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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 there are a lot of settings in the preferences (Edit > Preferences >Performance)  that may help

how to fix wacom tablet brush lag

 

Here are some things to try that help on some setups
You can find these settings in the menu under Edit > Preferences >Performance

IMPORTANT: I highly recommend writing down or taking a screenshot of your current settings so you can get back to where you were before trying any of this
It’s best to try changing just one of these settings at a time. See if it makes a difference. If not, set it back to what it was and try changing another setting.

Settings to try:

1. Advanced Settings (change Drawing Mode) Try Basic first. Then Normal and then Advanced
2. Change graphics processor switch. Try turning the graphics processor off and on
3. Try turning on and off the other settings in there, one at a time…OpenCL, Antialias, etc
4. Change the amount of RAM (this one is the least likely to help with lag but it can help a lot with other functions)

You should also check to make sure your tablet drivers are up to date. You can find Wacom drivers here

Keep in mind that all brushes will eventually lag if you make them big enough. The slower your CPU, the more trouble you will have
If you want to see how my brushes perform for me, you can look at any of the video popups that you see when you hit the ‘preview’ button as you hover over any single brushes in the Shop.
My computer is a 5 year old PC running Windows. Most modern computers should be as fast or faster than that

More discussions and possible solutions online:
Adobe Forum discussion contunued
Adobe Forum brush lag discussion
Reddit – brush Lag Surface Book lag

Let me know in the comments below if you have a solution that I missed!

 

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How to Export Multiple Photoshop Brushes as a Single TPL (to Import into Artstudio Pro)

Q: Can I use GrutBrushes on an iPad Pro?
A: Yes!

I get this question almost every day now and while I don’t have any proper documentation for it yet, you can import GrutBrushes TPL files into both Artstudio Pro (I love this app!) and Adobe Sketch apps

You can import any of the GrutBrushes TPLs right now, but you probably don’t want to import them one at a time. So, in this super-quick video tutorial I show you how to export a batch of TPL brushes into one file all at once. That way you can just upload that single TPL containing all your favourite GrutBrushes to DropBox, iCloud or whatever you use to get files onto your iPad.

Once you have it in the cloud you can import it into Adobe Sketch or Artstudio Pro (shown below) Someday I hope to make a video tutorial showing the whole process, but until then, both apps do currently have information in their documentation on how to import Photoshop brushes so have a look around.

Importing Photoshop Brushes (TPL) into the Artstudip Pro app on the iPad Pro
Importing Photoshop Brushes (TPL) into the Artstudip Pro app on the iPad Pro

Here I am using the GrutBrushes pattern brushes on the iPad pro! Using GrutBrushes with the Apple Pencil is a dream.

GrutBrushes pattern brushes work in ArtStudio Pro and Adobe Sketch on Ipad ios
GrutBrushes can be imported into ArtStudio Pro and Adobe Sketch on th  iPad Pros

 

…and no, sorry, you can’t use these GrutBrushes in Procreate! It has it’s own wonderful brush format but it can’t import Photoshop brushes. UPDATE: Procreate GrutBrushes are now available! They are not the same as the Photoshop brushes but I think you’ll like them just as much

There are dozens of  apps that claim to be able to import Photoshop brushes but what most of them mean is that they can import the tip shape, but that’s just the most visible but probably the least important feature of a good digital brush.

GrutBrushes are all about the dynamics…HOW the brush behaves, not what it’s brush tip shape looks like.

Unless an app imports all the brush dynamics it’s really not importing the brush.

Adobe Sketch and Artstudio Pro are currently the only apps that can import GrutBrushes Photoshop brushes. If any new apps come along that claim to be able to import Photoshop brushes and all the brush dynamics please let me know, I’ll be the first to buy it and test it out.

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How to Make a Photoshop Brush/Eraser toggle switch on your Stylus

1. Open Tablet Properties
2. Change one of the buttons to ‘erase’

Now when you are in brush mode and you hold down that button on your stylus, your brush will temporarily turn into an eraser! Just release it to return to brush mode and keep painting.

The temporary eraser will have the same settings as the last eraser you used

BONUS TIP: To do this without changing your preferences, just press and HOLD the “e” key to erase temporarily. Keep holding the “e” key until you are done erasing, then when you lift your stylus and then release the “e” key your tool will switch back to the brush tool!

I know you can flip the stylus over and erase, but why interrupt your flow when you can just press on a button?

BONUS TIP 2: Digital artist SyntheticGeek added this great tip for Wacom tablet users:

“I add Keystroke Modifiers to my Wacom Stylus buttons so I can more quickly use ANY brush preset as an eraser. One button to change it to a “Clear” GrutBrush and one to change it back. “Alt + Shift + R” will change it to a Clear (erasing) GrutBrush and “Alt + Shift + M” will take it back to “Multiply”.

