Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this video, we are going to take a look at the Acrylics category. This is a great place to start learning about brush customization. We are specifically going to look at the Captured Bristle within the Acrylics category, and the reason I'm going to use this brush is it has a dab type which is a very useful because of the way it visualizes this dab type. This is a bit unique. None of the other dab types have this much visualization. That's why this one is really good to start on, because it's going to be a great way to build on what we are going to do later.
So let's go ahead and take a look at the Captured dab. I am going to go up and go to Acrylics category at the very top, and select the Captured Bristle, which is at the very top of the list. And let's just do a sample stroke or two here. So you can see this brush has some striations within it to indicate that it's made up of brush hairs. So that's a very nice quality, but I am going to show you how we can play around with this. So let's go to the Window menu, and go to Brush Controls palette and open it up.
And the three palettes we are going to want to open up for this particular video are the Size, the Bristle, and the Spacing palette. Now this may or may not be already opened so I am letting you know that you may have to click in the preview in order to see this little bundle of hairs that's associated with the bristle brush. And the first thing we are going to do is I like to create a sample stroke so I am going to go over, and use my Stroke Testing palette that we created in Chapter 2, and go ahead and just do a quick sample.
Now when I hit the Playback button, I can now replay this. And we are doing this quite a bit, but I am going to do Command+A and Backspace or Delete to clean up my screen. So let's go ahead and do a sample stroke as our baseline. And now we are going to go ahead and let's enlarge this brush a bit. I am going to go take it up to around 40 or so. And we'll do another Playback, and notice what's happening here, I wanted you to see that when this brush starts to get larger it starts to exhibit what I call tire tracks. And those are the little artifacts that happen because the dabs aren't quite spaced close enough together.
And what we want to do is be able to adjust this so that we eliminate this undesirable artifact. So we are going to go down to the Spacing palette, and the current Spacing is set at 12%. I am going to reduce this down a bit. So I am just going to tap down and get to about half, 6%, and now let's see what happens. Okay, now we've eliminated the tire tracks. So the Spacing palette is very important to get rid of this little artifact when you see it, just by lowering it you get a better result.
I do want to indicate too that this is very tied to your system's processor and performance. You may or may not be able to adjust it to this setting. I always call the correct setting the sweet spot. For each processor you want to nudge this down as far as you can and still not notice, when you start using the brush, see any performance loss. If it starts to lag you are going to have to play with the Spacing to find that sweet spot so that you minimize the Spacing enough to make it visually clean, but at the same time not lower it so much that it impinges on your performance.
So that sweet spot is always going to happen right in the Spacing palette. Next, we are going to take a look at the character of the makeup of the Bristles within the stroke, and that's going to happen once again within the Bristle palette. We have two things to deal with here. One is Thickness, and Clumpiness. Thickness, if you watch up in the preview as I adjust this up and down, controls how thick all of the dabs together are going to get. So I am going to thin it down a ways. And now we are going to take a look at Clumpiness.
Clumpiness plays with the differences between all of the individual clumps. And you can see how you can make them almost all the same, or very different. So how you adjust this also controls the character of the brush. Let's go ahead and do a sample here. So that one is still pretty similar. Let's go ahead and lower our Thickness a bit. And this is how this works. It's just one change at a time and try it out. Now we've got a much thinner stroke, but with a lot of variation in the hairs themselves.
Finally, let's play around with Hair Scale a little bit, and you can see how now I am decreasing the total number of hairs, but I am also enlarging each one of them. And let's see how that looks. Now there is a look that I like. So this iterative process is one of making a change, testing the stroke, examining what you like, going back. And you can see how it's an iterative process that as you go along you are observing one change per Playback of the stroke.
And this is an excellent kind of forensic for creating a brush to get it to the exact way you'd like it to look. Then eventually, you're going to want to turn off Playback Stroke, Select All, and Delete. And now I can play with it as the brush and not so much as an isolated experiment by playing it back. So this is the basis for how we go through and test brushes to get them the way we want. The iterative process is really a very organized way to go about this.
So let's go on and keep trying some different brushes.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.