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Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements – Instructions

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Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements - Instructions: A user applying a preset effect using the Smart Brush Tool in Photoshop Elements.

Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements: Overview

            The Smart Brush tools in Photoshop Elements let you apply a wide range of effects. You selectively apply the effects by brushing across your image. There are 50 preset effects from which to choose. There are effects for adjusting color and tone, creating effects, and touching up details. These effects include lipstick, suntan, cloud contrast, infrared, impressionist, several color tints, film negative, florescent glow, and also bright eyes.

            These effects are applied non-destructively using adjustment layers and masks. The regular mode of the Smart Brush tool tries to make an automatic selection using edge detection. In this way, it acts like the Quick Selection tool. The Detail Smart Brush tool lets you paint the adjustment onto the image. This gives you more control over the selection.

            To use Smart Brush tools in Photoshop Elements, select one from the Toolbox and, if necessary, the Tool Options Bar. Then change the settings in the Tool Options Bar, as needed. Here you can create a “New Selection” or add to or subtract from an existing selection. Click the corresponding button to make your choice.

            You can also change your brush settings or select the “Inverse” of the effect to apply. Then use the “Presets” drop-down to select the effect to apply. Then click and drag with your brush to make your selection.

Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements - Instructions: A user applying a preset effect using the Smart Brush Tool in Photoshop Elements.

Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements – Instructions: A user applying a preset effect using the Smart Brush Tool in Photoshop Elements.

Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements: Instructions

  1. To use Smart Brush tools in Photoshop Elements, select one from the Toolbox and, if necessary, the Tool Options Bar.
  2. Then change the settings in the Tool Options Bar, as needed.
  3. To create a “New Selection” or add to or subtract from an existing selection, click the corresponding Tool Options Bar button.
  4. If needed, then change your brush settings in the Tool Options Bar.
  5. To apply the inverse of the selected effect, then check the “Inverse” checkbox.
  6. To select the effect to apply, then use the “Presets” drop-down.
  7. Then click and drag with your brush to make your selection.

Smart Brush Tools in Photoshop Elements: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “The Smart Brush Tools,” shows you how to use the Smart Brush tools in Photoshop Elements. This video is from our complete Photoshop Elements tutorial, titled “Mastering Photoshop Elements Made Easy v.2019.”

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