NOTE; Not all GrutBrushes’ painting opacities are set to Multiply as their default, some are set to Normal, which would be “Alt + Shift + N”. (for Mac users Alt = “Option”). You can always just tap the brush preset again in the GrutBrushes Tool Panel. That way, you don’t have to wonder if its default was Normal, Multiply or Whatever. “

How to make a custom button that turns your Photoshop brush into an eraser
How to make a custom button that turns your Photoshop brush into an eraser

 

You could adapt it to any tablet or hardware that allows custom keyboard commands to be programmed to a button

 

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Adobe update breaks brush-to-eraser-tool hack Here’s a workaround

If, like me, you loved being able to select any tool (usually the eraser) and then pick from your most recent brushes to convert a paint brush to an eraser, or a mixer brush, or a smudge tool with all dynamic setting intact you can’t do this anymore with the latest Photoshop update (v 19) You can still use the clear mode trick to convert your brush to an eraser which I go over in the aboce video inclusing the keyboard shortcuts.

The keyboard shortcut I use in the video are
Normal Mode:
WIN: Shift+Alt+N
MAC: Shift+Alt+N)

Clear Mode (eraser mode)
WIN: Shift+Alt+R
MAC: Shift+Option+R

You can find the full list of brush mode keyboard shortcuts on the Adobe website here It’s a long list so search the page for “Use for blending modes”

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Getting The Most out of Your Photoshop Brushes – Exploring The Low Pressure Range

http://grutbrushes.wistia.com/medias/lpubpnx945?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=1020

Sometimes people ask me which brush I used to do the shading in this painting and when I tell them it’s the ‘Ocean Liner‘ brush they usually don’t believe me and I really don’t blame them because this is the stroke most people get when they use the ocean liner brush:

Brush stroke with average pressure applied
Photoshop Brush stroke with average pressure applied

The fact is that most Photoshop brushes have a wide range of looks that you can get simply by varying the pressure of your stylus and sometimes you can find some of the most interesting effects at the very low end of the pressure scale.

By charging the brush size slightly from 20 to 45 pixels and stroking ever so lightly, and lifting my stylus between strokes (this part is important!) I can begin to build up this nice texture.

  • Before-Before and After Shading
    After-Before and After Shading
    BeforeBefore and After ShadingAfter

Now I probably wouldn’t set out to create this with this brush but the point is to not accept your brushes at face value. Experiment and investigate how they behave at the very lowest stylus pressure ranges and you may discover that they, like you, have hidden talents.

 

 

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Impasto Painting in Photoshop – Quick Tips 01

Here are a few quick tips to get you going with the Photoshop Impasto brushes

I will be doing a series of tutorials on how to use the GrutBrushes Photoshop Impasto brushes but this short video above shows a few brief tips.

To summarise:
– Vary your stylus pressure and use short strokes for a more organic look
– Use a flatter Photoshop brush to block in large areas
– Press softly on your stylus to blend or soften texture
– Push harder when you want more texture
– Use alt/option to pick colours from your painting

Brush Strokes and animated previews

Photoshop Impasto painting with GrutBrushes
Photoshop Impasto painting with GrutBrushes
Impasto Brushes from Impastos 01

(Mouseover or tap the icons below to watch the Photoshop brushes drawing ‘live’!)

'Gravel Plough' Photoshop Impasto brush
‘Gravel Plough’ Photoshop Impasto brush
'Granite Sack' Photoshop Impasto brush

‘Granite Sack’ Photoshop Impasto brush
'Horse Main' Photoshop Impasto paint

‘Horse Main’ Photoshop Impasto brush
'Imp Giganto' Photoshop Impasto paint

‘Imp Giganto’ Photoshop Impasto brush
'Gypsum Slate' Photoshop Impasto brush

‘Gypsum Slate’ Photoshop Impasto brush
'Venal Weasel' Photoshop Impasto oil paint

‘Venal Weasel’ Photoshop Impasto oil brush
'Venal Weasel' Photoshop Impasto oil paint

‘Venal Weasel’ Photoshop Impasto oil brush
'Cliff Quarry' Photoshop Impasto oil paint

‘Cliff Quarry’ Photoshop Impasto oil brush
'Tenor Wake' Photoshop Impasto oil paint

”Tenor Wake’ Photoshop Impasto oil brush
'Jee Beach' Photoshop Impasto oil paint

‘Jee Beach’ Photoshop Impasto oil brush
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Painting With Your on-Screen Palette in Photoshop

One of the great things about digital painting is that your canvas can be your palette. By holding down the ALT or Option key in Photoshop you can pick a new color from your current painting’s canvas and continue on. Here you can see me travel a tremendous distance from light to dark just by picking a new darker color from the crevices of my previous impasto brush strokes in Photoshop. This was painted using the new Linsee Dew Photoshop Impasto Oil brush

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Add LightSabers to Photos with the Lightsaber Photoshop Brushes

how to add lightsabers to photos in photoshop with free Photoshop lightsaber brushes
add lightsabers to photos in photoshop with Photoshop brushes

Relive your memories of a night out with friends as a glorious Lightsaber battle instead by adding Lightsabers to all your photos in just a few clicks with these free Photoshop brushes. Use the hashtag #drinksaber so that I can find your creations!

Continue reading Add LightSabers to Photos with the Lightsaber Photoshop Brushes

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Drawing with Multiple Photoshop Brushes

I do so many doodles and demos demonstrating one particular brush but the real fun comes when you use multiple brushes, each with it’s own strengths and personalities. This sketch uses 3 different brushes, Gulf Stream, a broad ranged responsive ink brush, Linoleum Roll, a wide grungy textured brush and  Lazy Fair, a whispy ink brush with visible bristle marks.

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