John reviews ways to help your brush perfom at it's peak and in real time. In Photoshop these features are the cache tile size and spacing.
- [Voiceover] Drawing or painting in any medium to large sized document in Photoshop can be an exercise in frustration. Brush strokes can easily lag behind your actually drawn stroke. Larger sized brushes can also bring Photoshop down to its knees. The primary reason for this, is that Photoshop was originally built not to apply pixels to the screen as quickly as possible but it was built to efficiently composite multiple layers of pixels together and that's just a very different architecture so you just aren't gonna necessarily get the kind of native speed that you may find in a purely architecturally designed painting application for example.
Because of this, there are a few adjustments that can optimize Photoshop for painting and minimize some of these obstructions to efficient painting. In this movie I'll show you what I've learned from hundreds of hours of using Photoshop for natural media, painting, and drawing. So we've got our initial sketch here that we're gonna be using and I'm going to create a layer and I just want to be able to paint in it and I'm going to take this pastel flat brush and I'm just gonna start to paint in here a bit.
And what can happen is this isn't necessarily the greatest example of where you might see it, but this brush does feel like it could be lagging a little bit and one of the key ways I found you can improve performance if you're seeing lag in your brush is go up to the Preferences and drop down to Performance and I've already set it in here but by default this is the way it normally looks when you go in here if you haven't ever adjusted it. Go ahead and reset it down to 128K.
Now, you'll need to quit Photoshop and then open it back up for this change to take effect but by doing that you're likely to see a improvement in brush performance. The other thing that's germane to brush performance is brush spacing. You may or may not know this, but brush strokes in Photoshop, even though it looks like one continuous stroke, is actually made up of many individual brush dabs that are so close together they produce the illusion of a complete stroke.
So you have the option of going into the brush panel here and here's our Spacing setting. You can start to turn this up a few points at a time and check it out and see if you can get your brush to work more efficiently. At some point you can get too far and then you'll start to see those individual dabs and at that point you'll know you've gone too far. So I would suggest if you're seeing lag play around with spacing a little bit and just up it a couple points at a time and keep checking it and eventually you should find the sweet spot where you're not getting the noticeable brush dabs but your brush performance has improved.
I can't guarantee that my suggestions are necessarily gonna convert your computer into a Photoshop painting flame thrower. There are hundreds of hardware variations. CPU, clock speed, and installed RAM memory to name a couple that can impact the ultimate performance you can expect to get out of your specific hardware setup. But hopefully my suggestions will be helpful in optimizing Photoshop on your system.
- Customizing brush performance, tilt, and pressure response
- Using surface texture
- Roughing out the sketch
- Adding color
- Creating tonality with blending