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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush
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Monitoring brush orientation with the 3D Brush preview


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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

with John Derry

Video: Monitoring brush orientation with the 3D Brush preview

When you're working with a traditional brush, how you move this brush in your hand, and the way it contacts with the surface of the canvas changes the way the mark is expressed on the surface of the canvas. And with the Wacom Tablet, you have the same ability to be able to gesture all of these various axes of motions through to Photoshop CS5, and Photoshop now has a Bristle Tip Preview that feeds back to you the same information you would see if you had a traditional brush in your hand.
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  1. 2m 29s
    1. Introduction
      1m 26s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 3s
  2. 9m 10s
    1. Understanding the axes of motion
      2m 51s
    2. Assigning TouchRing functions
      6m 19s
  3. 22m 18s
    1. Monitoring brush orientation with the 3D Brush preview
      4m 55s
    2. Choosing the right brush shape
      3m 32s
    3. Using bristle tips
      2m 7s
    4. Adjusting bristle length
      2m 18s
    5. Changing the thickness of the bristles
      2m 1s
    6. Adjusting brush stiffness
      2m 35s
    7. Understanding options for angle adjustment
      2m 15s
    8. Changing bristle spacing
      2m 35s
  4. 26m 1s
    1. Using the Preset Brush Behavior menu
      2m 32s
    2. Color wells: Reservoir and pickup
      2m 11s
    3. Using the Wet, Load, Mix, and Flow controls to adjust color behavior
      5m 39s
    4. Loading and cleaning the Mixer Brush: Manual or automatic
      4m 54s
    5. Sampling color from all layers
      4m 31s
    6. Using the Transfer panel to adjust paint dynamics
      6m 14s
  5. 17m 8s
    1. Selecting patterns from the Pattern Library
      2m 1s
    2. Simulating canvas texture
      4m 15s
    3. Setting texture scale
      2m 33s
    4. Locking textures
      2m 44s
    5. Adding 3D appearance to strokes
      5m 35s
  6. 14m 13s
    1. Understanding tool presets and brush presets
      3m 15s
    2. Saving tool presets
      6m 55s
    3. Organizing the Tool Presets panel
      4m 3s
  7. 22m 23s
    1. Quickly loading and cleaning the Mixer Brush with keyboard shortcuts
      7m 3s
    2. Loading the brush with multiple colors from an image
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Color Picker Heads-Up Display
      5m 55s
    4. Using additional color selection options
      4m 32s
  8. 11m 45s
    1. Creating an underpaint layer to remove photographic detail
      5m 8s
    2. Restoring detail
      6m 37s
  9. 21m 8s
    1. Creating a color mixing layer
      7m 39s
    2. Loading brushes to enhance visual interest
      5m 17s
    3. Adding detail to a painting
      8m 12s
  10. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush
2h 27m Intermediate Jul 20, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join John Derry, a pioneer in the field of digital painting, as he shows how to master the natural-media painting features introduced in Photoshop CS5 in Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush. This course shows how to use the Mixer Brush, the Bristle Tips feature, and a new mechanism for blending colors in Photoshop to add beautiful, painterly effects to photographs, enhance artwork with paint-like strokes and illustrations, and paint entirely new art from scratch. This course also covers customizing brush characteristics and surface textures, applying keyboard shortcuts to paint smoothly and efficiently, and using a Wacom tablet to get the most out of Photoshop CS5’s painting features. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the axes of motion with a Wacom tablet
  • Choosing a brush shape and Bristle Tip
  • Adjusting brush angle
  • Loading color and control the behavior of the Mixer Brush
  • Modifying surface texture
  • Simulating the texture of canvas
  • Saving tool presets for brushes
  • Creating a painting from a photograph
  • Painting from scratch with the Mixer Brush
Subjects:
Design Digital Painting
Software:
Photoshop Wacom
Author:
John Derry

Monitoring brush orientation with the 3D Brush preview

When you're working with a traditional brush, how you move this brush in your hand, and the way it contacts with the surface of the canvas changes the way the mark is expressed on the surface of the canvas. And with the Wacom Tablet, you have the same ability to be able to gesture all of these various axes of motions through to Photoshop CS5, and Photoshop now has a Bristle Tip Preview that feeds back to you the same information you would see if you had a traditional brush in your hand.

