Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creating a Signature Brush in Photoshop

Start a new blank file - File|New from the menu - and fill it with white.  300x300 pixels should be adequate or you can make it larger to give yourself more working room and crop it to size later. The final image created for this demonstration is cropped to 300x104 pixels.

You can make your brush with the Type Tool or create it free-hand with the Brush Tool. I chose a combination of free-hand and text for my brush.

We'll get the easy part out of the way first.

Set the foreground color to Black. Create a New Layer, choose the Type Tool and hold down ALT while you type 0169 using the numeric keypad.  When you release the ALT key you get a copyright symbol "©".
[Apple gets off easy. It's just  Option+G].

Type in the year and then your copyright message. Because we put the copyright on its own layer it will be easy to go back and change the year to the next year when we need to.

If you're on a laptop, you'll need to use your special function to choose the numeric keypad overlay. Remember to turn it off afterward so you can continue to type.

Once you have your text created, you can size it to fit with the Move Tool. Check the box that says "Show Transform Controls". Hold down SHIFT and drag the corners to keep it proportional.

Now comes the fun part. Create another new layer, choose the Brush Tool and sign your name.

You can use a pen tablet or the mouse to write your name. If you don't have a pen tablet and can't write well with the mouse, get a cheap caligraphy pen from the art store and practice writing your name on copy paper. When you get good at it, write it large a single time on one sheet. Tape it to the wall where it will be evenly lit and photograph it with a digital camera.

If your hand writing is as execrable as mine this may take some time. I ended up having to do it on multiple layers and paste the best parts together.

Save your work as a Photoshop .PSD file so you can come back to it later when you need to change the year.

Turn off the eye next to the background layer. CTRL+Click the signature layer. CTRL+SHIFT+Click the copyright text layer. Both layers will now be selected. Alternatively, you can merge the two layers after saving the file. The key is the background layer is still there, but invisible.

From the Menu select Edit|Define Brush and give it a clever name like "Copyright Brush".

And there you have it, a ready made signature for your images.

It's a brush, so you can sign your images in any color "ink" just by setting the foreground color. An acceptable gold color comes from R=98, G=89, B=1.

It's re-sizable using the square bracket keys, and you can use the "Fx" palette to emboss, embellish and gussy it up if you want to.


Pittch Black Photography by: Shonda Pitt said...

John, this is very good information. I'm going to try it. Thanks

Kathleen C Photography said...

Thanks for all the good information you have for us.
Hope you're recovering well.

ashley Gatewood said...

Thanks john for the valuable info, hope your feeling better.