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Join John Derry, a pioneer in the field of digital painting, as he shows how to master the natural-media painting features introduced in Photoshop CS5 in Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush. This course shows how to use the Mixer Brush, the Bristle Tips feature, and a new mechanism for blending colors in Photoshop to add beautiful, painterly effects to photographs, enhance artwork with paint-like strokes and illustrations, and paint entirely new art from scratch. This course also covers customizing brush characteristics and surface textures, applying keyboard shortcuts to paint smoothly and efficiently, and using a Wacom tablet to get the most out of Photoshop CS5’s painting features. Exercise files are included with the course.
Length controls how long your brush hairs are. Just like its traditional counterpart, you can control whether or not your brush has long, medium, or short bristles. The longer a bristle tip is, the more potential you have to make different marks, based on how hard you press this bristle tip against the canvas. We will start here with the Length slider. You won't see a whole lot of difference in the preview at the bottom of the Brush panel, but you can certainly see it in the 3-D Preview up at the upper-left.
Length definitely changes the way this brush works. Let's start with a very minimal length brush. So, I'll just paint a few strokes, and it's great, works nice. I can see some of my bristle hairs, but let's take the Length up aways. Now, what happens is, and this is very interesting, when I put my brush at a shallow angle, I can start to actually use the entire width of the length of that brush to start to get a very wide stroke.
Now, let's take it all the way up to its maximum. It works, but it depends on your system. I want to warn you that increased length can start to impede the performance of your brush. So, you want to be a little careful about how long you make this, and as I said, it's very processor-dependent. So, it's really based on whatever type of system you're working on. Just be advised that longer length can slow down a brush.
So, I tend to try to find it somewhere that's realistic to a real brush. I mean, I've seen brushes that look very similar in their length to this, but when you get up to this, unless it's some kind of sign- painting brush, you may not actually have a real-world counterpart to this. That's not to say you can't create some very fanciful brushes that don't exist in the real world. But once again, be advised that length can have an affect on performance. So, Length can be used to control the dynamics of how a brush stroke is made on the canvas.
Short strokes will give you very controlled strokes, and long bristles will give you more expressive strokes. Be careful, though; longer bristles can impede performance.
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