The 7 Best Ways to Open a PSD File Without Photoshop

photoshop-annoyances

Photoshop definitely got it right with the PSD file format. It saves the complete state of a still-being-edited image so that you can close down and resume work later. When working with images, you should always keep a PSD copy around in case you need to make tweaks to the image later on. The problem is that PSD isn’t an open format. While PNGs, JPGs, and BMPs can be opened in nearly every image editor, PSDs can only be opened by certain apps that know the file format. Your best bet? Pay for an Adobe Photoshop CC subscription plan. Or use…

Read the full article: The 7 Best Ways to Open a PSD File Without Photoshop

photoshop-annoyances

Photoshop definitely got it right with the PSD file format. It saves the complete state of a still-being-edited image so that you can close down and resume work later. When working with images, you should always keep a PSD copy around in case you need to make tweaks to the image later on.

The problem is that PSD isn’t an open format. While PNGs, JPGs, and BMPs can be opened in nearly every image editor, PSDs can only be opened by certain apps that know the file format. Your best bet? Pay for an Adobe Photoshop CC subscription plan.

Or use one of the many free options below. Are they as good as Adobe Photoshop? No. In fact, most of the following apps can’t actually edit PSDs—they can only view PSDs as flattened images. That’s the cost of proprietary software. But hey, if flattened image viewing is all you need anyway, then these options are well worth trying.

1. GIMP

open-psd-in-gimp

GIMP should honestly be your first stop when trying to open and edit a PSD file for free. Not only is it the closest counterpart to Photoshop itself, but it’s available across Windows, Mac, and Linux, so you can learn it once and use it on all of your systems.

And if it wasn’t clear, yes, PSD support is built right into the app. No need to fiddle with third-party plugins or anything.

  1. Go to File > Open.
  2. Find and select the PSD file.
  3. Click Open.

The nice thing about GIMP is that it can actually process the individual layers of a PSD file. The downside is that some layers are unreadable to GIMP, or need to be rasterized so that GIMP can work with them. Saving over the PSD could ruin the file if you intend to open it back up in Photoshop later.

GIMP is open source software, which comes with several benefits (like being able to peek at the source code whenever you want).

Download: GIMP (Free)

2. Paint.NET

open-psd-in-paint-net

I’ve always respected Paint.NET because it knows exactly what it wants to be: an image editor that’s better than Microsoft Paint without being as bloated or intimidating to learn as GIMP and Adobe Photoshop. It’s right smack in the middle.

But if you want to make it more powerful, you can—by installing various third-party plugins. And if you’re going to do that, there’s one plugin that you absolutely should use: the PSD plugin.

  1. Download the PSD plugin.
  2. Extract the ZIP file’s contents.
  3. Copy the PhotoShop.dll file.
  4. Navigate to the Paint.NET installation folder (mine is located at C:/Program Files/paint.net).
  5. Paste the PhotoShop.dll file into the FileTypes subfolder.
  6. Launch Paint.NET.

With the plugin installed, you should be able to open PSD files without a hitch. Note that even though Paint.NET can usually handle PSD layers just fine, you’ll run into occasional issues because Paint.NET doesn’t support all of Photoshop’s features.

Download: PSD Plugin for Paint.NET (Free)

3. Photopea Online Editor

open-psd-in-photopea

If you’ve never heard of Photopea before, you’re in for a treat. This lesser-known web app is basically like an online version of Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. It’s obviously not as good—web apps rarely get close to their desktop counterparts—but it’s still useful.

The layout is similar so you’ll feel right at home. Want to open a PSD file? It’s easy.

  1. Go to File > Open.
  2. Find and select the PSD file.
  3. Click Open.

And the cool thing is that Photopea can read individual layers, which is a level of feature that I’d never expect from a free web app. It’s great though, allowing you to edit your PSDs without charge no matter where you are. Just hop on with any computer.

Website: Photopea Online Editor

4. XnView

open-psd-in-xnview

XnView is a freeware image organizer that lets you browse and order your image collections in various ways, as well as process them using basic image editing tools like color palettes, filters, effects, rotations, etc.

The great thing about this lesser-known app is that it can read over 500 formats and export to over 70 formats, so not only is it useful for viewing images, but also converting them.

