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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.
I'm still working inside Brush settings diagram.psd, found inside the 31_bristle_brushes folder. In the next couple of exercises, I'm going to explain those options that are uniquely suited to Bristle Brushes inside Photoshop, and these include Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness. So in this exercise, I'll give you a kind of visual demonstration of those options, and then in the next exercise, we'll examine the effects of changing each one of these values. So I've got the Brush tool selected, I also have selected a Round Blunt Style Bristle Brush.
So in addition to clicking on the various Bristle icons, here inside the Brush panel or inside the Brush Presets panel, you can also select any one of them and then change its shape between the ten different varieties. So you've got Round Point, Blunt, Curve, Angle and Fan. So the five round variations followed by their cousins, the five flat variations. I am going to switch for a moment to Flat Blunt, although otherwise I have gone ahead and established some custom settings 30% for Bristle, 140% for Length, 4% for Thickness, 50% for Stiffness, 0% for Angle, we've got 2% for Spacing and a Size of 75 pixels.
They're all listed here at the bottom of the diagram as well, in case you want to set your brush the same way. More likely though, if you're working along with me, you are going to look onscreen and say, hey I've got this thing up here in the upper left-hand corner of my Image window that you don't, and that thing is the Bristle Brush Preview. I will go ahead and bring it up, because it is On by default, and you can turn it on and off by clicking on this icon here. This icon that looks like a little eyeball, next to a brush. It's available at the bottom of the Brush panel and the Brush Preview panel, and if you click on it that brings up the Bristle Brush Preview right there, and if you click again you hide it.
Another thing you can do, I'll go ahead and bring it back up. You can click on this close box to hide it, but then if you do, you've got to come back down here to the bottom of the Brush panel to bring it up again, there is no shortcut incidentally. So what I tend to do, I tend to leave it up onscreen because it's pretty educational and then if I want to get it offscreen, so that I can take a look at what's going on inside of my illustration, because it always has to appear some place on top of your image, by the way, it's got to be inside the Image window. You cannot move it on top of the Options Bar or the right side panels or any of that. But if you want to hide it, you could just press the M key to switch back to the Marquee tool.
So it just shows up as long as you're using a Bristle Brush. Anyway I am going to press the B key to switch back to my Brush tool. You can also move it to a different location like so to get it out of the way. You can make it tinier if you want to, by clicking on this double arrowhead icon. Make it bigger, you click on that icon again. Finally, the reason I went with my Flat Brush is so that we can see what this preview means, we are seeing the handle of the brush of course, and then the bristles themselves. These are the bristles and/or hairs, if you prefer of the brush, and then this dotted line right there is the canvas.
And so when you press in, if we would actually use the stylus, if you press into the canvas, then you will see the brush deform, you'll see the hairs actually bend into that canvas, and I'll show you that in just a minute. But the first thing I want to show you is right now we are seeing a side view of the brush, and this is a flat brush bear in mind. So we are seeing first of all by default, you see the thickest version of that brush. So we are looking at the brush because it's actually, it has a vertical orientation associated with it again by default. We are seeing the brush from either the left or the right-hand side.
If you click inside this preview, you'll switch to either the top or bottom view of the brush, which are going to look the same, because it's a nice skinny brush vertically, and then if you click another time, you are going to see the brush as a bird's eye view, you're looking straight down on it. Now the whole reason I mentioned this, is because it's very easy to accidentally switch to this bird's eye view, which in my experience is virtually useless. It's kind of useful sometimes, but it's not the normal view you want to see. And if you want to switch back to one of the more informative side views, then you just click again, like so.
Now another thing I want to show you here, I am going to move this guy over to the side, and I am going to bring out my Brushes panel again, watch this brush preview as I change the angle. So if I rotate the brush, it rotates inside the preview as well, which changes the nature of the side-by-side preview. So I am clicking here, there is now, look at that, the bird's eye view, and so if I change the angle, we'll see that brush sort of swivel on the fly. Just to give you a sense of what's going on. Anyway I am going to reset it to 0 degrees, click inside there again, and then switch the shape back to Round Blunt, because that happens to be, quite frankly, if I have a favorite, that is it, the Round Blunt Brush style there, and now I am going to go ahead and close the Brush panel for a moment, and I am going to switch to this layer, it's down here near the bottom of the layers list, it's called Rnd Blunt Med, which of course stands for Round Blunt Medium.
I am going to press Ctrl+A or Cmd+A on the Mac in order to select the entire contents of this layer and press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac, so that I can go ahead and paint in a new brush stroke, and then I will press Ctrl+D, Cmd+D on the Mac in order to paint. Now if you are working along with me, you need to make sure if you want to get the same results that you've dialed in these settings right there. All right, now I want you to notice, as I paint, I want you to notice the appearance not only of the Bristle Brush Preview right there, but I also want you to notice the appearance of my cursor. Right now it appears as a kind of a little scattershot cursor and what we are seeing of course is the brush itself, that dollop that I was telling you, that changes as you modify the pressure with your stylus, if indeed you are working with a stylus, you can work with a mouse as well.
Also when you're working with a stylus, I want you to notice this. See my cursor, see how it's kind of moving around like that, like it has depth, and that's because I'm changing the tilt of my stylus, and you may also note the tilt changing over there in the Bristle Brush Preview in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. So both are trying to show me the angle of my stylus at any given time, which is very useful for getting a sense of what's going on. Even though, I can see my stylus if I just look down on it, it's nice to know that Photoshop is tracking things properly as well.
Anyway, if you are trying to pay attention to this cursor, it's going to be - in my case, I am left-handed, I should say that and so I am leaning, I am tilting the stylus into my hands. So it's tilting up and to the left, and that means that it's going to be the right-hand edge of that cursor that's actually the hotspot. And now if I just go ahead and paint a brush stroke like that, it's going to show up as you're seeing it onscreen, and I started with a fair amount of pressure, applied a little bit more pressure in the middle and then let up off the pressure at the end.
All right, I am going to undo that brush stroke. This time I want you to pay attention to the Bristle Brush Preview itself. Watch the brushes, watch how they behave. Remember that the Length value down here is 140%. It's listed at the bottom of the window, and that's pretty high and that refers to the length of the hairs on my brush. Bristles refers to the number of hairs that are included on this brush. So it's fairly sparse right now, because it's down at a value of 30%. Thickness is the thickness of the individual hairs.
So these are very thin hairs, which I like, because the Thickness value is set to a very low value. Stiffness is how stiff these hairs are as you press down. So I want you to watch this preview once again, and as I press lightly, you can see that the hairs are just lightly pressing against that dotted line which is the canvas, as I bear down like so, I am really mushing into that canvas. This is a function of the Stiffness and as a result because I have a medium stiffness value, I have a very limber brush.
The hairs themselves are quite limber, quite flexible, and I can smush them into the canvas, like so. So that gives you a visual indication of what's going on with Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness. In the next couple of exercises, I will show you how to modify these values and anticipate the result.
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