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Since the paint brush is such a powerful tool, we need to talk about how to quickly change the attributes so that you can paint more effectively when you're trying to change a mask. So in order to select the paint brush, if you don't already have it selected, just tap the b key. Now you'll notice that in the options bar here, we actually have the brushes preset picker, and if I click on the downward pointing arrow, you can see that it's very easy for me to change not only the size of my brush, but also the hardness of my brush, and I can even change the shape of my brush.
Insetead of a circular brush I can have an oval. We can see a little update right up here in the preview area. Now if I want that brush selected, all I need to do is tap Enter or Return in order to apply those changes. I'll go ahead and click that again, just to show you we also have a lot of different preset brushes. In fact, far more than we're actually going to talk about in the fundamental class. There's also an option here, this gear where you can load additional brushes that ship with Photoshop but aren't actually shown here by default.
Now let's tap Return or Enter in order to apply that and I also want to show you the brushes panel. So under the window menu, select brush. You can see that it automatically becomes nested, we not only have the brushes but also the brush presets. So, there are a ton of additional options right here, but again, it's beyond the scope of the fundamentals. Just know that if you wanted to change the size you can do so here. You can also change the roundness and if you click on the triangle you can change the angle here. We can change the hardness to make it a harder edged or softer edged brush, and we can even change the spacing, which is a great way to paint with a dotted line. If we click on brush presets, these are all the presets that we saw a moment ago in the picker, but we can see them a lot larger.
Alright, let's collapse this panel, and then to make sure that we all have the same settings for our brush, On Windows, you can right mouse click and choose reset tools. On the Mac, hold down the control key and then click reset tool. Alright, we need to open up a document. We'll choose file, new, and I'm going make my file 7 by 5 at 150 pixels per inch. Click okay and then zoom in once using command plus so that it fills the screen. We might not want to go up to the brush picker every time to select it, but fortunately when we have a brush selected, we can use the context sensitive menus in order to access it. So on the Mac, hold down the control key and click, on Windows you can right mouse click and then we can change the size and the hardness of the brush here. And when we're done we can tap enter or return.
Now if I prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, we can use the right bracket to get a larger brush. And we can use the left bracket in order to get a smaller brush. If I want to change the hardness on my brush, I just need to add the shift key. So I can add shift right bracket. That's going to give me a harder brush, and 'shift left bracket will give me a softer brush. You don't necessarily have to remember that because if you look at the preview here in the options bar. As I use the Shift key and the right bracket, you can see that little icon is getting harder and harder edged. And then if I do Shift + left bracket, it's getting softer edged. There's another even faster way to resize your brush. And I actually prefer this.
On the mac you hold down the Crtl and the Option key, and then you can drag left and right to change the diameter of the brush, and you can drag up and down to change the hardness of the brush. On Windows, you would select the Alt key and right mouse click and drag left and right to change the diameter and drag up and down to change the hardness of your brush. Now the reason that I prefer this is that for one, I can make larger changes more quickly to my brush size. But I also like the visual feedback that I get when I'm making my brush either harder or softer by dragging up and down.
I can really see that edge much better than I can just in the Preset Picker. Now you'll notice here in the HUD or the heads up display, there's another option for opacity. But it seems like regardless of how I drag my mouse, I can't change that opacity setting. And that's correct because it's controlled by a preference. So, I'll release the keyboard shortcuts and then select the Photoshop menu on Mac or the edit menu on Windows. Come down to Preferences, and then General. Here we have an option to vary the round brush hardness, and I'm using a round brush right now, so it's telling me that I can vary the round brush hardness based on the HUD, that heads-up display, vertical movement.
If I uncheck this and then click OK, you'll notice now that I only have 2 options in the Heads Up display. The diameter, so left to right, will increase or decrease that. But now when I move up and down, the opacity changes. So, this can be really convenient if say for example, you don't have a pressure sensitive tablet. Obviously, if you had a pressure sensitive tablet, then we would want to return back to the preferences. And then to general, and we would want to check this on to be sure that we're changing the opacity with the pressure sensitivity of the tablet instead. While we're here in the preferences, let's move over to the cursor preferences.
Here we have a number of different ways to display our painting cursors. Right now you can see this is just the normal brush tip that we've been looking at. We do have a full size brush tip. So what you need to know when you're painting with the normal brush tip, is that the edge of the brush. Is really only showing you all of the areas that will be covered by 50% more of your settings. So, you'll notice when you paint with a normal brush tip, you'll actually get paint applied to your image outside of the round cursor. If we change it to the full size brush tip, now no paint will be set down outside of that circle.
We also have the option to show the cross hair in the brush tip if you prefer that. And, we can choose to only show the cross hair, when painting. If you select the precise option instead, you can see that you get a brush tip that has cross hairs. I prefer to leave this on the normal brush tip, and then if I want the precise cursors, all I need to do on the keyboard is turn on the cap locks key. Over here on the right, these 2 options refer to all of the other cursors. So if I wanted to change the eyedropper tool to those precise cursors, I can go ahead and select this.
And I'll click the OK button in order to apply those. There are also a variety of different ways that you can quickly the change the opacity of the brush. You can see right here up at the top I've actually got it set to 86%, but if I wanted to take it back up to 100%, I can just tape the 0 key. If I want to set it down lower, I can tap the 5 key for 50%. So every time you tap a single number, you get that percentage. If you type quickly, you can get to an exact amount, for example, if I type 45, I'll set my opacity to 45%.
Course if you don't want to use a keyboard shortcut, you can always position your cursor on top of the word opacity. You get the scrubby sliders and you can drag left and right to change the opacity. You can swipe in here and actually enter in a value or you can use the drop down menu and then move the slider back and forth to change your opacity. I just think it's much easier to use your number keys. 2 additional shortcuts that I think you will find really handy when you're painting in a mask, the D key will always set your default colors down here and it's a little bit different if I'm working on a layer or on a background and I tap the D key you'll notice that black is my foreground color and white is my background color. I'm going to click the Mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel, to turn my background into a layer and add a mask.
And now when I tap the D key for default, you'll notice that the default changes and white is my foreground color. So just be aware of that. Now regardless of if you're painting on an image or painting in a mask, if you tap the x key that will exchange your foreground and background colors. That's the same as clicking on the small little double headed arrow in order to switch those. Of course, one thing that will quickly tell you if you're painting on a layer or painting on a mask, If at any point in time you see colors in your color swatches, like if this was red or green, then you would know that you are painting on the image on the layer because when you're painting on a mask the foreground and background colors here can be any shade of grey but they have to be grey. Black, white, a shade of gray.
They can not be a color. Of course, you don't have to learn all of those shortcuts. Photoshop has several ways to accomplish the same tasks. But now that you know what they are, you can choose the ones that will make you the most efficient when you're masking and painting.
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