In Illustrator, it’s fairly easy to make a dashed line in which the dashes have rounded corners. In Photoshop, there’s more of a trick to it. I’ll show you how to do both here.
Illustrator Dashed Line with Rounded Corners
- Draw a line with the Pen tool.
- Open the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke).
- Increase the Weight. I set mine to 10pt.
- Click the Dashed Line box to turn your line into a series of dashes.
- Experiment with the widths of the Dash and the Gap in between dashes. I set my Dash to 20pt and the Gap to 15pt.
- To get rounded corners on the dashes, click on the Round Cap icon. This made my dashes too close together, so I changed my Gap to 20pt.
Photoshop Part 1: Create a Custom Brush
- Create a new 800px by 600px document with a white background. This file will be used just to create a custom brush.
- Select the Rounded Rectangle tool from the Tools panel.
- Set your foreground color to black by pressing D on your keyboard.
- Up in the Control panel, make sure that the tool is set to Shape layers.
- Set the radius up pretty high. I set mine to 100px. This determines the degree of roundness at the corners. We’re going to draw one very large dash.
- Draw a single huge dash with the Rounded Rectangle tool, in the middle of your image window.
- Press Ctrl+E (Mac: Cmd+E) to merge the shape layer onto the white background.
- Edit > Define Brush Preset.
- Give your brush a name. You will see that the brush is very large. You get better quality images if you reduce the size of a very large brush, rather than increase the size of a brush that was drawn too small.
- Click OK.
- Close the document. You don’t need to save it. Your brush is saved, which is all that matters.