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As the title says: How can I create a custom brush that allows me to use "hardness" settings? As far as I've come searching the net, I haven't found any tutorial or how-to.

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kind of not possible, it was there till ps 7 –  Jack Oct 20 '11 at 7:48
    
@Jack Do you still know how it was possible? I often found stuff in later versions on completely different places and would try to search. Btw: If you know it, please add it as an A, so I can go & upvote. Thanks. –  kaiser Oct 20 '11 at 14:45
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3 Answers

The closest you can get is to use a soft-edged image to create the brush. As you've seen, they are basically vector shapes, but a custom brush retains opacity information as a function of the saturation of the original pixel image used to create it. If you start with a soft-edge shape, you'll have a soft-edge custom brush.

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Thanks for the A. Are you sure about the pixel > vector transformation? When I take some highly detailed b/w image with for eg. 100px and scale the brush to some hundred percentages, then it looks to me like it still is a pixel image. –  kaiser Oct 20 '11 at 14:44
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That it's a vector shape doesn't negate the fact it has pixel content. This is not the same thing as AI's Live Trace, obviously (or it would take a VERY long time!). –  Alan Gilbertson Oct 20 '11 at 19:27
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@kaiser to kinda dumb up what Alan said: It's much like shapes in photoshop, they act like vector but produce pixels. Acting like vector meaning that they preserve the quality of the edge no matter how much you resize it. Though importantly ..different from shapes is that as soon as you use soft round brush or hard round brush it is produced in the document as pixels. –  Joonas Oct 21 '11 at 6:24
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I dont know whether it is useful or not for you but its response to your comment.

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Thanks for the links. Sadly both is pretty old. The first/last activity on the link is from 2006/08. +1 for search result & effort :) –  kaiser Oct 21 '11 at 15:08
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You can do a little softening of the edge of a custom brush if you take a regular Soft round brush and then go to brushes window (F5) and set Dual brush and there select your custom brush. ( ..and possibly adjust some settings there.. )

At best it's sort of like the effect you're looking for.


I think the easiest way to look at this is that custom brushes are much like raster images.

So, when you make a brush, you save the image in the state that it is in.

The bottomline is however that photoshop doesn't have a brush setting that would blur the edge of a custom brush.


I'd like to add that best way to getting around this issue is to make both soft edges version and hard edges version of the brush and of course as big as it needs to be because its better to resize down that up ( much like with your regular raster images )

Having both versions will more or less give you the same exact result as if you were using hardness except theres only those hardness levels that you are willing to make...

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Thanks for you A and the work around. +1. –  kaiser Oct 20 '11 at 14:41
    
@kaiser I just kinda gave you the workaround trying to simulate the same type of function, but I got thinking that I might as well give you another better solution that .. well.. is better. ( updated the answer ) –  Joonas Oct 21 '11 at 6:17
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