Join Daniel Lieske for an in-depth discussion in this video Smudge, Blur, and Sharpen tools, part of Drawing and Painting in Photoshop - The Great Training.
- I would now like to talk about tools that are not used to apply paint to the canvas, but that are used to manipulate the paint that already is on the canvas. And in the Tool palette, we find this little selection of these tools, the Blur Tool, the Sharpen Tool, and the Smudge Tool. And the most useful of these three tools is the Smudge Tool, and we'll first have a look at this one.
So what the Smudge Tool does is it smudges the paint that is already on the canvas. And you can immediately see that this is a very useful tool to create painterly effects. It breaks up the edgy contours of the digital brushes, and makes them more organic.
And, if we even use a more structured brush tip, this effect is even much more apparent. So the Smudge Tool is a nice way even to blend colors, and you should experiment with different Strength settings can make it very strong, and that way you will pull the color over the whole canvas.
You can have very painterly effects that way. So what about the other two tools? The Blur Tool is much more supple. With the Blur Tool you can apply a blur to the color that is on the canvas, and I will just zoom in a little bit so you can see it better. So, look at these sharp edges here. When I'm using the Blur Tool, they get softened. And in some cases, this might be useful.
The counterpart of the Blur Tool is the Sharpen Tool. Well it does the exact opposite of the Blur Tool, it sharpens edges, and it always comes with these color distortions in the sharpened areas, and generally, it's not a tool often used by digital painters. There might be some applications in photo retouching, but for painting, the Sharpen Tool is not really often used.
Much more often, a digital painter will use the Smudge Tool. And there's actually an interesting detail about the Smudge Tool. You can see here in the Brush window, that we have Spacing activated for the Smudge Tool, and we can play around with it a little bit, but no matter what spacing we activate here in the Brush window, the result always looks kind of same, but if we turn off Spacing, something interesting happens.
The Smudge Tool now behaves quite differently from it's earlier behavior, and it becomes a sort of dry brush tool that we can use to smudge our color on the canvas in a very painterly, pastel-like manner. And this is an interesting behavior of the Smudge Tool if you turn off Spacing.
If you turn Spacing on again, the Smudge Tool behaves normally again, and these two variations of the Smudge Tool are very helpful for digital painting and illustration.
- Setting up your digital canvas
- Controlling the screen
- Choosing color
- Working with brushes, textures, and the Paint Bucket and Gradient tools
- Making selections
- Working in Quick Mask mode
- Stroking and filling paths
- Manipulating color
- Organizing the canvas with layers
- Digital drawing and painting projects
Skill Level Beginner
1. Setting the Digital Canvas
2. Control of the Digital Screen
3. Tools for Choosing Color
4. Tools for the Application of Color
5. Supporting Tools
6. Manipulating Color
7. Organizing the Digital Canvas
8. Digital Drawing
9. Colored, Digital Drawing
10. Digital Painting
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