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Setting up your painting workspace

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features: Brushes

Video: Setting up your painting workspace

In this video we're going to take a look at how to set up the various tool presets and their associated content in Photoshop. If you watched the last video, we went through the installation of these assets. But now we're going to go ahead and set them up, and I am going to show you how I like to have these set up. Of course, you're welcome to set them up anyway you want. The first thing I want to talk about is the Brush Presets panel and right now what we've got set up is the Default Painting Workspace, and I am going to reorganize it a bit to show you how to get the best efficiency out of the Natural Media Tool Presets.

Setting up your painting workspace

In this video we're going to take a look at how to set up the various tool presets and their associated content in Photoshop. If you watched the last video, we went through the installation of these assets. But now we're going to go ahead and set them up, and I am going to show you how I like to have these set up. Of course, you're welcome to set them up anyway you want. The first thing I want to talk about is the Brush Presets panel and right now what we've got set up is the Default Painting Workspace, and I am going to reorganize it a bit to show you how to get the best efficiency out of the Natural Media Tool Presets.

First thing I want to talk about is the Brush Presets. They are the perennial holder of brushes in Photoshop and if you've been a user for a while, this is where you are probably going to assume that my brushes are going to be found; however, they're not. And the reason is I use Tool Presets as a way to encode and save all of my brushes. Why do I do that? Well, Tool Presets take advantage of information beyond simply what is going on in a Brush Preset.

And if I switch, for example, to the Mixer Brush, which all of the brushes are basically based on, there is a bunch of information up here in the options bar that is not saved by a Brush Preset. However, it is saved in a Tool Preset, and because some of these settings are key to adjusting and saving the parameters that are used as part of the Mixer Brush, it has to be saved by a Tool Preset. Because a Tool Preset does in fact save the information that is up here in the options bar, and for that reason it makes sense to work with Tool Presets.

And of course, you can always go to the Brush Preset picker, up here in the upper left when you're in the Brush Tool, to get the same information available to you, even without the Brush Preset panel open. So I'm going to go ahead and close this panel, and let's go to the Tool Presets, which are right here and I actually like to take him out of this little side icon stack and place them right up here at the top. And you'll see here in a moment why that makes a big difference in the way you work with the Tool Presets.

The Tool Presets are actually in the fly-out menu of the Tool Presets panel, and if go down here what see we have Airbrushes, Artists' Brushes, Dry Media, and Pencils, Mixer Brush. And you'll see from what we did in the last video, we also have loaded up Airbrushes-Sorted and then the same goes for the Artist Brushes-Sorted, a version of that, Dry Media-Sorted and Pencils Mixer Brushes-Sorted, basically these offer a behavior-based organization of the brushes.

In fact, I'm going to go ahead and load that up now, and we'll go ahead and replace the default set. So here we are, we've now got the Tool Presets in here. And one thing you want to make sure, if Current Tool Only is checked, you want be sure to uncheck it, and one of the reasons we do that is that if I go over here for example and select the Move tool, these stay visible. However, if this wasn't checked, each time you switch to a different tool, you're going to get an error message like this, or some other presets associated with other tools.

But by unchecking this, no matter what tool you're in, that set of presets is going to remain there, and that makes for a persistent list that you can get back to at any point. The other thing about this that's nice is, with this visible I can easily go in and say, for example, get an Opaque Flat-Fan Brush and start working, and I'll always be able to come over here with this list visible and quickly change to other lists. So having the Tool Presets positioned up here at the top of the palette stack, gives us a really nice way to have these around all the time.

Next, we can go to the Brushes panel. An important component of the natural- media brushes in CS6 are the textures associated with them. For example right now we've the Artist Brushes open and by default you're going to get this set of textures. What we want to do is change this to the patterns that are used in association with the Artist Brushes. So let's open this fly-out menu. We can see that we've got various texture libraries that we can open up. So let's go ahead and select the Artists' Brushes and we will replace these, and now we've got the canvas textures that are associated with the Artists' Brushes.

We've now got our brushes set up. We've now got texture setup. The other items we installed have to do with action. So I'm going to go over to the Window menu here, and we want to open up the Actions palette, and here it is; now it's in the icon stack. What we see here is the Mixer Brush Cloning Paint Setup; this action, which I'll talk about in the cloning movie, is in this set of default actions. However, we also installed the Cloning Paint Extra, so if we go to fly-out menu of actions, we'll see right here the Mixer Brush Cloning Paint Extras are in the list.

So if click on this, this will add this here. I will go ahead and open this up, and now we've got the Cloning Layer Extras Installed. So now we've got the content set up to be accessible to us when we go into a natural media painting or cloning session. This is the basic setup that I use and as we go forward throughout the title, you'll see these various components being used, and now you know where to get them.

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Photoshop CS6 New Features: Brushes

18 video lessons · 12105 viewers

John Derry
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