Thursday, October 16, 2008
This is a tutorial on how to make your own custom brushes, which you can use as a watermark on your images or as a simple one-color logo on stationary/businesscards/etc. This tutorial will work in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
1. If you want to put a custom image in your brush, you can either draw it on a white piece of paper and photograph it or scan it in OR draw it directly in PS or PSE with your black brushes on a white background. Or if you are like me and can't draw, open an image of something you want to trace. I am going to make a watermark with this lovely flower.
2. Use your lasso tool to carefully select the flower. I start with the magnetic lasso to make a quick and dirty selection and then I use the regular lasso to clean it up. There are little buttons on the top left of your lasso menu where you can make the lasso add or subtract to the selection. Play with these, they really make your job easier if you know how to use them.
3. Add a new blank layer over your image and make sure it is selected, and then click on your paintbucket (set your foreground color to black) and click on the photo. Your selected image should now be filled with black.
4. Drag your background to the trash.
5. Make a new file. File, new blank file, and make it 6 inches wide, 2 inches high, 300 dpi, with a white background. This will make a brush that will watermark a fairly large image, but you can always make your brush bigger if you want by making your blank file bigger. This is a standard size I use, and I can't tell you why! It just has worked for me so far.
6. Drag your selected black image over to the new file. Ctrl-T to transform it to the correct size. Either just drag the arrows or go up to the top and change the width and height to the percentages you wish (constrain proportions so it changes the same percentage both ways). You can also rotate your image while transforming it.
7. Add black text to taste.
8. Select, all and then Edit, Define Brush from Selection.
9. Name your brush and click on OK.
10. Your brush should be the last brush in the brush pull-down menu.
11. Open your image you want to watermark. Make your foreground color the color you wish your watermark to be, and then B for brush and select your new brush from the brush pull-down menu. Adjust the size and opacity of the brush to taste. Then just click on your image! If you don't want the brush to be directly on the image then make a new blank layer and click on it.
12. Your image is now watermarked!
Here is another sample. I used a free brush set from http://www.deviantart.com/ (Lizard's swirl brushes by Elizabeth H.B. 2007 for PS7) for the swirl. I started with a new blank file as above, clicked on a new blank layer with this brush in black, 100% opacity, then finding the brush too light I duplicated the brush layer. Then I added the text and used the marquee box to draw the rectangle and filled it with black. Then I selected all and saved it as a brush. This one was watermarked with a low opacity brush.
You don't need to flatten your image before making a brush. And you can get great free fonts from http://www.dafont.com/ .
Hope you have fun making brushes!