The paint tools

The paint tools apply paint in the foreground color. In this and other respects, they work like their counterparts in other painting programs, but there are a few exceptions:

* Pencil: Unlike pencil tools found in most other painting programs — which paint lines 1 pixel thick — Photoshop's pencil paints a hard-edged line of any thickness you specify. Figure 5-3 compares the default 1-pixel pencil line with a fatter pencil line, a paintbrush line, and an airbrush line.

If you're used to selecting the pencil tool by pressing P (as in Photoshop 3), Y (as in Version 4), or N (as in Version 5), prepare for yet another change. The new pencil tool shortcut is B, same as for the paintbrush. Toggle back and forth between the two tools by pressing B repeatedly (or Shift+B, depending on your Preferences setting for keyboard tool switches).


Thin Thick Paintbrush with wet Airbrush pencil line pencil line line edges line

Figure 5-3: Five lines painted in black with the pencil, paintbrush, and airbrush tools. The Wet Edges option (second from right) causes the line to appear translucent. I held the airbrush tool in place for a few moments at the end of the line located at the far right.

* Paintbrush: The paintbrush works like the pencil tool, except it paints an antialiased (softened) line that blends in with its background.

When you select the Wet Edges check box on the Options bar, the paintbrush creates a translucent line with darkened edges, much as if you were painting with watercolors. Soft brush shapes produce more naturalistic effects. Figure 5-3 shows an example of this effect.

♦ Airbrush: Dismissing Photoshop's airbrush tool as a softer version of the paintbrush is tempting because it uses a softer brush shape by default. Photoshop's default airbrush settings also call for a lighter pressure, so the airbrush paints a translucent line. But unlike the paintbrush, which applies a continuous stream of color and stops applying paint when you stop dragging, the airbrush applies a series of colored dollops and continues to apply these dollops as long as you press the mouse button. Figure 5-3 shows the dark glob of paint that results from pressing the mouse button while holding the mouse motionless at the end of the drag.

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Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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