Join Robin Schneider for an in-depth discussion in this video The perfect, all-purpose brush tip for texture, part of Photoshop for Fashion Design: Rendering Techniques.
So far, all the brushes we've worked on were brushes or brush tips that came already within Photoshop. But for this movie, I'd like to show you how to create your own brush tip. We're going to do a brush that's just really, really useful. You might find it kind of odd though. I'm going to go up here to brushes and we're going to start with that same basic round hard-edge brush that we've been working with, but we're going to make it really tiny, 3 pixels. And I opened a new file and I'm just zoomed in very, very close. I'm going to make a new layer and with black, you always want to create your bush tips in black.
If you use gray, you're going to end up with a transparent brush. I am just going to make a collection of dots on the page. And I'm just clicking two or three times for each one to make sure that it's dark. If I don't I'll get kind of a light, grayed-out dot, and I want it a little bit darker than that. And so I'm just making a little random grouping of dots here. That's all I'm doing, nothing fancy. I'm going to select them now and turn this into a brush tip.
We'll do that by going up to Edit, and then Define Brush Preset. Let's call this pepper. Click OK. And then I can delete it. I don't need it any more. Now let's talk about how we can use this brush. Click on your brushes. Open the brush pallet. Go to the very bottom, and the last brush in there is going to be the brush that you just made. With that brush selected, if you just click once on your page. going to do that. Look like the shape we just made. If you click and drag on your page, it's going to look like that, which at the moment is not the most useful brush but it's going to get better.
Click on the couple of brushes and let's make a few adjustments. We'll start with the brush tip shape. Take the spacing slider and space out the brush so there's a little bit of breathing space there. Now off to shape dynamics, and we're going to take the angle jitter and bring it all the way up to maximum. And I'm going to turn off pen pressure for now so the brush is more consistent. That's it! Now when I draw with my brush, I get this great little random kind of texture that looks like pepper.
And this is great for adding texture to objects. It's also really good for dodge and burn. If you want something denser, you can go back to your brushes, take the spacing and tighten it up a little bit. You can also go to scattering and increase the count. Just like this and get a brush that's a much denser looking sort of peppery brush. And this is great for a few different things that I'm going to show you in just a moment. So let's save this so that we can access it again.
Rather than have to put all these settings back on, let's make a tool. Click up in the upper left hand corner on this little brush icon. Click on the icon for new. And let's just call this pepper. And we're clicking on include color. Now, just for fun, because I know it's also going to be really handy, let's swap the colors so that we have white instead of black and save the brush again. New. And let's call this one salt. And also include color. So now I have a white version and a black version of this brush.
Let's look at how we can use it. I'm going to open this file called Half Croquis and play around a little bit with the brush. Let's add some texture to the jacket. We can do that by selecting another color. So, let's see how about sort of a taupe color. And I'm going to go to the layer that has the jacket. And here's a great little trick. If I take a paint brush and just start to paint on this jacket layer, and I'm going to grab just a plain old brush right now. It's going to paint anywhere I want one this layer.
It didn't paint on the skin because that layer's above the jacket layer, but it covered everything else. But what if I only want to paint in the area where the jacket exists but not anywhere else? Well, there's two ways I can do that, that are very, very handy. One is click on the Jacket layer, and click on this little button up here in the Layers panel. It's called lock transparent pixels. And that's exactly what it does. It locks all the pixels in this layer that are transparent, but it allows you to paint on top of the pixels that are not transparent, meaning pixels that currently have color.
So now if I take that brush and draw across the page, it'll only paint in the area where my jacket is, which is really handy. The other way that you can do the same thing is to select the jacket. So I'm going to turn off lock transparent pixels. A quick way to select the jacket without having to grab one of the tools in the toolbar is to Ctrl or Cmd click on the thumbnail. And that will select, again, all of the filled pixels in the jacket payer and allow me to go ahead and paint in it.
I'm going to deselect that and go back to this first way of locking the transparent pixels, so that I don't have to look at those marching ants which can be distracting. It is possible to hide the marching ants by clicking Ctrl or Cmd+H, but then sometimes you forget to make them visible again and run into problems down the road. So I'm going to stick with lock transparent pixels. Let's play around with this brush a little bit. I can use it to add texture. So I'm going to, instead selecting the brush from the brushes, I'm going to go up to my tools and select the one called pepper.
