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Using the Color Picker Heads-Up Display

From: Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

Video: Using the Color Picker Heads-Up Display

Along with the marks made by a brush, color is a highly expressive component of painting. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to access color in Photoshop. In this video, we will look at how to quickly call up various color selection tools. Now you certainly have keyboard shortcuts available, and I will explain those as well, but once again, I'm relying on the elegance of the control surface of the Wacom to do the heavy lifting for me.

Using the Color Picker Heads-Up Display

Along with the marks made by a brush, color is a highly expressive component of painting. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to access color in Photoshop. In this video, we will look at how to quickly call up various color selection tools. Now you certainly have keyboard shortcuts available, and I will explain those as well, but once again, I'm relying on the elegance of the control surface of the Wacom to do the heavy lifting for me.

The first tool I want to introduce you to is what's called the HUD Color Picker - HUD is short for Heads Up Display - and this is a new color picker that enables you to get to a pretty elegant solution here. I will show it to you. Here it is, and in a moment, I will show you the various ways you can configure this. But this lets me, right onscreen, select from both hue and saturation value, to select a color that I can then paint with.

That's a very valuable way to go about doing this. You can control how the appearance of this looks in the Preferences panel, under General. If we look at this, you can look at either a Hue Wheel or a Hue Strip, and then depending on your monitor resolution, you can determine whether you want Large, Medium or Small, in the case of the Hue Wheel or Large or Small, in the case of the Hue strip. The Hue Strip, just so you can see it, looks like this. So it's a little bit more like the standard Adobe color picker; it's just that you now have this onscreen.

So this is our new addition to CS5, and it's very useful, particularly for artists, where you want to select a color while you are working. Now the normal way to do this on the Mac is to use the Command+Ctrl+Option; those three keys will bring up the icon that, by a click, then let's you select this. Now here is where this gets a little dicey. Once you have this set up, if you want to switch over to here, you can see what happens is as soon as I switch, it jumps, and I lose the exact color that I had.

So Adobe's solution to this is if you temporarily lift up on the three keys that you're holding down and then switch to the Spacebar, I can then switch focus between these two. But I can tell you from experience, this gets a little bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. It's very easy to accidentally lose what you're doing. Now the keyboard commands on Windows are Alt+Shift+Right-click, so you're using two keyboard keys, and you are using the right-click of your mouse to do this.

That is cool, but it also gets in to the same rubbing your head and tummy at the same time. It just gets a little inelegant. I am going to show you how to do it on the Wacom control surface. So once again, we will go to System Preferences on Mac or Control Panels on Windows to bring up the Wacom driver. Here you can see I can use a modifier to set the Control, Command, Option and Click, and by having the Click as well as these three, for the Mac, that enables the display of the HUD Color Picker to show up immediately.

The other thing I have done is the Keystroke at the bottom of my four keys, I have switched to be the HUD Focus, which is essentially nothing more than the Spacebar. So I have two keys on the Wacom that I can use to control this. Now here is the - a bit of a 'gotcha' when you get to Windows. Windows, in the Modifiers here, there is no Right-click available in this dialog. So you have to use a right-click, which you assign to one of the Barrel buttons on the Wacom pen to do that.

So it's a two-handed operation in the case of Windows. You have to hold the key down, as well as the right button that is assigned to your barrel button. I have tried it on Windows, and it's not hard to do. It is just it's an additional kind of slightly different way to do the same thing. But regardless of either platform, once you've got your modifier set up properly to work with your system - and I'll go back here, all I'm doing now is I am clicking the top key, and on Mac, it brings it up.

On Windows, you would be clicking the top key and holding the right mouse button. Then when I want to change focus, I just additionally press the fourth key in my express keys, and now I can change focus. I let it up and I find this a little easier to be able to not forget what you're doing with all of your fingers, to be able to switch this focus without all of a sudden having it go away. So I find this to be a better way to actually get to this HUD focus and be able to adjust color right on the fly within Photoshop.

So that gives me a very quick way to select solid colors to work with. The New CS5 Heads Up Display color picker then is a excellent way to maintain the focus on your artwork while you are painting, without the need to go somewhere else. You can use this even when the interface is otherwise off, or on at a second monitor. Both of these environments are better suited to not having a lot of clutter on the screen, and this new display enables quick access to a tool that's very valuable, and yet you can dismiss it very quickly at the same time.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush
Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

36 video lessons · 16693 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
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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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