I'm basically trying to create an outline of a house made up of three electrical wires. After hours of searching and trying I'm looking for an easier way to get the outline position right, due to the shape I can't seem to take the path to where I want it on the next lines...

The initial design is below with some of the attempts I've made. If anybody can provide any advice it'd much appreciated. The last image is the type of effect I want the wires to have, I just can't seem to shape them the way I like.

SketchTry Effect

  • 3
    This project would be better suited using Illustrator.
    – Welz
    Dec 2, 2018 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


This needs quite complex tinkering in Photoshop. Vector graphics software fits much better, at least drawing the needed curves is easier for ex. in Illustrator. The shading for 3D look could be done in Photoshop as you have tried.

An attempt:

enter image description here

  1. A house profile is sketched by drawing a rectangle and triangle, then aligned

  2. The parts are united with the pathfinder panel

  3. Object > Path > Offset path has been applied two times

  4. The scissors tool has been used to split the paths because different parts need different treatments. The recoloring has been made only to show the splits

5 - 6. The unnecessary parts are deleted. A couple of orange lines are for guidance.

  1. The ends are trimmed. Horizontal ends are stretched with the direct selection tool (+ Shift), the upper ends are scaled one by one with the normal selection tool, holding shift retains the direction.

8.-9. Green and blue lines are joined, black lines have got effect stylize > round corners, final stroke width was selected, all stroke ends and corners are selected to be round

10.- 11. Final stroke colors are selected, bare copper ends are inserted

The result was copied to the clipboard and pasted in Photoshop as pixels into a new image. The resolution of the prepared image must be high, at least 1500px X 1500px and the pasted image must be stretched to full size.

enter image description here

Layer style Bevel&Emboss has been inserted. Left side corners are not acceptable because the effect has no idea what is wanted. Also the copper ends at top right are not good, they look out too rounded.

In the next image the shading is fixed manually with the cloning brush + blurring. To prevent the wires to thicken a selection was made. The easy way to select all, but the emptiness, is to double click the image icon in the layers panel and hold Ctrl key at the same time. The final result:

enter image description here

The left side corners still have a logic error, their shading make the image like it's taken from a collection of impossible shapes. I let it be.

ADD: Not asked, but in a business logo the shape can be useful without 3D like shading (=image 11), add only your texts and stretch the wires, if needed

Making the 3D-like shading in Illustrator is possible with gradients. One can also draw glosses and shadows. Both of them need very well sharpened Illustrator skills. I tried something simple:

enter image description here

In the left there's a shaded wire. It has layer mask which is released and moved aside in the middle. The mask is needed, because there's exessive blurred area around the shape.

The blur comes from blurred light grey-dark grey shape which is in the bottom and has a solid blue shape overlay (= the used blending mode) for coloring.

The next image shows the bottom shape without blur. It's 3D extruded and beveled wire shape with very light fill color. Blur rounds the bevels:

enter image description here

The shading of a wire does not actually need lightening, if the color is bright. Inserting blurred dark lines to make shadows can be enough. An example:

enter image description here

  1. Draw the wire shape as a stroke (=green). Split it at the sharp corner. Here the halves are separated only to show the splitting is done. Make also an unsplitted copy (=cyan), outline it (=Object > Path > Outline Stroke)

  2. Make about 60% opaque (it's in the appearance and transparency panels) black copies of the green wires and move them 50% of the stroke width aside. Note the front-back ordering at the sharp corner.

  3. Give to the black parts Gaussian Blur.

  4. Place the outlined shape on top and make it the clipping mask to hide the exessive blurred areas.

  • Hey, I really do appreciate the responses. I have tinkered abit with it within illustrator, the only problem is after becoming so used to the photoshop tools and methods illustrator feels like traversing an unknown planet. The main issue i was having in illustrator was styling the wires to make them actually look like wires, I'm alot more confident with the effects panel within Photoshop. Maybe it would of been easier to ask people how to make nice wires in illustrator.
    – Sam
    Dec 2, 2018 at 14:30
  • @Sam yes its much much better to learn illustrator first. Its just easier to move form a higher order thinking into lower order, than vice versa
    – joojaa
    Dec 2, 2018 at 15:03
  • It will be more difficult to do this in PhotoDoNotUseItForThisShop than learning illustrator, as you already noticed Sam.
    – Rafael
    Dec 3, 2018 at 2:55
  • Hi folks, been really busy the past few days but have been keeping up with the feedback. I get some free time tonight and a full free day tomorrow so I can't wait to try a few of these methods. I think i'll have a dable within Illustrator too.
    – Sam
    Dec 4, 2018 at 12:02

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