Photoshop Tutorial for Fashion Design (Part 23)
Tool Presets, Brushes Palette, Levels
- Use advanced brush options to modify preset brushes and create custom brushes
- Increase or decrease image contrast using the Levels command
- Save commonly used custom tools settings
- 0:07 Tool Presets
- 2:04 Brushes Palette
- 5:10 Levels
Tools Presets palette displays available presets for the current or all the available tools. In addition, it allows you to create and save your own presets. Let’s take the Brush tool for example. I’m going to set the size to 100, adjust hardness, choose a different mode, like Exclusion, set Opacity to 50, and I’m going to keep Flow at 100. And let’s say I know that I’ll be using this brush quite often. So for the time’s sake, I will save these brush settings as a preset. Just click on “Create new tool preset” at the bottom of the palette. I’m going to uncheck “Include Color”, give it a different name, and click “OK”.
So, the next time I’m ready to use this brush, I can simply select it from the preset list. Current tool presets are also available in the option bar. So unless you have a number of tools with specific presets that you are using, you’ll have no need for the Tool Presets palette.
Brushes palette offers you extended brush options and preview. Using this palette gives you great control over your brush appearance. In the Shape Dynamics you can set the percentage of the Size Jitter. High value will increase size discrepancies. Minimum Diameter will set the limit for the smallest sample. In the Scattering options, right below the Shape Dynamics, you can set the spread and the intensity of the brush by adjusting the Scatter effect and Count and you can also adjust Count Jitter to increase or decrease random appearance.
Let’s look at another example, like brush number 192. This is a good brush to use for the fur effect. Before I use it, I’m going to create a new layer and select my coat colors. And I’m going to change the size. Using the Brushes palette I can use color dynamics to set Foreground / Background Jitter, adjust Hue Jitter, saturation and brightness, decrease or increase purity. Other Dynamics options allow you to increase Opacity Jitter and Flow Jitter which specify how the opacity and flow of the paint vary in a brush stroke. Higher percentage will results in more frequent transparent occurrences.
And of course, Adobe Photoshop allows you to create your own brush. It’s actually very simple. First I’m going to select my rose, then go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. You can see the thumb of your brush in the brush option window and the number below it, in my case it’s 689, indicates the size of the brush. Your new brush thumb will be listed in the Brush Presets window. And just like with any brush, you have great control over your brush settings.
One thing to keep in mind: when you define the brush, although it might be in color, Adobe Photoshop will convert your colors into grayscale with preserved luminosity. Lighter gray will have your brush looking more transparent. You can clearly see it in my example. If that’s not what you want, I suggest to adjust the image before defining the brush. I’m going to use Levels to increase the contrast and darken my rose. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. In the Levels window, sliding the mid gray point to the left will make image lighter. Sliding it to the right will make image darker. Bringing black and white points closer to the gray midpoint will increase the contrast.
The histogram window shows pixels distribution in your current image. In my case, we can clearly see there are more pixels on the lighter side. Let’s see what happens once I adjust the levels. Let’s go back to Image > Adjustments > Levels. New histogram shows much more even pixel distribution. You can learn more about levels and other advanced Photoshop features and their applications for fashion from our “Adobe Photoshop for the Fashion Industry” ebook.
And now I’m ready to define my brush. Edit > Define Brush Preset And you can clearly see how much brighter my new brush is. To be honest, as a fashion designer I hardly get to use Brushes palette or define my own brushes, for that matter. I get by with the limited brush settings offered in the option bar that allow me to adjust the size and hardness of my brush. So I’m going to close the Brushes palette to save some space.