Installing custom brushes
Video: Installing custom brushesInstalling custom brushes provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by John Derry as part of the Digital Painting: Street Scene
Installing custom brushes provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by John Derry as part of the Digital Painting: Street Scene
Learn to think like a painter and render images from photographs that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art. He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the elements of an image with expressive painterly qualities, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.
- Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes
- Understanding the subject
- Removing lens distortions
- Using the traditional paint color swatch set
- Making shadow and highlight adjustments
- Simplifying details with filters and Smart Blur
- Cloning layers
- Using custom actions
- Working with canvas texture
- Creating physical surface texture effects
Installing custom brushes
This course utilizes a customized set of my artist brushes. These brushes enable you to both clone from a photograph as well as paint with color. The installation includes a cloning layer action, custom canvas textures, and an artist oil swatch set. In this video, I'll go through the installation process to get you up and running. Now everybody is going to have access to the John's Artist's Brushes folder, and I'm going to show you know what comes with it. So what you'll see first are, there are three installer files and depending on which version of Photoshop you have, you're going to want to ensure that you use the right one.
Well, how do we know which one of these to use? Let's go ahead and launch Photoshop, and you'll see that on the splash screen-- let me go ahead and pop it up here-- it tells me right here, version 12.1, so I know I'm using version 12.1 of Photoshop. And you'll see that of the three installers here I have one for version 12.1. Now it just so happens there are three different versions of Photoshop floating around since CS5 came out, depending on if you've installed a patch or not or when you bought it, and so you want to make sure that you check on your splash screen which version you have and then match it up with the installer so that you install it into the right version.
Now, the first thing we want to do is go ahead and quit Photoshop, so I'm going to dismiss the splash screen, and you don't normally want to do the installation with Photoshop running. The other thing I'm going to point out before we actually install is the ReadMe! file. Now it's called that for a reason. I want you to read it. And if you go and open it up, you'll find that the same thing I'm going to show you in this video is also presented as a set of written instructions. Some people feel more comfortable following written instructions; that's what these are for.
So if you don't want to follow the video or if you want to use this alongside of the video, this will give you a step-by-step explanation of what we're going to go through, and I have instructions for both Windows and Macintosh. So just be aware that these are here, and on the second page I have a visual chart, so to speak, of where each of the pieces of content are located within their proper panel, associated with that particular piece of content. Let's go ahead then and double-click on my 12.1 installer, and what this will do is launch the version of Adobe Extension Manager with your version of Photoshop.
You'll get a little notification here. Just go ahead and Accept. So you want to click OK, and here we see that it has installed John's Artist's Brushes. You can go ahead and quit the Extension Manager now, and let's go ahead now and launch Photoshop, and let's go up to the Window menu. And the first piece of business we want to take care of are the tool presets, and you'll see right now there is nothing in here. So I'm going to go to the little dropdown menu, and we'll see that there is now included in here my artist brushes.
There is two versions of them: AP stands for artist pen and GP stand for grip pen. The grip pen is the default pen that comes with, in this case, the Intuos tablet. The artist pen is an optional pen that you can buy that also senses barrel rotation, so that when you twist the pen in your hand it senses that barrel rotation and if that information is included, the brushes will take that into account.
So if you don't have the artist pen, you want to be sure and install the grip- pen version, and I've modified the files so that it uses direction instead of barrel rotation. You don't get quite the same behavior, but it's the best you can do in the absence of actual barrel rotation. But if you do have the artist pen, go ahead and load this one up. I do have the artist pen so I'm going to go ahead and click on this, and there are no tools in here, so I'm going to go ahead and hit Replace. Normally, you do want to replace; otherwise you're going to start aggregating all kinds of different content in one of these windows, and it gets a little confusing. So I'm going to say OK, and here's all of my different tools.
And one thing you want to be sure you uncheck is Current Tool Only, because it comes in handy that you might want to be in another tool, like for example the Move tool, if this is checked you won't see it, but believe me there's times where you're going want to still have access to these, even when you're in this tool, so that you can easily go to this list, click on one particular brush, and continue working. So it's a workflow option you have to turn this off, and I highly recommend it.
The other thing I'm going to do is I'm going to click and drag this, and I like to place this in the top of my Palette Stack here, so that I've got this always visible, and I can also adjust right here right-clicking on the line between the panels exactly how much of this I want to see, so you do have a way to kind of play around with your window on your brushes. But this now gives you the ability to, with just a single click, completely change the character of your brush. That's why you want to have this up here all the time.
Next, let's go ahead and take a look at swatches. Same behavior here. I'm going to pull the dropdown menu out, and we're going to look at this list below and we'll see, sure enough, here's John's Artist's Brushes. So if you click on that, I can go ahead and replace the current colors with the swatch set that we'll talk about later on in the title. Next I'm going to go to the Brush panel, and I recommend, this is one you're going to be using so much, I think it's important to have it in this little mini icon stack all the time.
That way you can click on it when, for example, you do want to change textures. So we'll go to the Texture sub-panel. Right up here is our Preview and if you click anywhere on that, that brings up the list of current textures, and you can see that these are the default textures. We don't care about them, so we'll go in here and once again to locate in our list the John's Artist's Brushes Textures. I'm going to replace and there they are. So now I've got my textures activated and available when I want them. Finally, let's go into the Actions palette, and if we go in here like we've done before, pull down this dropdown menu, find John's Cloning layers, go ahead and click on that, and in this case it's adding it, so we have one right here at the end of the list and I will be describing these in great detail later on in the title.
So now that we've got all these little bits of John content located and installed within Photoshop, you'll now have access to them throughout the title as we utilize them in great detail.
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