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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush
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Using additional color selection options


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Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush

with John Derry

Video: Using additional color selection options

I want to introduce you to a couple of other secondary ways to access color while you're working, and once again, these can be tied to the Wacom tablet control surface, which just helps to maintain focus and keep yourself on task, rather than spending time searching through the interface to find things. The first one I want to talk about is Adobe's own color picker, and you are used to that. You see it when you double- click on the current color, for example. A lot of people really like this color picker, but it's never had a keyboard shortcut to be able to bring it up, other than through some mechanism within the interface, and they now have that.
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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 additional color selection options

I want to introduce you to a couple of other secondary ways to access color while you're working, and once again, these can be tied to the Wacom tablet control surface, which just helps to maintain focus and keep yourself on task, rather than spending time searching through the interface to find things. The first one I want to talk about is Adobe's own color picker, and you are used to that. You see it when you double- click on the current color, for example. A lot of people really like this color picker, but it's never had a keyboard shortcut to be able to bring it up, other than through some mechanism within the interface, and they now have that.

So I want to go to the keyboard shortcuts. I'll go to the Edit menu in Mac and under the Photoshop menu in Windows, and if we go to Keyboard Shortcuts and visit the Tools section, we will go down to the bottom here, and we now have the ability to assign a keyboard shortcut to the foreground and background color picker. I tend to just use the Foreground because it's so one that normally is going to be assigning color to a brush. One keyboard shortcut that I found that doesn't seem to be in use in Photoshop is the comma.

So I am assigning a comma to that. I will accept that, say OK, and now I can be working, and if I just press down on the comma key, it brings up the Adobe color picker for me, something you could never do before. You say OK, it dismisses it, and you're on your way. But we can go one step further, as we have done before, and if I go to System Preferences or the Control Panel, I can go to the Wacom tablet, and if we go to mapping for our Photoshop application, we can go right here color picker and use a keystroke.

You can see, I have done it right here. I have used the comma, which I assigned in Photoshop to now be used by the Wacom express keys to call up that keyboard shortcut. So with that in place - and I just called it color picker, so that's what it will stay in my little LED display on the control Surface - I now have the ability to go ahead and be working, and I just press on the Color Picker express keys, and there it is. So this gives me a great way to use the Photoshop color picker, and I will know, once again, if I go into Photoshop Preferences > General, you can't specify whether you want this to be the Adobe color picker that we were looking at, or Apple's, and on the Windows, it would be the Window color picker.

So you can even use the default system color picker, as well. But it's just another way to have some flexibility in how you select color. The last one I want to talk about is just calling up the eyedropper to get a single color. The way it's set in Photoshop now, when you are in the Mixer brush, the Option key now calls up the icon and the ability to select multiple colors, which is great, but what if I want to select a single color quickly off of the screen.

Well I can go up and grab the eyedropper, but once again, this is a bit of extra work. What you can do is instead assign a keyboard shortcut to this, and I will show you what I've done in the Wacom panel, once again. So we are just jumping to System Preferences or Control Panel, and if we go here to the functions for Sample 1 Color, I have simply assigned the 'i' key. Okay, and that's the normal letter that is used to bring up the eyedropper in Photoshop.

So with that 'i' key assigned, and I have just called that Sample 1 Color, I can now go in here, and when I hold that key, it now changes to the dropper. You will see that there is a new color ring around the dropper that shows me what my current color is at the bottom half, and it updates to whatever the new color is going to be in the top half of the circle. Then that gray is just there to help isolate with a neutral color, so you can see what's happening. But this gives me a quick way to be able to just quickly sample one color off of the image.

So you have got multiple ways now to be able to get the color. You can pick up multiple colors, you can select a single color, you can choose a color in a color picker. All of these are just various ways. You may not end up using all of them, but the flexibility of having choices in how you select your color is a very nice addition to Photoshop CS5.

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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