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Tutorial The very basics of Photoshop - Enhance textures with the brush tool 2.0

Part 1 of 'The very basics' series

  1. bobqwerty
    Here’s how to enhance textures with the Brush tool. It is a very easy to follow tutorial, what makes it difficult is the level of complexity of the image itself and the standard you want to achieve. It’s a tricky work. I assure you will need to ‘Ctrl + Z’ a lot.

    Pre-requisite: High precision ‘gaming’ mouse and pad

    1. Select the ‘Mixer Brush tool’
    2. Hold ‘Alt’ and click outside the canvas or select the Clean Brush in the upper-left menu
    3. Make sure to toggle the button to ‘Clean the Brush after each Stroke’ in the options
    4. Click & push to the direction you want to pixelate, like you would do with a painting


    The arrow with the Red to Green gradient should showhow much it takes to polish a texture. The more you use brush tool, the more it becomes soft. You don’t want to extensively remove details. You want to polish the texture, just make sure you do it in a few steps. That’s why the Clean Brush is so important, it allows you to preserve details and remove imperfections.

    Also, the size of the brush and Zoom (‘Alt’ + Mouse scroll) matter. A smaller brush gives you more precision but can be time consuming.

    Alternatively, you can use it to add dirt effect, light effect or remove an object if you want.

    With practise and patience, you should be able to clean a texture seemlessly, even add more details tied-up with the ‘Normal Brush tool’. It takes extensive hours to make textures look good. However, as you can see below the diference before (left) and after (right) polishing textures with the Clean Brush tool is astounding.


    In this texture I’ve added dirt using the Normal Brush with custom color swatches assigned to black and pastel, then used the Clean Brush to equalize it/light it up a bit so it doesn’t look too dark in comparison with the facade.

Recent Reviews

  1. Supersnake
    Version: 1.0
    Cool kind of tuto. Thanks.
  2. Artmaster
    Version: 1.0
    Very simple tip...you might suggest in your next tutorial, how to use the clone tool for cleaning up textures. Perhaps even I could make one if not...
    1. bobqwerty
      Author's Response
      It's a nice idea, although I fear it would be too specific. Right now I'm trying to find an example with the History Brush in accordance to the modding proccess to improve this tutorial.
  3. skullz613
    Version: 1.0
    Nice tips :) I will try this out.