  1. Go to File > Open.
  2. Find and select the PSD file.
  3. Click Open.

When downloading, you can choose between three setup types: Minimal, Standard, and Extended. Minimal requires the least amount of disk space and is all you need to open PSDs. No need for add-ons, plugins, or anything like that.

Download: XnView (Free)

5. IrfanView

open-psd-in-irfanview

IrfanView is similar to XnView in that its main use is as an image viewer and converter. It may not support as many formats as XnView does, but it supports all of the important ones—and that’s all that really matters, right?

While IrfanView can easily render flattened PSDs, it can’t edit or save them unless you first export to a different format.

  1. Go to File > Open…
  2. Find and select the PSD file.
  3. Click Open.

We recommend keeping this app on your system. Use it as your primary image viewer and you’ll never be disappointed by it. The best part, at least for me, is that it’s extremely lightweight and fast. Plus you can further enhance IrfanView with some nifty plugins.

Download: IrfanView (Free)

6. Google Drive

open-psd-in-google-drive

It may seem weird to use Google Drive as a file viewer, but you absolutely can — and it works rather well. Check out our master guide to Google Drive to learn more about it, but the important thing to know is that PSDs are viewable through Google Drive on the web.

  1. Visit the Google Drive page.
  2. Click My Drive and select Upload files…
  3. Find and select the PSD file.
  4. Click Open.
  5. Double-click the file to view.

There are several other methods you can use to upload image files to Google Drive, but this is the easiest if you just want to view one single file. When would you ever use Google Drive for this? Maybe when you aren’t on your own PC and can’t install any other software.

Website: Google Drive

7. Go2Convert

This last option is not a way to view, open, or edit PSD files. It’s simply a way to convert PSD files into other formats like PNG and JPG. If that’s the entire reason why you wanted to open PSDs in the first place, then you might as well skip the middle steps.

  1. Click Select File.
  2. Navigate and select your PSD file.
  3. Click Open.
  4. Click Upload Now.
  5. Once the upload is done, you can choose dozens of formats to convert to. Optionally, you can even resize the image and pick what kind of compression to use (for certain formats).

Simple and straightforward. Nothing more to it.

Website: Go2Convert

Why Not Use Adobe Photoshop?

These solutions definitely work, so if you’re happy with them, go on and keep using them. But if you intend to do serious PSD editing in the future, you really ought to consider grabbing an Adobe Photoshop CC subscription plan.

You can certainly get by with GIMP, but again, it has its limitations and quirks. GIMP is okay for casual users, but Photoshop is objectively better. Check out our comparison of GIMP vs. Photoshop for more details.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Ways to Open a PSD File Without Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CC Full Version Coming To iPad, Sign Up For Beta Now

Full Adobe Photoshop CC version is coming to the iPad really soon. You can sign up for the beta right now, here’s how. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Full Adobe Photoshop CC version is coming to the iPad really soon. You can sign up for the beta right now, here's how.


[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

11 Free Photoshop Brushes to Make Your Photos Stand Out

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 comes with a revamped brush panel. Unfortunately, there are just four default brush panels, meaning photographers and digital artists may feel short changed. However, one of the “hidden” goodies is from Kyle T. Webster. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership then you can download and use the 1000-brush strong megapack made by the international award-winning illustrator. Then, there are tons of free Photoshop brushes you can find on the web. In this article, we uncover Photoshop brushes specifically made for photographers. 1. Bokeh Brushes Bokeh is a photography effect that is created by an out-of-focus background. Portrait…

Read the full article: 11 Free Photoshop Brushes to Make Your Photos Stand Out

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 comes with a revamped brush panel. Unfortunately, there are just four default brush panels, meaning photographers and digital artists may feel short changed.

However, one of the “hidden” goodies is from Kyle T. Webster. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership then you can download and use the 1000-brush strong megapack made by the international award-winning illustrator. Then, there are tons of free Photoshop brushes you can find on the web.

In this article, we uncover Photoshop brushes specifically made for photographers.

1. Bokeh Brushes

Bokeh Brush

Bokeh is a photography effect that is created by an out-of-focus background. Portrait photographs commonly rely on these blurred specular highlights behind the headshot. A good bokeh needs a lens with at least an f/2.8 aperture, but what if you want to add a bokeh in post-processing?

