Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp

Lesson 34/118 - Brush Basics


Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Brush Basics

I just have a basic new layer here that I've built that just has a white background. So we can just talk about what the brush is and how the brush works. When we think about a brush, we have to think about how are we using this brush. Are we using it with a Wacom tablet, or are we using it with a mouse? A Wacom tablet can really help with pressure sensitivity, and I'll show you exactly how you can use that. But the brush, to find the brush, all you have to do is press B for the brush tool. Or over here on your tool bar, wherever you have your tools setup for your brush, you can just click on the brush. Just like anything that we do in Photoshop, we have to be thinking about things in terms of layers. So what I'm gonna do before I even start teaching you the brush here, is I'm gonna add a new layer and just call it Brush Demo. So looking at this brush, I can see that it's a big circle, that's telling me how big that brush is. If we look up at the top area here, we're underneath our menu...

, which would be our secondary tool menu. This is telling me that I'm using a brush, this brush is a rather large brush at 900 pixels, we can see that there and it's got a hardness of zero. So if I were to click right here, you'd see that this is a blue swatch with a hardness of zero. That means that with the size of this brush being the size that it is, it's spray is going to ... It's gonna feather it's way out towards the edges of that spray with a very strong center. If I were to go ahead and change the hardness up to 100% and then click, instead of it having a hard center and feathering its way out to the edges, it now has a very hard edge. So when you think about these things in terms of masking, masking is all about blending and making things kinda blend in so that we don't have a big, white circle when we're trying to make a nice, beautiful transitioning vignette. We don't wanna have a big, black border around the edge, so we wanna have a nice soft-edge brush. A lot of times with masking, you're gonna pretty much find yourself between the hardnesses of maybe zero and 50% or something like that. At 50% if I were to use this brush right here, you can see that we have a pretty hard center but it slowly feathers out to the edges. On brushes also, we have a ton of brushes that are here in Photoshop. Typically, for photographer's purposes I don't go too far into many of the other brushes that we have available to us in Photoshop, other than a hard-edged brush or a soft-edged brush. Typically I'm working most, I would say 95%, with the soft-edged brush. But you can do a lot of things with brushes. You can even change the blend modes of these brushes. So, if you wanted to, as you're painting with these brushes, you can alter that paint stroke to have it's own blend mode. I find this a little bit confusing unless I'm doing some detailed layered work or maybe even some painting within Photoshop. So I tend to leave that at normal because if you forget about that and you're trying to paint on your mask and it's not working, one of the last places you're gonna think to look is gonna be in that blend mode. Instead, you have the option to use the blend modes right here within the layer that you're painting on. At this point, this isn't actually a mask. We're just showing the basics of the brush. But it's a good idea to keep all of those brush strokes on their own separate layer so that they can have their own blend modes and own opacity applied to them as well. With that you also have the ability to change the opacity of that brush that you're using. So if I were to go ahead and delete this, bring this down and delete it. I'll make my brush a little bit smaller. There's some hot keys here, instead of going up here and changing your brush size with the slider or typing in the pixel amount, you can press the left bracket key to make it smaller and the right bracket key to make it larger. So I'll make this a little bit smaller. Now if I change the opacity of this brush to something like 50% and then brush, you're gonna see that it's not full-on 100% blue like it was before. It's basically a 50% mix of what that blue would be. The interesting thing about opacity is that if I paint and I continue to paint up and down, it's not going to give me any more. It's restricting me to 50% but now if I were to paint in between these lines ... If you press and hold Shift as you paint up and down, it will restrict you to a straight, vertical line. So if you're wondering how that brushstroke is so perfect, just press and hold Shift and that will allow you to just maintain that straight perfect line up and down. I'll go and paint right here and also what it does when you do that, when you press Shift and then go to click the next one, it'll make a line from one place to the next. So it made a line from here all the way up to here. But you see with opacity set to 50%, that line in the middle if we go back here, and we just start painting right here and click on down, that line in the middle is maintaining 50% but it's allowing that brush to build up along-side that 50% with those next two layers next to it. Again, we go ahead and push that down and do it again, we're slowly starting to get ourself towards 100%. The difference between flow and opacity is that, if I were to come over to flow at this point, I'll turn my opacity up to 100%, if I were to come up to flow and change the flow to 50%, the flow is based on how much I click and hold on an area and as I move up and down it builds up for me. So opacity restricts you strictly to 50% per pass whereas flow will start out at 50% but as you paint around it's going to build up to 100% starting with the 50%. So if I were to bring this down to something like 10% and then click and drag around, you see how I'm starting to get darker and darker in that circle but the areas in the outside are remaining the same. If I were to try to do the same thing with my opacity set to 10%, I can go around and around and around all day long and it's not going to build up until I release the click and paint back on it. Release the click, paint back on it. Now I'm starting to build up. So opacity restricts that current stroke that you're using whereas flow allows you to build up from that 10%, working your way more towards 100%. The kicker here is also where we start to think about the Wacom tablet and where does a Wacom tablet play in? Well, there's a lot of bells and whistles with all these tablets these days. My main priority when it comes to a tablet is to ensure that it just does pressure sensitivity. For my purposes, I'm just masking. I'm masking and I might be painting some things in for dodging and burning so I just need it for very casual things. I don't need it to turn my canvas. I don't need to do any of that stuff. Now, that can be very beneficial to a lot of people who are doing things like digital paintings, but for my purposes and mainly my recommendation to individuals is it doesn't have to be fancy it just has to be pressure sensitive, because if I look here and I look at these little tick-boxes right here, these tick-boxes control my Wacom tablet. So at this point I'm telling my Wacom tablet that it can control ... It can control with pressure sensitivity, my opacity and my flow. If I just change this to opacity as I click and draw on here, the pressure sensitivity that I'm placing down is just working on that opacity there. If I push harder it's gonna bring on more opacity. So instead of me having to play around with the opacity settings from 10% to 100% I can just come in here with a very light brush and it's gonna be a small brush that then works up to a large brush with that opacity. The same thing happens with flow. If I turn on flow, turn off opacity, it's the same concept. It's set to 100% at flow at this point so if I were to go ahead and turn on flow and opacity I now have both controls with one pen stroke, which can be really awesome for masking also really great for dodging and burning. So I usually have these ticked, both of this ticked, for my Wacom tablet so that as I paint with my masks, it's a gradual build-up. Because when you're masking with strictly just a mouse, if you were to go ahead and paint a black swatch with just your mouse, you're gonna get all black. Well sometimes you just want a gradual build-up and a gradual push-back of that effect on that image and that's why a Wacom tablet can be one of your best friends. If you noticed I'm actually ambidextrous. This is kind of an accidental thing, growing up my dad was left-handed so everything had to be on the left side so I learned that and then I'm right-handed naturally, so if you can train your brain to do that it's really advantageous because you can have the pen in one hand, the mouse in the other hand and be working at the same time, however, if you try to do both at the same time you'll get this thing going on. If you're trying to do this and trying to teach yourself and you're like why is nothing moving it's cause your mouse and your pen are competing with one another to see who's gonna win that battle and nobody wins when it comes to that. When I'm working with my pen in this way, I typically have that pen a little bit farther off. This is just the brush settings that you have here. Inside this folder you have all kinds of different brushes that you can use within your masking process or your painting process. And I highly encourage you to go through those things, but typically for masking I really just recommend a really nice soft-edge brush with a Wacom tablet 'cause it'll help you build that up and I'll show you the difference when we start to get into the practical application of this.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop® expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop®. Topics covered will include:

