Create a Custom Brush in Photoshop

08 Feb

Creating custom brushes is quite simple in photoshop and in this tutorial I will show you how to define a custom brush and in the second part how to use that brush in conjunction with the displacement map function to apply a tattoo to an image.
Part One:
Any image or part thereof can be converted into a custom brush in photoshop. Brushes are very similar to masks and the maxim that applies to masks applies to bushes also – black conceals, white reveals – and shades in between have varying degrees of opacity. You don’t necessarily have to use a grayscale image to define a brush preset, once you define a brush preset on a colour image it will automatically be saved as a grayscale bush. In order to control the luminosity of certain parts of your brush I recommend that you convert your image to Black and White first, in that way you can decide what shade of gray (thus opacity) each colour will have. The source for my brush is from – image ID 412079. The aim is to convert the image on the left to the black and white version on the right.
1. Using the pen tool I traced around the outline of the cross and converted it into a selection (Command click on the path in the paths palette) I then inverted it (Command I) the selection and filled it with white (Command delete). You don’t have to use the pen tool for this, any selection method is fine.
2. I carefully selected the four corners where the the circle of the cross meets the vertical and horizontal branches of the cross and filled these with white.
3. I examined the three channels to select the one with the most contrast -duplicated this channel (red) and then inverted it.
4. Using the apply image command (Image> Apply Image) I applied the red channel to the image using the colour burn blending mode, then again using the screen mode and once again using the overlay mode.
5. You should then have a image similar to the one on the right. Then it’s simply a case of selecting the canvas (Command A) and Edit> Define Brush Preset.. when you name your brush and hit ok your brush will be saved along with your other brushes (the last on the list). Note your brush will be saved at the same pixel size as your document. Increasing the size of your bush when you are applying it will have a detrimental effect on the quality (softness) of the brush.

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Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop



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