You can create a blurred background in Adobe Photoshop. Or you can use this free bokeh brush set to manufacture a creative effect. This freebie set of 92 brushes is free for commercial use.

2. Grunge Brushes

Free Subtle Grunge Brushes

The grunge effect harks back to the early days of tintype photography and film which followed it. The vintage effect can be easily re-created in Adobe Photoshop with layer masks and a tintype texture.

You can use these free subtle grunge brushes to give your photos an aged look. The brushes can be used to frame the photos or add subtle textures.

If you are looking for more grunge brushes, then this set of vintage grunge brushes by alex16 on Deviant Art isn’t bad either.

3. Lens Flare Brushes

Lens Flare Brushes

This single category of Photoshop brushes that imitate different sources of light may justify an article of its own. There is such variety. Take your pick from lens flares to sunbursts, from light swirls to lightning bolts.

For now, we will just download and use these free lens flare brushes. The 15 high quality lens optical flares and stars brushes are 2500 pixels+ in size and should be just right against a dark background. Just remember to use them with attribution.

4. Lightning Brushes

Lightning Bolt Brushes

Have you ever tried to take a photograph of a lightning bolt? It’s an exercise in patience and precision. Lightning is unpredictable. And you must think about your own safety first. The easier option is to use a stroke of a lightning brush on your photo. It’s not as rewarding though.

These 40 high-resolution lightning bolt Photoshop brushes are good enough. And they might help you apply realistic effects to your photos.

5. Skin Brushes

Free Skin Brush Set

You can use these to change skin tone, airbrush any blemishes, or even add stubble. But use them subtly for retouching portraits or any other photograph. The combination pack has three brush sets and is meant for non-commercial use. You can also download the three sets separately.

6. Hair Brushes

Free Adobe Photoshop Hair Brush Set

Like skin tone brushes, hair brushes are also useful for subtle retouching. Hair selections can be difficult. So try a hair brush to finetune your profile photo in Photoshop. For instance, you can use a specific brush to create facial hair. Or retouch parts of a headshot masked from its background.

You can create your own hair brush in Photoshop too, but these free downloads give you a starter pack to work with. The 10 high-resolution graphics can be used in any color. Use them for free with attribution. Also, look around the site for other hair brush sets.

7. Smoke Brushes

Free Smoke Brushes for Adobe Photoshop

Long tendrils of wispy smoke against a black or white background makes an eye catching image. It’s one of those cool project ideas for newbie photographers. You will need gear like an external flash, tripod, a reflector, a black cloth, and a few incense sticks to make it happen. But it’s too much bother when you need to add a quick smoke effect.

These 10 smoke brushes for Photoshop can get you there for the price of an email signup.

8. Fog Brushes

Fog Brushes for Adobe Photoshop

This set of 106 fog brushes can be used as transparent overlays with any image. You can give them any color with Photoshop’s color tool. Use them on landscapes or even for double exposure portraits.

The set is available on Gumroad and is free for commercial use. You can also name your own price and help the developer.

9. Cloud Brushes

Adobe Photoshop Cloud Brush Set

A sunny landscape photo always looks more beautiful with a few patches of clouds. Clouds can also lend mood to landscape photos or be the objects of attention if you want to try some exposure blending.

This photorealistic set of nine cloud brushes hosted on Deviantart offer a nice mix of heavier puffy clouds as well as wispy, mist-like clouds.

This set of 17 free high-resolution cloud brushes on FudgeGraphics.com is worth a download too.

10. Tree Brushes

Adobe Photoshop Free Tree Brush Set

When we are talking about landscape photography, then why leave out the more natural elements. Adobe Photoshop CC has a cool Tree Filter that adds realistic trees. But flatter tree brushes can not only help you frame a shot but also create interesting silhouettes.

The brush set has nine different brushes and can be useful for making flat wallpapers as the artist intends. If you are looking for more variety, then try a search on 123Brushes for their free tree brush packs.

11. Logo Brushes

Badge shape logo brush for Adobe Photoshop

You can take a neat font, any shape, or a calligraphic brush and create a cool logo in Photoshop. You can search for vector shapes too. But logo brushes for Photoshop are a shortcut if you don’t want to make your own custom logo brush.

