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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush
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Understanding tool presets and brush presets


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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

with John Derry

Video: Understanding tool presets and brush presets

When you create a useful brush in Photoshop, you're most likely going to want to save it for future retrieval and use. It is easy to assume that saving your expressive instrument as a Brush preset would be the way to go, but you definitely want to save it as a Tool preset. In this video, we'll find out why. The first thing is to think of Tool presets as a higher level of Brush preset. They capture more information. They capture everything that the Brush preset, would plus the brush tip shape, the various dynamics, whatever is in the Option bar; all of these are part of a Tool preset.
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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

Understanding tool presets and brush presets

When you create a useful brush in Photoshop, you're most likely going to want to save it for future retrieval and use. It is easy to assume that saving your expressive instrument as a Brush preset would be the way to go, but you definitely want to save it as a Tool preset. In this video, we'll find out why. The first thing is to think of Tool presets as a higher level of Brush preset. They capture more information. They capture everything that the Brush preset, would plus the brush tip shape, the various dynamics, whatever is in the Option bar; all of these are part of a Tool preset.

They are not part of a Brush preset. I'm going to show you what I mean. I'm going to just scramble up these settings, so that they're random right now, because I'm going to compare a couple of different brushes to show you what I mean. Okay, we've completely changed what we've done here. I'm going to go to Brush presets. I've saved a Brush preset. It's named the same as one that's over in the Tool presets here. So first, let's load the Brush preset. Okay, it loaded, and it's doing something, but notice what the settings are.

The settings are still whatever I randomized them to, and this isn't really the behavior I intend with this brush. Now, I'm going to load the Tool preset, and watch, particularly, what happens up here. You see all of that information has been saved? This is the intended behavior of this brush; so all of the work that I did in setting the Transfer settings, up all of this are part of this Tool preset. Once again, if we switch over to the Brush preset here, it's going to just use whatever is here.

So if these are different settings, it will be in the Brush preset, nothing really changes. Some items may be saved, but this definitely is not retrieving the brush the way I intended it to start. So a Brush preset is definitely the way you want to save brushes. Another nice advantage of Tool presets is that when I'm in another tool, I can still select this from the list, and get that brush. On the other hand, if I'm in another tool, notice the Brush Preset list isn't even active.

I have to first switch to a brush to get to it. It's just an extra workflow change that you have to make. The beauty of the Tool Preset list is that it's always available, and ready for you to select from. So particularly when you're in painting activity where you're relying on Mixer brushes that you've saved, you can have this list available no matter what the tool is, and instantly get to those brushes. So your brushes are literally one click away, rather than having to move, make a click to a brush, go back, and select it.

So when you're saving your brushes, be sure to use a Tool preset to capture everything about the brush. You want to save your Tool presets to prevent accidental loss. The other thing is you can also share these Tool presets with other users, so it's a great way to be able to take your work, and be able to share it with others. In another video in this chapter, we're going to take a look at the actual process of saving a Tool preset.

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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