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Smoke and other translucent subjects make excellent candidates for sample brushes. Let's see how we can create and apply a smoke brush. So the first thing I am going to do is apply a Black & White adjustment layer so that we lose the color. Now, why it's not absolutely necessary to do this when you are creating a sample brush, it's using the Grayscale values from the image regardless of whether its color or black and white. So in terms of preparing it just helps to think over it in Grayscale.
So having done that, I'm then going to come to the Channels panel and Command+Click on the RGB channel to load that as a selection, and then I am going to return to the Background layer and press Command or Ctrl+J to copy that selection on to a new layer. I am now going to hide the background layer and we can see what I have there it's very semitransparent and that's the whole point. But we are also, including currently the Opaque pixels of the white background. So I am now going to remove those and I am going to choose my Magic Wand tool, take my Tolerance all the way down to 0 and make sure I have Anit-alias on, Contiguous off.
Click on the Y of the background and then delete that. So now if I deselect, what we see on the checkerboard transparency is what will not become as Sample brush when I come and choose Define Brush Preset. And I am going to call this smoke. Now I am going to switch over to this document where we are going to apply the Brush preset. Last time we saw this model she was supporting a cheetah outfit and now she's had a makeover, she also had some contrast adjustment and she is currently a Grayscale image or a Black & White image technically still an RGB image.
I am going to come and create a new layer at the top of my layer Stack, I am going to name that smoke, I am then going to press B to choose my Brush tool, come up to my Brush picker, scroll down choose smoke, it will be the last one in the list, click on that to dismiss it and now I can just dab with that to apply the smoke, I might want to change foreground color before I do that, I am going to undo that, make sure my foreground color is white. And I could dab, repeat it times if I want to, to add multiple plumes of smoke.
If I do that I do want to avoid the danger of running into a repeating pattern. Anyway I think I am going to quit while I am ahead and let me just rename this, somehow that didn't get named right. What I also might try is adding a layer mask to that layer and then on that layer mask painting with the brush itself as a way of disrupting any possible repeating pattern that might emerge from multiple clicks of that brush.
If I wanted to change the color, I can come to my Swatches panel, I am now going to get out of my Brush tool because that large cursor is rather irritating. Now I am going to come to my swatches to be on the Image layer rather than the layer mask, let's choose a blue color and now to fill that layer with the color I need to lock the Transparency so I can either click on Lock Transparent pixels or hold down the Shift key along with the Alt or Options key when I press Delete and that's going to apply that color which is actually not the color that I want.
So let's change that color again and yeah maybe I like that one. So there we see an example of creating a smoke brush, first of all making it into a Grayscale Sampling only transparent pixels and then randomizing it somewhat by painting on it's layer mask and also changing its color.
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