You will find a rich set of logo brushes that will give you more options to play around with. Pick one and make your own custom watermark for your images. Another alternative is to search for a brush with the kind of shape you are looking for.

Create Your Own Photoshop Brushes Now

Custom brushes are used mostly by digital artists. But as the above roster shows, photographers can also find a few benefits.

The sheer variety of free Photoshop brushes on offer across the web is because it’s not too difficult to create your own. So why not create your own custom Photoshop brushes and share them on the web so that others can use them in their work.

Read the full article: 11 Free Photoshop Brushes to Make Your Photos Stand Out

How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

learn-illustrator

Adding hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator isn’t as simple as selecting text or right clicking an image and finding the option easily available. That doesn’t mean there aren’t work arounds available in both programs to add links to text, images, and objects. How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop The easiest option for adding links to Photoshop is to use the Slice feature. The catch here is that you will have to save and share your document as an HTML file. After you’ve inserted the image or text you want to add a hyperlink to, in Photoshop select the…

Read the full article: How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

Adding hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator isn’t as simple as selecting text or right clicking an image and finding the option easily available. That doesn’t mean there aren’t work arounds available in both programs to add links to text, images, and objects.

How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop

The easiest option for adding links to Photoshop is to use the Slice feature. The catch here is that you will have to save and share your document as an HTML file.

  1. After you’ve inserted the image or text you want to add a hyperlink to, in Photoshop select the Slice tool, which you’ll find by clicking the Crop tool in the tools menu and holding down until you see the list with the knife icon (keyboard shortcut C.) 
  2. Right-click your newly inserted slice and click Edit slice options
  3. In the dialog box that opens, insert your link in the URL field and click ok. If you want the link to open in a new window, select “_blank” from the dropdown menu for Target. Click OK
  4. Once you’re ready to save your file, click File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)
  5. In the dialog box that opens, the only thing you need to select is the Preset. You can select any of the JPG or PNG options and click Save
  6. In the dialog box that opens, type in your file name and click the File Format dropdown and select HTML and Images. Click Save

How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator

It’s a little simpler to add a link to an image in Illustrator, but there’s also a catch: you’ll have to save the file as a PDF.

  1. Select the Text tool (keyboard shortcut T) and insert your link on top of the image or object you want to add the link to. Make sure when you insert the link to insert http://.
  2. You’re going to need to find a way to hide the text of the link. You can place it behind the object by right-clicking and selecting Arrange > Send to Back. You can also change the color to the same color as your background or the object you’re linking if it’s a solid color.  
  3. Click File > Save as.
  4. In the dialog box that opens up, enter your file name and for the format select PDF

This method doesn’t work with text boxes. If you want to add a link to text, you can follow the steps above, but you’ll have to convert your text to outlines first. To do this, right-click the text box and select Create Outlines. But be warned, once you’ve done this, you can’t edit the text.

If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud member, you can instead use Adobe Acrobat insert links to your text in a PDF file.

Read the full article: How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

Adobe supercharges Photoshop’s content-aware fill so you have more options, fewer AI fails

Everyone went nuts for Adobe’s “content-aware fill” in Photoshop when it came out. The boring-sounding feature is in fact an incredibly useful tool, essentially an AI-powered clone stamp that intelligently brought in other pieces of the image to replace your selection. But it still failed in hilarious ways that only an AI is capable of. That should happen a lot less with the hot new tools Adobe is shipping soon.

Everyone went nuts for Adobe’s “content-aware fill” in Photoshop when it came out. The boring-sounding feature is in fact an incredibly useful tool, essentially an AI-powered clone stamp that intelligently brought in other pieces of the image to replace your selection. But it still failed in hilarious ways that only an AI is capable of. That should happen a lot less with the hot new tools Adobe is shipping soon.

Teased in a sneak peek video today, the new content-aware fill has a ton of new settings that shooters will love playing with. Photographers love tweaking things — that’s just a fact — and the more things they have to tweak, the better.

So, what used to look like this…

…and would occasionally produce results like this…

…now has a whole right-hand menu full of lovely options to choose from.

