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A Word About Digital Brushes
Krita ships with an extensive set of Brush Presets so you can get started right away. In addition, some members of the world-wide Krita community have kindly posted their own customized brush sets that you can download from the Resources page.
However, as you advance you may find yourself wanting to create or customize specific brushes, or perhaps an entire category, that more specifically suit your own needs. This could be anything from a color-blending airbrush with a sharp edge to a brush that mimics a traditional artist's Camel-hair bristle brush to a Blender brush that closely mimics a Blending Stump. You do this by modifying the brush settings and parameters. These correlate to each of the different types of available Krita Brush Engines. For instance, the settings for the Pixel Brush type are different from those of a Particle Brush and those differ from a Color-Smudge type and so on.
When thinking about digital "brushes" though it's important to keep in mind that a brush is just collections of the settings and parameters that, when taken together, make or effect a mark. They combine to produce the effect of the analog tools of an artist; like an Airbrush, Ink Pen, 2B Pencil, etc... They can also represent items that would only be found in the digital world, like painting with "predefined" brushes, such as leaves, trees, textures, etc... This is one of the strengths of Photoshop and you will find it here in Krita as well. We'll go into this in details later. For now, it's important to keep in mind that, ultimately, the settings, variables and parameters assigned to a brush combine to produce an interpretation of what might exist in the analog world. For instance, the settings for one 2B Pencil preset will likely differ from the brush set created by one person from those of another. If you download a set of brushes from someone and they have one marked as Wet Oil Brush, keep in mind that this is just their interpretation of what that stroke would look like. Your own might be different. This is where a part of the great flexibility of Krita comes in. Unlike many of the free digital paint programs available today, with Krita you are not stuck with what you get "out of the box". So with that in mind let's take a look...
We won't be going into all the details of the Brush Settings Editor in this section since that will be covered later on need section for this. What we want to focus on now are the steps required to create a new Brush Preset and save it for reuse.
To start, the F5 to open it. With the panel open you can right-click and detach it from the toolbar if you wish. This is useful if you have dual monitors and want to leave it open for quick access. It is also useful, although not required, if, with a dual monitor setup, you want to use the Multi-use Brush option described later.panel can be accessed in the toolbar, between the button on the right and the button on the left. Alternately, you can use the function key
When you open Brush Settings Editor panel you will see something like this:
The screen is divided into several functional sections.
The Brush Preview and Brush Preset panels can be hidden anytime by right-clicking and unchecking the view option.
Notice that the name of the active Brush Preset is at the top and the two buttons to the right have been disabled. This is the default condition when you first open up the Brush Editor or when you select a brush that has no modifications waiting to be saved. This will be important later on.
Krita allows you to modify brushes in a wide variety of ways. You can:
The easiest way to create a new preset is by editing the settings of an existing one. In a nutshell, you choose an existing brush that has at least something in common with what you're looking to create. For instance, there would be little point in creating a new Airbrush variant by starting with a Block Marker preset. In this case you would want to start with an Airbrush preset and then give it a new name, customize the things you want to change, modify the Preview Image and then overwrite the preset. Of course, there are exceptions, but this a good, simple workflow.
When you first load a brush into the Brush Setting Editor you will see something at the top similar to:
This show the name of the currently loaded Brush Preset. As soon as you make any change to the settings, the two buttons , Overwrite Preset and Reload, will be enabled.
The first step in creating a new Brush Preset is to type the name of the new preset (ie. Camel Oil Brush) in the Name field where you see the existing brush name. As soon as you click into the Name field and make a change to one or more characters then the button configuration changes to:
Enter the name you want to give your new Brush Preset and click on. Now you are ready you safely make changes and experiment without the danger of affecting the existing brush you used as a template.
|Thebutton is labeled until you type new preset name. This is used for, you guessed it, updating the preset that's already selected.|
However, if you wanted to make changes to the settings of the existing brush and have them be a part of the permanent configuration, then you would not click in the Name field. Instead you would click the Overwrite Preset button when you have completed your change(s) and are ready to save.
If, at any time, you want to reload the default settings of the currently loaded brush then you can click the Reload.
To learn more about the Brush Editor and the settings options click here.
The preview of your preset is generated from the square dotted line area in the scratchpad on the right of the Brush Settings Editor. If you don't see this vertically rectangular panel then right-click anywhere on the Brush Settings Editor and make sure you haveclicked on as shown below.
Whatever you put in the square at the top of the panel will be the image that is used in the Brush Presets docker and the Brush Presets, accessed from the toolbar or by pressing F5. This can really be anything you want to represent the meaning of this brush. Some people create graphic images that represent analog tools (Pens, Pencils, Brushes, Sponges, etc...), others prefer to show a representative stroke if applicable. A third type is the texture brush which we'll be using as an example later on.
Bottom line: It's all up to you.
When you have made all your changes you can use the Overwrite Preset button to save your new brush (remember that you gave it a new name earlier so now it is safe to overwrite the settings.) This can be tricky. If you didn't give the preset a new name earlier then clicking the Overwrite Preset button will overwrite the setting for your original brush. Much like Mont Python's Dead Parrot, it will "cease to be".
Brush presets can be loaded, shared online or downloaded from the internet using the Preset Docker ( ) or by the Preset Dropdown.
The preset dropdown is where you can delete brushes, and is a quick and easy way to get to brushes. You can use f6 to open it quickly!
The icons at the bottom (from left to right) do the following:
Preset Docker ( ):
Occasionally you'll come across a user sharing a whole pack of presets / brushes online, usually in the form of a zip / tar.gz file. These can be installed all at once by doing the following:
From version 2.9 Krita has a new format for handling resources, it is called Bundle. It is just a compressed zip folder containing all the resources together, you can load and save new Bundles from Krita's inbuilt resource manager. You can check the Resource management page for more information.
For some time Photoshop has been using the ABR format to compile brushes into a single file. Krita can read and load .ABR files, although there are certain features ..... For this example we will use an example of an .ABR file that contains numerous images of types of trees and ferns. We have two objectives. The first is to create a series of brushes that we an quickly access from the Brush Presets dock to easily put together a believable forest. The second is to create a single brush that we can change on the fly to use for a variety of flora, without the need to have a dedicated Brush Preset for each type.
It's time now to create the Brush Preview graphic. The simplest and easiest way to do this for a brush of this type is to clear out the ScratchPad using the "Reset" button. Now, center your cursor in the Brush Preview square at the top of the ScratchPad and click once. You should see an image of your texture (in this case it would be the evergreen tree. In order to work correctly though the entire image should fit comfortably within the square. This might mean that you have to tweak the size of the brush. Once you have something you are happy with then click the Overwrite Preset button and your brush and it's preview image will be saved.
An alternative method that requires a little more work but gives you greater control of the outcome is the following:
Locate the Brush Preview thumbnail .kpp file in Krita and open it to get a 200x200 file that you can edit to your wishes.
You're ready to add the next texture! From here on it's just a matter of wash, rinse and repeat for each texture where you want to create a dedicated Brush Preset.
If you are familiar with GIMP or Photoshop then you are familiar with the idea of changing the brush texture "on the fly" rather than having a dedicated brush for each texture. This is just a way of emulating this capability and giving the artist access to more options more quickly for certain types of work.
When you are ready to swap out for another texture, follow step 2 again. In this way you can use a single texture brush to just swap textures in and out without having to dedicate a Brush Preset to every texture.