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Chapter 8. Painting and Drawing > Creating and Saving Custom Brushes

Creating and Saving Custom Brushes

With so many different brushes and brush sets at your disposal, you may be surprised to discover that you can change not only the size of brushes, but other characteristics such as flow, shape, and color. Photoshop Elements provides you with all of the tools you need both to modify existing brushes and to create your own from photographs or scanned objects, such as leaves or flower petals. Once you’ve created a new brush, you can store it temporarily in an existing brush set or save and organize it into a new brush set of your own. Any new brush sets you create can then be accessed and loaded from the Brushes pop-up menu on the Brush Presets palette.

To create a custom brush:

Select the Brush tool from the toolbox (B).

From the list of preset brushes on the options bar, click to select a brush you want to customize (Figure 8.47).

Figure 8.47. To create a new brush, select an existing brush and then customize its properties.

On the options bar, click the More Options button to open the Brush Dynamics palette (Figure 8.48).

Figure 8.48. The Brush Dynamics palette contains slider controls to modify a brush shape.

Use the sliders on the palette to modify the Spacing, Fade, Color Jitter, Hardness, and Scatter properties of the brush.

For more information on these slider controls, see the “Understanding the Brush Dynamics Palette” sidebar later in this chapter.

If you want, you can adjust the angle and roundness of the brush, and if you have a pressure-sensitive digital tablet connected to your computer, you can make your brush pressure sensitive (Figure 8.49).

Figure 8.49. The lower portion of the Brush Dynamics palette offers controls for angle, roundness, and pressure sensitivity.

As you move the sliders, or enter angle and roundness values, you can refer to the brush presets preview on the option bar to see the effects of your changes. All but the Color Jitter property will be reflected in the preview on the options bar (Figure 8.50).

Figure 8.50. The Brush Presets preview area displaying an original brush (top) and the same brush customized on the Brush Dynamics palette (bottom).

When you’re satisfied with your changes, click anywhere on the options bar to close the palette.

On the options bar, use the brush Size slider to size your brush.

Still on the options bar, open the Brush Presets palette; then select New Brush from the palette options menu (Figure 8.51).

Figure 8.51. Save your customized brushes on the Brush Presets palette menu.

The Brush Name dialog box opens.

Type a name for your new brush; then click OK.

Your new brush appears at the bottom of the current brush presets list, on the Brush Presets palette (Figure 8.52).

Figure 8.52. A new brush is always displayed at the bottom of the palette list.



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