About Kristan Franco

Kristan Jan Q. Franco is rooted from General Santos City, and is a 20-year old student of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University. With the course Information Technology, he is into web designing, graphic designs, ads, and photography. Having been introduced into digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop and CSS coding, he began designing variety of graphics in his high school days. When he stepped into college, his interests expanded. With a cheap digicam and a Single Lens Reflex camera, he was engaged into photography and sees it as a hobby. Read more about KFranco »

How to create your own custom brush in Photoshop

Posted by Kristan Sunday, November 29, 2009

In creating certain Photoshop canvas, it's either we use images, or brushes to come up with the desired output. There are brushes that are already default in Photoshop while some are made through Photoshop, and can be downloading from thousand of sites giving it away for free. Here is a step on how to create your own custom brush which can be use in any canvas.

  • Appropriate image to be made into a brush
  • Knowledge on contrast
  • Defining brush
  • Lasso tool or pentool

Step 1 - LEVELS AND DESATURATION. Import your photo by simply dragging and dropping into the workspace. This photo (from google) is a cityscape, so definitely, the brush we are making is also a cityscape brush. First major move is to adjust the levels of the photo (Ctrl + L) to reach the desired contrast of the image.


After reaching the desired contrast of the photo, go to menu bar and select image > adjustments > desaturate or simply use the shortcut (shft+ctr+U).

Step 2 - REMOVE EXCESS ENTITIES. As you can see in the output of this photo here, the clouds are still visible, thus, when converting it into a brush, the clouds would be eventually included in the sample brush. The main solution to this is to remove it manually by using either the Lasso Tool (L) or Pen Tool (P). After creating the marquee, remove the clouds by filling in white color in it, or simply brushing it with white color on the foreground.

After achieving the results just like in the photo, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + D to disselect the marquee you created in the "cloud" part of the photo. After disselecting, press M to select the marquee tool, and drag it to create a selection on the part of the photo thate you want to transform into brush.

Step 3 - DEFINE BRUSH PRESET. After selecting the part of the canvas, or the whole of the canvas, make sure that the marquee is running, then go to edit > define brush preset then rename your brush. After doing so, hit B tho select the brush tool, and find your custom brush on the bottom of the brush palette.

  • Choose photos that shows possibility of good output when highly contrasted.
  • Higher photo resolution means higher resolution of brush.
  • Enjoy experimenting!
You can download the final brush output HERE. The file contains only ONE BRUSH. Next time, i'm gonna be uploading my premade brushes, be sure to subscribe in my post. :)

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