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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
All right so I've made some slight modifications to my robot since the last time we spoke and I've got ahead and saved the file as Terrified robot.psd found inside the 31_bristle_brushes folder. We'll come back and color in some of the pieces of this robot. If you're so inclined, if you want work on a different project, something of your own, if you have a different aesthetic than my obviously wacky cartoon aesthetic here, then you're more than welcome to do so. In the meantime we're going to transition to Bristle Brushes. I want you to understand how they work before we get too far into them, because I think they're generally presented as magical, and that's actually far from true.
They're very similar in terms of the structure to the brushes that we've been working with so far inside of Photoshop. It's just that they're more intelligently rendered as we'll be seeing. I've got another file here and it's a demonstrational file. It's called Bristle brush demos.psd found once again inside 31_bristle_brushes folder and it includes paint strokes, brushstrokes created with every single one of the ten styles of bristle brush. That's all you have inside of Photoshop is ten bristle brush styles.
By default, I should say that you do have every single one of those styles represented albeit using completely different setting. So if I press the B key in order to switch over to the Brush tool and I happen to have a layer selected that I can't paint on which is why my cursor is a little Ghostbusters' cursor. Don't worry about that. I'm going to scroll up the Brush Presets panel right here and you'll see about seven brushstrokes down there is this little sideways brush icon and that's the first of the bristle brushes, and then there are nine others in this list.
Every one of them is represented by one of these sideways icons. Now I made the icons or thumbnails, what have you, much bigger so that we can see what each one of these bristle brushes theoretically looks like or at least what Adobe is trying to emulate and I got those by the way by going to the Brush Presets flyout menu and I chose Large Thumbnail. So just so know where these came from now of the ten styles of bristle brush, there are Five Round Bristles and there are Five Flat Bristles. Now what's the difference? Well, round is going to be the same all the way around the brush.
So in other words if you had a real brush and you were sitting there twisting it every angle, it's going to be the same. Whereas, with the flat bristle brushes, they're calligraphic. So if you were to twist them then you're going to get a different angled brush. Now they're all set by default to be vertical which is why they produce very thin brushstrokes when I paint vertical lines as I have inside of this illustration. So I'm going to show you examples of horizontal ones as well inside this exact same file.
I've got some layer Comps set up here. Now of each one of these camps - so we have the round brush camp and then we have the flat brush camp - We have five different styles inside of those and they are repeated, notice that, on both sides. So we have Point and you can see that it ends in a point, the brush that is ends in a point. We have Blunt, which ends fairly flat. We have Curve, which ends round when you're looking at it sideways once again. We have Angle, which is a flat cut brush like that, and then we have Fan. Now Fan looks like it's only going in one direction, however with the round brushes the bristles are pointing out in all directions, whereas these exact same styles represented as flat brushes, Fan for example is flat in one direction.
Now you can also tell the difference between these guys by their coloring. So notice that all the round bristle brush thumbnails at least look light and all the flat ones look dark. So if you're ever looking through the list, that's how you can tell the difference between the two. So notice if I go back to the list these guys right here are all the flat ones in the second half of list and these guys at top that are bright are all of the round ones. Now you get these little brushstrokes simulations that are associated with each. I don't know how terribly accurate they are especially when we're working with a pressure sensitive stylus, which is why I've gone ahead and drawn a brushstroke with each one of these bristle brushes.
Now I'm going to skip to my next layer comp. If you bring up the layer Comps panel, you'll see that I've got four layer Comps in all and I'm going to be switching between them from the keyboard, because I set up a keyboard shortcut with dekeKeys of Ctrl+Shift+Alt or Cmd+Shift+Option+F12. I don't expect you remember that, but I'm just telling you that, because that's the way I'm going to work here. So if I press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F12 or Cmd+Shift+Option+F12, then what I'm doing is I'm hiding those bristle brush thumbnails so that we can see the tops and the bottoms of each one of these brushstrokes.
