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Wacom Stylus Pressure Not Working?

This will show you how to check if your tablet pressure is working in Photoshop. It can be tricky to tell if your stylus or pen is not working or if it is just that brush, especially with fancy brushes that seem to change as you paint with them. This test will account for that.

TLDR: In short, If you can vary the pressure and or transparency of your brush strokes while painting with the default hard round brush and pressing harder or softer on your stylus, then the pressure from your stylus is being successfully sent to Photoshop.

This first test will start you off with a basic brush, enable pressure and then test to make sure Photoshop is getting pressure data from your stylus.

Note: This video has subtitles available in about a dozen languages Click on CC to select

 

Next up is a similar test, to check your pressure response but using transparency

Make sure you have Opacity pressure set to “on” Watch the tutorial below to see how it’s done

Summary:
Wacom Pen not working? If a line drawn with your mouse looks identical to a line drawn with your stylus while varying the pressure you apply to it with your stylus, and the “opacity pressure” box is checked, then Photoshop is not getting any pressure signal from your pen, stylus or tablet. 

turn on 'use pressure' checkbox for pressure opacity
Make sure this box is checked ‘on’ if you want your pen pressure to affect the opacity of your brush stroke

The easiest and most successful solution is usually just to reboot. Especially if your stylus pressure was working fine just a few minutes before. If that doesn’t solve the problem then it is almost certainly a tablet driver issue and you should check for the latest appropriate driver for your tablet.  

Restart Wacom Driver Without Rebooting

If you are using a Wacom tablet on Windows, you can try to restart your tablet driver before trying a full reboot.

If the tablet driver has stopped working you can restart it by going to the Windows Start search bar, type “Services” and open the “Services app

Scroll down until you see “Wacom Professional Service” Right-click on it and choose “restart” 

Windows services panel with 'restart Wacom service' selected to restart tablet driver without rebooting
You can usually restart Wacom Tablet driver in Windows without rebooting

For more problem solving tips, including very common Windows Ink issues and to download Wacom tablet drivers go here

Huion Tablet Driver downloads are here

Yiynova tablet driver downloads are here 

XP-Pen Pressure Not Working?

If you use an XP-PEN and your brush strokes are not responding to pressure from your XP-Pen, open the PenTablet properties and make sure that the ‘Windows Ink’ check box in the bottom left is selected as shown in the screenshot below.

XP-PEN PenTablet preferences with Windows Ink checkbox selected
Turn on Windows Ink checkbox in XP-PEN PenTablet preferences to use pressure in Photoshop (Thanks for the screenshot Beth M!)

 

When you restart Photoshop your XP-Pen pressure should be working in Photoshop  

Feel free to leave additional questions in the comments and I’ll answer if I can. 

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How To Convert Any Photoshop Brush to a Mixer Brush

Did you know that you can convert any Photoshop brush to a mixer/blender brush by holding down ctrl+alt on Windows or Cmd+Option and clicking on it? I show you how in less than 30 seconds in this Photoshop video tutorial.

Keep in mind that not all brushes will make ideal mixer brushes and you will almost certainly want to tweak it once you make it.

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How to Convert and Export a Photoshop TPL (Tool Preset) to an ABR

This quick multi language video tutorial (click on the globe at the bottom right of the video to change language) or the written tutorial (below) will show you how to convert and export TPL files (Photoshop Tool Preset) to an ABR brush that you can import in other apps like Artstudio Pro, Procreate 5, Adobe Sketch and Fresco

You will need Photoshop CC 2019(?) or later

  1. Find and select the tool preset of the brush you want to convert 
  2. Right click on it, select ” convert to brush preset” and it will show up as an ABR in your Brushes panel

3. Select the newly converted brush in the brushes panel.

4. Click in the top right corner of the brushes panel and

5. Choose “Export Selected Brushes”

You’ve now converted your TPL brush into an ABR that you can import into other apps such as Artstudio Pro or Procreate V5

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After The Flood by Valentin Kopetzki

“After The Flood ” digital painting by Valentin Kopetzki • Painted using GrutBrushes Photoshop brushes

Sometimes I see an artist use my tools and I feel like they have some innate connection to them. It’s such a thrill to see my brushes play a part in a brilliant performance by talented hands. This grand and masterfully painted scene by Valentin Kopetzki is one such example and also the latest addition to the GrutBrushes Gallery.

The Spectrum award winning “After the Flood” was painted as an illustration for the H. P. Lovecraft story “The Whisperer in Darkness” and was included in the 26th issue of Spectrum Fantastic Art.

You can see more of Kopetzki’s work on his instagram account where, as well as more landscapes and fantastical scenes you will also find some powerful portrait work

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Martin Guldbaek in the GrutBrushes Gallery

detail of boy light study by Martin Guldbaek
detail of boy light study by Martin Guldbaek

When I see how Martin Guldbaek uses my Oil Impasto Photoshop brushes it is such a thrill. He brings out their sculptural qualities and gives them weight, to create forms that feel almost physical even though they are mostly just broad brush strokes of digital paint, but so perfectly placed, thanks to Martin’s superb understanding of light and volume. Continue reading Martin Guldbaek in the GrutBrushes GalleryFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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How to Scale a Photoshop Art Surface Paper texture to 600dpi

A customer told me that she always works in 600 dpi and wanted to put her artwork into an Art Surface and make sure it remained at 600 dpi so I made this video for her, showing two different ways to do it. There’s a text summary below the video

Method 1
Change the dpi to 600 dpi with resampling off (unchecked) Then paste your 600 dpi image into it (into the green ‘Artwork’ layer)
Then you can use the crop tool to increase your canvas size to any size you need and the background will magically fill in the paper texture seamlessly.
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Digital Pencil Portraits by Josh McCann

Portrait by Josh McCann
Drawn by Josh McCann (Portfolio)

I have neither the skill nor the patience to draw the kind of portraits that Josh McCann does, but what makes them all the more remarkable is that he draws them with the GrutBrushes pencils! The piece above by Josh is the latest addition to the GrutBrushes gallery (Scroll down to see a timelapse video of this piece being created)

“For the most part I only use 4 [pencil] brushes (Mech Mini, Mech Mid, Maybe Sews and limbo lift.) I have saved each of those brushes out with varying levels of opacity and flow. And then I created my own mixer brush for blending. They’re great brushes for drawing!!”

 

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How To Fix Photoshop Brush Lag

If you find your brush lags as you draw with your stylus, there are (unfortunately) many possible reasons but here are some things to try

The very first thing to do is to turn off smoothing on your brush, if it’s on. This can make it appear as if your brush is lagging but that is just the effect of the smoothing function, slowing your line down to even it out any jitters you may have as you draw. High smoothing will slow down your strokes considerably

Reduce Smoothing to Reduce brush lag in Photoshop

If that doesn’t help, let’s explore some more settings in the preferences (Edit > Preferences >Performance)  that may help…
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How to Install GrutBrushes Photoshop Brushes from the Web Right into Photoshop using the plugin

Did you know that you don’t have to leave Photoshop to install the latest GrutBrushes?

Just watch this video tutorial below or read the text version below to learn how (or read on for the text tutorial)

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