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Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 1

Adobe Photoshop CS comes with an amazing asortment of tools to help you edit your images. The latest version includes a wide range of features to make things easier, but how can you get the most out of it? In this first part of Chapter 5 from Mordy Golding's Adobe Creative Suite, (Sams, ISBN: 0672325918), you'll learn how to use masks, layers, filters, feathers, and more.

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 143
November 23, 2004
  1. · Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 1
  2. · Opening, Creating, and Importing Files
  3. · Creating a New File
  4. · Importing Images
  5. · Working with Selections
  6. · Lasso Tools
  7. · Selecting a Range of Colors
  8. · Modifying Selections
  9. · Channels
  10. · Creating a Clipping Path
  11. · Layer Opacity and Blend Modes
  12. · Working with Masks
  13. · Painting and Drawing
  14. · The Brush and Pencil Tools
  15. · Photoshop and the Web

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Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 1 - The Brush and Pencil Tools
(Page 14 of 15 )

To draw or paint with Photoshop, you can use either the Pencil tool or the Paintbrush tool. The Pencil tool is akin to the speedball inking pens of yesterday, allowing you to lay down solid pixels using different brush shapes (see Figure 5.74). It's great for touching up small areas or for drawing lines and the like. The Paintbrush tool, on the other hand, has more of an organic feel to it, and you can even set it to act and feel like an airbrush (see Figure 5.75). To use these tools, simply choose a brush shape from the pop-up in the Tool Options bar (see Figure 5.76) and have fun painting.

Figure 5.74 Drawing with the Pencil tool.

Figure 5.75 Drawing with the Paintbrush tool.

Figure 5.76 Choosing a brush from the Tool Options bar.

Tip -Pressing the bracket keys on your keyboard-the left [ and right ] brackets-is a quick way to increase or decrease your brush size.

Obviously, the power of the Brush tool lies in the power behind the brush engine inside Photoshop.

The Brush Engine

Historically, when it came to organic painterly drawing, Photoshop had always played second fiddle to another program called Painter. But that changed when Adobe introduced the new brush engine in Photoshop 7.

Let's take a closer look at this incredibly powerful feature. Click once on the button that appears at the far right of the Tool Options bar when the Brush tool is selected (see Figure 5.77), or choose Window, Brushes to open the Brushes palette. Along the left side of the palette are all the settings you can apply to a brush, the right side contains all the specific controls for each setting, and the bottom features a real-time preview of your brush (see Figure 5.78).

Figure 5.77 The Brushes palette icon in the Tool Options bar.

Figure 5.78 The Photoshop CS Brushes palette.

Tip -Want more brushes? You can access hundreds of brushes from the Brushes palette flyout menu.

Click on each of the settings along the left to customize the behavior of your brush. With these settings, painters and illustrators can finally get the control they want and need right in Photoshop. For example, the Jitter attributes allow for a level of randomness that gives the brushes a real hand-drawn quality. When you're done finding the right settings for your brush, you can save them to use again later.

Defining Your Own Brush

Photoshop's brush engine lets you define your own custom brush shapes. Start off with a grayscale image and silhouette it. Then select it and choose Edit, Define Brush Preset (see Figure 5.79). Give your custom brush shape a name, and when you choose the Brush tool, you'll see your custom shape appear in the Brush Tip Shape list.

Figure 5.79 Defining a custom brush shape.

Vector Shape Tools

Photoshop has a range of vector shape tools that allow you to draw simple elements such as rectangles, ellipses, polygons, and lines (see Figure 5.80). These tools work similarly to those found in InDesign and Illustrator. The main difference is that these tools create vector masks (which we discussed earlier).

Figure 5.80 Photoshop's vector drawing tools.

History Brush

Adobe hasn't invented time travel just yet (I'm surei t will be in the next version, though), but there is a way to go back in time using Photoshop's History brush.

Know Your History -Although Photoshop doesn't have multiple undos (like InDesign and Illustrator do, for example), it does have something called the History palette, which records each step you make as you work. You can step backward one step at a time, or you can jump to a previous step by clicking on the entries in the History palette (see Figure 5.81). Clicking on the Create New Snapshot button will freeze the state of your document in time. Thissnapshotof your document can be used as a reference for other functions (such as the History Brush). Snapshots are stored near the top of the palette-the bottom part of the palette is a running history of the file itself (since the last time it was opened).

The History brush paints in your current file (or canvas) using pixels from a snapshot or a previous state of the file. For example, say when I first opened my file, the sky in the photo was blue. Then I changed that blue color to orange. If I select the History brush and indicate the source to be the original snapshot, painting with the History brush will produce blue pixels as I paint on the sky. This is one way to get the popular "one splash of color in a black and white photo" effect.

Figure 5.81 The top section of the History palette contains snapshots; the lower section takes note of each step you take.

To use the brush, select the History brush from the toolbox (see Figure 5.82) and then open the History palette. To the left of each entry in the History palette is an empty square, and clicking there will select it as the source for the History brush (indicated by an icon).

Figure 5.82 Choosing the History Brush tool from the toolbox.

Art History Brush

A variation of the History Brush, the Art History brush lets you paint pixels from a previous history state or snapshot, but with a twist. Instead of just copying the pixels exactly, you can paint with artistic brushes, giving a really creative look to your photos. With the Art History brush's default settings, and using the same method as with the History brush, the brush seems to produce very odd results. To best see the effect, you should create a new blank layer and fill it white. As you paint you can easily see how the Art History brush is re-creating the art that was in the snapshot, yet with a very stylized look (see Figure 5.83).

Figure 5.83 Painting with the Art History brush on a new white layer.

In the Tool Options bar you can adjust any of several options for the Art History brush. It's a good idea to decrease the brush size to 3-5 pixels so you can better see the effect. You'll also want to experiment with the options in the Style pop-up menu (see Figure 5.84). Additionally, you can choose just about any brush shape and size via the Brushes palette.

Figure 5.84 Choosing a style from the Art History brush's Tool Options bar.

Tip -Remember, if you ever get tool settings just right and you know you're going to want to use that combination of settings again in the future, you can save it as a tool preset.

This chapter is from Adobe Creative Suite, by Mordy Golding (Sams, 2003, ISBN: 0672325918). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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