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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.
All right, now that we have a sense for how the various bristle variables work, that is Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness, let's see what happens when we mix and match these settings. I also want to give you a sense for what happens when you change the tilt of your stylus, that is the angle of the stylus with respect to the tablet. So I'm still working inside Brush settings diagram.psd and if we bring up the layer Comps panel you see that we're currently looking at the third comp, I'm going to switch to the fourth comp Round Blunt Medium again, which is just a repeat of the very first one, so that we can see what a brush stroke looks like, when it's set to a Round Blunt Style and these values down here at the bottom of the screen, the ones that we just saved off as a preset in the previous exercise.
Now I am demonstrating that to you so that we can compare it to a couple of other ones, let's say I go ahead and reduce Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness to those minimum settings that I showed you just a moment ago. Now these aren't necessarily the minimal settings, these are just the minimal ones that I demonstrated, so I'll go ahead and advance to the next layer Comp, and here it is, this is a brush stroke created with, notice that these values are scribbled out down here at the bottom of the screen. The Bristles value is now 5% so that we have very few hairs, the Length is just 25% so that they're short hairs as well; the Thickness of each hair is 1%, as low as it goes, and the Stiffness is also 1%, which is as low as it goes, meaning that those hairs, even though they are very short, are also very flexible.
And where you can see the effects of that are at these corners right here. I bore down on the corners when I was switching back and forth with my brush stroke there, and as a result I got a fair amount of smearing. Again, that's a result of having such a low stiffness value. Now let's say we cranked all the values up, I'll go ahead and switch to the next layer comp, these values are scribbled out again, Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness, and now we have a Bristles setting of a 100%, so tons of bristles. A length of 250%, very long bristles as well.
Thickness of 50% so they are big doughy bristles, and then finally the Stiffness is a 100%, so that's kind of operating in the opposite direction of everybody else, that gives us more control not less. So each one of the bristles is as stiff as it gets, it's as unbending as it possibly can be. So we have a pretty darn uniform stroke whether I am pressing very hard or fairly lightly there is not a lot of difference going on. So the end of the stroke right here on the far left-hand side of the screen is the lightest pressure that I applied, just to give you a sense of what's going on.
Now then, another thing you should notice is that I've scribbled out the Spacing value. I changed the Spacing because since I'd maxed out these values like crazy, and again they are not necessarily the maximum values that you can apply, but they are very, very high. That requires a lot of computation on the part of Photoshop, which means that Photoshop was having troubles keeping up with my brush stroke, which I drew about as quickly as I am demonstrating here. And Photoshop was not able to keep up with my moves. So the only way to compensate for that was to either change my settings, which of course I didn't want to do for the sake of demonstrational purposes, so I increased the Spacing value instead.
So when you increase the Spacing value you permit Photoshop to lay down fewer dollops of paint, and therefore has a better chance of keeping up with your painting. All right, the other thing I want to demonstrate here is the effects of tilt, so I am going to switch to the next layer comp, and this is the effect, again of these settings that we went ahead and saved off as a custom brush. This is a brush stroke, and we've seen this several times now, it's that same brush stroke we saw at the very outset of this project file. This is the effect of a naturally tilted stylus, by which I mean I'm holding it in my hand just as you might, it's a little inclined into my left hand because I am left-handed, and I have the left edge of my left hand against the stylus and I'm just painting the way it would normally write if I was holding a pen, for example.
However, you're going to get a very different effect if you make the stylus upright. Instead, you're going to get this effect right here. That is, using these exact same settings, so this is the same brush, you are going to end up getting a more sparse effect as we're seeing right now. So in other words you'll be able to see those individual hairs of paint, and I suggest when you are first learning how to use a Bristle Brush if you are just trying to come to terms with it, that you try painting if you have a stylus and art tablet such as my Wacom Intuos4, then you try painting with your stylus upright at first just to get a sense of what's going on.
All right, next I want to show you for those of you who do not have styluses, you're working with a mouse, this is a mouse stroke right there. So we don't have any pressure differentiation going on, so it's just one uniform pressure. But notice we're getting a much sparser effect than if we had worked with a stylus, particularly one that was tilted. In fact, when you are painting with a mouse, you get an effect that is not unlike the untilted stylus at certain points. So it's a combination of medium pressure with an untilted stylus, and I just went back one layer comp to show you the difference.
All right, I am going to go and switch up to the No-Pressure Device e.g. a mouse, and then finally this is the effect of stroking a path drawn with a Pen tool. Now I haven't even shown you that you can do that, but you actually apply a brush stroke along a path. So I'll show you how that works in the next exercise.
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