Create your own brush

Translations: French, Russian

This small tutorial deals with creating, saving and distributing your own brushes, a rewarding but slightly more complex topic. If you want a tutorial for the basic use of MyPaint, take a look here.

Make a new brush from an old one

If you open the Edit extension at the bottom of the brush selector you will see the name of the selected brush. Try to find the brush named redbrush (this has a red-brownish icon). Let’s say you like this brush, but not the fact that the brightness gets changed.

Open the Brush Settings with Ctrl+B or click the Settings… button below the brush selector. The Brush settings dialogue opens. So many sliders! You can hover your cursor over them to get more information, but many of them admittedly requires some experimenting to be fully understood.

Note also the checkbox named live update the last brush stroke at the top. If you have made some brush strokes with the brush before, the last of them will change in real-time as you tweak the parameters.

Read the help text by hovering over the color brightness slider. It is set to zero. What you see here is the base value, independent of speed, pressure or other parameters. Change it until it shows 2.0. Change your Color to Black and draw a bit.

… Hmm, that was a bad idea, and it still changes with speed! Choose the red brush again from the Brush list to restore the original settings. Click on the ‘X‘ button right to the change color value (HSV) slider. The ‘X‘ indicates that something interesting was changed here, in contrast to the buttons labeled with ‘…’ (three dots).

Move the by random slider to the maximum, just for fun, and try your brush. You could increase the base value a bit to make the brush brighter on average. But now press all the zero buttons to get rid of this stuff completely. Try it, it did actually work.

There is no need to alter the curve you see at by random because its y-range now goes from zero to zero. This curve will not be saved any more with your brush because it has no effect.

Save your new brush

Below the brush dialog, click on add as new. Your new brush appears at the upper left corner (remember, you can drag it around). But it needs a different image! Press clear and draw something that both shows your brush and is easy to recognize. Then press save preview.

If you improve the brush settings even more, remember to save settings before you switch to another brush or quit.

It is also possible to draw the preview image with a different brush. Remember: click once to load the brush settings, click again to load its image. You can also change the preview (actually the settings file too) with an external program. MyPaint will notice the changes when you select the brush again. Maybe you want to use our GIMP template for the labels.

Share your brush

Look at Brush Packs Manual in the wiki for up-to-date information.


Martin Renold 2005

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