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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

Saving tool presets


From:

Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

with John Derry

Video: Saving tool presets

In this movie, we're going to take a look at how you actually save Tool presets. One of the things that I do is I really try to adopt a set of standard descriptive terms for naming my brushes. By being consistent, you will easily be able to select various brushes, knowing how they will behave. Let's take a look into saving and naming your bouncing bundle of brushes. Okay, so we're going to start off, and I'm going to just create a sample brush here that would be useful, and it will be included in your exercise file, as well.
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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

Saving tool presets

In this movie, we're going to take a look at how you actually save Tool presets. One of the things that I do is I really try to adopt a set of standard descriptive terms for naming my brushes. By being consistent, you will easily be able to select various brushes, knowing how they will behave. Let's take a look into saving and naming your bouncing bundle of brushes. Okay, so we're going to start off, and I'm going to just create a sample brush here that would be useful, and it will be included in your exercise file, as well.

So, I'm going to go to my Brush menu, and the first thing I'm going to do here is I want to change the brush shape, and I'm going to change it to a Round Blunt point. These settings, I'm happy with, so I'm not going to change them. But let's look at the Transfer panel. One of the things that I do, not with all of my brushes, but it doesn't hurt to have all of these turned on, you'll get the most out of these brushes, particularly with a pressure sensitive pin when you use this.

I also want to include texture in this, and this is a texture that I have come to like in the basic set of artist textures that Adobe provides. Scale, I'm going to keep at 100. I like the Height mode, Deptha all of this, I'm going to keep the same. Now, let's go up here, and I am going to keep both auto cleaning and auto loading my brushes turned on. I want Wet to be zero because what we want to get here is a brush that is opaque, and I like what's happening here.

I can see my texture in this brush. We're going to keep a short load on this, so that this brush runs out of paint. So, it's going to be a short brush. So, with all of these various things that we're doing to the brush, this is where I start to try to figure out how to name my brushes. Now, the one way I like to do it is I organize my descriptions so that they go from the very specific to more general. The most specific thing about this brush is the type of brush that it is.

As we remember from looking at this before, really, you've got five basic types here, in two categories: Round and Flat. So Pointed, Blunt, Curved, Angle and Fan are really kind of the most specific descriptors of brushes. So, I'm going to start by using Blunt in my terminology here, and to save this, I'm going to go up, and I want to save, not a brush preset. This is where you can get confused. You are in brushes. You'd think, go to the brush presets to save it.

We don't want to do that. We want to save this as a Tool preset. So, I'm going to go to the Tool preset menu and say New Tool Preset. Adobe kind of puts a basic set of names in here, but they're rather mixed up and jumbled. So, I'm going to start with my specific brush name, a Blunt brush. So we know Blunt is the basic category of it. The second name I want to give this, in terms of the category, it is a Round Tip. So we're going to say Round.

Secondly, the way I've described and organized this brush is it has a very short stroke life. So, I'm going to call it Short, and finally, it's an opaque brush. So, this brush becomes the Blunt-Round Short Opaque, and for each of these types I've select here, we'll see this in a couple of other examples, I will use a consistent naming convention for the brushes, and you'll see here in a moment how they start to come together. So, we saved it. We now have Blunt-Round Short Opaque.

Now, all it's going to take is a couple of change-ups here to alter the behavior of these brushes. So, for example, just turning off Auto Load and increasing Wetness a bit, I've now got a Blender brush. So just that little change by itself. All the other characteristics, you can see there's still texture being part of this brush, but it is now a Blender variation on this. So let's save this Tool preset, and we can use the same naming convention, so this is going to be a Blunt-Round Short, and in this case, it's a Blender because it's not applying color; it's only moving color around.

Now, we've got two variations here. So if I go to this brush, I'm now painting with my opaque brush. When I switch to this one, I'm now blending. The other little difference we can do in here is we can make this a smeary brush, and to do that, I was going to turn the color back on. Let's get a third color here and test this out. So, now this applies some color, but it also, because it's wet, it tends to smear into the underlying color it finds.

So this brush - once again, using this consistent naming convention, I'll create a new Tool preset - this one will be Blunt. Again, it is round, it is short and in this case, it's smeary. So now I've saved a triplet of three brushes with three different behaviors, and yet I can tell, right at the beginning, what type of tip and what type of behavior I'm going to get when I get to what these brushes ultimately do.

So once again, we have our Opaque brush, we've got a Smeary brush, and we've got a Blender brush. So basically, we started here with a set of brushes that exhibit a similar tip shapes and similar stroke life, but the ultimate characteristic, whether they are opaque or blenders or smeary, are different. These now can become the seeds for mastering and creating further brushes. For example, you could change the tip shape, or you could change it from a short brush to a long stroke brush, based on the load characteristic.

But starting with the three brushes, you now could create a whole library of brushes and by naming them in a consistent manner, you'll be able to look at these and get an instant feedback as to which brush you're going to get, based on its characteristics. That, for me, is a very important aspect of naming brushes, particularly as you get into larger collections. By thinking about this upfront and having consistent terminology for the various aspects of the brushes as that collection builds, it's not going to get confusing as to what you have in your collection.

So, be very careful about how you name these brushes, and be sure you come up with consistent terminology. Just don't name your brushes names like things like Chad, or Crystal, or Mariah.

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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