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Weekly Download: Photoshop Brushes, Series 5

Distress brushes for aged photographic effects By Dave Nagel
This week we present yet another new series of brushes for Adobe Photoshop 7. This time, rather than focusing on painterly or design brushes, we're moving into the area of effects, specifically for creating a distressed--or aged--look on photographs.

And what better way to do it than with paint brushes? Granted, you could use filters to do much of this, but with brushes, you have the opportunity to personalize the distress on your images much more than with filters. You can, for example, brush your effects on only a portion of the image, use various blending modes to achieve differing degrees of stress, adjust the size and opacity of the effect interactively with a pressure-sensitive tablet, etc. Anyway you look at it, a paint brush simply provides more customizability than a filter.

The brushes
Now, in this first series of distress brushes, I've tried to stay away from anything that might smack of a preset, such as specific shapes for stains, tears and the like. Instead, these brushes are designed to create more subtle distress textures. In all, there are 30 such brushes in this collection.

Now, before we take a look at some of the examples, I should note that these brushes all work best in Overlay mode. If you simply keep the brush mode in "Normal," you'll wind up with big globs of color on your image, rather than the desired stress look. For example, the following image was created using three different distress brushes in this collection using a variety of blend modes, and only the roughened edges were applied using the Normal mode.

And here are some samples of the distress effects possible from this collection. I haven't applied these to images for these examples because I wanted you to see the details of the texture rather than specific images with the effects applied. Remember, when you use these on photographs, make sure you have the Blending Mode set to Overlay in the Tool Options palette!





Continue on to the next page for download and installation instructions.

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