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Chapter 11.  Drawing with Brushes, Shapes, and Other Tools

Chapter 11.  Drawing with Brushes, Shapes, and Other Tools

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Figure11-1.Thiscomplex

drawingbyartistJodiFryewasdone

entirelyinElements.Ifyoulearnto

wieldallthedrawingpowerin

Elements,youcancreateamazingly

detailedartwork.Jodihasagalleryof

manymoreElementsdrawingsina

widevarietyofstylesat

www.frontiernet.net/~jlfrye/Jodi_Frye.



11.1.PickingandUsingaBasicBrush

IfyoulookattheToolbox,you'llseetheBrushtooliconjust

belowtheEraser.(Don'tconfuseitwiththeSelectionbrush,

whichisupabovetheTypetool.)ClicktheBrushtool'siconor

pressBtoactivateit.

TheBrushisoneofthetoolsthatincludeahiddendraweryou

canchoosebetweentheBrush,theImpressionistbrush,and

theColorReplacementbrush.

YoucanreadabouttheImpressionistbrushlaterinthischapter,

andabouttheColorReplacementbrushonpage233.This

sectionisabouttheregularBrushtool.

IfyoulookattheOptionsbar(Figure11-2),youcanseethat

theBrushoffersyoualotofopportunityforcustomizingthe

tool.



Figure

11-2.

Theseare

theOptions

barsettings

forthe

Brushtool.

By

changing

these

settings

andthe

hidden

settings

revealed

whenyou

clickthe

More

Options

buttonyou



can

dramatically

alterthe

behaviorof

anybrush.



Here'saquickrundown(fromlefttoright)oftheavailable

Brushoptions:

Brush,Impressionistbrush,orColorReplacement

tool.Clickanyofthesethreeiconstoactivatetheparticular

brushtoolyouwant.TheImpressionistbrushappliesa

paintingstyleeffect.TheColorReplacementtoolletsyou

brushinareplacementcolorforanyparticularcolorinyour

image.

TheBrushstrokethumbnail.TheOptionsbardisplaysa

thumbnailofthestrokeyou'dgetwiththecurrentbrush.

ClickthebrushtrokethumbnailtoseetheBrushpalette.

Elementsgivesyouabunchofbasicbrushcollections,

whichyoucanviewandselecthere.Youcanalsodownload

manymorefromvariousWebsites.(SeeChapter17for

moreaboutwheretolookforbrushestoaddtoElements.)

Ifyouclickthepull-downmenu,you'llseethatyouget

morethanjusthardorsoftbrushesofvarioussizes(see

Figure11-3).Youalsogetspecialbrushesfordrop

shadows,brushesthataresensitivetopenpressureif

you'reusingagraphicstablet(althoughtheyalsoworkif

you'reusingthemouseyoujustdon'thaveasmany

options),andbrushesthatpaintshapesanddesigns.



Note:OneverycoolfeatureofthebrushesinElementsis



thatanychangesyoumaketoabrushareshowninthe

littlebrushstrokethumbnailintheBrushpalette.

Size.Thispull-downmenuletsyouadjustthesizeofyour

brushanywherefromonepixeluptosizesthatmaybetoo

bigtofitonyourmonitor.Oryoucanjusttypeinasize.

Figure11-4showsyouaneasywaytoadjustbrushsize

usingyourmouse.Youcanalsopresstheclosebracketkey

(])toquicklyincreasebrushsizeortheopenbracketkey

([)todecreaseitasyou'reworking.



Figure

11-3.

Elements

givesyou

apretty

goodlist

of

different

brushes

tochoose

from,or

youcan

addyour

own.You

canmake

brushes,

too,as

explained

onpage

276.



Figure11-4.Clickingon

pull-downmenustochoose

yourbrushsizeissolast-



version.InElements3,you

don'tneedtoopenpull-down

menuslikethisonetoadjust

theircontents.Justmove

yourcursorundertheword

"size,"andyourcursor

changesintoahand-withdouble-headed-arrow.Now

youcan"scrub"backand

forthrightontheOptionsbar

tomakethechangesleftfor

smaller,rightforlarger.This

trickalsoworksanywherein

Elementsyouseea

numericalpop-outslider(as

intheLayerpalette'sOpacity

menu,forexample).



Mode.Choicesinthispull-downmenudetermineyour

blendmode.Themodesdeterminehowthebrushcolor

interactswithwhat'sinyourimage.Forexample,Normal

simplypaintsthecurrentforegroundcolor(moreaboutall

theModechoiceslater).

Opacity.Opacitycontrolshowthoroughlyyourbrushing

coverswhat'sbeneathit.Youcanusethepull-downmenu's

sliderortypeinanynumberyoulike,from1to100.100

percentgetsyoutotalcoverage.

