Brushes are pretty interesting. You can actually make your own custom brushes. There might come a time where a soft edge brush is not something that you necessarily want in your image, and you might need to make a custom brush. This is kind of outside the realm of masking, but definitely along the lines of brushes. If I go ahead and open up this image, I'll show you exactly what I'm talking about. This is a photograph, where I needed a bunch of paratroopers to look like they were coming in and this cannon is not in action. There's no search lights anywhere. This is just a composite built from a cannon that's static display in the town that I live. I wanted these paratroopers to look like they were going all throughout the sky, and I could've just made a bunch of different layers of that paratrooper and copied, pasted, made them smaller, copied, pasted, made them smaller, but instead what I did, was I made a brush of that paratrooper and then I was able to change and alter its rotation ...
and it spread as I painted that paratrooper across the sky. On one layer, I hade this multiopacity brush that also had a varying sizes and varying rotations of that paratrooper. It's really quite simple to do. Let's go ahead and open up a new canvas and we'll just make this new canvas, we'll make it taller than it is wide. Let's go 900 by 1500. I've got a brush here that I've already kind of set up from the shapes, here, in Photoshop, that we can make a custom brush from. Let's say I want to take this dog paw. Instead of making a bunch of different layers and have it go throughout, here, I can take a virtual copy of this and turn it into a brush. If I go to edit and I go to define brush preset, it's going to ask me what I want to do with this. It's on a transparent background and it's a rather small shape. It allows me to turn that into a brush that I can use later. We'll call this dog paw brush, and I guess it could be a cat, but let's just call it a dog paw. Now, it automatically defaults my brush to that dog paw. If I were to click on my brush and make that brush a little bit smaller, click on this canvas, if I were to click and drag with this, that's the brush that I get, but over here on the right hand side, we can add brush properties over there. If we go to window and we go to brush settings, here, these are all settings for the brushes and as usual, we open it up and there's a ton of stuff in there. We just want to run and hide, right? Just go through them one by one. If I look at shape dynamics, look at the brush. The brush is down here giving you an example. If I take the size gitter and make that larger, that is going to make the brush size change as it goes in its path. If I paint on this path, now that brush size is changing and altering, but it's still, it's all kind of compiled together. If I change the diameter and change the angle gitter, that's going to change how much of that paw actually moves. The next one down here is scatting. We'll go back up to shape dynamics in a second. If I move the scattering up, it's going to increase the amount of area that this brush can take on. If I increase the count, it's going to pull it all together because I'm adding a lot of that, so I'll leave the count low and then bring this count gitter down. If we go back up to those shape dynamics, we can change the angle. We can see it a little bit better now. Then the roundness of that shape so it all looks slightly different as we brush, and now we can get a different random kind of pattern. You can do a lot with this tool. You can change the opacity of it, you can add textures to that brush. You can do all kinds of things to these brushes. I know this isn't really mask related at this point, this is more like a gee-wiz type of thing about brushes, but in those brush properties and just like set up our tool bar, here, it's a good idea to have those brush properties there because even as you're masking, you might come to a point where you have a very specific brush that you need to make that is going to working on your mask and that's how you make your own custom brushes.
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Adobe Photoshop CC 2018