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Bristle Brushes and the new Mixer Brush

From: Photoshop CS5 New Features Overview

Video: Bristle Brushes and the new Mixer Brush

In Photoshop CS5 there have been quite a few improvements and additions to how brushes work. First, let's look at the new bristle tips which you can assign to your brushes. Let's choose from the Toolbox here, my Brush tool. And then, we go into the Brush Presets. What we're going to do is create a New Brush Preset. And were going to call it Rufus. Okay? And you've already seen that there's something new here, a new type of brush.

Bristle Brushes and the new Mixer Brush

In Photoshop CS5 there have been quite a few improvements and additions to how brushes work. First, let's look at the new bristle tips which you can assign to your brushes. Let's choose from the Toolbox here, my Brush tool. And then, we go into the Brush Presets. What we're going to do is create a New Brush Preset. And were going to call it Rufus. Okay? And you've already seen that there's something new here, a new type of brush.

And let's say OK to this. And then, what I will do, I will open the Brushes Panel. But instead of going through the shortcut or pressing this button here, to open the panel, there's a new button here, right here in the brush preset panel which I can click. And the Brush Preset now opens. So, if we look at the Brush Tip Shape, we see that now we can change the bristle qualities of the brush. And to make that even more evident, I will turn on the Preview of the Bristle Brush, by clicking here, inside of the Brushes Presets or the Brush Panel itself, to see the Preview of the brush that I am actually creating.

And you can see, that the brush reacts to the pen that I'm using on my Wacom Tablet. And also, you should know that I am using an art pen, one that also reacts to rotation. So now, I'm rotating the pen and you can see that I have total control over the position of the pen, itself. Okay, so let's see what we can do here. First of all, we can change the size of the brush, of course. We can change the bristle qualities, and here we see that we have a whole bunch of Bristle Brushes that we can choose from, the round point.

And we can see the Preview right here inside of the Brushes Preview, Round Blunt, Round Curved, Round Angled, Round as a Fan, Flat Point, Flat Blunt, Flat Curve, Flat Angle and Flat Fan. Okay? And all of these options, of course, will have different outputs on my artwork. So, lets choose, maybe a round curve like this.

Okay? So, this is the preview of my brush, and now I can start working on it. I can also choose the density of the bristles going from very low density of bristles, one bristle. To very, very many. Okay? And the more bristles I use, of course, the finer the result will be. I can also choose the length of my bristles. And you can see also here, inside of a Preview, how my bristles start getting longer. Okay? And as I start painting with those, we see that the brush actually shows my exactly how I'm touching my surface here.

I can also choose the thickness of the bristles, from a very fine Bristle Brush to a thicker bristle brush. The stiffness of how the bristles react. So, I can go from a soft bristle here. So, we start with a very light, and then we go into dark and, and light again. Okay, so let's put the stiffness back up a little bit. And the angle of the Bristle Brush. Okay, so how the bristles actually touch the surface that I'm painting.

And also, the spacing of the bristles, I can choose like this. But that's the spacing between the bristles themselves. So, if I start painting with that, we see that we have little segments within the bristle brush itself. Okay, so, what can we do with that? Of course, we can paint but we can use bristle brushes on a variety of Photoshop brush tools. For example, the new mixer brush which we'll be looking at in a second. We can also use it on the Eraser Tool.

So first, let's paint some color up here and I'm going to change the size of my brush. And you will see that this has become much, much easier in Photoshop CS5 because all I have to do is press the control and Alt key or Option key, and change the size of my brush like this. Okay? And then, I can see, on my art board, exactly where the bristles actually go. And now, I'm moving my pen around and I can really have a feedback on my artwork of how the brush will actually work. So, I'm going to start painting here.

Alright. Okay. And paint like that. Okay. So, this is really a new way of approaching how to construct brushes. If I use Bristle Brush on the Eraser Tool, for example. And let me take a Bristle Brush from one of the presets here. Let's take this one here, for example, you see that I can really go into here and start cross-hatching that. Another thing that I find Bristle Brush is very useful for and let's go here to this other image, is to actually work on masks.