Week 1
• Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
Week 2
• Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
Week 3
• Smart Objects , Transforming, Actions, Filters and Editing Video
Week 4
• Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop® prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.

Software Used: Adobe® Photoshop® CC® 2018


1Bootcamp Introduction 2The Bridge Interface 3Setting up Bridge 4Overview of Bridge 5Practical Application of Bridge 6Introduction to Raw Editing 7Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface 8Global Tools Part 1 9Global Tools Part 2 10Local Tools 11Introduction to the Photoshop Interface 12Toolbars, Menus and Windows 13Setup and Interface 14Adobe Libraries 15Saving Files 16Introduction to Cropping 17Cropping for Composition in ACR 18Cropping for Composition in Photoshop 19Cropping for the Subject in Post 20Cropping for Print 21Perspective Cropping in Photoshop 22Introduction to Layers 23Vector & Raster Layers Basics 24Adjustment Layers in Photoshop 25Organizing and Managing Layers 26Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes 27Screen and Multiply and Overlay 28Soft Light Blend Mode 29Color and Luminosity Blend Modes 30Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes 31Introduction to Layer Styles 32Practical Application: Layer Tools 33Introduction to Masks and Brushes 34Brush Basics 35Custom Brushes 36Brush Mask: Vignettes 37Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn 38Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation 39Mask Groups 40Clipping Masks 41Masking in Adobe Camera Raw 42Practical Applications: Masks 43Introduction to Selections 44Basic Selection Tools 45The Pen Tool 46Masks from Selections 47Selecting Subjects and Masking 48Color Range Mask 49Luminosity Masks Basics 50Introduction to Cleanup Tools 51Adobe Camera Raw 52Healing and Spot Healing Brush 53The Clone Stamp Tool 54The Patch Tool 55Content Aware Move Tool 56Content Aware Fill 57Custom Cleanup Selections 58Introduction to Shapes and Text 59Text Basics 60Shape Basics 61Adding Text to Pictures 62Custom Water Marks 63Introduction to Smart Objects 64Smart Object Basics 65Smart Objects and Filters 66Smart Objects and Image Transformation 67Smart Objects and Album Layouts 68Smart Objects and Composites 69Introduction to Image Transforming 70ACR and Lens Correction 71Photoshop and Lens Correction 72The Warp Tool 73Perspective Transformations 74Introduction to Actions in Photoshop 75Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface 76Making Your First Action 77Modifying Actions After You Record Them 78Adding Stops to Actions 79Conditional Actions 80Actions that Communicate 81Introduction to Filters 82ACR as a Filter 83Helpful Artistic Filters 84Helpful Practical Filters 85Sharpening with Filters 86Rendering Trees 87The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters 88Introduction to Editing Video 89Timeline for Video 90Cropping Video 91Adjustment Layers and Video 92Building Lookup Tables 93Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type 94ACR to Edit Video 95Animated Gifs 96Introduction to Creative Effects 97Black, White, and Monochrome 98Matte and Cinematic Effects 99Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades 100Gradients 101Glow and Haze 102Introduction to Natural Retouching 103Brightening Teeth 104Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool 105Cleaning and Brightening Eyes 106Advanced Clean Up Techniques 107Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization 108ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits 109Portrait Workflow Techniques 110Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization 111Landscape Workflow Techniques 112Introduction to Compositing & Bridge 113Composite Workflow Techniques 114Landscape Composite Projects 115Bonus: Rothko and Workspace 116Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos 117Bonus: The Mask (Extras) 118Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Sonya Messier

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!