Once you have settled into using Photoshop Elements, you will eventually want to start creating new things like cards, textures, watermarks, blog graphics, etc. A wonderful tool to use when doing that is a custom brush. Today’s tutorial walks you through how to download, save and load custom brushes.
The steps shown below are from Windows 7, but they are exactly the same for XP and I believe Windows Vista. I am unsure of the exact steps for a Mac, but I believe they are very similar. The steps are for Photoshop Elements, but the process is very similar for Photoshop (CS5 and earlier).
If you want to find new brushes for your Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop), this LIST has several places that offer free or affordable brushes.
One of my Christmas gifts to EE readers was a set of five texture brushes, which was supposed to expire yesterday. I decided to make them a permanent freebie, so if you missed the giveaway, you can still download them.
Step 1: Find a custom brush or brush set you would like to use, and click on the download link.
Step 2: When the pop-up box comes up, choose to save the file.
Step 3: Once the download is complete, right click on the file and choose “open containing folder.”
Step 4: Move the file to a folder you can easily locate on your computer. I have a folder on my Desktop that is for anything I might want to load into my PSE (actions, brushes, gradients, shapes, fonts and patterns).
I do not recommend saving them to your Brushes folder inside Elements as that can slow down the start up time for your PSE program as well as make your program run slower.
Below is my folder system, which needs a bit more organizing.
Step 5: Go back to that “easy to locate folder” and locate the zip file. If you have a lot of files in that folder, sort by date and then it is easy to identify the one you just downloaded.
Step 6: Extract the contents from the zip file by right clicking on it and choosing “extract all files.”
Step 7: To load the brush set in PSE, click on the arrow next to the brush stroke, then on the double arrows in the top right corner of the brush thumbnail box. Choose “load brushes.”
You can load brushes while Photoshop Elements is already running; they are not like actions that you have to load and then restart PSE.
Step 8: Navigate to the folder that should be easy to locate on your computer and choose the .abr file.
I do have a tutorial coming on how to use the custom texture brushes I gave you over the weekend. After that will be how to create custom brushes and save them in their own sets.
You can print this tutorial by clicking on the Joliprint button in the bottom left-hand corner of this post.
For those who like to see the steps in action, below is a short video tutorial (using different brushes). If you cannot view the video here for some reason, click HERE to watch it at ScreenCast.com.