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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
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Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness


From:

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness

Now that we've seen what Bristles, Length, Thickness and Stiffness mean in the context of this Bristle Brush preview, let's get a sense for how you might change those numerical values and what kind of differences you can achieve. I'm still working inside Brush settings diagram.psd and I've got my Brush tool selected. If I bring up the Brush panel, you can see that I've entered all of the values that are listed at the bottom of this image. So the Size 75 pixels, Bristles 30% and so on, and the Shape is set to Round Blunt and I'm going to go ahead and save off these settings as a Custom Brush either by clicking on the page icon at the bottom of the Brush panel or the one at the bottom of the Brush Presets panel.
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  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
20h 1m Advanced Sep 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.

Topics include:
  • Using masks and blend modes in radically new ways
  • Mastering the Pen tool and Paths panel
  • Transforming and maximizing Smart Objects
  • Employing Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Exploring the capabilities of Bristle brushes and the Mixer Brush
  • Merging multiple images into seamless panoramas
  • Exploring the full range of luminance with HDR Pro
  • Recording actions and batching-processing images
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness

Now that we've seen what Bristles, Length, Thickness and Stiffness mean in the context of this Bristle Brush preview, let's get a sense for how you might change those numerical values and what kind of differences you can achieve. I'm still working inside Brush settings diagram.psd and I've got my Brush tool selected. If I bring up the Brush panel, you can see that I've entered all of the values that are listed at the bottom of this image. So the Size 75 pixels, Bristles 30% and so on, and the Shape is set to Round Blunt and I'm going to go ahead and save off these settings as a Custom Brush either by clicking on the page icon at the bottom of the Brush panel or the one at the bottom of the Brush Presets panel.

That brings up the Brush Name dialog box. It's already called Round Blunt 1 by default. I'm going to name it Round Blunt Medium 75px for 75 pixels, the Medium meaning by the way that most of these numerical values are set to their medium settings with the extent of Thickness, which I have set pretty low. If you raise the Thickness value though, you tend to get really doughy results which are not particularly cared for. I am going to go ahead and capture the Brush Size in the Preset and now I'll click OK and notice that we have a new Bristle Brush listed here at the bottom of the Brush Presets panel and that's in addition to the 10 Presets that are included along by default, which is great.

So you don't have to have just one Preset per Bristle Brush style, as by default, you could create 10 Presets per style or as many as you want. Anyway, having saved off this Preset, let's go ahead and close the Brush panel for a moment and I'm also going to close the Bristle Brush preview, so that we can switch between layer Comps. If you check out the layer Comps panel, you'll see that I have a bunch of Comps going on right now, Round Blunt Medium is the active Comp. If it isn't for you, just go ahead and click in front of it in this little column in front, in order to make it active.

Then I'm going to take advantage of that dekeKeys shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F12, Cmd+Shift+Option+F12 on a Mac in order to switch from one layer Comp to the other. So, I'm just going to advance one layer Comp here, so that we can see demonstrations of the Four Unique Bristle Brush Variables. That is, Bristles, Length, Thickness and Stiffness, all applied to that Round Blunt Style that we just got done saving and also just so that we have something of a scientific demonstration here, I've said, Unless Otherwise Stated, these are the settings.

So, in other words, in the case of the two Bristle strokes, those overwrite that one Bristles value down there, the two Length demonstrations are overwriting this Length value, the two Thickness demonstrations overwriting Thickness, and the two Stiffness demonstrations overwriting Stiffness; otherwise, these are the values that are in force. All right, we don't need to see those values overlapping the bottoms of the strokes however, so, I'm going to advance to the next layer Comp in order to get rid of those values so we can focus on the strokes themselves. Now, notice Bristles, notice all these values first of all are measured as percentages, for what that's worth because that doesn't necessarily help us understand a darn thing.

What are they percentages of? Interestingly, for the most part, Bristles is actually the number of hairs that you're painting. So, when you reduce the Bristles value down to one percent, you get a single hair that you are painting with across the entire length of the stroke. When you raise it up to 5, typically you have five hairs as in the case of this guy, you can actually count them one, two, three, four, five, right there. When we increase the Bristles value to 100%, we get 100 hairs, let's say, again this is typical behavior.

So, it's the difference between a sparsely populated brush and a densely populated brush when you're modifying those Bristles value. As I say, for my custom brush, I went with a value of 30%. All right, now let's switch over to Length. Now, the custom brush had a Length of 140% which makes for a very long brush actually, but you can change the Length of those hairs if you want to. This is the Length right here; this is demonstrating a Length of 25%, and if you'd like to see that in action, let's bring up the Brushes panel for a moment and I will toggle the display of the Bristle Brush preview so we can see it, and now watch the length of these hairs as I reduce the Length value.

So notice they get much, much shorter at 25%. So, that's the brush that I used to create this brushstroke right there, and then, if I raise this value, I'll just add 0 there to raise the value to 250%, that's the ultra-tall brush, notice it scales to fit inside of the Brush preview area, but that's the ultra-tall brush that's used to create this brushstroke. Now, what's the difference? Well, if you're painting with those short brushstroke, you're not going to have much give to that brush. So as a result, you're going to get a pretty sturdy stroke out of that brush.

However if you lengthen it, then you're going to have a lot more play, but at the same time you're going to have less control and your paint is going to be allowed to flop fairly freely inside of your image, which may be an effect you're looking for. So, if you're looking for a free form effect, a long Length value can do it; if you're looking for more control, go with a shorter Length value. Anyway, I'm going to restore that guy to 140%. Then we have Thickness and let's go ahead and hide the panel and the preview for a moment. Thickness is the Thickness of each one of the hairs.

So, because my Bristles value is set to 30%, we've got essentially 30 hairs inside each one of the strokes. However at a Thickness value of 1%, they're extremely thin hairs, and then in the Thickness value 50%, we get these big doughy gooey sort of hairs which I don't particularly care for. I don't like working with a high Thickness value but of course I encourage you to go your own way. Finally, we have a couple of demonstrations of Stiffness here, so all the other values are reset now to 30% for Bristles, 140% for Length, 4% for Thickness and then these two values for Stiffness.

At a very low Stiffness value that brush is going to be allowed to collapse, especially when you're pressing hard on the stylus and what that means is the brush can flop either direction on you as you're pressing hard. So, it can end up kind of spiraling around in circles as you are pressing down on your stylus and when you release of course, you end up getting more controlled results. But again, if you want that kind of free form behavior, then you want a low Stiffness value, especially if you're going for a kind of expressionist style, then a low Stiffness value with a high Length value is going to produce the most expressive results.

However, if you're looking for control, then you want a high Stiffness value. This is a Stiffness value of 100% right there, which is going to prohibit the brush from bending very much even when you're really bearing down on that stylus. So there you have it. Those are the kinds of results you can expect from modifying the Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness values all of which are unique to Bristle Brushes inside of Photoshop CS5.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
 
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