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Changing size and hardness


Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Changing size and hardness

In this exercise I'm going to share with you a few shortcuts for changing the size and hardness of a brush on-the-fly, and these are some incredibly useful techniques. If you don't know about them yet, if you don't know about them, you'll be using them on a regular basis in the future. Now, I've gone ahead and created the new sample document for you. It's called Tips from Sketchy.psd found inside the 09_retouch_heal folder. It doesn't look like anything special, but it will shortly. So you can see the size of my brush on screen right there. And I'm going to go ahead and increase its size just a little bit here.
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  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac 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 8s
  2. 53m 33s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 46s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 18s
    1. The best way to work
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 16s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
17h 33m Beginner May 07, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.

Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Assembling photorealistic compositions
  • Understanding image size and resolution
  • Correcting the brightness and color of images
  • Creating accurate selection outlines
  • Retouching and healing photos
  • Mastering layers and effects
  • Printing and exporting to the web
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Changing size and hardness

In this exercise I'm going to share with you a few shortcuts for changing the size and hardness of a brush on-the-fly, and these are some incredibly useful techniques. If you don't know about them yet, if you don't know about them, you'll be using them on a regular basis in the future. Now, I've gone ahead and created the new sample document for you. It's called Tips from Sketchy.psd found inside the 09_retouch_heal folder. It doesn't look like anything special, but it will shortly. So you can see the size of my brush on screen right there. And I'm going to go ahead and increase its size just a little bit here.

I'll go ahead and right-click inside of my Image window and I'll change the Size value to 300 pixels. Notice the Hardness value is set to 100%. And then I'll make my foreground color white and I'll click inside of this layer in order to paint a brush stroke. Now, I can reduce the size of my brush by pressing the Left Bracket key . That's the Square Bracket key just next door to the P as in Paul key on an American keyboard, and paint again and I get a brush stroke this big. Then I'll press the Left Bracket key, click, Left Bracket, click, Left Bracket, click.

So you can see that it's making the brush incrementally smaller in the exact amount by which we're reducing the brush diameter depends on how big the brush is in the first place. So, when it's very big like this, you're changing the brush size in about 25 pixel increments. When you start getting down to very small sizes, you might be changing the brush in 1 pixel increments. All right! Now, in order to make the brush bigger, you might already anticipate this. I'll go ahead and click in order to create a brush stroke then press the Right Bracket key , then press the Right Square Bracket key.

And I'll click again, press Right Bracket, click again, press Right Bracket, click again, press Right Bracket, click again. So you get the idea there. All right! So that's one way to work. That's how you change the size on- the-fly with those bracket keys. In order to change the hardness, check this out. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill the layer once again with black. I'll click in order to create a hard brush. Remember that I'm working with a Hardness value of 100%. Now, I'll press Shift+Left Bracket in order to make the brush 25% softer.

So when I click again, you can see that I've added a little bit of softness there. I'll press Shift+Left Bracket again, click. Now I have a 50% hard brush, because each press of Shift along with the bracket key changes that Hardness value by 25% always. It doesn't matter what the Hardness value was before. If I press Shift+ Left Bracket again and click, and now I have a 25% hard brush and then I'll press Shift+ Left Bracket again, and now I have a 0% hard brush. And just to confirm that, I'll go ahead and right-click and you can see that indeed I've reduced that Hardness value down to 0%.

In order to increase the hardness of the brush why then use a Right Bracket key instead. So Shift+Right Bracket makes the brush 25% harder. If you want to increase hardness all the way from 0% back to 100%, you press Shift+Right Bracket four times in a row. So, I already did it once, two, three, four, and now I should have a nice hard brush which I do. All right! So, that's one way to work. I'm going to press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on a Mac in order to once again fill the layer with black. That's one way to work. There's a new way that was introduced inside of Photoshop CS4 and has been additionally augmented inside of Photoshop CS5 and it's kind of weird technique that doesn't work quite the same on the Mac and the PC, but the advantage of this technique is that you can preview the brush size and hardness on-the-fly, and you can also work in smaller increments.

Before I show you this technique though, I'm going to press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up my Preferences dialog box right here. And then I'm going to switch to Cursors, and I want you to notice these Painting Cursor options. You can switch to a standard cursor which gives you a little goofy brush icon like there is any reason on earth you would want that. You'll also have Precise cursors which is going to give you kind of crosshair, and I'll show you how to get that on-the-fly. We've got Normal Brush Tip which is what I advise, which is going to give you an idea of how big your brush is at any given point in time.

