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Working with spacing

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Working with spacing

As you can see I've made some modifications to Sketchy the angry man.psd, and one of the reasons that sketchy is so darn angry is, because he didn't know that Photoshop is incapable of painting smooth brush strokes. It actually lays down dollops of color. Bear in mind that anything that I demonstrate with the Brush tool also applies to the editing tools as well. So the Healing Brush is going to apply dollops of cloning and the Dodge tool is going to apply dollops of lightning and so on. So let me show you how that works. But first, I want you to notice another really great thing about working with a Wacom Intuos4 like I have here.

Working with spacing

As you can see I've made some modifications to Sketchy the angry man.psd, and one of the reasons that sketchy is so darn angry is, because he didn't know that Photoshop is incapable of painting smooth brush strokes. It actually lays down dollops of color. Bear in mind that anything that I demonstrate with the Brush tool also applies to the editing tools as well. So the Healing Brush is going to apply dollops of cloning and the Dodge tool is going to apply dollops of lightning and so on. So let me show you how that works. But first, I want you to notice another really great thing about working with a Wacom Intuos4 like I have here.

If you turn the stylus upside down, you have an Eraser. If you paint with that Eraser, then you automatically erase inside of Photoshop. Now that may not seem like the biggest miracle on earth, but the tool is not selected. Notice the Eraser tool is not selected. Normally, if you're working with the mouse, you'd have to select the tool or press the E key to switch to the Eraser, then erase and then switch back to the Brush tool, whereas when you're working with the stylus, you just switch the stylus upside down. So it's really awesome. I have to tell you, I can't recommend these things enough. If you anticipate that you're going to spend a lot of time editing inside of Photoshop, the next time you have 250 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, then you really owe yourself a treat.

Anyway, you can check them out at wacom.com. I'm going to go ahead and turn on this layer of Black right here, so that I can demonstrate this dollop of paint thing that I'm talking about. Then I'll right-click with my Brush tool. I'll change the Size value to let's say 200 pixels. Then I'll raise the Hardness value to 100%. I'll press the Enter key a couple of times in order to hide that panel. Now, I'm going to press the X key to switch the foreground background colors, so that I can paint with white, because the Brush tool always paints with the active foreground color. Now watch, if I paint a brush stroke, you can see the dollops of paint.

You can see that it's actually repeating a round brush over and over again. So it's just clicking, clicking, clicking. So it's just setting down these dollops. I'm now doing this with the mouse by the way as opposed to the tablet. But I want you to have a sense of what's going on when you're painting with this tool. So what do you do about it? How do you get smoother results? Well, one way to get smoother results is to work with a low Hardness value. Incidentally, a low Hardness value that is 0% hardness is the default setting for the Dodge tool, and the Burn tool and the Sponge tool and many of the other edit tools as well.

However, when you're working with the likes of the Healing Brush, which is a really wicked great tool inside of Photoshop, the hardness value by default is 100%. Those are actually the hardness values you want to work with, with those tools. So that means you're going to get sort of lumpy brush strokes when you're working with the Healing Brush. Now you don't tend to notice it, because the Healing Brush is so great at merging its results. However, it is still something to bear in mind. So how might you get smoother results out of these tools, when you're using high hardness values? Well, let me go ahead and show you.

I'm going to press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill that layer with black once again. Then I'll bring up the Brush panel. You can do that when the Brush tool is active. You can go up here to this little folder icon and just click on it. That brings up the Brush panel. You also can go up to the Window menu and choose the Brush command. Notice, you've got a keyboard shortcut of F5. If you're going to spend much time brushing, that's a really great keyboard shortcut to memorize because this is a very useful panel right here. Notice the Spacing value.

It's set to 25% by default. Well, what that means is each dollop of paint right there is spaced 25% of the size of the brush of the full diameter away from the next dollop of paint. So I'll go ahead and undo those dollops. Now I'm going to reduce the Spacing value here to let's say 5%, so that we have some very closely spaced dollops of paint. Then I'll hide the brush stroke. I'll show you what that looks like. So now if I paint another brush stroke, it looks much cleaner.

So you might look at that and say, well, then why isn't that the default setting? Why would Photoshop go ahead and set things to 25% when 5% spacing looks so much better? Well, were I to draw too quickly here, let me see if I can make this happen. If I kind of go back and forth, notice that I end up flattening out my brush stroke and spaces, because basically Photoshop can't keep up with me at a certain point. Then it goes ahead and connects the two points, the beginning and the end of where it couldn't keep up with me with a straight line.

So we have a bunch of sort of straight lines going on inside of this awful looking brush stroke, but that's the idea. Photoshop is assuming that you would like to paint and have it keep up with you, regardless of how quickly you paint inside of your image. Bear in mind of course, that when you're working with even higher resolution images, so if you're working in a 12 mega-pixel image or even larger and you start painting big brush strokes, then Photoshop is really going to have a hard time keeping up again, when you're using a low spacing value. So I'll go ahead and undo that modification right there.

Now notice, when you're working with a soft brush, I'll go ahead and right click here, and I'll reduce the Hardness value to 0%; and I'm going to take up the Size value to, to more like 300 pixels this time. Notice now, if I press the F5 key to bring up the Brush panel, and I reset that Spacing option to 25%, and then press F5 again to hide that panel, notice this is what a soft brush stroke looks like with the 25% Spacing value. So it looks actually pretty darn good, but you can, if you look closely.

You can see some vibrations going on inside of that brush stroke. So you can see some darkening that's showing up. That's where the brushes are starting to gap apart a little bit. But then if you raise that Spacing value, I'll press F5 again to bring up the Brush panel. I'll reduce that Spacing value to 5% and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac followed by F5 in order to hide that panel, and I paint again. Notice that I do get a tighter looking brush stroke this time around without any of those sort of dark vibrations right there. However, I also get a much thicker brush stroke because the dollops of paint are building up on each other.

So where does this 25% value come from anyway? Why is that the default? Well, that's basically the highest value that doesn't result in obvious separations of the brush stroke when you're working with a very soft brush. Check this out. I'll go ahead and press the F5 key once again. I'll change that Spacing value to 30% this time around. Press Enter or Return and F5. This time, you know what, I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z to get rid of that second brush stroke. This time if I paint a line across the image, you can see some pretty obvious vibrations.

When I say vibrations, I mean this occasional darkening effect that's going on right there. So pretty much at about 26-27% you start seeing the brush separate. So that's where 25% ends up performing very nicely. The biggest thing you need to remember, if you're going to go changing your Spacing value, you need to remember to press the F5 key to bring the Brush panel back up, because the only place that the Spacing value exists is right here, and you have to have by the way Brush Tip Shape selected. If you end up selecting one of these other options like Shape Dynamics, something along those lines, then you may kind of lose your way inside of this panel.

That's okay. You can always get back by clicking on Brush Tip Shape right there. There is the Spacing value. Make sure to reset it when you're done playing with it. So I'll go ahead and change it back to 25%. Then I'll press F5 to hide the panel once again. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you a few tips and tricks for changing the size and the hardness of your Brush on the fly.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

195 video lessons · 73904 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 36s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 49s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 23s
    1. The best way to work
      41s
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 21s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
      37s
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
      58s
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
      53s
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
      56s
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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