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Grain Brushes

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  • Grain Brushes

    I have done restorations the last several months I was never satisfied with the effects the photoshop brushes gave me, the feathered brushes are too soft and blurry but the hard brushes leave edges. Well, finally the answer came to me...'grain brushes.' The problem with 'regular' brushes is that they smooth over the inherent grain in the photograph, so if you paint with grain you get a better look. Here's the technique for making your grain brushes: make a new layer over your restoration image, then make a selection with a marquee tool (make the selection pretty large, you'll see why). Once the selection is made fill it with white, then go to the Filter menu...to Noise...and then to Add Noise. In the Add Noise dialog box click on Monochromatic and set the amount of noise with the slider. Make as little or as much as your image's grain calls for, the idea here is that your brush will have the density of the noise you put in the box. Now to make the actual brush(es) simple make selections of whatever size and shape you need right inside the noisy area of the layer. Once you have a selection for a new brush simply go to the little menu in the side of your brushes palette and select Define Brush. There you have it, a bit long but I believe it will serve well. I never do a restoration without grain brushes anymore! One more hint: you will find that you need to make new grain brushes frequently because the pixel dimensions of your restoration scans will vary quite a bit and your brushes from last time may seem too big or small for current works. - Lee Clifton
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