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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.
I've gone ahead and restored the saved version of Canvas texture.psd. In this exercise we're going to dissect a couple of those brushes that are included with the M Brushes collection. We'll see how they rely on a handful of advanced settings in the Brushes panel. Then in the next exercise, we'll exploit those advanced settings to create a custom brush of our own. So I'm going to switchover to this brush right here inside of the Brush Presets list. It's that crosshatch brush that we saw in the previous exercise. I want you to notice that the Brush Presets panel goes ahead and lists two columns of previews.
So on the right-hand side, we see a brushstroke. That's the brush itself, subject to the many settings that you assign inside the Brush panel. Over here on the left-hand side we have what's known as the brush preset, which is the core brush that's apparently being scribbled all over the place in little dollops, as I was telling you way back in the Fundamentals portion of this series, in order to create our larger brushstroke, which doesn't necessarily make any sense. Notice the brush preset here, is a 35 pixel hard brush.
Yet, we end up getting a crosshatch pattern. How in the world is that even possible? Meanwhile, we have a bunch of little dollops of paint that are arranged into a kind of Valentine and that gives us that frosted glass effect that we also saw in the previous exercise. Again, it doesn't make any darn sense. Well, what's at work here is that there are actually two brushes working together for almost every single one of these brushes that's part of the M Brushes collection, and many of the other more interesting brush collections as well.
We have two brushes at work, one that's working inside of the other. So this brush preset that we're seeing right now, that's the parent brush. It serves as a mask for the crosshatch pattern inside of it in our case. So let me show you what I'm talking about before we look at the settings. I'll increase the size my brush by pressing the Right Bracket key a few times. Then I'll go ahead and paint my brushstroke. You can see that I'm laying down three hash marks at a time. They're never clipped either at the beginning of the brushstroke or at the end.
They rotate automatically. Notice that arbitrarily I should say, as I paint my brushstroke. So they're also masked inside of this larger parent brush as well. All right, now I'm going to bring up the brushes panel. I'd like you to go ahead and switch to Brush Tip Shape, so that you can see the parent brush. I'm going to click, because I had changed the size my brush by pressing the Right Bracket key. I'm going to click on crosshatch again, just to reinstate its original settings. So there is my 35 pixel round brush, nothing special going on.
Notice that it has a diameter of 35 pixels. It's absolutely circular. It has a Hardness of 100%, Spacing 25%, all very standard stuff as we saw back in Chapter_9 of the fundamentals portion of the series. Not all that much extra going on either. We know that, because there are very few check boxes turned on over here on the left-hand side of the panel. We have Smoothing turned on. That just tries to smooth out the path of your drag, and actually doesn't do all that much, to be perfectly honest with you.
By the way, all five of these check boxes down here at the bottom of the list, these are single shot options. So you either turn them on or off, end of story. Whereas the guys at the top of the list bring up entire panels, entire sub panels of options. So the only thing of any merit that's going on is Dual Brush. I'll go ahead and click on it. Now this is pretty deceiving. Photoshop pretends to show you the Dual Brush sets at work, but that ain't it. It isn't this little smudgy poo right there. In fact, it's just showing you the last Dual Brush that you selected.
So it has nothing to do with the active brushstroke, which is a bit of an oversight on Photoshop's part in my mind. But let's say that you're trying to figure out how brushes are really put together, because you want to build a derivative brush of your own. Why then what you do, is you check out the Size value, 21 pixels. Then you look in the list for a brush that has that size, which is sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack, because there are so many of them. You can't sort them by Size, or anything helpful like that.
So you just sort of have to stare at this list for few minutes until you find something that looks right. Now in our case, it's not that hard to find, because it's obviously these three hash marks. If you want to try it out, and it says 21 by the way, so the size matches. Now if you feel like confirming that, you want to make sure that indeed this is the Dual Brush. Then watch your brush preview down here at the bottom of the panel, and click on that Dual Brush. As long as the brush preview doesn't change, which it didn't for me, then everything is hunky dory.
All right, so there is your Size control. If you want to change it, you can change this size independently of the other brush size if you like. We also have Spacing controls. Same dif, we can move the dollops of paint further away from each other or closer to each other. You've got a Scatter that will scatter those dollops outward. Notice they're getting masked. Notice how they're dropping out there around the outside of that larger brushstroke, the parent brushstroke. Then if your brushes are getting spread out, so that they're too sparse, you can increase the Count value, like so.
Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and click on crosshatch over here in the Brush Presets list once again to reset my values. Now what's conspicuously missing is anything that would rotate these hash marks. So there is no rotate value. There is no control offered to you. It just happens automatically. Dual brushes always rotate arbitrarily. That's just the name of the game. So if you want to switch out for a different Dual Brush, you could. For example, I can click this guy. You may recall that we used a brush that relied on this preset right there, in the previous exercise. I'll click on it.
