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I am using a pre-made vector shape (below), and I would like to fill all of the triangular paths it contains with a certain colour. I am not sure how to do this. Any advice would be much appreciated.

enter image description here

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just put a solid color object behind the black compound shape. But before you bother with that ...

Please redraw that poor envelope so the pixels aren't such a mess!
Here's one I did recently to solve the same problem. All vector. We needed a specific size and scaling down a pixel icon is rarely successful (even if it starts as vectors).

enter image description here

enter image description here

Once you drop below a 60px square, things get tricky. A little pixel alignment goes a long way. Rather than just scaling a vector shape and saving for web, you have to work very carefully.

  1. Draw your shape so that it hits the pixel grid correctly

  2. Do it the old fashioned way with squares and rectangles blocked out like pixels

  3. A little bit of points 1 and 2

The envelope example I included is something that is most often done in Photoshop: I worked entirely with squares and rectangles, like painting with pixels. No simple rounded rectangle would give me what I wanted for the outer shape and diagonals are even more bothersome at this size. Since all my other assets (including the color palette) were in Illustrator, I just did it there.

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Hi, thank you for this answer. What do you mean exactly by that last sentence? How do I align the pixels once I've drawn the shape using paths? – zakgottlieb Jan 28 '13 at 12:46
@Zak833 I added a more complete explanation to my answer. – plainclothes Jan 28 '13 at 18:03
Thanks, this was even more helpful. Last lingering question: what do you mean by "rectangles blocked out like pixels"? I understand painting with e.g. a 1 or 2px brush, but not sure what I would use the rectangle tool for in this context... Sorry if this question is obtuse. – zakgottlieb Jan 30 '13 at 15:46
In my context, I was working purely with vectors. Every 'pixel' was actually a shape in Illustrator. I actually like Illustrator's ability to draw one shape then use a transform effect to position duplicates -- easy to update colors and dimensions that way. But the same principles apply in Photoshop. – plainclothes Jan 30 '13 at 17:57

Option 1: select vector shape, in layers panel choose "add adjustment layer", choose solid color/gradient/etc.

Option 2: Create a new layer and fill with whatever you want the vector shape to be filled with. Select the vector shape, click "add layer mask".

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Hi Mop, thank you for this. Couple of quick follow-on questions... Option 1: I think you meant "add fill layer," right? In any case, as you see the envelope shape is filled with multiple smaller paths, all enclosed in a large one. I'm not sure if this is why, but doing this option just made the entire screen the selected colour, not the vector shape. I then tried selecting paths individually within the shape to fill one at a time, but couldn't do this? Option 2: Then I tried this, but again, the whole screen was filled with the colour. How do I isolate just the shape to b filled? Thank you. – zakgottlieb Jan 30 '13 at 16:16
You have to add the path as a mask. If you have multiple paths, go into the paths pane and copy, paste them all into one entry. Then select that entry, go back to layers and click the mask button. Also your paths have to be closed (completed, contained units), or the path will fill the screen because of broken edges. That is a frequent goof, when you think you clicked back on the start point but actually clicked a microscopic bit outside of it. – mopsyd Jan 30 '13 at 22:18
The adjustment layer button is at the panel at the bottom of layers. The icon is the circle that is half white and half black. Solid color will be the top option, followed by gradient, etc. You can do this same thing with any sort of adjustment. I like to do it with fancy desaturation and levels/curves for neat color isolation effects, but it does a pretty good job of simulating vector style shapes too. The mask button is right next to the ajustment layer button (The square with the circle punched out of the middle). – mopsyd Jan 30 '13 at 22:20
Also, you can apply both a vector and a bitmapped mask to the same layer. – mopsyd Jan 30 '13 at 22:20

First, choose the Foreground color you want to use. Then select your vector paths with Path Selection Tool and go to Paths tab (next to Layers and Channels tabs on the right side). Right click on the "Work Path" and choose the "Fill Path.." That should solve your problem IMHO

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Can you show a/some screenshot(s) to show how it works? – Kurt Oct 24 at 19:17

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