Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Performance preferences: Cursor, part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers.
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Let's continue to make our way through the preferences and in this movie we'll talk about the Cursor preferences. We'll start off by talking about the painting cursors. Now, these preferences are actually pretty important because we're going to be using the different brush tools quite often inside of Photoshop. All right, well the first two options in my opinion are worthless. The Standard Brush, we click on here, we see we have a little icon. Really hard to see the size of your Brush tool or the brush that you are using, doesn't really work well for me. Precise, it gives us this little crosshairs. That can be nice because we get rid of the circle. Yet there is a shortcut to get rid of the circle, so again I don't like that option very much. The best options are going to be Normal Brush Tip or Full Size Brush Tip.
Now in order to show you how these brushes work, I need to exit out of the Preferences for a moment and to show you how they actually work. So let's do that. Click OK. I'll create a new layer, click on the New Layer icon and here I have another portrait of Lynda Weinman, and she is a person who continually inspires me as an artist and an educator. All right, well, I have my Brush tool here. I'm going to change the brush size by pressing the left bracket key. We can see that normal brush circle is changing sizes. Well, I can also access the crosshairs by pressing the Caps Lock key there. It navigates the crosshairs. Crosshairs don't work very well for me again because I can't see the size of the brush as I'm painting. So I'll press the Caps Lock key again to turn that off.
Yet I need to show that because a lot of times what happens to people who are new to Photoshop is they are working and they are like, where do my brush go? I don't understand what's happening. And what's happened is they accidentally pressed the Caps Lock key. So again you can toggle back and forth between the crosshairs and the brush circle by pressing the Caps Lock key. All right, well, so far so good. We've seen how the normal brush works. So one of the things that's interesting in regards to the normal brush, I'll delete our brush stroke, is that if I paint something here, in this case I'm painting black. You'll notice that the brush is actually going outside of the size of my actual circle. So the reach is further than that actual brush circle or that brush size preview. How can we change that? If we go back to Preferences, Command+K on a Mac/Ctrl+K on a PC, and we then choose Full Size Brush Tip and click OK. We'll now take a look at how big this brush is. If I keep clicking you'll notice that slowly, slowly, slowly it will build up to that size of that brush. So that gives me the actual reach of the brush which is especially helpful when I'm using a soft-edge brush as I'm using here, and a lot of times in Photoshop you're going to be using those soft-edge brushes.
So then the question is, do I actually use this option? Well, I don't, and here's why. I'm going to go back to the Preferences, Command+K on a Mac/Ctrl+K on a PC. And I'm going to go back to my Normal Brush Tip and then turn on this new option, show the crosshair in the middle, click OK. Now we can see my brush with those crosshairs in the middle, I'm going to delete what I did there. Make this brush nice and small by pressing the left bracket key. Now as I paint, I know that I can go beyond this, if I keep painting let's say in one spot, back and forth, it's getting bigger and bigger. I like to have that small size because it's going to show me the initial reach of my brush. So again the initial pass, notice that it is about the size of that brush. Now if I were to go back over that, yes, it's getting bigger. It's slowly building up out beyond that reach. And I want to see that initial size plus I like that the graphic for this brush is much more simple. So that's the preference that I recommend. Press Command+K on a Mac/ Ctrl+K on a PC, navigate back to your cursors.
The next option we have is our Brush Preview, now this Brush Preview is incredibly important because there is a new shortcut inside of CS4 which allows us to change our brush size. Currently the color is red. I'm going to click OK, navigate back to the document, delete all those brush strokes, because I just made those in order to illustrate a point, and hover over the document. Now you remember the shortcut, right. On a Mac it's Command+Option-click-and-drag, and I can change the overall brush size. And then on a PC it's the Alt+Right mouse button and drag, and then you get that brush size. So what I'm seeing here in that preview, red color was determined in my Preferences. Let's open up those Preferences. Command+K on a Mac/Ctrl+K on a PC. Go to Cursors, you can change that color. I'll go ahead and change this to a nice color, let's say, kind of a muted blue there. That's kind of interesting color, click OK and then exit out of your Preferences. Now, voila! You have that new preview color.
So that's really going to be continued upon your own preference. I'm a visual guy so that bright red isn't very appealing to me. I'm going to go for a little bit more of an interesting color. So I'm going to try to find one that's appealing to me. All right, well, let's go back to Preferences. Command+K on a Mac/Ctrl+K on a PC and click on Cursors. Now I'm going to set this back to that default red color because I want to keep things somewhat normalized so as we progress to this training, we all are saying the same thing in case anyone skip this movie. All right, the next set of options have to do with Other Cursors. Here we have Standard or Precise, we either have the tool or it looks a little bit like a target or crosshairs. In this case the default setting of Standards is going to work really well, and let me show you why.
I'll click Okay, grab the Eyedropper tool by pressing the I key on the keyboard. Now what this is going to do is going to sample a color when it changes from Point Sample to one of the other averaging like 5 by 5 Average. And then I click over the skin area here and when I do that I know that it's sampling the area right at the end of that tool. I'm not painting with this tool; I'm clicking a particular point. The icon for that tool, that graphic, makes sense to me. I know exactly where I'm sampling that color and again I could move over to a different color just to illustrate. We can see here as I click around, I'm sampling different tones, not really colors because this is a black and white image. But in my opinion that preference works well.
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