Sure enough, they're rotating around as well. All right, let's checkout something a little more complicated. This guy, next guy down, known as frosted glass. Go ahead and click on it to make it active. Here in Brush Tip Shape, we can see that the dollops arranged in a Valentine are the parent brush. If I go to Shape Dynamics, it's turned on. Now Shape Dynamics is what's responsible for what we normally think of as pressure sensitivity. That is, when you bear down hard on the stylus, you get a thick stroke. When you let up, you get a thin stroke. If we check out what's going on here.
That Control is turned off. So apparently, we don't have any pressure sensitivity, any size sensitivity associated with this stroke. If you want to, if you want size sensitivity, you would switch to this very first option here inside Shape Dynamics to Pen Pressure. In my case, it's going to get mad at me. It's going to say, you don't have a Pressure Sensitive Tablet, what is wrong with you? Well, it's just because I'm sitting here using my mouse right now. What I have to do is move my cursor into the image window, and hover my stylus very close to the tablet, or even click if necessary.
Anyway, then that makes that go away. That warning goes away and it says, oh, oh, you do have a stylus. Okay, fair enough. Everything is okay. Anyway, I'm going to switch that back to off, because that doesn't really work for this affect. The only Shape Dynamic that works in fact is this little bit of Angle Jitter, so that the angle of the primary brush, the parent brush is sort of switching back and forth. In other words, it's rotating, ever so slightly and arbitrarily by the way. Scatter, we've got a little bit of Scatter going on. If you want to test a Scatter value, then you just watch that preview at the bottom of the panel, and you play with the Scatter value to move the dollops apart, or move them back close together.
Then we've got the Dual Brush. This time around the Dual Brush is not that guy. Like I said, it's just the last Dual Brush I selected that shows up there. We want something that's 45 pixels in Size. I bet it was that original sort of gooey thing there. I'll click on it. Sure enough, my brush preview doesn't change. So that must be it. You can play with these values. It is getting rotated arbitrarily by the way. Also by the way, we've got mode. All I'm going to tell you about mode, mode makes no sense. Let's start there.
All that stuff I told you about how blend modes works is pretty much inverted where blending the Dual Brush along with the parent brush is concerned. So Multiply actually ends up lightening. Darken ends up producing a lighter effect as well. If you go down here to Linear Burn, we're going to get a still lighter effect out of it. If we want a pretty darn dark effect, we'll choose Overlay to mush these two on top of each other. That is, the Dual Brush with the parent brush getting mushed together to create this amazing sort of blown out effect down here at the bottom of the panel.
If you want something that's truly dark indeed, you choose the lightening mode, which is Color Dodge. There is a totally different one called Linear Height that makes an absolute mess out of the brush. So you can experiment with those if you want to. However, if you want to do what is traditionally done, that is you're masking the Dual Brush inside of the larger brush, then go ahead and choose Multiply. Let me make this very clear. I'm going to switch back to crosshatch for just a second here. I want you to see what happens if I turn off Dual Brush. Notice that mode is set to Multiply for this one too. It generally is.
That's what most folks use when they're designing custom brushes. If I turn off Dual Brush, notice that I am just seeing the 35 pixel hard brush, and nothing else. If I paint a brushstroke out here in the image window, sure enough, I just get a standard brushstroke. That's because, this is the mask. As soon as you turn on the Dual Brush, and you set that dual brush, the hash marks in our case, to Multiply, then you're going to go ahead and lighten that background stroke. So the parent stroke actually disappears, and serves as a mask for the Dual Brush subject to Multiply once again.
So that's just how it works. Anyway, I'm going to switch over here to frosted glass again. We also have some Color Dynamics. That's where I'm going to end things. I want you to see that Pen Pressure Control is assigned to the Foreground/Background Jitter. Notice the Jitter value is set to 0%. That's fine. That way, what Jitter does occur is totally related to Pen Pressure and nothing more, because if you up that Jitter value, you're going to introduce random variations between the Foreground and Background color inside of the various dollops of paint and you don't want that.
So notice now what happens, when I go ahead and paint very lightly. I'm painting with the background color. If I paint harder, I'm painting with the foreground color. Notice the masking that's happened. Notice as soon as I pass over, brushstrokes that I've already drawn, that is areas that I've drawn inside the same brushstroke, while I'm pressing harder with the stylus, then I am increasing the darkness of those brushstrokes. If I start painting lighter, I'm decreasing the brightness of those brushstrokes, strictly because my background color is lighter, incidentally.
So that's where that masking comes into play. And that's how those advanced Brush options work, especially the Dual Brush options, which are so incredibly useful here inside the Brush panel. In the next exercise we're going to create our own custom brush.
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