would be considered destructive.

After we clicked Merge, the path number went from five to one. It indicates that the initial five paths have now become one.Use Merge in DesignScape

With Path Select, you can cycle through the modifications. Unlike Merge, the other modifications can still be edited once applied.

How they work will depend on how they were initially applied.

An example would be using Subtract and Unite when adding shapes. If you choose one of the modifications under Path Select, the result will change.

Path Select modifications in DesignScape

Today you learned the basics of path modifications. Combined with the Pen Tool and Shapes Tool, you can literally design from the ground up. We hope that this tutorial has inspired you to learn more about the possibilities in DesignScape.


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