The most important difference is certainly the ability to choose which parts of the image the filling agent samples when it’s looking for stuff to put inside your lassoed area. If, as in the fail above, it decides to fill the field in with horse parts, you just exclude the horse from the agent’s consideration with a few brush strokes. No need to be exact — the algorithm is smart enough to work without the handful of pixels that are casualties of overeager mousing.

The improved algorithm also lets you tell the algo that it should be liberal with rotation and scaling of the elements it uses, or that it should mirror-image the content it finds to make it fit better.

Lastly, you can output the fill to a new layer — non-destructive editing is critical to any digital artist’s workflow. I can’t imagine why this wasn’t the case before.

Okay, so maybe some purists will scoff at those who use such heavy-handed means to fix a shot. But sometimes you have to go with the shot you’ve got, and sometimes there’s one too many cows in it. So I at least appreciate the option to do some major alterations without the hassle of manual clone-stamping and other techniques.

The new updates are “coming soon,” so keep an eye out for updates to your client.

How to Use Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop

smart-objects-photoshop

Smart objects are an incredibly useful feature in Photoshop. They let you edit images and add filters without any loss of quality. However, they aren’t that well known. Beginners may not even have heard of smart objects, and casual users might think they’re an advanced option beyond their capabilities In fact, everyone should make use of smart objects. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get started using smart objects in Adobe Photoshop. What Are Smart Objects? A smart object is a special kind of layer that enables true non-destructive editing in Photoshop. When you convert a normal layer…

Read the full article: How to Use Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop

smart-objects-photoshop

Smart objects are an incredibly useful feature in Photoshop. They let you edit images and add filters without any loss of quality. However, they aren’t that well known.

Beginners may not even have heard of smart objects, and casual users might think they’re an advanced option beyond their capabilities In fact, everyone should make use of smart objects.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to get started using smart objects in Adobe Photoshop.

What Are Smart Objects?

A smart object is a special kind of layer that enables true non-destructive editing in Photoshop.

When you convert a normal layer into a smart object, the content of that original source layer gets saved separately—as a file-within-a-file. No matter how much you edit the smart object, the original source content remains untouched.

smart object thumbnail

Smart objects can contain both raster and vector content, and work like normal layers. You can resize or transform them, apply filters or add adjustment layers. You’re also able to make selections and use masks.

What makes it even more useful is that you can access and edit the source content at any time, too. Just double-click the thumbnail image for the layer in the Layers panel.

Use Smart Objects for Non-Destructive Editing

Non-destructive editing is the main reason why you should use smart objects. You can scale, resize, and rotate them without any loss of quality.

Here’s how it works.

Open an image on a new layer. Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl + T on Windows, or Cmd + T on Mac) to make the image smaller, then hit Enter to apply the change.

Now use Free Transform again to enlarge the image back to its original size. Notice how the image is now soft or pixellated.

free transform

This happens because when you made the image smaller Photoshop threw away the extra detail that was no longer needed.

Now try this.

Reopen the original image. Right click on the layer in the Layers panel and selecting Convert to Smart Object. Now repeat the above steps, making the image smaller, then bigger again.

free transform smart object

This time there’s no loss in quality. A smart object saves a copy of the original, unedited content so any changes you make are not permanent. You can even properly resize images fully without losing quality.

Edit Multiple Smart Objects Together

Often you’ll need to reuse the same picture, shape, or other object more than once in the same image. By turning it into a smart object you can edit multiple instances of that element in one go.

duplicate layer smart objects

Highlight the layer containing the content you want to repeat, right-click, and select Convert to Smart Object.

Next, duplicate the layer several times by hitting Ctrl + J on Windows, or Cmd + J on Mac. This creates multiple copies of the same smart object, all tied to the same source content.

Use the Move tool (V) to reposition all your duplicated layers.

edit smart object source

Now, for any one of the duplicated layers, double-click the thumbnail in the Layers panel. This will open the original source content in a new tab. Edit it, then save, and close the tab.

update smart objects

Back in your main file, all instances of the duplicated smart object will have been updated to reflect the changes you just made.

Edit Smart Objects Individually

You can, of course, use smart objects more than once but still edit them individually.

smart object via copy

To do this, don’t duplicate the layer.

