In order to access on-image hardness and opacity controls for brushes (see the next page), and to enhance painting performance (particularly for large brushes), go to Preferences > Performance and make sure Use Graphics Processor is checked (if it’s not, check it, click OK, then relaunch Photoshop).
Brush settings apply to many Photoshop tools, such as the Brush, Pencil, Mixer Brush, Clone Stamp, History Brush, ...
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