Spookee's House of Learning Part 1: Hair- making custom brushes

Alright, here’s the first of a few tutorials I have saved up on my “artistic method” (pompous and pretentious to call it that, I know- but ‘random ways of doing stuff’ doesn’t give off a good vibe). The first of which is going to be on creating a custom brush to paint hair with.
This tutorial is geared mostly towards Photoshop 7.0 because that is what I mostly use for computer generated images. Any settings I give in this tutorial are not the be-all, end-all. They are more of a guideline… like the Pirate’s Code.

1) Once you have Photoshop opened up, go to File, New. In the New window use these settings:Width: 60 pixelsHeight: 80 pixelsResolution: AnyMode: RGBContents: WhiteClick “Okay”. This will open up a new, tiny window for you to create your brush in.2) Create your standard sized document (for me this is anywhere from 8 inches x 10 inches to 16×20 inches. Go ahead and minimize this for right now, you won’t need it until later on.3) In the tiny window, change your brush to a 1pix hard edged brush and make a few random clicks in that space. Go ahead and zoom in to about 500% so you can easily see the brush and marks you make. Make about 2 – 5 random spots and then create a new layer.4) On your new layer, chose a 2 or 3pix soft edged brush and make 1 – 3 random spots. Try not to put them in the same X (horizontal) or Y (vertical) Axis at first. We’re just making a simple brush here and don’t want to get too carried away.5) Merge the layers into one (Ctrl+E to Merge Down, Shift+Ctrl+E to Merge All) and reduce the Magnification to 100%.6) Select the Marquee Tool- this is either the hashed-out rectangle or hashed-out circle on your tool bar. Select the rectangular Marquee and draw a box around your brushes.7) With your soon-to-be brush selected, go to Edit, Define Brush. A window will pop up and ask for a name. Let’s call it HairBrush 1a.8) Now, remember that standard sized document we made earlier and set off to the side? Time to bring it up. We’re going to test out our new brush. Open your brush palette and scroll all the way to the bottom, you should see your newly created brush’s name or thumbnail just waiting for you. Select the brush and make a stroke along your document.8.1) Your brush right now is probably too small and “skippy” at this point, so we’re going to edit it: Open up your Brushes (Window, Brushes) and click on Brush Tip Shape. Use the Compass (Circle with Cross in it) to adjust the angle of your brush and reduce the spacing to 5% or less. Adjust the size to what you feel comfortable with as a Starting point (for me, usually around 50).8.1.a) Click on Shape Dynamics and beneath Size Jitter, select the option that best suits you- since I use a Wacom Tablet, I set the Size Control Option for Pen Pressure.At this point, we are done editing our Custom Brush Specs. Move back to your Brush Palette and click on the turned pages square beneath the Left pointing Triangle. Name your Newly edited HairBrush something like HairBrush1. Select the prior brush (Not the one you just made) and delete it, you don’t need it anymore.CONGRATULATIONS!!! You just created your first custom Hair brush for Photoshop! The next tutorial will guide you along on painting out hair for your models!

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