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Troubleshooting a stylus

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Troubleshooting a stylus

In this exercise, I am going to demonstrate what to do if you're getting strange results when painting with a Bristle brush in combination with a pressure sensitive stylus. I'm still working inside Brush settings diagram.psd. I've modified the contents of the RBM along path layer but whether you did that along with me or not is inconsequential because we are going to be switching to a different layer comp. Now, bear in mind that what we want is this effect right there, particularly if we go ahead and reinstate our settings. I'm going to do that because I did make one modification you may recall.

Troubleshooting a stylus

In this exercise, I am going to demonstrate what to do if you're getting strange results when painting with a Bristle brush in combination with a pressure sensitive stylus. I'm still working inside Brush settings diagram.psd. I've modified the contents of the RBM along path layer but whether you did that along with me or not is inconsequential because we are going to be switching to a different layer comp. Now, bear in mind that what we want is this effect right there, particularly if we go ahead and reinstate our settings. I'm going to do that because I did make one modification you may recall.

I am going to switch to the Brush panel, grab that Stiffness value, which I raised in the previous exercise, and lower it back to 50% or if you did this along with me, if you created a new brush then you can click on that brush there inside the Brush Presets panel and that will go ahead and reload those settings as well. But however you get there the Size value should be 75 pixels, Shape should be Round Blunt, Bristles 30% all the way down the list as diagramed here inside the image window. All right, so I am going to close the Brush panel for a moment.

This is the brush stroke that we should get if we are working with the standard pressure sensitive stylus. However I'm going to switch to the very last layer comp. It's called Experiment down here at the bottom. It goes ahead and switches out all the brush strokes for an empty layer so that we have the opportunity to paint our own and it features a headline that says, "Try' Em Out for Yourself," by golly. Anyway, I'm going to close the Layer Comps panel. I'm going to scroll to the bottom of layers list, and right there, third from the bottom of the stack is a layer called paint on me. I am going to do it.

I'll start by painting with the mouse and notice what a widely different effect you get when painting with a mouse. Now, it's not to say it's necessarily bad. You can actually achieve some pretty great effects using a mouse. The only problem is that your paint strokes are likely to be a little clumsy and of course you don't have any of that pressure sensitive or tilt input. All right, I'll go ahead and undo that mouse stroke and I'll grab my pressure sensitive stylus right here and things aren't really looking right. Notice that I'm just seeing this collection of dots and that's it, which is of course the brush itself, the dollops of paint associated with the brush.

Then if I paint with the brush I end up getting this really light effect here. Now, I am bearing down but as soon as I start releasing I can see the individual bristles in this Bristle brush and that doesn't look anything like that brush I saw a moment ago. If I bring back up my Layer Comps panel and click on the very first layer comp I should be seeing this. Why in the world am I seeing this? They are the exact same brush stroke. I am using a pressure sensitive stylus. I've got my Wacom Intuos4. What in the world is the problem? Well, let's go ahead and hide the Layer Comps panel once again.

I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+A, Cmd+A on the Mac in order to select the contents of this layer and then press the Backspace key to get rid of that brushstroke so I can redraw it and get to the bottom of this. I'll go to the Brush Presets panel since it's handy and click on that little eye next to the Brush icon to bring up my Bristle brush preview. Now, I'll go ahead and draw this brushstroke again and notice - this is very curious. My brush in the Bristle Brush Preview is straight up and down. It's never wavering back and forth and I am tilting my stylus like crazy.

What in the world is the problem? Well, you can try a variety of different things. Basically what's happened is Photoshop has gotten mixed up. So, the driver and Photoshop and the tablet and the stylus, somewhere along the line we have a breakdown in communications. So, you could try turning your tablet on and off if you want to, you could try updating your driver software. That's sort of a defcon thing to do because it takes you know a certain amount of time. The easiest thing to do in my opinion and the thing that always works is to just quit Photoshop.

So, go up to the File menu and choose the Exit command or you can press Ctrl+Q or Cmd+Q on the Mac where you would choose the Quit command and then if you want to save your changes, by all means do. I don't want to, so I'll click on the No button or the Don't save button on the Mac and then that takes me back to the Bridge in my case because I had the Bridge running in the background. Now, I'll just make sure I am in the 31_bristle_brushes folders, as I am. I'll double-click on Brush settings diagram.psd to relaunch Photoshop and then I'll go ahead and zoom in a click here.

I still have the Brush tool selected and I'm still obviously working with that same Bristle brush because I can see the Bristle brush preview. I am probably not working on the proper layer comp. So let's go ahead and advance from Round Blunt Medium, check out what it looks like, to Experiment, and I'll close the Layer Comps panel. Make sure that the paint on me layer is active, which it is, and let's try it again. Now, I'll grab my stylus and good news, the cursor is responding as if I have tilt going on. As soon as I began painting I can see the tilt there inside the Bristle brush preview and now I'm getting the proper result.

So, just bear that in mind. The biggest problem that can occur, in my experience anyway - because you might have problems with the pen pressure being recognized as well. But the biggest problem I run into is all of a sudden the tilt control goes out the window. Photoshop is absolutely unaware of the tilt. You can see what a big difference that tilt is going to make in the quality of your brushstrokes. So, if at any point you're seeing this effect here, you have a pressure sensitive stylus and yet you're not seeing any depth associated with your cursor and you're not seeing any back and forth movement in the Bristle brush preview, that means the tilt control has gone and you have to reboot Photoshop.

If you are seeing this number where the Bristle brush preview is moving around all over the place and you can see tilt in your cursor then everything is A-OK.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

192 video lessons · 43825 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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