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Photoshop Contest Forum Index - Tutorials - Advanced Brush Making Techniques for Photoshop - Reply to topic

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SCWIDVICIOUS

Location: Not on PSC

Post Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:49 pm   Reply with quote         






Making Brushes.

Making brushes is an important part of the chopping process for me, and it is an art all on its own you should master. Over the time I went from making normal little quick brushes to some rather intense and advanced ones, so I thought I would share some of this info with you guys and gals here.



First off, there is a lot more available to making a brush than simply drawing it out and setting to brush preset. This is what I want to show you.



Lets start off simple, then get advanced..


To get started, lets just make a simplistic normal little brush by opening a new document and drawing out a shape such as a basic leaf.

Steps:
1. Open a document at 500 X 500 pixels, make sure the background is white.
2. Make a new layer for the drawing so we can use this to select easier in the future.
3. Pick a black brush, and draw out a simple shape such as a leaf.
Note: Be sure for this brush, the color is black, opacity 100%
4. Draw your leaf.



Once finished, Command Click (ctrl click PC) that layer icon to select the brush only,
then click "Edit" and select "Define Brush Preset" and you have just completed this tutorials first simple brush.


Opening your brush palette reveals it in the size and angle originally defined.

Tip1: Set the brush on a straight plane so the brush direction wheel in the brush palette will correctly point your brush so you don't have to guess their direction…
Tip2: The size of this brush is how big the brush default will be in presets, so if you want to go big, start big so you can get higher detail and resolution in the future.







Now lets get a little more advanced…. Smile

Brushes don't always have to be made in black. In fact, the opacity of the brush it's self is directly affected by the black to white spectrum. Black being 100% opacity, and white being 0 percent. 50% gray would of course be 50% opacity. This can be very helpful when making fauna, hair, and any number of things where you might not want a total saturation of the color..

*Why not just brush on a layer then lower the opacity?*
Simple.. This method, though it can lighten the brush opacity, the brush overlapping is still at the set opacity of 100% FOR THAT LAYER. Total coverage on that layer will happen making only the front leaves show. Basically this means you have no choice but go from back to front when painting grass, so the bottoms of the new blades are not above the rest. You can set the brush palette to behind, but that still limits you. Opacity can fix this issue and allow you to blend in a much smoother and natural looking way.

Now, lets play with our brush, and I will show you how to make it very good for adding fauna and what not.

Advanced Brush Making
1: Lets open our brush back up, and start by picking a gradient starting at "000000" and ending at "404040" (approx. 75% gray).


2: Command click the leaf again to select it, and only it.
3: While holding shift, draw a gradient from the tip to the bottom giving it a nice fade.
Note: Shift makes the line go straight so you don't have to.. Wink It works with MANY aspects of PS including brushes, but thats another tutorial..

Look at the 2 following images.. one represents the gradient line you need to draw, and the second is how the leaf should turn out once you release the gradient.





Already, this will allow the brush to somewhat fade as it gets closer to the bottom, but we want to take this farther for this tutorial..

Leaves have veins, so lets add some veins Smile
4: Using the pen tool *optional* on a new layer, lets draw some basic large veins.
illustrated on the following images.


Now, convert it to selection by clicking this button and fill this selection with a 50% gray. That should leave you with something like this....





Leaves don't just stop there though, if you want an even more realistic leaf, we need to add the little veins that run throughout.
For the following steps,
5: Make a new layer OVER THE LEAF, but UNDER THE VEINS.

6: Hit "D" to go to default Black and White color palette.
7: Pick the "number 44 Chalk" brush.
8: hit F5 to bring up advanced brush palette, then pick these settings
Shape Dynamics: Size jitter 100%, Pen pressure off, Minimum diameter 1%, angle 22%, roundness 22%, and Maximum roundness 20%.


Scattering: Check both axis, control OFF, count 1, count jitter 98%
Note: Smoothing don't really matter for this step..



9: Now give the New Layer a good swoop or 2, Be sure to leave some black and white showing as I have shown..


10: Reach up and hit Filter/render pick Difference Clouds.
11: Then Filter/Stylize Find Edges
12: then Filter/Pixelate/Crystalize Set the cells small, (for this, I picked 3).
13: Set your blending mode to lighten, then the opacity to 34%
14 *Optional step* Warp this layer to fit the leaf.


15, IF any of the junk is past the leaf, Option (alt) click in between the layers to set a clipping mask.



16: Now, merge the top 3 layers together leaving the white underneath.
17: Command Click the layer thumbnail, then hit edit, Define as Brush Preset, and name it. Thats it!! Your all done.




Now you should have a good idea on how to build some more highly detailed brushes.


The good thing about a brush made this way is you can make a brown layer, then paint your green fauna overtop. The differences in opacity allows some of the brown to show through for limbs, stems, and dead stuff, while allowing you to increase the thickness in areas.

Tip: Dodging and burning make fore great depth, and this type of brush is nothing less than awesome for doing just that.

Suggestion, When using a brush such as this, you might not necessarily want the back of the leaf showing so you may cut it off, even more so with a gradient. you can simply pick the brush, and with a soft eraser tool, erase a portion of it. This allows a much bushier looking bush. You can also set a white to transparent gradient to get a stretched effect.



Tip: You can go to black, 100% opacity and click the brush onto a new layer over a white background to recreate it exactly. You can warp, transform and manipulate that brush in an endless number of ways.

Have fun, and I hope this helps someone understand the power of making your own brushes, and the amount of control you really have this way.
PS… In a MAC, when you save custom brushes, they end up here
/Username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop*/Presets/Brushes

Windows (7 and vista), c:/users/username/Appdata/roaming/adobe/*photoshop*/Presets/brushes





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glennhanna

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:27 am   Reply with quote         


Awesome, thanks




SCWIDVICIOUS

Location: Not on PSC

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:04 am   Reply with quote         


no problem..

