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Add dynamic elements to brushes

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Add brush dynamics

The Brush Settings panel provides many options for adding dynamic (or changing) elements to preset brush tips. For example, you can set options that vary the size, color, and opacity of brush marks over the course of a stroke.

You work with two components when adding dynamics elements to a brush:

  • Jitter percentages specify the randomness of dynamic elements. At 0%, an element does not change over the course of a stroke; at 100%, an element has the maximum amount of randomness.

  • Options in the Control pop‑up menus specify how you want to control the variance of dynamic elements. You can choose not to control the variance of an element, to fade an element over the specified number of steps, or to vary an element based on pen pressure, pen tilt, position of the pen thumbwheel, or pen rotation.
Note:

Pen controls are available only when you’re using a pressure-sensitive digitizing tablet such as the Wacom tablet, and supported pens (for rotation control and thumbwheel). A warning icon appears if you select a pen control but have not installed a tablet or are using a pen that is missing the control feature.

Brush shape dynamics

Shape dynamics determine the variance of brush marks in a stroke.

Photoshop Brush strokes with and without shape dynamics
Brush stokes without shape dynamics (left) and with shape dynamics (right)

Size Jitter and Control

Specifies how the size of brush marks vary in a stroke. For more information, see Create and modify brushes.

To specify the maximum percentage of jittering, type a number or use the slider to enter a value. To specify how you want to control the size variance of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop‑up menu:

Off

Specifies no control over the size variance of brush marks.

Fade

Fades the size of brush marks between the initial diameter and the minimum diameter in the specified number of steps. Each step is equal to one mark of the brush tip. The value can range from 1 to 9999. For example, entering 10 steps produces a fade in 10 increments.

Pen Pressure, Pen Tilt, Stylus Wheel

Varies the size of brush marks between the initial diameter and the minimum diameter based on the pen pressure, pen tilt, or position of the pen thumbwheel.

Minimum Diameter

Specifies the minimum percentage by which brush marks can scale when Size Jitter or Size Control is enabled. Type a number, or use the slider to enter a value that is a percentage of the brush tip diameter.

Tilt Scale

Specifies the scale factor applied to the height of the brush prior to rotation when Size Control is set to Pen Tilt. Type a number, or use the slider to enter a value that is a percentage of the brush diameter.

Angle Jitter and Control

Specifies how the angle of brush marks varies in a stroke. To specify the maximum percentage of jittering, enter a value that is a percentage of 360 degrees. To specify how you want to control the angle variance of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop‑up menu:

Off

Specifies no control over the angle variance of brush marks.

Fade

Fades the angle of brush marks between 0 and 360 degrees in the specified number of steps.

Pen Pressure, Pen Tilt, Stylus Wheel, Rotation

Varies the angle of brush marks between 0 and 360 degrees based on the pen pressure, pen tilt, position of the pen thumbwheel, or rotation of the pen.

Initial Direction

Bases the angle of brush marks on the initial direction of the brush stroke.

Direction

Bases the angle of brush marks on the direction of the brush stroke.

Roundness Jitter and Control

Specifies how the roundness of brush marks varies in a stroke. To specify the maximum percentage of jittering, enter a percentage indicating the ratio between the brush’s short and long axes. To specify how you want to control the roundness variance of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop‑up menu:

Off

Specifies no control over the roundness variance of brush marks.

Fade

Fades the roundness of brush marks between 100% and the Minimum Roundness value in the specified number of steps.

Pen Pressure, Pen Tilt, Stylus Wheel, Rotation

Varies the roundness of brush marks between 100% and the Minimum Roundness value based on the pen pressure, pen tilt, position of the pen thumbwheel, or rotation of the pen.

Minimum Roundness

Specifies the minimum roundness for brush marks when Roundness Jitter or Roundness Control is enabled. Enter a percentage indicating the ratio between the brush’s short and long axes.

Brush Projection

Specifies that as you paint with a stylus, changes to tilt and rotation alter the tip shape.

Color dynamics brush options

Color dynamics determine how the color of paint changes over the course of a stroke.

Photoshop Brush strokes with and without color dynamics
Brush strokes without color dynamics (left) and with color dynamics (right)

Apply per tip

Specifies changing color for each distinct tip stamp in a stroke.

If unchecked, dynamic changes occur once at the beginning of each stroke. You can vary color between strokes, rather than within each individual stroke.

Foreground/Background Jitter and Control

Specifies how paint varies between the foreground color and background color.

To specify a percentage by which the color of the paint can vary, type a number, or use the slider to enter a value. To specify how you want to control the color variance of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop‑up menu:

Off

Specifies no control over the color variance of brush marks.

Fade

Varies the color of paint between the foreground color and the background color in the specified number of steps.

Pen Pressure, Pen Tilt, Stylus Wheel, Rotation

Varies the color of paint between the foreground color and the background color based on the pen pressure, pen tilt, position of the pen thumbwheel, or rotation of the pen.

Hue Jitter

Specifies a percentage by which the hue of the paint can vary in a stroke. Type a number, or use the slider to enter a value. A lower value changes the hue while maintaining a close proximity to the hue of the foreground color. A higher value increases the difference between hues.

Saturation Jitter

Specifies a percentage by which the saturation of the paint can vary in a stroke. Type a number, or use the slider to enter a value. A lower value changes the saturation while maintaining a close proximity to the saturation of the foreground color. A higher value increases the difference between saturation levels.

Brightness Jitter

Specifies a percentage by which the brightness of the paint can vary in a stroke. Type a number, or use the slider to enter a value. A lower value changes the brightness while maintaining a close proximity to the brightness of the foreground color. A higher value increases the difference between brightness levels.

Purity

Increases or decreases the saturation of the color. Type a number, or use the slider to enter a percentage between –100 and 100. At –100%, the color is fully desaturated; at 100%, the color is fully saturated.

Transfer brush options

Transfer brush options determine how paint changes over the course of a stroke.

Photoshop Transfer brush options
Brush strokes without paint dynamics (left) and with paint dynamics (right)

Opacity Jitter and Control

Specifies how the opacity of paint varies in a brush stroke, up to (but not exceeding) the opacity value specified in the options bar. To specify a percentage by which the opacity of the paint can vary, type a number or use the slider to enter a value. To specify how you want to control the opacity variance of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop‑up menu:

Off

Specifies no control over the opacity variance of brush marks.

Fade

Fades the opacity of paint from the opacity value in the options bar to 0, in the specified number of steps.

Pen Pressure, Pen Tilt, Stylus Wheel

Varies the opacity of paint based on the pen pressure, pen tilt, or the position of the pen thumbwheel.

Flow Jitter and Control

Specifies how the flow of paint varies in a brush stroke, up to (but not exceeding) the flow value specified in the options bar.

To specify a percentage by which the flow of the paint can vary, type a number or use the slider to enter a value. To specify how you want to control the flow variance of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop‑up menu:

Off

Specifies no control over the flow variance of brush marks.

Fade

Fades the flow of paint from the flow value in the options bar to 0 in the specified number of steps.

Pen Pressure, Pen Tilt, Stylus Wheel

Varies the flow of paint based on the pen pressure, pen tilt, or position of the pen thumbwheel.

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