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Thread: What's a brush?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    What's a brush?

    Well, I haven't posted any new LO's since my first ones, but I hope to soon! I'm learning photoshop and have purchased many of DD's products and downloaded freebies. (Thanks!!) I don't exactly understand what a "brush" is as opposed to a stamp or doodle. I can just copy and paste a stamp or doodle into my LO, I think? Is it the same with brushes? If not, how do I use them? Thanks! I am hoping to do a crop n chat when the schedule is up! Katie, I am just in awe of your artwork. I can't draw a thing; my hubby is wonderful at it, but doesn't use a PC much! I am trying to get him to draw me some particular doodles I have in my mind's eye using photoshop; if he does, is there a way I can share them with everyone, of course!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    As far as I know, all brushes available in the shop here at designerdigitals also have png-files included, and these can be used exactly like a stamp or doodle (you can copy and paste them into your LO as you describe, or just drag and drop them). A brush (an abr-file), you can load and paint with (or stamp of course), using the brush tool in Photoshop. (Maybe other types of software, too - I'm not familiar others).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I forgot to mention you can use it with the Eraser tool also. Maybe brush TIP is a better description...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I'm right here!
    Extremely great points, tyting!
    Something I've heard--one other reason that a png is included is because brushes created in Photoshop CS2 are not compatible with earlier versions. So, you can create a brush from a png file for any version of Photoshop (or other software?) that you own.

    1. a. Use any selection tool to select the shape you want to make into a brush.
    b. Brushes created from an originally colorful pattern will be changed to grayscale--black and gray tones. (I think that gray tones are interpreted as more and more transparent as they become lighter and lighter, so they give softer edges and less color coverage than solid black does.)
    c. Maximum brush size allowed is 2500 pixels by 2500 pixels.
    d. Look at the "feather" option in the tool options bar at the top. Set it to 0 if you have a black image and you want it to have sharp edges.
    2. Edit>Define brush preset.
    3. Name your brush and click OK. It should be at the bottom of your available brushes in the brush drop down.

    Are you wondering why anyone would use a brush instead of a png? (Disclaimer: I started being serious with Photoshop in Jan so I'm not really an expert--just someone who wants to learn all about this, like you!)

    The png gives a good stamped effect that can be altered, if you'd like, in size, rotation, color, blending modes, texture, etc. It's actually pretty versatile.

    But from what I've read, I think that a brush gives you some easier to control options than a png. These variations are available through the Brushes Palette (a tab at the top right of the Photoshop workspace). For instance, you can add a texture to your brush and it automatically harmonizes with the canvas color, because it blends the brush color with the canvas color (those "transparent" grayscale values at work).

    I think that several of the same effects that can be done with a brush can be done with a png file, but with a few more steps needed to get there. (And we all love to save time when we can!) And it might be possible that there are options in the brush palette that are only available there--

    I've seen people get incredible effects by brushing a design across the paper. This created a background page that would have taken forever if they'd worked with a png, altering each instance of it.

    I'm sure that there are probably other benefits that I still don't know about! I'm glad you brought this up!

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