Instead, go to Layer > Smart Objects > New Smart Object via Copy. This creates a copy of both the smart object layer and the original source file.

edit single smart object

Use Linked Smart Objects Across Several Files

In most cases, a smart object uses content embedded in your image file. But you can also create smart objects linked to external files.

This allows you to reuse smart objects across several files and projects. Whenever you update the linked source image, all the files that share the smart object will also be updated.

Here’s an example.

place linked

Go to File > Place Linked and select an image file from your desktop that you want to use as the basis for your smart object. This will open the image on your canvas as a smart object. Hit Enter to confirm.

linked smart object

Create another file and do the same again, using the same source image. You should have two documents containing the same image.

Now open the external, linked source image, edit it, then save it. Both the files that link to this image will now be updated with the new changes.

update linked smart object

When you use this option, you need to take an extra step when saving your file. First, save it as normal. Then, go to File > Package then hit Choose to save both your Photoshop file and the linked image together in a folder. If you move or delete the linked image otherwise, your file will break.

Use Smart Filters

Smart objects give you a massive upgrade to Photoshop filters, turning them into smart filters.

Filters are normally quite heavy handed. You apply them, and if you don’t like the effect you have to undo it and try again.

Smart filters on smart objects are non-destructive. You can edit them at any time, and even hide or delete them if you no longer need them.

smart filters

It’s simple to use. Turn your layer into a smart object then apply a filter in the normal way. Look in the layers panel, and you’ll see the filter listed below the smart object layer.

Double-click to edit it, or drag it onto the trashcan to remove it.

Mask Filters in Photoshop

Even better, you can mask smart filters to control where on your image they take effect.

smart filter mask

Smart filters have masks automatically applied to them. It’s the box above the filter in the layers panel. The mask is empty (white) by default. This means the filter effect is applied across the whole layer.

Click the mask thumbnail, select a brush, and set it to black. Now start painting over your image. The filter effect is removed from all of the black areas.

Set the brush to gray to make it partly visible.

smart filter bokeh effect

Masking filters like this enables you to create bokeh effects in portraits, or to selectively apply sharpening or noise reduction to specific areas of a photo.

Use Smart Objects to Create Templates

A final great reason to use smart objects is that they make it easy to create templates in Photoshop.

Just right-click on the smart object layer and select Replace Contents. Then select the new image that want to use as the source content.

replace smart object contents

Why is this so useful?

Because if you’ve applied filters, or altered the shape of a layer, then the new source image for your smart object will retain these properties. This wouldn’t happen if you simply dropped in a new image onto a separate layer.

Downsides to Using Smart Objects

Smart objects are extremely useful, but they have a few downsides you need to know about.

First, files that contain smart objects are heavier. They’re larger and often require more system resources.

Second, they can also be more complex. If you’re using a lot of smart objects you need to label and group your layers properly to help stay organized.

rasterize smart object

Third, smart objects are not directly editable. You can’t use things like the brush tool or clone stamp on one without converting it back to a raster layer, losing the benefits of smart objects in the process. Do this at Layer > Smart Objects > Rasterize.

Alternatively, you can directly edit the smart object’s source content. In most cases, this can be a better option.

The Next Steps

Smart objects are so useful, whether you use Photoshop for vector graphics or photo editing. And they’re easy enough to use that anyone—from beginners to pros—can benefit from using them.

As we’ve seen, one of their best uses is for adding filters to images. We’ve covered the basics in this article, but there’s a lot more you can do with them. Check out our guide on how to apply a smart filter to multiple layers to discover how you can take things to the next level.

Read the full article: How to Use Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop

10 Free Photoshop Brushes and How to Install Them

photoshop-brushes-install

Digital artists need Adobe Photoshop brushes. And brushes are an absolute necessity for photographers and UX designers too. They add that extra shine to any project in Photoshop. The best Photoshop brushes cost money. But thanks to the open community, you can find plenty of high-resolution brushes that are free as well. It isn’t too tough to find a free brush when you have community sites like DeviantArt, Brusheezy, and ArtStation around. But we decided to save you a search by recommending 10 Adobe Photoshop brush sets that can be downloaded for free. 1. Kyle T. Webster A voluminous set…

Read the full article: 10 Free Photoshop Brushes and How to Install Them

Digital artists need Adobe Photoshop brushes. And brushes are an absolute necessity for photographers and UX designers too. They add that extra shine to any project in Photoshop. The best Photoshop brushes cost money. But thanks to the open community, you can find plenty of high-resolution brushes that are free as well.