Airbrush.Clickingthelittlepen-likebrushjusttotheright

oftheOpacitycontrolletsyouusethebrushasanairbrush.

Figure11-5showsyouhowthisworks.



Figure11-5.Aswithreal

airbrushes,Elements'

airbrushoptioncauses



Elementstocontinueto

"spray"paintaslongasyou

holddownthemousecursor,

regardlessofwhetherthe

mouseismovingornot.

Top:Thisshowstheeffectof

oneclickwiththebrushin

Regularmode.

Bottom:Thisshowstheeffect

ofthesamebrushinAirbrush

mode.Noticehowfarthe

colorhasspreadoutbeyond

theactualbrushcursorwhen

usingtheairbrush.Notevery

brushoffersthisoption.



TabletOptions.Ifyouuseagraphicstablet,youcanuse

thesesettingstotellElementswhichsettingsshould

respondtothepressureofyourstroke.There'smoreabout

graphicstabletsinChapter17.

MoreOptions.ClickingthisicongetsyoutheBrush

Dynamicspalette,whichgivesyouoodlesofwaysto

customizeyourbrush,whicharecoveredinthenext

section.Ifyou'reusingyourbrushforartisticpurposes,you

shouldfamiliarizeyourselfwiththesesettings,sincethisis

whereyoucansetachiseledstrokeorafade,forexample.

ToactuallyusetheBrush,youenteryoursettingsmakesure

you'veselectedthecoloryouwantintheForegroundcolor

square(page174)andthenjustdragacrossyourimage

whereveryouwanttopaint.



Tip:Ifyoueverwanttoreturnabrushtoitsoriginalsettings,



clicktheBrushbuttononthefar-leftsideoftheOptionsbar,

thenclickResetToolfromthepop-upmenu.

Oneofthebiggestdifferencesbetweendrawingonacomputer

anddrawingwitharealbrushisthat,onacomputer,itdoesn't

matterhowhardyoupressthemouse.Butifyou'vegota

graphicstablet,anelectronicpadthatcausesyourpen

movementstoappearinstantlyonscreen,youcanreplicate

real-worldbrushing,includingpressureeffects.Chapter17tells

youeverythingyouneedtoknowaboutusingagraphicstablet.



Note:Ifyou'reusedtopaintingwithlong,sweepingstrokes,

keepinmindthatinElements,thattechniquecanbefrustrating.

That'sbecausewhenyouundoamistake(bypressingCtrl+Z[

-Z]),Elementsundoeseverythingyou'vedonewhileyou've

beenholdingdownthemousebutton.Intrickyspots,youcan

saveyourselfsomeaggravationbyusingshorterstrokessoyou

don'thavetolosethatwholelongcurveyoupainstakingly

workedonjustbecauseyouwobbledabitattheend.(The

Erasertool[page289]canbehandyinthesesituations,too,for

tidyingup.)

TROUBLESHOOTINGMOMENT

WhatHappenedtoMyCursor?

OnethingthatdrivesnewcomerstoElementsnutsishavingtheBrushcursor

changefromacircletolittlecrosshairs,seeminglyspontaneously.Thisisoneof

those"It'snotabug;it'safeature"situations.ManytoolsinElementsofferyou

theoptionofwhatiscalledtheprecisecursor,shownintheillustration.Thereare

situationswhereyoumightprefertoseethoselittlecrosshairssothatyoucan

tellexactlywhereyou'reworking.

YoutoggletheprecisecursorbypressingtheCapsLockkey.Soifyouhitthat

keybyaccident,youmayfindyourselfinprecisecursormodewithnoideaof

howyougotthere.Justpressitagaintoturnitoff.

There'soneotherwayyoumaywindupwiththeprecisecursor,andthistime

youhavenochoiceinthematter.Ithappenswhenyourimageissosmallin



proportiontothecursorthatElementsmustdisplaythecrosshairstoshowthe

brushintherightscaleforyourimage.Zoomingtheviewlargerusuallygetsyour

regularcursorback,unlessyou'reworkingwitha1-pixelbrush,whichalways

usescrosshairs.

There'sanotherwrinkletothemysteriouscursorproblem.Yourcursormaylook

likeatinyiconinsteadofthebrushcircle.Onceagain,thisisapreference.Goto

Edit

Preferences

DisplayandCursors

PaintingCursors

BrushSize

(PhotoshopElements

Preferences

DisplayandCursors

Painting

Cursors

BrushSize)togetbackthenormalbrush.Thispreferencewindow

alsoletsyouturnoffthespecializedcursorsfortoolsliketheLassotools.Todo

so,intheOtherCursorsbox,chooseStandard.



