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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
In this exercise, I am going to demonstrate how to paint a brushstroke, whether uses a Bristle brush or any other kind of brush inside of Photoshop, along a path outline that you've drawn with the Pen tool or one of the Shape tools and saved off inside the Paths panel. Here I am working away, still inside Brush settings diagram.psd, found inside the 31_bristle_brushes folder. I have advanced all the way to the second layer comp here inside the Layer Comps panel. It's called RBM which is short for Round Blunt Medium (same), so same settings that we've been using, but path. That is, we are tracing a path outline as opposed to using a stylus or a mouse.
All right, so if you want to catch up with me, go ahead and click in front of that layer comp. I'm going to close the Layer Comps panel and then I am going to scroll up my Layers panel list just a little bit, we are still close to the bottom of list here, and I am going to click on RBM along path. That is the brushstroke that we are seeing here inside the image window. Now I am going to delete this brushstroke and recreate it. I don't want to delete the layer itself. So I am going to press Ctrl+A or Cmd+ A on the Mac to select the entire thing. Press the Backspace or Delete key in order to get rid of it and then press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image.
All right, now go over to the Paths panel. Notice that I have created a path outline for you in advance. I'll click on it to make it active, and there it is. Now, all you need to do is select one of the painting or editing tools. So I've got the Brush tool selected. However, you can do the same thing. You can paint a brushstroke using the Healing Brush if you want to, the Clone Stamp tool, all the way down to the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools. So this gives you a high degree of precision inside of Photoshop, the idea that you can draw a path and then trace it using a brush.
All right, make sure then that you've gone ahead and selected that brush preset that I invited you to create a couple of exercises ago. Round Blunt Medium 75px and if you didn't make that brush, why then you can go ahead and dial those settings here inside the Brush panel. So make sure Shape is set to Round Blunt and that the other settings are established according to these values down here at the bottom of the image window. I'm going to hide the Brush panel. Next, what do you do? So make sure the path is selected, make sure the Brush tool is selected, make sure the proper brush is right ready to go.
Then drop down to the bottom of the Paths panel and you'll see this option called Stroke path with brush. You can click on it if you want to, or here's the keyboard shortcut. You just press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and Photoshop traces that path outline automatically. All right, so the good news is it starts really nicely and it does an awesome job of tracing exactly along the path outline. The bad news is the brushstroke has this habit of sort of folding over in these corners. Now, these aren't actually corners; there are no corner points on the path.
It's all smooth points, but we do have some pretty acute transitions and at each one of these zigzags here, we get a fold-over. The fold is caused by the fact that we have a sort of middling stiffness value. Because the Stiffness is only set to 50%, why, the brush is allowed to fold over on itself. If you don't want that, press Ctrl+Z, Cmd+Z on the Mac, to undo that brushstroke. Bring back up Brushes panel. Let's go ahead and increase the Stiffness value to something like 75%.
Let's try that and I'll once again hide the Brushes panel, this time by pressing F5 key and I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, in order to trace that path outline. You can see this time, we get a much more sparse effect here without the fold-overs in the corner. So there's an extremely useful feature for you. Little-known as well. You can achieve a high degree of precision inside a Photoshop, by creating a path outline using the Pen tool or one of the Shape tools and then stroking it with the Brush tool or one of the Edit tools here inside Photoshop.
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