And you can see it immediately changed my color back to black. And if I paint over this now I'm going to get this little black speckled texture but only on my jacket. Well, that's not exactly the look I want though. I want to show you how you can use this brush to dodge and burn. Actually before I do that, let's switch to the salt version of that brush. And you can see it's saved with the color, so this one is going to be white, and allow me to paint white. Now two things these brushes are good for are aging. So, let's do this, I'm going to switch my Burn tool.
And instead of using a plain old soft round brush which is the default for the Burn tool, I'm going to go and select that pepper that I just made, and go back over here and make a few changes. So brush tip shape we'll separate the spacing. Shape dynamics, kick the angle jitter all the way up. And I've basically just recreated that brush I had, only I've done it with the Burn tool. And I can save it this way too in the tool presets, New, and we'll call this Pepper Burn.
So now I know that whenever I want to burn with this texture, I can just up here and grab this tool. So now, I can go and instead of plain old dodging and burning, I can do it with texture. Let's kick up the exposure a little bit so you can see what I'm doing. But it's a great way to add a subtle texture without going overboard. If I were to indicate there are some texture to this, but I don't want to texture the entire piece. I can just put texture in the areas where the shadows would be by using a Texture Burn tool like this.
And it just gives a very different look. Now the jacket has the feel of being made out of wool or something with just a heavier texture to it instead of a very smooth texture, which is what was visible before. I can also do the opposite. going to go into the top here, and I actually did the top in a bunch of different layers so, I think I'm going to just merge them. So I can do this in one layer a little more easily. And this time let's do the same thing but let's use the Dodge tool instead.
So I'm going to switch to the Dodge tool and again go and grab that pepper brush. Let's change the settings. We're going to have to do this each time we select a new tool. So we'll kick up the spacing We will go to shape dynamics and mess with the angle jitter. And now that I've got that the way that I want it, let's save this as a tool, so new pepper dodge. So now I have a Dodge and a Burn brush with this pepper texture.
And again in the top layer, I'm going to lock transparent pixels. Although for dodge and burn actually that's not really an issue, only if I was painting. And now with the Dodge tool, I can go ahead and add some texture in the highlight areas, as opposed to the shadow areas. And let's kick up the exposure for this, so we can see it happening a little bit better. And I'm just layering up some texture here using the Dodge tool. Instead of painting the texture on, I'm kind of using it with my highlights.
And there are a lots of great effects you can get by doing it this way. One is, obviously a nice textured effect like I'm creating here. But this is also a nice way to add some sparkle to a garment. If you have a brush sort of like this set up and you just dodge on a garment, it gives the effect of a little sparkle, from sequence. And I can go back to and switch the Burn tool, but I have to be in the Burn tool in order to have it accessible here. There's my pepper burn, and maybe I'll go ahead and do some burning in the shadows too, so that I get texture in both the highlights and the shadows of this.
And it's just another way of adding depth and texture to your illustration, and I am a big fan of texture. So there you have it texture with the Dodge and Burn tool and creating your own brush. And just to take it a step further, brushes don't have to be made up on dots, you can turn any shape you want into a brush. So I want to show you a piece of art work done by Brooke Belden who was one of my students. And she created this beautiful lace made up of ants.
You can see here. Pretty crazy idea. And the way she went ahead and did this, was she drew a single ant. And I've got that over here. And saved it. Let's make that bigger and black, and saved it as a brush. So just as we did before, she drew an ant, she selected it, Edit > Define Brush Preset, and made an ant. Then she went ahead and selected that ant brush tip shape with some black paint, went to her brushes and made a few adjustments.
We can kick up the spacing. We can rotate the angle that the ant is on. And now if I draw across my page, actually shape dynamics. Let's set angle to direction. I can get. I'm getting rotating ants. So something is set to rotate here. Angle jitters off. Control is set to direction. Size is off. Let's turn off pen pressure. And now if I draw, I can get a string of ants. If I want them more random, obviously I can play with a few other things, like kick up the count a little bit and play with scatter.
And let's go back to brush tip shape and change the spacing a bit. And we can also go to shape dynamics and give a little bit of angle jitter, so they're sort of walking a little haphazardly. And now, with just the stroke of a brush, I can create a crazy trail of ants. And that is how she created this illustration, and that's how you can create a brush tip with any shape you like.
- Why render in Photoshop?
- Scanning artwork and fabric
- Using dodge and burn
- Making brushes to paint hair, fabric, and more
- Making seamless repeating patterns
- Working with pattern fills
- Using filters to add texture
- Sketching with a tablet
- Creating inspiration boards