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Working with the new bristle brush tips

From: Photoshop CS5 New Features

Video: Working with the new bristle brush tips

Painting has taken somewhat of a back seat to photography in terms of new features in recent versions of Photoshop, but no longer. In Photoshop CS5, Adobe has focused on painting, adding some important new features including bristle tip brushes that I am going to show you in this movie for painting with realistic brushstrokes, a Mixer Brush for realistically blending paint with colors on the virtual canvas, and a new brush Presets panel as well as an improvement to painting performance. I will tell you right up front that these features are not just for professional painters.

Working with the new bristle brush tips

Painting has taken somewhat of a back seat to photography in terms of new features in recent versions of Photoshop, but no longer. In Photoshop CS5, Adobe has focused on painting, adding some important new features including bristle tip brushes that I am going to show you in this movie for painting with realistic brushstrokes, a Mixer Brush for realistically blending paint with colors on the virtual canvas, and a new brush Presets panel as well as an improvement to painting performance. I will tell you right up front that these features are not just for professional painters.

You can use me as an example. I can't paint or draw a stick in real life, but even I found that with just a little practice I can get a passable painting using the new brush features. Here I have been working with a black- and-white sketch by artist Jenn Predmore and I have added a little bit of paint to it already. Let's see what else can be done using the new bristle tip brushes in Photoshop CS5. The workflow that I am going to use here is one I would recommend for anyone who is new to painting in Photoshop. So I am going to start by switching to the new Painting workspace using the new workspace switcher.

That opens, among other panels, the new Brush Presets panel where you will find brush presets including the new bristle tip brushes, which I will show you in a moment. I am going to make a new layer to paint on. I like to use lots of layers when I am painting in order to get the greatest flexibility. Now I am going to go over to the toolbox and I am going to select one of the Brush Type tools and that doesn't mean just the Brush tool that I am selecting here. I could choose one of the Clone tools or Eraser tools or Darkroom tools. There are a variety of Brush Type tools that work with the new bristle tip brushes and, by the way, until I've selected a brush, the brush presets weren't available.

They were grayed out. So if you see that, that's why. Now I am going to scroll down in the Brush Presets panel until I see some of the new bristle tip brushes and you can recognize those by there special icons. I will select just one of those. If I hover over anyone, I can see its name and the names are little bit harder to remember. If you would like to change the name of any brush, you can do that by right-clicking on that brush preset and choosing Rename Brush. Notice when I chose that brush that I got this display representing what the brush looks like as it is currently configured.

This brush preview will reflect changes that you can make to the various qualities of bristle tip brushes, like the stiffness of the bristles or the length of the bristles, as I am going to show you how to do in a moment in the Brush panel. Also if you're painting with a compatible stylus pen and tablet rather than a mouse, this preview will show you how the bristles in a bristle tip brush change shape as you vary pen pressure and it will also show you the angle of the brush in 3D space as you vary the angel of your pen. Right now I'm working with the mouse and not with a pen so you won't see that here.

This preview display can be moved if it's in the way. So you can just click on its grabber and drag it. You can also make it smaller by clicking this double-pointed arrow and if you really don't want it there at all, you can click the X to dismiss it. And then if you want to bring it back, you can go to the bottom of the Brush Presets panel or the Brush panel and click this icon to toggle it back on, and I am going to make it a little bigger too so you can see it. I need to reselect that brush and then I am going to come into the image and paint with whatever color is in my Foreground color box.

So I will click and drag and you can see how this brush paints. It paints with these rather natural looking strokes and if I try a different brush, maybe this one, I will get a different look. So I can just cycle through these brushes until I find one that I think is going to look good on my image. I am going to try this one. So I will come up to the image and I will click and drag to paint with it. Now sometimes as I am painting, I like to change color and the HUD color picker that I showed you in an earlier movie is perfect for that. So I am going to hold down the keyboard shortcut Control+Option+Command, that's Alt+Shift+right-click on a PC, and then I will click and that brings up the Hue Strip color picker.

Let's say I want a little bit darker green. I will just move down to a darker shade here and if I want to actually change the Hue I will release that keyboard shortcut and with my mouse or pen still down, I am going to press the Spacebar and move over this circle and then release the Spacebar to focus on it and then I can change to another color. I might get an orange color. And then I can paint with that color and notice that the brush preview is moving with me showing the bristles as I lay down paint on this canvas. There are a few other controls in the Brush Presets panel that I will show you.

First of all, you can change the size or diameter of the brush from up here in the Size slider. But I don't like to do that. I prefer to change brush size in context in the image on the fly. So if I wanted a smaller brush, that's easier for you to see maybe like this one and if I want the brush to be larger, I will hold down the Control+Option keys on the Mac, that's Alt+right-click on the PC, and drag horizontally to the right as I showed you how to do in earlier movie or horizontally to the left to make the brush tip smaller. So I think that's the better way to resize a brush.

