Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting brush stiffness, part of Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush.
Bristle stiffness works in concert with length.…The less stiff bristles are, the more they will have a tendency to bend and…separate based on pressure and bearing.…Correspondingly, longer length and less stiffness will make for what I call…a very floppy brush.…Conversely, short bristles and higher stiffness results in a very controlled brush.…Let's take a look.…So we have our Stiffness slider here, and let's just consider 50%, or thereabouts,…to be the average of stiffness, and if we start with that as our model, we will…see that as I press down, that intermediate stiffness allows the brush to bend…and separate somewhat.…
If we turn this all the way down, this is going to be the least amount of…stiffness, and this is where we get that very floppy style brush.…You can see that, based on just bearing down, how the bristles want to separate…and splay out, and maybe if we reduce our thickness a bit here, we will see, with…finer bristles, exactly what we are getting here.…See how I can get those splayed out marks?…
- 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
Skill Level Intermediate
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.