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Q: What is a soft brush?

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  • Q: What is a soft brush?

    OK, here it is:

    I'm starting to progress(?) from just using filters to also using brushes. Many of the tutorials I read say "use a soft brush". What exactly is a "soft brush"? I'm using Elements 2 and I beleive most of the brushes are the same as PS.


  • #2

    Glad you asked, don't have Elements, but if they show a pix of your brushes when you go to make your selection. A soft brush will have a diminished gray area around the diameter of the pix. Where as a hard brush will be a solid black color...

    Hope this helps, if not then someone that uses Elements might be better.


    • #3

      We're going to have to change the subject title of your post - there aren't any "dumb questions" around here!

      To answer your question, a "soft brush" means a soft-edged brush. If you select the paintbrush tool and then click on the little arrow next to the brush style in the options bar (at the top), you'll see different shapes of brushes. The first row is what we call a "hard brush" - meaning there is no feathering on the edges of the brush. The next couple of rows are what we call a "soft brush" - meaning that the edges of the brush are feathered.

      You can change the size of any brush that you choose with the "[" and "]" keys to make the brush smaller and larger, respectively. You can change the softness of a brush (in 25% increments) with "Shift-[" and "Shift-]" to make the brush softer and harder, respectively. (This works in both PS and PSE.)

      Create a new image and choose your brush tool, then play around with the different brush sizes and softness and you'll see why it's called a "soft brush".

      Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense.



      • #4
        I thought that's what it was but I never saw an explanation anywhere. All the tutorials just say use a soft brush.

        Thanks very much for your explanations, it helps alot.



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