Fading the paint (and other effects)

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In earlier versions of Photoshop, you could create a fading paint stroke by selecting the Fade check box in the Options palette and then specifying whether you wanted the stroke to fade from the foreground color to the background color or to transparency. In Version 6, you have the same choices, but they're handled a little differently.

When you work with the paintbrush or pencil, setting the Color option in the Brush Dynamics palette to Fade enables you to paint a line that fades from the foreground color to the background color. Choosing Fade from the Opacity pop-up menu, on the other hand, paints lines that fade to transparency. This option also enables you to create gradually disappearing strokes with the rubber stamp, pattern stamp, eraser, art history brush, and history brush.

If you're using the airbrush, you fade paint to transparency by setting the Pressure option in the Brush Dynamics palette to Fade. Similarly, you set the Pressure option to Fade to apply less and less pressure as you drag with the burn, dodge, sponge, blur, sharpen, and smudge tools.

To try your hand at fading lines, select the paintbrush or pencil and select Fade from the Opacity pop-up menu in the Brush Dynamics palette. Then enter a value in the corresponding option box to specify the distance over which you want the fading to occur. The fading begins at the start of your drag and is measured in brush shapes.

For example, assume that the foreground color is black. If you enter 40 into the Fade option box — as in Figure 5-27 — Photoshop paints 40 brush shapes, the first in black and the remaining 39 in increasingly lighter shades of gray.

The physical length of a fading line is dependent both on the Fade value you enter in the Brush Dynamics palette and on the Spacing value entered in the Brush Options dialog box, discussed in "Editing a brush shape," earlier in this chapter. To recap, the Spacing value determines the frequency with which Photoshop lays down brush shapes, and the Fade value determines the number of brush shapes laid down. Therefore, as demonstrated in Figure 5-28, a high Fade value combined with a high Spacing value creates the longest line.

Figure 5-27: The top and middle strokes show examples of fading strokes that you can create by selecting Fade from the Opacity pop-up menu in the Brush Dynamics palette. For the other two strokes, I set the Opacity option to Off and set the Color option to Fade.

Figure 5-27: The top and middle strokes show examples of fading strokes that you can create by selecting Fade from the Opacity pop-up menu in the Brush Dynamics palette. For the other two strokes, I set the Opacity option to Off and set the Color option to Fade.

Figure 5-28: Here are five fading lines drawn with the paintbrush tool. In each case, I set the Opacity option in the Brush Dynamics palette to Fade and entered 36 as the Fade value. I changed the Spacing value incrementally from 1 to 50 percent, as labeled.

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Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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