It isn’t too tough to find a free brush when you have community sites like DeviantArt, Brusheezy, and ArtStation around. But we decided to save you a search by recommending 10 Adobe Photoshop brush sets that can be downloaded for free.

1. Kyle T. Webster

Photoshop brushes from Kyle T. Webster

A voluminous set of more than 1000 brushes is one of the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 features you shouldn’t miss. When you go to the download page on Adobe.com, you will learn a bit more about the award-winning illustrator and the world’s topmost authority on Photoshop brushes. There are 15 free Photoshop brush sets on offer.

Take your pick from watercolor, dry media, spatter, runny inkers, or just the megapack with 300 brushes to begin with. It’s available to Creative Cloud members for free.

2. Real Markers

Photoshop brushes -- 12 Markers

If you are into sketchnotes or just sketching, then this free 12 brush pack could be for you. Eilert Janben is a freelance illustrator from Germany who uses his own brushes for storyboarding. The entire set boasts 300 brushes but will cost you $9. So why not take a peek with the twelve free brushes first.

3. Abstract Bokeh Brushes

24 Abstract Bokeh Brushes

Bokeh is those out-of-focus orbs of light that make close-up photos pop. The best way to create bokeh is with the lens itself. The second-best way is creative trickery with Photoshop. Brusheezy is a site well known for its Photoshop brushes and PSD resources. This single find has 24 high-resolution brushes in sizes up to 5000px.

4. Eyeshadow Photoshop and GIMP Brushes

Adobe Photoshop Eyeshadow Brush

After Brusheezy, make a stop at DeviantArt to fill your cart with a variety of Photoshop resources. This unique set of eyeshadow brushes for Photoshop and GIMP is just a small part of it. The 52 brush set should fit right into your palette if you are interested in make-up mockups and other eye effects on portrait photos.

The description says—it includes various glittery effects, patterned eye makeup, and face painting styled eye accents (a butterfly and a swirl). Maybe, you can pair it with these eyelash brushes made by the same developer.

5. Tech Photoshop Brushes

Adobe Photoshop Tech Brush Set

We are a tech site, so why avoid these cool Photoshop and GIMP brushes that are made of tech shapes and diagrams? The brushes are made by the same developer as the eyeshadow brushes and you can find them on Stephanie’s site.

The brush shapes include circles, hexagons, lines, blueprints, diagrams, binary designs (including a Matrix-like binary arrangement), gears, circuits, and other tech forms.

6. Free Calligraphy Brushes

Adobe Photoshop Calligraphy Brushes

Calligraphy brushes are the first thing you will search for when you are a brush lover. BrushLovers.com has a huge stock of free Photoshop brushes and I found this nice set there. The 54 free calligraphy brushes can help you mimic the style of traditional calligraphic pens and create interesting hand-lettered effects.

7. Woodland Wonderland: Gouache Brush

Download a Gouache Brush

Gouache is an opaque watercolor and is a painting medium. The Photoshop equivalent is a creative option for digital coloring. The Woodland Wonderland 31 brush pack from RetroSupply is a set of natural media-inspired Photoshop brushes. It isn’t free but there is a free sampler pack which will give you a free Gouache brush for the price of your email address.

You can also subscribe to the site and get hold of their other freebies too. The whole site is about adding a touch of retro to your designs, so a brush set like Edge and Fold Distressor brushes could be useful too.

8. Sketchy Cartography Brushes

Sketchy Cartography Brushes

Let’s make two stops at MyPhotoshopBrushes.com and pick up this unique set of 146 cartography brushes. Maybe, you are in the mood for making your own Indiana Jones-style treasure map. Or, an inspired history assignment for your kids. The vintage sketches of geographical shapes and map lines can add the right effects.

9. Hi-Resolution Cloud Brushes

Hi-Res Cloud Brushes

Take the help of Franz Jeitz and his 17 brush set of cloud effects. These high-resolution brushes can be added to any photo which needs a more interesting sky. You can add the cloud to the night sky too and make it look realistic with the help of Photoshop. Maybe, you can give it a shot in your next project when you replace a background using Photoshop.

