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Adobe Photoshop CS3

Using Preset Brushes

Photoshop CS3 provides many styles of preset brush strokes. These brush strokes can be used as provided or altered slightly within the Brushes palette. For more information on brushes and custom brush strokes, please see Creating Custom Brush Styles.

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Displaying the Brushes Palette

The Brushes palette offers the most common options for working with brushes, including the options that this document discusses. To open the Brushes palette:

  1. From the Window menu, select Brushes
    From the Dock, click BRUSHESDock brush button

    The Brushes palette appears.
    NOTE: If the Brushes palette is already displayed, a check mark will appear next to the selection.
    Brush Presets dialog box

  2. OPTIONAL: If the Brushes palette becomes hidden while you are working, click on the Brushes tab in the window at the upper right.

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Using a Preset Brush

Photoshop allows you to choose between a number of different preset brush strokes. Each of these strokes has a specified brush tip and diameter. To change these settings manually, or to create your own brush stroke, please refer to Creating Custom Brush Styles.

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Brush ToolBrush Tool

  2. If the Brushes palette is not already visible, display the Brushes palette

  3. In the Brushes palette, from the side menu, select Brush Presets

  4. In the palette, from the Brushes scroll box, select the desired brush
    HINT: A preview of the brush stroke appears in the window at the bottom of the Brushes palette

  5. To change the diameter of the brush stroke, adjust the Master Diameter value using the slider bar
    In the Master Diameter text box, type a value

  6. OPTIONAL: To change the shape of the brush tip, from the Brush Tip Shape section, select the desired options
    Certain selections will result in additional options becoming available; select additional options as desired.
    Depending on the settings of these options, the appearance of your brush stroke may not change.

  7. Place your brush in the area of the image you would like to paint

  8. Depending on the type of effect you would like to achieve, point, click, and drag your paint brush
    OR point and click multiple times

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Brush Options Defined

Photoshop provides the ability to alter the appearance of brushes in many different ways. These options may be used to customize a preset brush or to create a new brush.

Brush Tip Options

The Brush Tip Shape section allows you to select and alter one of a number of default brush tips. You are also able to create your own brush tip from an image to save in this section.
Brush Shape dialog bos

Brush Tip Shape
Gives a selection of preset shapes for your brush tip

Use Sample Size
Sets the brush diameter to the size shown in the Brush Tip Shape window

Controls the width of your chosen brush

Flip X
Flips the direction of the brush tip horizontally

Flip Y
Flips the direction of the brush vertically

Rotates the tip of the brush, so that applications of the brush are placed at a different angle than that shown in the Brush Tip Shape section

Adjusts whether the brush is circular, elliptical, or flat
HINT: Larger values create more circular brushes, and smaller values create elliptical or flat brushes.

Controls the clarity of the edges of your brush stroke
HINT: Larger values create clearer edges, while smaller values blur edges.

Controls the distance between individual applications of the brush within the stroke

Brush Effects

Preset and custom brushes can both be customized using the options provided in the Brushes palette.

Shape Dynamics
Changing the shape dynamics of your brush allows you to vary the size and rotation of each application of the brush within the stroke
Brush stroke with and without shape dynamics

Scattering allows you to set the distance off the brush stroke that you want individual instances to occur, as well as the number of instances you wish to see each time the brush is "set down" within the stroke.
HINT: To adjust the number of times the brush is "set down," change the spacing in the Brush Tip Shape section.
Brush stroke with and without scattering

Varies the surface quality of the brush stroke; adding textures can add depth and distinction to your brush stroke
Brush Stroke with and without texture

Dual Brush
Dual Brush allows you to overlap the original brush stroke you created with a second, different stroke. The options available for the dual brush are the same as those for the original brush stroke, set in the Brush Tip Shape section. However, be sure to set a blending mode to define how the two strokes interact when they overlap.
NOTE: Dual Brush options will not simply show two brush strokes simultaneously. The second brush chosen will affect the way the first brush stroke appears.
Brush strokes with and without dual brush effect

Color Dynamics
Color dynamics allow color variations to appear within your brush stroke.
NOTE: Color dynamics are not visible in your preview within the Brushes palette.
Brush Strokes with and without color dynamics

Other Dynamics
Adjusts the opacity and flow of the brush stroke
Brush Stroke with Other Dynamics

Makes the brush stroke grainier, especially at the edges
Brush Stroke with Noise

Wet Edges
Causes the edges of the stroke to appear darkest, with the center slightly transparent
Brush stroke with wet edges

Allows you to darken an area of color by hovering your mouse above an area
Brush Stroke with airbrush

Steadies and smoothes minor variations within your brush stroke, such as those caused by a shaky hand

Protect Texture
Applies the texture that you are currently using to all presets that have a texture specified


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