Brushes, Retouching & Signature Work

Brushes

Brushes allow for painterly styled strokes and fills – also used to select brush styles for use with the Quick Mask and stroke styles with the Path tool. Also used to set Pencil, Dodge, Burn, or Eraser tools.

  • Using the Brush tool:
    • To use the Brush layer
      • Choose the Brush tool (B os Shift-B).
      • Choose a Foreground color
      • On Options bar
        • Click Brush Pre-set picker arrowhead or thumbnail
        • Choose a Blending Mode
        • Choose Opacity percentage
        • Choose Flow percentage
        • Use Airbrush icon to control paint spread and build up using the mouse as in a traditional airbrushing.
      • To create a straight stroke hold Shift while dragging.
  • Choosing temporary brush settings
    • To choose temporary settings for a Brush Pre-set.
      • Choose any tool that uses Brush Pre-sets.
      • Right-click/Control-click in the document window, then change Master Diameter and/or Hardness
      • Use [ key to decrease brush diameter or ] to increase diameter of brush.
  • Using the Brushes panel
    • Open panel by selecting Window>Brushes (F5)
    • Choose Expanded View if needed to show option sets on left side of panel.
    • Check box for options set to activate.
    • Set display option of brush menu to view thumbnails, text only etc.
  • Customizing Brushes
    • To create unique brush more suitable for your use then provided by pre-sets.
      • Brush Tip Shape
      • Diameter
      • Roundness
      • Hardness
      • Spacing
      • Shape Dynamics
      • Size Jitter, Angle Jitter and Roundness Jitter
      • Scattering
        • Scatter value
        • Count value
        • Count Jitter
      • Other Dynamics
        • Opacity Jitter
        • Flow Jitter
      • Noise
      • Wet Edges
      • Airbrush
      • Smoothing
      • Protect Texture
  • Smudging colors
    • Choose Smudgetool (on Blur tool pop-out menu).
      • On Optionsbar
        • Set Brush Preset
        • Choose blending Mode
          • Normal: smudges all colors and shades.
          • Darken: pushes only dark colors into lighter ones.
          • Lighten: pushes only light colors into darker ones.
          • Hue, Saturation and Color: smudges only the color attribute without changing tonal values.
        • Choose a Strength percentage
        • Check Sample to smudge all layers. Deselect to smudge only on active layer.
  • Using the Eraser tool
    • Choose Eraser tool (E or Shift-E)
      • Use Options bar to set Brush
      • Choose Mode
        • Brush: uses all Brushes pre-sets and Option bar – good for soft edges
        • Pencil: uses all Pencil pre-sets and Option bar – good for hard edges
        • Block: square shaped eraser with no Option bar settings – good for individual pixels.
      • Choose Opacity percentage
      • Choose Flow to control uniformity of the erasure (while using Brush).
      • To Lock or not to Lock: when erasing on a layer other then Background.
        • Lock Transparent PixelsON: erased area will fill with Background color.
        • Lock Transparent PixelsOFF: erased area will become transparent.
      • Use [ key to decrease brush diameter or ] to increase diameter of brush.
  • Using the Magic Eraser tool: similar to the Magic Wand tool
    • Choose Magic Eraser tool (E or Shift-E)
    • In OptionsBar set:
      • Tolerance value: to set range of colors the tool will erase.
      • Anti-alias: to slightly soften edges.
      • Contiguous: erase only pixels adjacent. Uncheck will erase similarly colored pixels throughout image.
      • Sample all Layers: to erase colors on all layers. Uncheck to erase only on current layer.
      • Opacity percentage
    • Click on area(s) to be erased.

 

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Creating a Custom Brush

  • Open any image of choice
    • Select all or part of the image
    • Select Edit > Define Brush Preset
    • Name custom Brush as desired
  • Custom Brush will appear last in the Brush Pre-set menu.

Retouch

Fixing flaws, altering details of an images or just making the grass green can be done using the many retouching tools for which Photoshop is so well known. Here are some of the major players:

  • Match Color command
    • To match overall color and tonal values between different images.
      • Use when subject matter is the same but have slightly different lighting conditions or where taken with different camera settings.
      • Works best with images of the same or similar content (such as a landscape series).
    • Open a Source image (with desired color and tonal values) and a Target image (that which you want to adjust).
    • Using the Target image choose Image>Adjustments>Match Color to open dialog menu.
    • From Source menu – choose name of Sourceimage
      • Target image will instantly adopt values from Source image.
    • From Image Optionsadjust the following values as desired.
      • Luminance – adjust overall lightness
      • Color Intensity – adjust color saturation
      • Fade – blending color values between Source and Target images
      • Neutralize – remove any color cast from Target image
    • A sample Selectioncan be used to work within a more specific color value range.
      • Create a Selection in the Source image prior to using Match Color command.
      • In dialog menu check Use Selection in Source to Calculate Colors
  • Cloning:match pixels from one layer to another or even one image from another.
    • To clone imagery
      • Open image and choose the Clone Stamp tool (S or Shift-S)
      • On the Optionsbar:
        1. Choose from the Brush pre-set and adjust brush settings if desired.
        2. Check Align to maintain the same distance from the Source point.
        3. Uncheck Align to sample from a single area.
        4. From Sample menu choose All Layers to sample pixels from all the currently visible layers.
      • Create a new layer in the Target document, and keep it selected.
      • Alt-click/Option-click in Source image on area to be cloned.
      • Click and drag in the Target document to reveal cloned pixels.
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Custom Shapes & Watermarks

 

  • Adding a watermark:protect your on-line work with your own signature, logo or even copyright notice.
    • To embed a copyright watermark into a n image.
      • Choose Custom Shapetool
        • On the Optionsbar:
          • Select the Shape Layers
          • Click on Custom Shape picker, then select © (in default custom shape pre-set library)
          • Click on the Style picker then click Default Style (None).
          • Click the Color swatch. In Color Picker, choose white as Foreground color – click OK.
        • Shift-drag in the document window with the tool until symbol is desired size.
        • On Layers panel, change Fill value of shape to 0%.
        • Double-click next to shape layer name to open Layer Styledialog.
          • Click Bevel and Emboss
            • Style: Inner Bevel
            • Technique: Smooth
            • Depth: ~ 60%-90%
            • Size: ~5-25
            • Soften: ~6-10
          • Select OK
        • Use the Move tool to reposition symbol if necessary.
      • To save the layer style to the Stylespanel for later use:
        • Click the shape layer of the copyright mark in the Layerspanel
          • On the Styles panel click the New Stylebutton.
            • Type a name and click OK.
    • To create a custom watermark from text:
      • Choose Horizontal Typetool
        • Create desired text, scale and style as desired
      • Choose Layer>Type>Convert to Shape
      • Choose Edit>Define Custom Shape
        • Name as desired – click OK
      • Delete shape layer
      • Follow the steps above to create a watermark but use the new shape found in Custom Shape picker.
    • To save a watermark shape and style as a tool pre-set.
      • Follow steps to create a custom watermark.
      • Choose the Custom Shape tool (U or Shift-U).
      • On Options bar make sure the desired custom shape displays in the Shape thumbnail.
      • Click Style thumbnail on Options bar to open Style picker and select custom style.
      • Display Tool Preset (click on Option bar icon or Window>Tool Presets).
      • On picker or panel, click New Tool Preset
        • Enter name – click OK
      • To place watermark in any image
        • Select Custom Shape tool.
        • Click your tool pre-set on Tool Preset panel.
        • Shift-drag tool into the document window.
        • Transform as desired in image.