I am trying to get a series of shapes (rectangles) to follow a path (sine wave) that I made with the pen tool, but I have no clue how to do that or if it is possible.

I have tried warping a rectangle into the sine wave path, but it takes many different warped rectangles and it isn't smooth.

I thought this process might work for rectangles, but it only works for text.

  • possible duplicate of How to make Objects follow a path (illustrator) (like on the las vegas sign) --- While this questions isn't about rectangles specifically, it's the same procedure.
    – Scott
    Mar 22, 2013 at 12:35
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    @Scott I don't think it is actually. I read it like the OP is about having a rectangle stretch over a path, like a pipe if you will. Not having one rectangle being painted over and over again along a path. Mar 22, 2013 at 12:53
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    @AndroidHustle -- Not sure that's the case. If you just want one rectangle, you simply apply a stroke weight to the path - instant rectangle following the path. Of course, you could also use dashed strokes... okay .. I'll post an answer.... :)
    – Scott
    Mar 22, 2013 at 13:04
  • @Scott that's a good point, I didn't think of that. And then just add effects to the finished shape to give it any possible final attributes. Good point. Mar 22, 2013 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


If you have Adobe Illustrator and all you need are rectangles, you can simply use a dashed stroke with a large stroke weight....


If you need one rectangle, as AndroidHustle suggests, simply untick the "Dashed Line" option.

Then to edit the rectangles, choose Object > Expand. Then copy this in Illustrator, switch to Photoshop and Paste as a Shape Layer.

If you must do this with only Photoshop CS5, there is no easy method. Except to maybe set up a square brush shape and then draw a path with the Pen Tool, switch to the Pencil Tool and hit Shift+Return to stroke the path with the square brush.

enter image description here

  • +1 for teaching me something I should have found out by myself! =) Mar 22, 2013 at 13:34
  • btw, how do you open up that stroke dialogue? I don't get the options that you get but rather just whether I want to stroke using brush, pencil, effects, etc... Mar 22, 2013 at 13:45
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    Just Window > Stroke, then choose Show Options from the flyout menu on the Stroke Panel. Screenshot is from CS6. Any other version will vary to one degree or another.
    – Scott
    Mar 22, 2013 at 15:05
  • @Scott thanks for the help, but what is strange is that, I cant seem to find the stroke dialogue box in photoshop and I am using CS5. I have only found details for edit>stroke online. Mar 22, 2013 at 19:50
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    @NilsR My apologies. That screenshot is form Illustrator. I didn't realize you were using Photoshop. There is no Stroke dialog box in Photoshop CS5. In addition, there's no dashed stroke option anywhere in Photoshop CS5. You could use CS6 to make it easy, but if you are using CS5 it is a great deal more work than what I've posted here.
    – Scott
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:44

Do this make a new file:

  1. file size should be of your rectanlge size and fill it will all blac(or any color)
  2. go to edit and click define new brush
  3. draw a path
  4. adjust brush settings(spacing) so each brush is away from each other as much as you want.
  5. you could also make them rotate to the flow of the path.
  6. then go to path panel while path selected, not vector layer, just path right click and select stroke.

You can do this very easily in Illustrator and have a vector end result meaning you would be able to resize and ect. But There is a way to do it in photoshop as well.. There ARE things that only corel draw can do :D.

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