I almost forgot to post the brush file...
It can be downloaded here..

http://www.scwidvicious.com/advbrushmaking/Tutorialbrushes.abr




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Mir

Location: Malta E.U.

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:10 am   Reply with quote         


SCWIDVICIOUS wrote:
no problem..

I almost forgot to post the brush file...
It can be downloaded here..

http://www.scwidvicious.com/advbrushmaking/Tutorialbrushes.abr


Well done! That's a very good tutorial, very easy to understand and to follow, I'm sure it will come in handy to many. Very Happy
YerPalAl

Location: On Deck, South by Southeast

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:16 am   Reply with quote         


Sid, this needs to go in the tutorial section. Nice work and explanation. Good to have members like you on the site.




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YerPalAl
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I'm highly motivated to be un-ambitious today.



TutorMe
Site Moderator

Location: Sitting in this room playing Russian roulette, finger on the trigger to my dear Juliet.

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:42 am   Reply with quote         


YerPalAl wrote:
Sid, this needs to go in the tutorial section. Nice work and explanation. Good to have members like you on the site.


Agreed, and done. http://photoshopcontest.com/tutorials/30/making-brushes.html




YerPalAl

Location: On Deck, South by Southeast

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:58 am   Reply with quote         


ALL RIGHT TUTORME!! Very Happy




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YerPalAl
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I'm highly motivated to be un-ambitious today.



TofuTheGreat

Location: Back where I belong.

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:05 am   Reply with quote         


Spot on great!

Now.... not to over emphasize what a dolt I am.... Can someone do a tut on how to use shape brushes. Embarassed

The only thing I can think to use them for is as a background. Can they be used effectively in a photo manip? Or are they mainly for design?




_________________
Why I do believe it's pants-less o'clock! - Lar deSouza
”The mind is like a parachute, it doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” - Frank Zappa
Created using photoshop and absolutely no talent. - reyrey

Mir

Location: Malta E.U.

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:17 pm   Reply with quote         


TutorMe wrote:
YerPalAl wrote:
Sid, this needs to go in the tutorial section. Nice work and explanation. Good to have members like you on the site.


Agreed, and done. http://photoshopcontest.com/tutorials/30/making-brushes.html

Thank you! Very Happy
SCWIDVICIOUS

Location: Not on PSC

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:38 pm   Reply with quote         


WOW, thanks!!! Very Happy



Tofu, the shape brushes from photoshop are what I conciser to be amateurish (though I'm no pro). Sometimes you can apply a few of them to serious work.

the ones in PS i use are the round ones, soft and hard. Generally the 1 , 19 and 300 so I adjust the size from there on the wacom.
Spatter, chalk, occasionally the single grass blade.. (i made my own 3 blade brush), fuzz ball, and charcoal


the rest I make and I have been known to replace many of them with my own brushes.




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TofuTheGreat

Location: Back where I belong.

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:11 pm   Reply with quote         


SCWIDVICIOUS wrote:
WOW, thanks!!! Very Happy



Tofu, the shape brushes from photoshop are what I conciser to be amateurish (though I'm no pro). Sometimes you can apply a few of them to serious work.

the ones in PS i use are the round ones, soft and hard. Generally the 1 , 19 and 300 so I adjust the size from there on the wacom.
Spatter, chalk, occasionally the single grass blade.. (i made my own 3 blade brush), fuzz ball, and charcoal


the rest I make and I have been known to replace many of them with my own brushes.


I get that. I only use the rounds too. But shape brushes like your leaves, or the brush pack that I got from QueenLaTiff, I get confused on when to use those.

As far as I can tell you'd use them for creating a design but not for creating a merged photo? Take your leaf brush from the tutorial. I can see using that when creating the background for a website or a desktop wallpaper. But could it be used to fill in the leaves when integrating tree into a chop? If so then how?




_________________
Why I do believe it's pants-less o'clock! - Lar deSouza
”The mind is like a parachute, it doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” - Frank Zappa
Created using photoshop and absolutely no talent. - reyrey

SCWIDVICIOUS

Location: Not on PSC

Post Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:37 pm   Reply with quote         


TofuTheGreat wrote:


I get that. I only use the rounds too. But shape brushes like your leaves, or the brush pack that I got from QueenLaTiff, I get confused on when to use those.

As far as I can tell you'd use them for creating a design but not for creating a merged photo? Take your leaf brush from the tutorial. I can see using that when creating the background for a website or a desktop wallpaper. But could it be used to fill in the leaves when integrating tree into a chop? If so then how?


Ohhh yea, take these for example..
the peacock, I made a brush from one of the leaves, and created the entire bird from it aside from the beak


For the monkey... the fauna i made using a bunch of brushes I created like 19 or 20 of them.. along with dodge and burn reyrey tipped me in on to bring out more depth... The trees are my pecon trees in the yard


peacock..

Monkey




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SCWIDVICIOUS

Location: Not on PSC

Post Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:59 pm   Reply with quote         


I am sorry about the images missing from my tutorial post, they will be back in the next 24 hours..

The domain had expired, and I did not realize it. All of the images are still there, and some of you might be able to see them at the time of this post, others cannot, but rest assuerd, they are there and will return.




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roger1

Location: Seattle, WA (US)

Post Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:58 pm   Reply with quote         


Can someone tell this poor dumb bastard what "dodge and burn" means? It sounds important.




SCWIDVICIOUS

Location: Not on PSC

Post Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:03 pm   Reply with quote         


what the hell does that have to do with making a brush?




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