Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a custom scatter brush, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Design.
- [Instructor] If you've ever wanted to quickly add multiple instances of an element to an image, creating a custom brush can help. Let's start by creating a new document. And I want the document size to be 2500 by 2500 pixels. I'll click create, tap the F key to go to full screen mode, and then hold down the space bar in order to reposition my document in the window area. Now, I want to create a circle so I'm going to select the shape tool, but I don't want the circle to be filled so I'll select custom shape tool.
Then, from the shape picker, I'll scroll down and select this shape here. I want to make sure that I'm dragging out pixels, not a shape, so I'll select pixels from the options bar. I want these pixels to have transparency around them, so from the layers panel I'll click to create a new layer, and then tap the D key to set my default foreground and background color, and then click and drag out my circle, holding down the shift key to constrain it.
Now the reason that I made the document so large is because you want to create your custom brush at the largest size that you think you'll ever use it. Otherwise, if you create a really small brush and later you decide that you want to increase the brush tip size, Photoshop's going to have to resample up that information and your brush might get a little bit soft. I'll do a quick select all using command A. That will select everything that's on the layer, in this case the black circle, and then use the edit menu to define the brush preset.
I'll name this jk circle and click okay. Now, depending on where you are in your brushes panel, you might see that brush inside of a group, or it might be at the bottom of the brushes panel. I want to create my own group, so I'll click on the group icon. I'll just call this jk brushes. Then I'll drag this new brush into that group.
I can also close the general brushes just to tidy up my brushes panel. On my layers panel I'm going to click and drag that layer to the trash in order to delete it. Before I paint with this brush I want to change the size of the brush tip shape, so I'll select that and then just drag this down. Then I can click and paint in my image. You can see that we've created a slinky.
If I increase the spacing, then I can drag and paint again, but I don't get quite as many circles. If I wanted to change the angle or the roundness, I could do that as well, and then paint again. In this case, because I want multiple instances of the circle, I'm going to leave the roundness set to 100%, move to shape dynamics. And because I want the size to vary, I'll increase the size jitter and I'll control that with the pen pressure.
Now, depending on how hard I press with the pen, I can control the size of the jitter of the different circles. Let's fill that area using command delete. That will fill with the background color. I might also want to scatter these circles. I'll choose to scatter them on both axes, and then move the scatter slider to the right. Again, I could control this with the pen pressure. Then I'll click and drag through the image area.
But they're all taking on the foreground color, so let's undo that. I'll use command Z. From the swatches panel I'll pick a blue color, but I want it to vary a little bit, so under color dynamics I'll choose to apply it per tip. I want to change the saturation as well as the brightness so that now when I paint, I get more variance in my stroke. Once I've created a brush that I like, I'll want to save that using the brushes panel.
I'll click on the create new brushes icon. I'll go ahead and call this one jk circles blue. I want to capture not only the brush size but also the color. If I had changed something like the blend mode or the opacity, the flow, or the smoothing, I could also choose to include those tool settings within this brush. Of course you're not limited to using the shape layers in order to create a custom brush. You could draw any paint stroke that you want or you could take a photograph of a paint drop, or even something more realistic like a photograph of an orange or something.
If you're looking for additional ideas, you'll want to use the brush panels fly out to get more brushes. Or, if you're a member of Creative Cloud Complete, you can click on the Creative Cloud desktop app, click on assets, and then go to the market area in order to search for brushes that other folks have uploaded. You can then download those brushes and use them in your designs.
Photoshop CC boasts tools and features for making tonal and color adjustments, applying effects and treatments to type and graphics, and distorting, filtering, and layering elements—all while maintaining the highest-quality output. In this course, Julieanne demonstrates how to efficiently perform common design tasks, including editing images, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, she shares the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and helps you master features such as layers, filters, blending modes, typography, custom brushes, vector masks, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Working with Smart Objects
- Linked vs. embedded Smart Objects
- Creative transformations and warping
- Essential filters for designers
- Emulating traditional drawing techniques
- Working with shape and fill layers
- Pen tool basics
- Applying layer effects and styles
- Type essentials
- Creative brush techniques
- Working with libraries and artboards
- Exporting files and sharing images