Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to make brushes out of photos...

I wanted to make a background-paper showing the house of my grandparents, perfect for telling the story about them. I then decided to make a brush from the photo of their house for this purpose. How to do it? I found two ways I think are easy and works well. It works in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

First I worked with the photo a little to make it more clear and full of contrast. I usually duplicate the photo, I don't want to work in the original. You can use Image/Adjustments/Levels at first. (you can find levels also in Elements, not sure about the correct english titles in the menu though as I've got Elements in a swedish version) Place the black arrow (beneath the histogram) at the left edge of the black curves, if its not there already, and the white arrow at the right edge of it. The gray arrow in the middle you can slightly pull to the right. Or just use autolevels.

You can also use Shadow/Highlights in the Image-menu, I increased the amount of highlight to 16% and the tonal width to 80%, you have to experiment. Brightness/Contrast is also useful. When you think you have a contrast-rich photo you go to Filter/Stylize/Find Edges. It gives an inverted brush and with this photo it works well, but photos of people can look funny:)

Use the eraser tool, with a large, round, soft basic brush to erase some of the edges.

Now you can make a brush by going to Edit/Define Brush Preset. You can change the name of the brush if you want to, then click OK.

Another way to do this is by going to Filter/Sketch/Stamp, I used Light/Dark Balance 4 and Smoothness 1, this depends on the photo, again experiment. This brush will not be inverted and it will be a bit more clear but also looses some detail. Here below you can see both brushes, first the inverted brush and then the stamp-brush. The paper I used comes from my Sidonie Solid Paper pack. Simply create a new layer above the backgroundpaper and stamp the brush on it, you can then change blending mode and opacity to get the result you want.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the great tutorial! Can't wait to try it.

LovelyMissKait said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LovelyMissKait said...

I was trying to do a backlink but didn't work.
Thank you for the tutorial. This is very useful.
Keep up the good work.

Jessica said...

wow - i have been looking for tutorials on how to do this - thanks so much!

Scrap Stew Sue said...

One of the best tutorials I've seen. Great job Anjelica. You're such a sweetheart to share with others, that makes u a very special person as we all know you are.