By seeing this information, it gives you a great understanding of how you're going to be making the various marks that are being made in contact with the canvas within Photoshop. In this movie, we'll take a look at this. The Bristle Tip Preview is a great way to see how you are actually manipulating the brush in your hand. When you can see this information visually, you get a very clear indication of what the brush tip is doing, and how it is connecting with the surface. Having this information gives you a great deal of feedback as to how the marks you are making will be created, and makes for a great learning situation. Let's take a look.

We'll begin by going over to the Tool palette, and I am going to drop down to my Brush tool, and let's just click and hold here for a little flyout, and at the bottom here, we'll find the Mixer brush. Next, I am going over, and I am going to, in the icon stack here, select the Brush icon for the Brushes panel, and you'll notice at the top, where all of the icons for the various tips are, there is a new set of tips in here that are part of CS5, and these represent the bristle tips themselves.

They're divided into two categories; you'll see there's white and black tips. The white tips represent round points, and the black tips represents flat points, and we'll get into some more detail about these a little later, but I just want you to be aware of where they're located. In order to work with the Bristle tip, we need to select one. So I'm going in and selecting the Flat Fan brush. Now, the first thing you'll notice is my tip is actually referencing how this looks, and giving me an outline view of it. So as I am manipulating and moving my Wacom Art Pen in my hand, it is updating to show me how this will affect the mark being made on the canvas.

I can see it in a little more detail, if we drop down to the bottom of the Brush panel and click on the Eye and Brush icon, and you can see now I have a much better indication through the 3D Preview of what's going on. This is the simple Preview, and if I hold down the Shift Key and click, we get the Render Preview, and this just gives you a little more dressing on how it looks. But basically I find this to be a little hard to read, because there's not much color difference between the gray background and the bristle tips, so it's little hard to read.

By holding down the Shift key and clicking back, I find this to be a little more readable, but the choice is up to you. You'll just hold the Shift key to make that choice. Now that I've got the setup, you can see how the information streaming from the 6D pen is giving me full capability of seeing exactly what's going on here, and this is particularly important when you're trying to understand why a particular brush is making a certain mark. If I go ahead now and draw a little bit, you'll see that it is responding based on the way the shape of the brush is currently set up.

Notice across the bottom of the Preview, there is a little dotted line. This represents the canvas itself. And if I go over here and just adjust Stiffness, we'll see that when I press down, you can see how there is actually a physical deformation that goes on with regard to those tips, and those deformations are actually altering the look of the brush tip, as I apply pressure. Now if I switch and use my mouse, you'll see that none of that deformation is changing.

That's why the Wacom makes such a great tool in collaboration with the bristle tips, because it's all how the various components of your arm, wrist and hand, translated through tilt bearing and pressure, all come together to enable one brush with one tip to have so many different kinds of marks within the same shape. That's where you're going to get the full expression out of these brushes is by combining it with a Wacom brush and stylus in a way that you really have much more control over the marks being made.

While the Brush Tip Preview is a great way to learn how the brush works, you won't want to have it on all the time. After awhile, the Preview can get a bit distracting, but it's good to know that it's available at anytime, when you want to get a good idea of how the brush is behaving for a particular brush that you are working with.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush.


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Q: What factors affect how well the mixer brushes in Photoshop perform? Does document size (i.e. 72dpi vs. 240dpi) affect the performance of the brushes? How can I maximize brush performance?
A: The recordings for this tutorial were generally done at a standard screen resolution, but a real-world situation will often require higher resolutions. For example, offset printing generally dictates files at 300ppi (pixels per inch). Inkjet printing is often discussed in terms of 240ppi. For web-based viewing, imagery at 72ppi is considered acceptable. You can easily determine the pixel resolution of an image by multiplying the size in inches by the above ppi (pixels per inch) factors.
Let's use a typical real-world size as an example: 20" X 24". This is a common photographic print and frame size.

72ppi = 1440p X 1728p = 2,488,320 pixels
150ppi = 3000p X 3600p = 10,800,000 pixels
300ppi = 6000p X 7200p = 43,200,000 pixels

Note that each of these resolution factors quadruples the total pixel count.
It is the amount of pixels being manipulated that dictates both application and brush performance. With this in mind, we can state that performance decreases as image pixel size increases. There are three primary factors that affect an application's ability to handle large pixel-based manipulation.
For the full FAQ, please download the PDF file here
 
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