Now these are hand rendered brushstrokes, so they're not necessarily altogether smooth. Although, I worked like heck to make them as smooth as possible, and they're not going to be exactly identical in terms of the amount of pressure I applied. But what I tried to do was start with light pressure at the top, get heavier in the middle, and then end up light again. Now with some brushes that doesn't make a terrible amount of difference. For example, the round Fan brush, we get just a small amount of variation depending on the pressure.
A lot of that has to do with the settings that are associated with each one of these brush dials by default. So if I were to select one of these brushes for example inside of my Brush Presets panel and for some reason every once in a while this panel decides to scroll automatically on me. There, I went ahead and selected it. So that happens to be the Round Point Stiff. There are variations of each one of these that you can create. For example, there's no stiff listed in this group. That's because the actual style of the brush is a round point.
Stiff is a name that Adobe decided to give to this group of settings. To see what those settings are you once again bring up the Brush panel which you can get of course by pressing F5 if you like and notice these settings right there. In addition to a couple of familiar setting Size and then Spacing, and that's very important. Spacing is still here, because these brushes are still laying down dollops of paint just as we saw back in chapter 9 when I was discussing how brushes work in the first place inside of Photoshop back in the fundamentals portion of this series.
Each brush is actually laying down dollops of paint in a row and that's what's happening with the bristle brushes as well. I'll illustrate that in a little more detail in the next exercise. But for now notice that in addition to Size and Spacing we also have five unique numerical settings, all of which apply to every single one of these bristle brushes. So we have Bristles, Link, Thickness, Stiffness, and Angle, and I'll explain how each of these work shortly. But in the meantime just know that Adobe has seen fit where its ten brushes are concerned, these brushes that it chooses to share with you by default here.
Each one of them uses a totally different group of settings as you can see as I hover over them. So you're going to get different results by default than you might get if you spend a little time adjusting these settings. So anyway that's why Fan delivers us a very thin result all the way through and it's fairly uniform as well, because of the way that Adobe has defined those default round Fan settings. That brush is set up by default as Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles. So it adds the word Stiff Thin Bristles to describe what settings are applied here.
Whereas the default Round Angled Brush is called, gosh, I don't even know what it's called. It's called Round Angle Low Stiffness and any time you have a low stiffness by the way you're going to be able to press the brush into the canvas to a higher degree and you're going to get a lot more variation and as a result we have this big globby brush right here. Anyway, again, these are just brushstrokes that I created for you just so you can get a sense of what's going on. Now you're not really going to understand what's happening with the Flat brushes just by looking at a bunch of vertical brushstrokes because that's the thinnest they are going to be since by default they're angled vertically.
So let's take a look at some horizontal variations. I've got another layer Comp for you, I'm going to press that same keyboard shortcut to switch over to it and here are the five round bristle brushes over here on the left-hand side and the five flat ones over here in right-hand side. Notice also by the way that I'm keeping this consistent. I've rendered all the round brushes in this kind of dark brown and all the flat brushes in a dark blue. Notice the round brushes are looking pretty similar to a certain extent, although notice Fan is now thicker and Angle is much thinner even though once again I started thin with my brush stroke.
That is I started light and then I pressed very heavily in the middle, I mean very heavily. Then I let up at the end and it had less of an effect where Angle is concerned when I painted a horizontal brushstroke than when I painted a vertical one. We get bigger effects out of the flat brush strokes when we're painting horizontally, because all of them are oriented vertically. So just bear that in mind. Again, your results may vary a little bit. All of these brushstrokes were set to a diameter of 43 pixels which is not the default, but that is the way I chose to work for this file.
Then I'll go and press that keyboard shortcut again to go ahead and hide the icons, the thumbnails that is, so that you can see the brushstrokes in a little better detail. You can see how they start and how they end and how they appear in the middle. So that's a basic introduction to what's going on with the bristles. Just remember that there are ten styles of bristle brush in all. They fall into two camps, Round and Flat and beyond that there are five variations within each one of the camps, Point, Blunt, Curve, Angle, and Fan. Then you have five numerical modifiers that you can use to customize each one of these styles.
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