Also here at the bottom is a button that will open the Preset Manager, which is another way to view Preset Brushes, and here is an icon for creating a new brush preset although I prefer to create new brush presets in the Brush panel after I have already customized a brush. There is also a panel menu and this contains the same commands that were in the Brush panel menu in the last version of Photoshop. So some of the important commands here are Reset Brushes, which you can use to reset the current set of brushes to their default settings, and also there are a number of other brush presets sets that you can load in place of the default one.

And finally this icon on the Brush Presets panel will open the Brush panel where you can customize a brush. So I am going to select a brush here, say this bristle tip brush, and then I will click the toggle for the Brush panel and if your panel doesn't look like this when it opens, go ahead and click on Brush Tip Shape and that will bring up, among other things, the important Bristle Qualities area. Here I can customize the parameters of the selected bristle tip brush. From the Shape menu, I can choose an overall shape, a fan for example.

And you can keep your eye over here and see the different brushes in that preview display. Here is a flat blunt brush and so on. I can change the density of the bristles in this brush. If I want more bristles I will pull to the right and less bristles to the left and you can see that change take place in the display preview over here. I can also change the length of the bristles making them longer or shorter, the thickness of each individual bristle and how stiff the bristles are. This is an important control if you're working with a mouse rather with a pen.

At lower stiffness settings, the brush shape will deform more easily when you use it. And if you're using a mouse, you are also going to want to set your angle so that you can change the angle of the brush. All of the other settings here are ones that were available in the Brush panel in the previous version of Photoshop so I won't spend a lot of time on those. But I do want to mention that the controls in this column, like Shape Dynamics, Texture and Dual Brush are all available with the bristle brush tips. So once I have customized my bristle brush, which started out as a preset, I can come into my image and paint with it.

I can also save my customized brush as a new preset for use on other images and there is something new about that I would like to show you. So to save this as a brush preset, I will go down to this icon and click and notice that in the dialog box that appears there is a new option and that is a control that I can uncheck if I don't want to capture the brush size in this preset. The advantage of doing that is just to make one flexible brush and not have to have a lot of different sized brushes that take up space in the Brush Presets panel. So I will click OK and now in the Brush Presets panel you can see my brand-new preset bristle tip brush.

Now lets' say that I don't have a bristle tip brush selected, but just a regular brush. I want to show you a couple of new icons up here in the tool Options Bar. If this option and this option are available, as they will be when you're painting with a regular brush, and if you're painting with a stylus pen in tablet, you can set the tablet to control the brush size from this icon, and the brush opacity for this icon, overriding any size or opacity settings in the Brush panel. So those controls are now more discoverable because they are right up here in the Brush tool Options Bar.

I think the new bristle tip brushes that I covered in this movie are really exciting because they open up possibilities for creating natural painterly strokes and realistic looking paintings, either from scratch or by painting on an existing image or even a photograph. And the bristle tip brushes are really exciting when they are used with the new mixer brush, which I will show you in another movie in this chapter.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 New Features
Photoshop CS5 New Features

30 video lessons · 31992 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 39s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Comparing Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS5
      2m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 41m 14s
    1. Using improved selecting and masking
      12m 8s
    2. Working with content-aware fill
      6m 39s
    3. Using content-aware healing
      2m 25s
    4. Getting started with Puppet Warp
      10m 10s
    5. Using the Puppet Warp tool
      9m 52s
  3. 24m 38s
    1. Merging multiple images to HDR Pro
      7m 53s
    2. Creating a surreal look with HDR and removing a ghost feature
      5m 4s
    3. Using faux HDR toning
      4m 46s
    4. Working with the new lens correction enhancements
      6m 55s
  4. 13m 35s
    1. Noise reduction and sharpening improvements
      7m 2s
    2. Additive grain
      3m 35s
    3. Reviewing Post-Crop Vignetting enhancements
      2m 58s
  5. 21m 5s
    1. Using the HUD color picker
      4m 49s
    2. Working with the new bristle brush tips
      9m 4s
    3. Using the Mixer Brush tool
      7m 12s
  6. 30m 29s
    1. Understanding the layers enhancements
      7m 2s
    2. Understanding the tool enhancements
      7m 23s
    3. Working with the panel additions
      4m 25s
    4. Using the workspace changes
      3m 4s
    5. Understanding the productivity enhancements
      8m 35s
  7. 5m 34s
    1. Explaining 64-bit performance
      5m 34s
  8. 27m 2s
    1. Introduction to Mini Bridge
      7m 36s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge in Photoshop
      6m 21s
    3. Using Mini Bridge with Bridge
      6m 57s
    4. Reviewing the output module improvements
      4m 25s
    5. Looking at the path navigation enhancements
      1m 43s
  9. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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