Loading and Creating Photoshop Brushes

Channels >> Art and Creativity >> Photoshop Brush Guide
Loading and Creating Photoshop Brushes
Posted by Tiff (#1) on 4 April 2012, 5:52 PM EDT in Graphics

Loading Photoshop Brushes


After you have saved a .abr file, you need to load the brush or brush set into Photoshop before it is useful to you. You can do this by going to the Brush Preset picker, clicking the arrow on the right side, and clicking "Load Brushes..." on the drop down menu that appears. The image below is given to show this.

Brush Tutorial Step 1

Now, select the .abr file for the brush or brush set you want loaded, and press "Load." The brushes should appear in your Brush Preset picker, ready for you to use. If you encounter an error, a likely cause might be that the brush or brush set is not compatible with your version of Photoshop. If this is the case, you could still manually
create the brushes from the image file(s), if provided.

Creating Photoshop Brushes


To create a Photoshop brush, you must have an image that you want to be created into a brush. It is notable that an image turned into a Photoshop brush will lose its color, and any grey areas will have opacity, based on the tone of the grey. This means that any white parts of the image will become transparent, and only black parts of the image will have no opacity in the new brush.

In your image, select that area that you want to become a brush. If you want the whole image to be a brush, then you do not need to select an area. In the example below, I have chosen the turn a star in the top left corner of the image into a brush.

Brush Tutorial Step 2

Now, go to the Edit menu, and click "Define Brush Preset..." as shown below. A box should pop up with a field for the name of your new brush. Type whatever you want your brush to be called, and press "Ok".

Brush Tutorial Step 3

The brush should appear in your Brush Preset picker. However, if you wish to share brushes with other people or preserve the brushes outside of Photoshop, there are a few other steps to save the brushes as a .abr file.

Go to the Brush Preset Manager through the Brush Preset picker as shown.

Brush Tutorial Step 4

Select the brush or brushes you want to be saved as a .abr file. To select multiple brushes, click on additional brushes while holding the Ctrl key. To select all the brushes between two different brushes, click on one brush then click on the other while holding down the Shift key. In the example below, I have selected multiple brushes to be saved as a set.

Brush Tutorial Step 5

Now, simply click "Save Set...", specify the name and folder for your brush set, and press "Save." You will have a .abr file that can be loaded to retrieve the brushes by you or anyone else with a copy of the file.
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