It's also going to change depending on what kind of brush you're using, but if we were working with something like one of Photoshop CS5's new Bristle Brushes then we would see a representative cursor of that instead. Finally, we have this Full Size Brush Tip right there which seeks to go ahead and enclose the entire area that's going to get painted at a given time. So the softer you make your brush the bigger the brush cursor will get. That is going to encircle everything that's going to get modified at any point in time. However, I don't find it to be terribly representative.

So, I stick with Normal Brush Tip. Obviously, you can experiment with these things to determine what you like. I like to see the crosshair at the center of the brush. That's very useful in case I want to center a brush stroke at a specific location. So, I've got that checkbox turned on. You can also by the way turn on this guy which is Show only Crosshair While Painting. So when you're painting, the circle is going to disappear, and you're just going to see the cross and that's it; again up to you. Then finally we've got this Brush Preview >Color, and by default, it's set to red which is awfully useful for our purposes. We're going to see that red in just a second.

So, I'm going to go ahead and cancel out of this dialog box. And now I'll show you that technique for scaling the brush on-the-fly and previewing the results of your modification. I'll tell you how it works on the PC first and then I'll tell you how it works on the Mac. You press and hold the Alt key, you're on a PC and you click and hold the right mouse button, and then if you want to increase the size of your brush, you drag to the right and if you want to decrease the size of your brush, you drag to the left. So that's how you scale a brush incrementally on the PC, and you can see that you get a preview of that brush diameter at the same time.

So, you can compare it to other details inside your image, for example, if you were seeing something other than black as I am. Now, if you want to change the hardness of that brush again you PC users then you press and hold the Alt key. It's really the same technique. You press and hold the Alt key, you click and hold the right-mouse button. However, instead of dragging horizontally, you drag vertically. So, if you want to make the brush softer, you drag up which is kind of strange. That doesn't make that much sense to me, but that's what you do. And if you want to make the brush harder, you drag down.

So again, this is an Alt+Right- mouse button+drag. All right! On the Mac, totally different keyboard shortcut; you press the Control and Option keys. And when I say Control, I don't mean Command; I mean the Control key, the one that's actually spelled out and says Control. So you press Control and Option, you don't have to right drag; you just do a standard drag. So it's Control+Option+drag to the right in order to the make the brush bigger, and Control+Option+drag to the left in order to make the brush smaller. And notice that you can go back-and- forth on-the-fly until you get the brush exactly the size you want it to be.

Then if you want to change the hardness, again it's Control+Option. So, Control+Option+drag up to make the brush softer as if that makes any darn sense, but that's the way it is. And then Control+Option+drag down in order to make the brush harder. Now the reason I provided you with this Tips from Sketchy.psd file is if you turn off the layer of black, Sketchy is actually communicating these tricks to you in his angry fashion, of course. But so for Windows, we've got an Alt+Right, and for Mac we've got Control+Option+Standard drag.

So that's why I don't have right or left listed, it's just the standard drag. And then these arrows indicate the different results you're going to get. The cursor will grow big like this if you drag to the right and it will get small if you drag to the left. And if you want the brush to be harder, you drag down, and if you want it to be softer, you drag up. So, it's a kind of still graphic visualization of the tricks that I just passed along. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you a very similar technique that brings up the Heads Up Display Color Picker inside of Photoshop CS5.

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

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Q: While following along to the tutorial, my copy of Bridge does not have the same Export options as shown in the video. Why are these options missing in my copy?
A: For some reason, Bridge CS5 shipped without the Export options. They were included when Bridge updated to version 4.0.1. Updating Bridge will restore the export options.
Q: While following along with the exercises, next to the background layer on my Layers panel \, it shows a brush instead of the small picture, as it does in the video. What can I do to fix this? I erased the exercise files and started over, but it still shows the paintbrush.
A: This will occur if the Layers panel preview is turned off. To fix this, right-click in the empty gray area below the Background layer. Then choose Large Thumbnails. The thumbnail previews should come back immediately.
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."
Q: How do I load the color workflow setting for this course? I downloaded the exercise files, and when I attempt to load the setting into Photoshop, they don't appear in the Finder.

A: These days, it's easier to assign the workflow settings manually. In Photoshop, choose Edit > Color Settings. Then change the first RGB setting to Adobe RGB, and click OK.

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