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Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Defining a New Brush

For some seriously creative fun, try making your own brushes. You can make them out of anything—a stroke that you've drawn with another brush, your logo, even an image that you've scanned into your computer to use as texture (like a leaf). Some folks call brushes that you create yourself sampled brushes because you sample part of a pattern, object, or image to create them; in other words, you have to select the pattern, object, or image you want to base the brush on.

The first step is to create the paint dab—a dab of paint in the shape of the brush tip—you want to turn into a custom brush (see Figure 12-32, left). You can create a paint dab in a variety of ways, from the quick to the super involved. The basic premise is to create a new 300x300–pixel document and then use a variety of brushes at various opacity settings to create your dab. You can even add texture to it—the more irregular and messy the dab, the more interesting your brush will be. To turn the dab into a brush that you can use to apply color, you have to create it using black and gray paint at 100 percent opacity (that's the Options bar's opacity setting). When you paint with the brush later, the 100-percent black areas will create opaque color and the gray areas will be semitransparent.

Note

If you want to practice making a custom brush using the paint dab shown in Figure 12-32, download the file DotsBrush.psd from the Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds.

Figure 12-32. Left: You can create ...

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