I have been tutoring a few (lucky) friends in CS4. I was thinking that digital brushes are awesome and I am sick of teaching it and having to answer questions. It is much easier just to write out the directions to help my friends and to better humanity as a whole, right??
Digital Brushes in CS4
1. Open picture into a new layer and double click on the Background layer
2. Rename background layer so that it becomes unlocked. Otherwise you can’t use the layer.
3. Use the magnetic lasso (or selection tool of your choice) and select portion of the picture that you want to include in the brush.
4. Click on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the layers pallet.
9. Hit Ctrl+D to deselect everything.
10. Change the mode of the picture to grayscale. It will ask you if you want to discard color info. Press OK.
11. Under Image, go to Adjustments. Select Brightness/Contrast. Make sure that Preview and Use Legacy (in CS4…not sure about CS3) are both checked.
12. I like to start with the contrast. The secret here is that you want as much contrast as possible. You want to get rid of any gray, or as much gray as you can. I go to 100% contrast and this usually takes care of the problem.
13. Now for the brightness. This is not an exact science. Sometimes a picture just doesn’t work very well. Go into the brightness and play around with it until you get your pic so that you can see faces, noses, eyes, etc. This is where you really just have to play with the thing.
15. Now select the magic wand tool in the tool box. Since you will be selecting only white, make sure your tolerance is around 40 or 50.
16. Click in the white areas. Continue selecting the areas in white (with the Add To Selection box selected at the top of the screen). Be sure to zoom in if you have to to select the white.
17. Once you have all the white areas selected (if you don’t you can go back at any time from here on out and select them. Sometimes it’s hard to see) click Delete.