Tip:Todraworpaintastraightline,holddowntheShiftkey

whileyourdraworpaint.Ifyouclickwhereyouwantyourlineto

start,andpressandholdShift,andthenclickattheendpoint,

Elementsdrawsastraightlinebetweenthosetwopoints.It's

importanttoclickfirst,thenpressShift,oryoumaydrawlines

whereyoudon'twantthem.



11.1.1.ModifyingYourBrush

WhenyouclicktheMoreOptionsbuttonintheOptionsbar,

you'llseeapalettethatletsyoucustomizethebrushina



numberofways.ItsofficialnameistheBrushDynamics

palette.You'llalsorunintoaversionofthispaletteforsomeof

theotherbrush-liketools,liketheHealingbrush.

TheBrushDynamicspaletteoptionsletyouchangetheway

yourbrushbehavesinanumberofsophisticatedandfunways.

Masteringthesesettingsgoesalongwaytowardgettingartistic

resultsinElements.

Spacingcontrolshowfarapartthebrushmarksgetput

down.Alowernumbermakesthemclosetogether,ahigher

numberfartherapart,asshowninFigure11-6.



Figure11-6.Thesamebrushstrokewith

thespacingsetat5percent,75percent,and

150percent(respectively,fromtoptobottom).

Youmayhavebeenwonderingwhysomeof

thebrushthumbnailslooklikelongcaterpillars,

whenthebrushshouldpaintanobject,likea

starorleaf.Thereason?Crampedspacing:

thethumbnailshowsthespacingasElements

originallysetsit.Widenthespacingtosee

separateobjectsinsteadofaclump.



Fadecontrolshowfastthebrushstrokefadesoutjustthe

wayarealonedoeswhenyourunoutofpaint.Thinkofthe

numbersassortof"howmanysteps"itwouldtaketorun

outofpaint.Alowernumbermeansitfadesoutveryfast

(veryfewsteps)whileahigheronemeansthefade

happenslater(moresteps).Youcanpickanumberupto

9999,sowithalittlefiddling,youshouldbeabletogetjust

whatyouwant.

Ifthebrushisn'tfadingfastenough,decreasethenumber.



Ifitfadestoofast,increaseit.Asmallerbrushusually

needsahighernumberthanalargerbrushwould.Youmay

findthatyouneedtosetthespacingupintothe20sor

highertomakefadingshowanyvisibleeffect.

HueJittercontrolshowfastthebrushswitchesbetween

thebackgroundandforegroundcolors.Somebrushes,

especiallytheonesthatyou'dusetopaintobjectslike

leaves,automaticallyvarythecolorforamoreinteresting

orrealisticeffect.Thehigherthenumberhere,thefaster

thecolormovesfromforegroundtobackgroundcolor.A

lowernumbermeansthebrushtakesalongerdistanceto

getfromonecolortotheother.Brushesthatacknowledge

huejitterdon'tputdownonlythetwocolors,butarangeof

huesinbetween.Notallbrushesrespondtothissetting,

butfortheonesthatdo,it'saprettycoolfeature.Figure

11-7showsyouhowitworks.

Hardnesscontrolswhetherthebrushedgeissharpor

fuzzy.Thissettingisn'tavailablewithallbrushtypes,but

whenitis,youcanchooseanyvaluebetweenzeroand100

percent.



Figure11-7.

brushstrokewithno

huejitter.

Middle:Thesame

brushstrokewitha

mediumhuejitter

value.

Bottom:Thesame

brushstrokewithahigh

huejittervalue.The

foreground/background

colorshereareredand

blue.Noticehowthe

brushautomatically

doesalittleshading,

evenwithoutallowing



forjitter.Ittakesafairly

highnumbertogetall

thewaytoblueina

strokeofthislength.



Scattermeansjustwhatitsayshowfarthemarksget

distributedinyourstroke.Ifscatterisverylow,yougeta

dense,line-likestroke,whereasahighervaluegivesan

effectmorelikerandomspots.

AngleandRoundness.Ifyou'veeverpaintedwithareal

brush,youshouldunderstandthesetworightaway.They

letyoucreateamorechiselededgetoyourbrushandalso

rotateitsothatit'snotalwayspaintingwiththeedgefacing

thesamedirection.Paintersdon'tuseonlyroundbrushes,

andyoudon'thavetoinElements,either.

Therearesomebrushesinthelibrariesthataren'tround,

likethecalligraphyandchalkbrushes.Butyoucanadjust

theroundnessofanybrushtomakeitmoresuitablefor

chiseledstrokes.SeeFigure11-8.



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