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4.1 Installing and Using Custom Brushes

There are many custom brush packs available online, including ones you can download with your subscription to Envato Elements. Let’s learn how to install Photoshop brushes and use them in this next tip.

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4.1 Installing and Using Custom Brushes

Hello and welcome back to this course. In this next lesson, we'll go over how to install and use custom brushes from various platforms around the web. Let's get started. One of the best things about Photoshop is that we aren't just limited to its presets. We can explore and play with various Photoshop brushes created by users just like you. And throughout the years, digital artists have handcrafted special packs of Photoshop brushes dedicated to different effects or mimicking traditional mediums. So let's learn how to install and use a custom Photoshop brush pack. For this lesson, I'll be taking advantage of my Envato Elements subscription, which gives me access to thousands of design assets including high quality Photoshop brushes. So make sure to take advantage of your subscription or explore the web to download high quality sets from your favorite artists. Download these brushes to try them out on your own, or incorporate them into a special project. But keep in mind that the files can get pretty big, so experiment with the ones you enjoy and delete the others that don't fit your style to avoid the dreaded Photoshop brush lag. I love making celestial inspired paintings with galaxies and stars. So here I'll be downloading one of my favorites, this pack of lens flare and star brushes from Envato Elements. To download this pack, make sure you're signed in and simply hit the download button, then choose the license you prefer. Test it out quickly for a trial use or download it per project with a project use. Then write the name for your project and proceed to downloading. For elements items in particular, you'll get a compressed zip file with the appropriate AVR format for your brushes. After you've extracted your items, select the Brush tool and right-click on the canvas to go to Preset Manager. I like to load brushes from here because it lets you see them all at once. Then hit the Load button and load your brushes from the appropriate folder. Once the brushes are loaded, you can now use them immediately for your projects. Simply select the Brush tool and click on the canvas to try out various styles. Depending on the brush pack you've downloaded, it may already come with special brush settings. Adjust these to customize them yourself by hitting F5 on your keyboard to bring up the brush panel. This step is also important to learn more about each brush, so ask yourself a few simple questions to help figure them out. Will this brush require a pen tablet to enable pen pressure sensitivity? Or can you use it with a regular optical mouse? Is it a highly intensive brush that may lag? And can I adjust it for more efficiency? Explore your options and continue to experiment with your new brush set. For more customization, consider the benefits of creating you own Photoshop brushes. We'll tackle this in the next lesson, where we'll learn how to organize Photoshop brushes into new folders and create new high quality ones using various stocks, shapes and settings.

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