Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let's turn an alpha into a brush set!



I admit to being an alphabet collector. I love using alphas for titles, insert words, big impact, overlays, backgrounds, even text. But, sometimes dealing with one letter at a time can be tedious. So, if it’s an alpha I know I will use repeatedly, I like to turn it into a brush set to make it a little easier to use. Here’s how.

In my sample I used Celeste’s Sweet Briar alpha.  I like the whimsical look to this font. This alpha is a good choice to turn into a brush set, because it comes complete with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation.  But, for the purpose of converting anything into a brush, you are better off filling the image with black, as this will give you more versatility once it’s converted to a brush. In this case I filled the alpha sheet png with black, then I duplicated the black alpha sheet twice, and merged the layers. This gave the program more pixels to work with for the brush, but still left that variation in depth that Celeste used in creating the alpha.

Step 1:

  1. Using your rectangular marquee tool, select the first letter you want in your brush set.
  2. Click on edit on the top tool bar, then define brush. Voila, I just made an “A” brush.
  3. Click on the brush tool on the left, and the drop down arrow next to the word “brush” above your photo bin, and you will see the “A” brush.

Step 2:

However, the “A” brush attached itself to the last brush set that was loaded. I want to save the whole alpha as its own set, where I know I will find it again, under the Sweet Briar kit in my Celeste Knight folder. To do this:
  1. Click on the brush tool on the left, and the drop down arrow next to the word “brush” above your photo bin, and click on “preset manager.”
  2. Click on the brush you want to use to create the alpha set (the “A” in my example). 
  3. Click on “save set” from the right-hand menu choices. 
  4. Navigate to the place in your computer where you want to save your set, and click save.

Step 3:  

Now, if you click on the brush tool on the left, click on the drop down arrow next to the word “brush” above your photo bin, and click load brushes, you will be able to navigate to the saved brush set.



Step 4:

Now that your new brush set is loaded, it’s easy to follow the step 1 method above to define each letter. It will automatically add each letter to the saved brush set as you define each letter. Be sure to save occasionally as you build the brush set, by:


  1. Click on the brush tool on the left, and the drop down arrow next to the word “brush” above your photo bin, and click on “preset manager.” 
  2. Click on all of the brushes you want to include in the alpha set (the “A” through “Z” in my example).
  3. Click on “save set” from the right-hand menu choices.
  4. Navigate to the place in your computer where you want to save your set, and click save, and then replace.

So now you have a permanent brush set ready to be used whenever you want!
 



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