Tuesday, March 3, 2009

News Flash: Celtx 2.0 Released

Celtx 2.0 was released this past week. For going from 1.0 to 2.0, Celtx doesn't have a whole lot of new features. The two big changes are Celtx Studio, which is their $50 yearly subscription version of Project Central with a free beta until March 24, and the ability to add Extensions/Add-Ons to Celtx, which I'm really excited about.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Photoshop Brush and Tool Presets 2009.03

You'll be hearing a lot more about illustration from me in the future as our project develops, and to kick it off here's the brushes I use for most of my illustration work. I didn't include any of my special brushes for things like trees and water; most of those brushes are created on a per-project basis and I only ever used them once, although I did go ahead and include my fur brush. Anyway, these are the brushes I use all the time.

Glen Moyes 2009.03 Brush Presets – 85MB
Glen Moyes 2009.03 Tool Presets – 85MB

Here they are in action.

Many of these brushes have a narrow tip like a calligraphy brush, and they use the pen tilt of the stylus to rotate the brush tip, so you really need an Wacom Intuos tablet or better to take advantage of these brushes. I'll get into the advantages of a narrow brush tip when I start doing video tutorials on painting with Photoshop.

I've provided a Tool Preset and Brush Preset file for these brushes. You should download both so you can use the Brushes Presets for all the Photoshop tools that use brushes (like the eraser and stamp tool), and the Tool Presets so certain brushes will already have the correct flow amount set so they work properly, and so you can have the Tool Presets window up easily access brushes and the special smear brush Water Color Blender brush which has become my favorite next to the Nupastel brush.

Speaking of the Nupastel brush, that brush is the one largely responsible for the 85MB file size. The nupastel texture is huge, scanned at 1200ppi so you can increase the texture size of that brush to fill the canvas with big chunky texture without blurring. I thought about decreasing the texture size for public release but that would be doing the nupastel brush a disservice. Many of the other brushes have overscanned textures as well, like the graphite textures which are 600ppi, so you can scale them up for different effects. The texture scale for each brush is set so that if your document is set to 300ppi the texture will be to scale, so adjust the texture size accordingly.

Another unusual thing you'll see about this set are the symbols I used for the brush names. I had a really hard time trying to find brushes with names like "Acrylic - Round - Sketchpaper" among similarly named brushes with no dividers and all sorted alphabetically. So I numbered them, found some high-bit characters to use as shapes to replace words like big, round, light, hard, rough, and put a big divider between each section (which if you do happen to click on brings up a generic caligraphy brush). The symbols are pretty self explanatory—to me anyway. They do help finding the brush you want.

I'll be updating the brushes as I create more in the future.

Note to Windows XP Users
I recently did a reinstall of my computer and I noticed a potential problem for Windows XP users (not sure if this problem applies to Vista).

If you load the brushes into Photoshop, the high-bit characters may not display properly; they'll appear as boxes instead. To fix this, you need to go to your Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Languages (tab) > and check the two check boxes for "Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai)" and "Install files for East Asian languages." You may only need one of those installed, so if you want to experiment go for it. For some reason that fixes the problem, and upon reboot (or for me two reboots because Windows Explorer crashed out of the gate the first time) the high-bit characters will show up.