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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

Organizing the Tool Presets panel


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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

with John Derry

Video: Organizing the Tool Presets panel

The Tool Presets panel is the Grand Central Station of all of your brushes. Beyond organizing your brushes, this panel can be used to have your brushes available with a single click. In this video, we'll look at both organizing and maximizing access to your brushes. The first thing I want to cover is, once you've created a set of Tool presets, you're going to want to save these as a group, and the best way to do that is to go into the Tool Presets flyout menu, and we can Save Tool presets.
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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

Organizing the Tool Presets panel

The Tool Presets panel is the Grand Central Station of all of your brushes. Beyond organizing your brushes, this panel can be used to have your brushes available with a single click. In this video, we'll look at both organizing and maximizing access to your brushes. The first thing I want to cover is, once you've created a set of Tool presets, you're going to want to save these as a group, and the best way to do that is to go into the Tool Presets flyout menu, and we can Save Tool presets.

So, I'll go in here, and I'm going to name this My Tool Presets, Save. Now that we have that, we can always go into this list, and if we wanted to do say replace, we'll have that available as one of the Tool preset groups that are available to us. You also going to want to be able to load new presets, and I've got set here that I'm going to include within the exercise file. So if we go to the Desktop > Exercise Files and Chapter 5, you'll find the lynda Mixer brushes.tpl.

Let's open that, and now, this has replaced our list with a new list of a larger group of presets. You have some Viewing options as to how you can look at this list. You can say that you want this to be a Small List or a Large List. I typically keep it at Text Only. It's the cleanest display of the names of the various tools that you have in your presets. So that's typically the way to use it. Once we have a set of brushes in our Tool Preset list, there is some ways that we can organize how this panel actually appears.

One way is to have it actually as the icon on here, and if you don't currently have that - we'll turn this off - you can go to the Window menu and dropdown to the Tool presets and enable it, and this shows this as a little icon. We can take this, and if you just put it into the existing icon panel, you'll see the little blue line. That tells me that this will join it to my other icons in my list. So, with one click, I can get to a brush, then I can select it, and I can start painting with it.

But there's yet another way we can do this, and if we tear this off, we can take this Tool Preset list and actually put it inside this list. So if I put it in here, I've now got this list available to me in a single click setup. So if I just go over here and click, then click and work. I want to grab a Blender version of that. May be I want to get a long Smeary. So you can see here that this gives me a quick way to get to these brushes in a single click, and I find this to be a very useful way to do it.

Obviously, people are going to have different organizations of how they set up their palettes, but this is one way, particularly in a painting mode, that you can have a very quick access to these brushes. One other thing I want to point out. I believe, by default, this is turned on when you get Photoshop CS5. You typically want this off, and I'll show you why. If it's enabled, and I go to another tool, this list now tells me, you have no presets for the current tool, because this enable is telling that to only show me any presets saved for the tool I'm.

When it's not enabled, regardless of the tool I'm in, this list is available. So, if I have been using the eyedropper, I still have access to this, and I would go and click this and instantly have my tool available. So, keeping Current Tool unchecked is a great way to, once again, make this list persistent and always available, no matter what tool you are in. The Tool Presets panel maximizes the ability to select your brushes, no matter what the current tool is, and you can do it with a single mouse click.

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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