10. Free Christmas Holiday Text Brushes

Christmas Brushes for Adobe Photoshop

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, and if it creeps up on you you’ll wish you had these brushes installed and ready to go. You can take this 20 brush set and create inspiring text designs for flyers, Christmas cards, and Christmas photos. The brushes are vector scalable to high-resolution.

Browse MyPhotoshopBrushes.com for other free Christmas and winter sets too. The brushes are free for personal and commercial use.

How to Install New Brushes in Adobe Photoshop CC

Installing new brushes in Photoshop shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. The more important part is organizing the brushes in their own groups so they become easier to manage. But, let’s install some first:

1. Open Adobe Photoshop. Go to Windows > Brushes and open the Brushes panel.

Install Adobe Photoshop Brushes

2. Click the small hamburger menu icon on the top right corner of the panel and click Import Brushes

Adobe Photoshop Brushes Panel

3. Browse to the folder location on your PC where you have downloaded the new brushes. Find the file with the .ABR extension and double-click the file to load it.

4. The single brush or group of brushes in a folder will now appear at the bottom of the list of Photoshop brushes.

5. Delete unwanted brushes. Select a brush. Choose Delete Brush from the panel menu, or click the Delete icon.

More Photoshop Brushes to Download

The Creative Cloud Marketplace is a good place to scour for the best digital art resources. But it is like a shiny Fifth Avenue shop. The web is so vast, you will always find a nook here that’s more like a bazaar with freebies to dive into. And, if all else fails, you can learn to create your own Photoshop brushes by mixing and mashing different shapes.

Read the full article: 10 Free Photoshop Brushes and How to Install Them

How to Use Beautiful Glyphs in Adobe Photoshop CC

The word “glyph” comes from Greek and can be translated as “carving”. You can find these special characters found outside the basic alphabets. For instance, currency symbols, the copyright symbol, and the ampersand are glyphs. Every font has its own glyphs that you can creatively use in your graphic artwork in Adobe Photoshop CC. How to Use Glyphs in Adobe Photoshop Use glyphs as shortcuts for instant decorations in your graphic design project. Just start with the right font. You will come across several cursive fonts with the best glyphs. You can browse through the extended character set on Photoshop’s Glyph…

Read the full article: How to Use Beautiful Glyphs in Adobe Photoshop CC

The word “glyph” comes from Greek and can be translated as “carving”. You can find these special characters found outside the basic alphabets. For instance, currency symbols, the copyright symbol, and the ampersand are glyphs.

Every font has its own glyphs that you can creatively use in your graphic artwork in Adobe Photoshop CC.

How to Use Glyphs in Adobe Photoshop

Glyph Framed Quote

Use glyphs as shortcuts for instant decorations in your graphic design project. Just start with the right font. You will come across several cursive fonts with the best glyphs. You can browse through the extended character set on Photoshop’s Glyph panel or the Windows Character Map. Then, launch Adobe Photoshop CC.

  1. Create the Text layer you want to work on.
  2. Go to Windows > Glyphs and open the Glyphs panel.
    Adobe Photoshop Glyph Panel
  3. You can work with the font selected for the Text layer or choose a new font from the dropdown in the Glyphs panel. I have downloaded a true type free font called Nymphette. Use the slider to make the font tiles larger or smaller.
  4. Select the Text layer and the letter you want to replace with a glyph. Alternatively, type and then select any letter on the layer. When you select a letter, the Glyph Panel will automatically find that letter in the list.
    Choose Glyph
  5. Go through the special characters in the panel and double-click the glyph you want to use. The basic letter is replaced with the glyph you just selected.
  6. Click the checkmark to finalize the text.
  7. Right-click on the type layer to rasterize the text. Now, you can treat this as a separate image layer.
  8. You can use a single glyph or a combination of glyphs to create your own logos, emojis, borders, frames, and other beautiful design elements for any project.

The Adobe support page will also help you dive into the details of glyphs and how to work with them. In the end, just choose the best font for your project and go to work with your creativity!

Image Credit: Yaruta/Depositphotos

Read the full article: How to Use Beautiful Glyphs in Adobe Photoshop CC