Different Brush Strokes

By Mark

Last week while Roger was out wrestling kangaroos, we covered the basics of the Brush tool.  Today we are going to go a bit deeper and really look at what makes the tool so useful.  Starting from where we left off last week, open the Brush tool (B) from the tool bar, and then click on the little gear to open the brush manager. In addition to the default brushes you see, there is a whole listing of other choices available in the bottom section of the panel.  

Other Brushes.PNG

You can either append or add them to the ones already displayed or, you can replace the current set entirely with the new set, like these Special Effect Brushes.  To return to the default settings, just click on the Reset Brushes option.

special Effect Brushes.PNG

Now comes the magic.  All of the specialized panels are found in the drop down menu under Windows.  Opening the Brush Panel (F5) gives you a huge menu of variables which can be customized for each brush.

Brush Panel.PNG

Each of the subpanels opens to reveal specific controls.  Take for example Scatter.  When scatter is set at Zero, the default setting, your brush acts just like well, a regular brush.

Scatter at Zero.PNG

When you adjust the scatter settings, the brush tip can move in a random pattern as shown in the preview window of the panel


Scatter not Zero.PNG

The effects can certainly be combined; for example if you select fall themed foreground and background colors, adjust both scatter, size and color dynamics, and then choose one of the leaf shaped brushes…, you can create a dynamic border or graphic effect.

Scattered Leaves.PNG
Scattered Leaves Applied.PNG

Next time we are going to discuss creating and saving your own custom brushes as well as look at how using a graphics tablet adds even more awesomeness.