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Download: Photoshop Brushes Series 30

21 brushes for painting animal-themed textures By Dave Nagel
For our 30th collection of brushes for Adobe Photoshop, we're entering into a slightly new area of texture-oriented brushes. This time around, we focus on animal textures, with brushes designed to create scales, fluff, fur, feathers and other elements that can be used either for abstract background images or textures for 3D maps. They're compatible with Photoshop CS and CS2, as well as Photoshop Elements 3.

The brushes
Our collection this week includes 21 brushes designed to produce textures evoking the surface details of animals and, in some cases, human beings. Specifically, this collection includes seven skin brushes, ranging from smooth (but detailed) surfaces to rough and patchy skin; five brushes for creating scales; four brushes for creating feathery elements, from bunches of feathers to the individual elements that make up feathers; three brushes for making "fluffy" textures; and two brushes for creating fuzz or fur. These brushes can be used for texture mapping 3D objects or for creating abstract backgrounds with animal themes.

All of the brushes here are fully dynamic, including shape, scattering, color, texture and opacity dynamics. Of course, these dynamics can be modified and saved to suit your needs. (If you would like to modify a brush and save the modifications to a new preset, you can do this by opening the Brushes palette, then choosing "New Brush Preset" from the flyaway menu on the top right of the palette. This applies to both Photoshop CS and Photoshop CS2.)

The examples below show just six of the brushes in this collection. Some of the examples are composed of a single stroke; others use multiple strokes with varying blending modes applied to them to achieve these results.

Nagel Series 30-Skin 1

Nagel Series 30-Scales 1 through 4

Nagel Series 30-Rough Skin 4

Nagel Series 30-Fluffy 3

Nagel Series 30-Feathered 3

Nagel Series 30-Fuzzy 2

Remember that you can find even more free downloads by clicking here.

Download and installation
This week's brush collection is compressed in a Zip archive, which can be decompressed using any Zip utility. (Simply double-click the file in Mac OS X to decompress it.) These brushes support Photoshop CS and Photoshop CS2 (but not Photoshop 7) in Macintosh and Windows environments. They are also supported by recent versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Download: Nagel Series 30 Brushes (344 KB)

Once you download the brush file (, expand it. (The expanded file will be called NagelSeries30.abr.). Then move the .abr file into the Brushes directory in your Photoshop folder (/Adobe Photoshop/Presets/Brushes).

Then launch Photoshop. Open your Brushes palette, and click on the flyaway menu at the top right. There you'll find the new brush collection, which you can install simply by selecting it. After you select it, the new brushes will appear at the bottom of the list of available brushes. (Note that if the brushes do not appear in this flyaway menu, you can load them manually by selecting "Load Brushes" from the menu. A dialog will appear asking you to locate the brush file manually.)

If you have any questions, be sure to visit me in our Adobe Photoshop forum here.  And remember that you can find our previous downloads by clicking here.

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