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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
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    photoshop painting

    might be the wrong forum... sorry. Ok so I used to paint in photoshop by having opacity set to pen pressure.. Its was easy to create smooth value transitions because it was just like a pencil. Since I figured this was not helping me learn to paint at all.. since paint doesnt work that way.. I started setting size to pen pressure instead. I am pulling my hair out right now because I cannot for the life of me control my values. No matter what I do everything looks like a hard edge.. its awful. Should I have opacity at 100%? lower?. I feel like a total idiot.. and im encountering problems that I dont while oil painting. could it be the hard brush? Or maybe I just need to work at it more and get better? I cant help but think somethings wrong... because although I suck at painting,.. I can usually do better than this nonsense.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Well the values and edge hardness aren't affected by changing size to pen pressure. Just make sure you have Opacity set to pen pressure. There are several shortcuts to changing edge hardness, look them up depending on what version photoshop you have. If you're going for a painterly look though, you're not going to generally want blurry brushes. Try out different brushes, download some from the Photoshop forum on CA. Also, I recomend turning your flow setting todown to as low as 50%, and setting it to pen pressure.

  4. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Its a new tool it has its way of working. It's not paint although similar principles apply.

    I don't normally use %100 unless I'm putting in a flat color. If I'm painting with it I vary it up between 10 and 40%, a little less a little more depending on situation.

    Some people like to let the Ps control the pressure and paint in layers by turning off the brushes dynamic properties, Others like to use the pressure sensetivity, both have their uses.

    .. I always used the soft airbrush with 100%... becasue i was an idiot and didnt know better I dont do that anymore.
    Last edited by Zazerzs; July 17th, 2009 at 10:37 PM.
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  5. #4
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    Mar 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
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    Liffey - yep I know that.. but you see I wanted to have more of a traditional painting feel.. and with paint.. pressing lighter doesnt make your mark more or less opaque.. it just changes size. Thats why I wanted to use photoshop this way and set pen pressure to just size. Maybe I shouldnt be?
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hudson River valley, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggjoee5790 View Post
    Since I figured this was not helping me learn to paint at all.. since paint doesnt work that way..
    Paint doesn't work like any digital tool, including Painter. But light and form do, no matter what the medium. Use the tools you have in the most effective/natural way you can to get the results you want/need. What you're doing is the equivalent of using oil paint to learn about watercolor.

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  8. #6
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    Nov 2008
    Baltimore, Maryland
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    I try to adjust my opacity manually as I need to, in order to replicate the way I've learned to use oil paints. The less opaque, the more it will function like thin paint with medium. The more opaque, the thicker the paint.
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  9. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Central London
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    I got to know PS brushes very well over the last year, I changed the settings so many times its ridiculous... what I have now is pretty time tested and I'm rather pleased.

    what I do is:
    All my brushes are set to 100% opacity and flow [except in extreme cases] (like the mighty Jason Chan)

    1.I have a brush for sketching - size+flow (always 100% hardness)

    I use these 3 basic brushes for painting:
    2.I have a brush for blocking in stuff/sharpen - only flow
    3.a brush for blending - flow+opacity
    4.a brush for fine blending/light strokes/if I need to rush the blending - opacity+flow+airbrush

    Usually I go 1-2-3-4 on my fully polished pieces
    1-2-3 if I do unpolished pieces/ things in which the line art is a part of the finished piece
    2-3-4 for value concepts/ painting from life or photos
    1-2-4 for speed

    Yet what I've found is that blending is also highly dependent on hardness, so sometimes I barely change brushes and instead just change the hardness, since technically, I can do the entire piece (sketch to polish) with brush 3 or brush 4 (It will just take more time).

    I have 9% on spacing for all brushes... I wish I could have less but my comp doesn't have the processing power.
    Last edited by Vatsel; July 18th, 2009 at 06:27 AM.

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  10. #8
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    Aug 2004
    Thanked 173 Times in 120 Posts
    I'm going to go with what others have said-- digital paint does not act like real paint at all, so I wouldn't worry so much about trying to emulate it exactly. If you had a system that worked when pressure=opacity, just use that. Or get Painter, which will mimic real media far better than Photoshop ever will.

    I personally paint with a hard-edged brush with pressure=size. Although I will often go in with a soft pressure=opacity brush first and get my basic colors down. It's all about what works for you, though. While experimenting can be fun, if something is just not working for you, don't freak out, just do what does.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Thanked 1,859 Times in 604 Posts
    ArtRage is the best tool for simulating the behaviour of oils, way ahead of Painter right now. Clearly no digital tool can simulate a medium exactly, how could it possibly, but if you want a very believable digital alternative, without any frills, you need to go with AR. AR doesn't use opacity because that doesn't exist in actual oil painting, instead it's based around brush loading and addition of thinners.

    Photoshop doesn't even try to simulate natural media so if that's what you want to do, simply don't use it.

  12. #10
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    May 2008
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