So, if I go on the mask of this image. And let's actually remove the background so we can see the transparency here, I can choose Bristle Brushes for my eraser tool as well. So, I could go in here and start using the eraser. Let's put the eraser back here. Okay, let's change the color and I can start painting. Very, very nice effects on my mask. Okay. So, to have that sort of transparency. And very, very quickly, transform this image, for example, into something that may look like a graffiti on that wall.

Okay? So, the fact that we can now create those bristles is truly, truly an improvement to how brushes used to work. But, it gets even more interesting. And let's start deleting some of that painting that we've done. Because we also have a new tool, which is called the Mixer Brush. And the Mixer Brush actually allows you to choose from a variety of mixing techniques. For example, dry paint and with a light load or a heavy load of paint, moist, wet, or very wet paint. And you will see in a second how, when we choose the wetness of the paint, the colors actually start to mix together.

What we can also do is choose, for example, that the brush picks up the color, load the brush after each stroke and we can also choose to clean the brush after each stroke. So, the color actually remains on the brush itself. We can, of course, change the wetness of the brush, the load of the brush and the mix of the brush. And also, the flow like we used to be able to with normal brushes. We can also activate the airbrush mode here, and we can also ask Photoshop to sample all layers when we do the Alt or Option key on the Art Board to sample all colors that are in underlying layers. So, let's take some red here, for example, and start painting with the mixer brush.

And then, maybe I will take some yellow and you will see that the paint actually mixes. Okay? So, it's very, very much like traditional painting techniques. Let's go here to this image, for example, and maybe what I want to do here is start transforming that photograph into a painting. So, what I would do, I can go here and by pressing Ctrl+Alt, or Option, I can change the size of my brush. And, let's make it slightly smaller.

Something like that. And start painting over the grass here. And you can see that the mixing brush actually picks up the colors of where I'm currently painting. Alright, so very, very quickly, I can transform that photograph into something that looks more like a drawing. And I can also press the Alt key to pick up any color and start painting the trees up here. So, if I spend sometime working on that, this is the sort of result that I may get.

Okay, just by using the Bristle Brushes and the Mixer Brush. Let's go back to my example here because there's another couple of things that I want to show you. Because there have been important changes also in how the Color Picker works. If you color pick now. If I click on that color here, for example. We will see a new widget around the color picker which shows me the current color and the color that I'm actually picking. Okay? The color that's inside of my brush and the color that I'm picking.

So, I can very, very quickly choose new colors on my artwork. Let's go back to the normal brush for a second because what I want to show you also is how through the GPU, the Photoshop team has been able to actually make it easier to resize the brush along with hardness, using the same exact shortcut. So, if you press Ctrl+Alt, or Option, you can now move your cursor from left to right to make the brush bigger or smaller.

If you move it up, it gets softer. If you move it down, the brush gets harder. So, very, very quickly, I'm now able to change the size of my brush and to change the hardness of the brush. Simply by pressing down these two keys on my keyboard, the Ctrl+Alt or Option key. Another interesting thing is that if I'm using the Bristle Brush, for example, or the Mixer Brush here, with the Bristle Brush, you see this is the direction of my brush right now. Let's pick a color first, let's clean the brush and pick a color here and start painting with that. This is the direction of my brush right now.

But as you know, what was introduced in Photoshop CS4 was the ability to rotate the canvas. So, I'm pressing the R key on the keyboard right now, rotate the canvas and go back to my brush. And you will see that the brush keeps the same direction, okay? So, this is new in Photoshop CS5. Brushes don't rotate when you rotate the canvas. So, I'm going to press R again to get the rotation tool and Esc to go back to the view that I was at before. So as you can see, the introduction of these Bristle Brushes and the ability to paint with the Mixing Brush really opens a whole new horizon of creative possibilities on your pictures or even if you want to start painting from a blank page, it is now possible.

Thanks to these new brush improvements and these new Bristle Brushes and the Mixing Brush.

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Photoshop CS5 New Features Overview

13 video lessons · 731 viewers

Rufus Deuchler
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