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Custom Photoshop Brushes

Author: serpentis

Tools Needed

  • Photoshop

Introduction

Creating your own custom Photoshop brushes is easy and can be quite useful. You can create everything from custom shapes to your signature as a brush. Custom brushes can help with everything from texturing to watermarking to adding multiples of the same element to your images.

What You Need:

Photoshop

Used in this tutorial:

Photoshop

Snowflake ' Dover

This image was written in Photoshop 7, but can translate to most Photoshop versions.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or contact me at any of the sites I frequent (3D Commune, Renderosity, Poser Pros and DeviantArt), username: serpentis.

(Snowflake image ' Dover Publishing from the book: Big Book of Graphic Designs and Devices. Used with permission as per Dovers terms of use.)

400-00321.jpg

Step 1 - Getting Started

You can start with any image you desire to make your brush. I've chosen a snowflake. My image just happened to be a black and white scan, however, if your image is not black and white, you'll want to desaturate your image to make it black and white (Image/Adjust/Desaturate.) If your image comes in as a locked Background layer double click on the Background layer to create it's own layer (Layer 0)

Step 2 - Black and White

If your image is like mine (only black and white) or if it has a white background, separating the image from the background will be easy. For an image like mine with solid black lines, you can select the black with the magic wand. If your image has a white background you can select the background with the magic wand.

Step 3 - Layers

Notice the “marching ants” around the selection. This tells you what's selected. If you've selected the black part of your image, you're going to need to invert the selection (Selection/Invert or Ctrl+Alt-Shift-I) This selects the background and now you can hit the Delete key to delete the background. You should now have the image you want with no background.

400-00371.jpg

If your image has some “jaggies” around the edges, you'll want to take care of those before you create your brush. One of the easiest ways is to select the background, go to Select/Feather and feather the selection 1 or 2 pixels then delete. It smoothes out the edges pretty well.

Step 4 - Making the Brush

Go to Edit/Define Brush and create your new brush. This will bring up a naming box, name your brush whatever you'd like so you'll remember it later when you want to use it. Notice under your image, the box tells you how big your brush is. This is important when you're creating multiple brushes in various sizes.

Step 5 - Finding your brush

Your new brush will be automatically saved in your Brush Palette. If you have other brushes loaded, it will be at the very bottom of the list. If you're creating a new set you'll want to right click on each of the brushes you have loaded and delete them until only your new brushes are loaded.

Step 6 - Saving

If you have all of your brushes created, you may want to save them to a Photoshop Brush file so you can load them later when you want them or distribute them to other Photoshop users. Click on the little arrow next to “Brushes” and go to Save Brushes… Save them in a location you'll remember with a descriptive name.