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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush
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Using the Color Picker Heads-Up Display


From:

Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

with John Derry

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.
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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

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.

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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