Brushes vs PNG Files

A little while ago I shared the tutorial 'How to make your own brush' with my e-club members and Arlene replied and asked me 'why would you use a brush versus a PNG file'? She had lots of brushes in her stash but had never used them.

I replied to her but thought it would be a good idea to post about this on the blog just in case there are more of you wondering the same thing.

The beauty about using a brush versus a PNG file format for me is flexibility or control, and speed. You can preselect options using the brush tool window such as rotation, spacing/scattering, colour and size and many more before you even place the image on your canvas. This gives you a lot of flexibility in how pieces are displayed and saves you time with tasks like re-colouring or the duplication, rotation and movement of layers. Once you've set all of the settings for the tip of your brush (it's shape, size, opacity, angle, colour etc.) you simply stamp it onto your canvas. 

I also love to use brushes coupled with the Eraser tool, this is a fun way to erase parts of your layout or layers using the many brushes pre-installed in Photoshop or that you may have bought from my Studio. You can also do this with the brush tool by using the 'Clear' mode. There is just too much fun to be had playing around with all of the options with brushes!

One limitation with brushes is that in order for them to be compatible in all versions of Photoshop and Elements the maximum size of a brush is 2,500 pixels so if you require an image larger with no distortion of pixels the PNG file would be better for you to use.

Did you know that when a brush is created, the blacker the blacks are from the original image that was used to create the brush the more solid the brush will appear? Any white areas of the original image that was used to create the brush become transparent areas and any grey areas become semi-transparent!