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Creating a Bubble Brush in Photoshop
January 10, 2008
Photoshop
 
Making-Of
 
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After some feedback on my Sadie Mermaid image, I decided to put up this little tutorial on creating a bubble brush in Photoshop...

Skill level: basic
Time Taken: 5 minutes
 

Create a new document 
Width=512 pixels
Height=512 pixels
Background Contents=White
Create a new layer [Layer->New->Layer] and select it.
Set your foreground color to about RGB:170,170,170, and using the Eliptical Marquee Tool (), create a circle using about 4/5 of the canvas space. 
Fill it in with the Paint Bucket Tool



Add a "Inner Glow" layer style with the following settings (the rest are left on default):
Blend Mode=Screen
Opacity=75%
Color=White 
Source=Center
Size=169


Add a "Stroke" layer style with the following settings (the rest are left on default):
Size: 5px
Color: RGB 116,116,116


Create a new layer [Layer->New->Layer] and select it.

Set your foreground color to black, and using the Eliptical Marquee Tool (), create a circle on top of the first circle about 80% of it's size. Fill it in with the Paint Bucket Tool ().



With the circle still selected, use the cursor keys to reposition the selection circle  down and to the left of the black circle.



Press delete to cut a section out of the black circle. Now use the Rectangle Marquee Tool () to select the right part of the black crescent, and delete it. This will become our bubble highlight.



Select the first layer (Layer 1) and create a new layer [Layer->New->Layer] and select it. This will create a new layer between Layer 1 and Layer 2.

Set your foreground color to white, and using the Eliptical Marquee Tool (), create a circle on top of the first circle about 60% of it's size. Fill it in with the Paint Bucket Tool (). Notice that I've created off center.



Apply a Gaussian Blur filter [Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur...] with a radius of about 30 pixels. 

Finally, set the opacity of Layer 3 to about 50%. We should now have our negative bubble:



Flatten the layer by selecting [Layer->Flatten Image] from the menu. Resize the image to 64x64 pixels.



Create a new brush preset by selecting [Edit->Define Brush Preset] from the menu. Give it any name you like.Select the new brush by choosing the Brush Tool (), dropping down the brushes list and selecting the very last brush on the list (our new one).

Create a new document to experiment on. I create one 512x512 with a green-blue back ground.If you select a foreground color of white and click on the new document, a lovely little bubble is now drawn each time you click. 

But thats not good enough - we want more...



On the right of the top toolbar, there's a little button that open the Brushes Palette (). Open it up, and let's get busy.
Click on "Brush Tip Shape", and change the "Spacing" to about 130% - that spreads out the bubbles a bit.

Next, select the "Shape Dynamics" option and set the "size jitter" to about 60% - this will randomly make the bubbles different sizes.

Now select the "Scattering" option and set the "Scatter" to about 150% - this will randomly scatter the bubbles about a bit. By experimenting with these options, you can get a very realistic little trail of bubbles for your underwater pictures.




Note: Finally - don't forget to save your new brush when you're happy by click on the little arrow in the Brush list and selecting "New Brush Preset".



Well - I hope this is a useful tutorial - enjoy!
cheers,Steve

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