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YngvarAsplund's avatar

Basic Mixer Brushes

TL;DR: Simple Mixer Brush Tool presets for smooth color blending. Have fun!

In a recent journal entry, I talked about how I haven't been able to make Photoshop's Mixer Brush Tool work quite the way I'd like, but it's far from a useless tool. I know a lot of you like to use the Smudge Tool for blending colors, and based on my own experimentation with different tools for blending colors, I think the Mixer Brush Tool is a much better option for comfortable color blending than the Smudge Tool is. It has a wider variety of settings available to it, and also mixes colors in a more interesting way. The trade-off is that it is a less intuitive tool to get used to. Because of this, I decided I want to share a set of two basic Mixer Brush tool presets with you guys. Hopefully, these will give you a better impression of the tool than the settings you start out with.

How to install:
Download the .zip and extract the .tpl file and place it where ever you like. Go to the Tool Presets panel in Photoshop and hit the little menu button in the top right of the panel. Click "Load Tool Presets..." in the drop-down menu and browse to the .tpl file. Load it, and that's it! The presets should be compatible with CS5 and above.

How to use:

Both tool presets are very basic and are intended for smooth color blending, like the blending you see in the preview image above. The Mixer Brush Tool works sort of like a combination of the regular Brush Tool and the Smudge Tool. It smudges colors together similar to the Smudge Tool, but with the settings I've included in this pack, it also puts your currently picked color onto the canvas. So remember to pick mid values while you blend to get the smoothest gradients, sort of like you do when blending with the normal Brush Tool.

If you have any other questions about how to use it, feel free to ask in the comments.

Copyright stuff:
The brushes don't really use anything I could claim to have copyright of, like textures or custom brush shapes, so there isn't really anything to worry about here. Use them for whatever! Just don't be a dick and try to sell the brushes outright.

Technical nonsense:
I chose to share these in the Tool Presets format (.tpl) instead of as Brush Presets (.abr) because Tool Presets include all brush settings, not just the settings in the Brush panel (.abr brushes don't include presets for Wet, Load, Mix and Flow percentages, while .tpl brushes do). This means you can play around with any of the settings as much as you want and break the brush horribly if you like. To revert it back to my settings, just click the brush in the Tool Presets panel again.

The brushes are very simple, but what makes them a bit special is that they use a flat gray texture in the Texture settings. Using a flat texture without any actual texture to it sounds a bit silly, but it gives you access to settings (Brush Panel -> Texture -> Depth) that control the flow of the brush more elegantly than the normal Flow settings do. It's not something you have to worry about unless you're genuinely interested. If you just want a blending brush that does a decent job, the default settings I provided should treat you fairly well.
© 2014 - 2021 YngvarAsplund
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ViVladi's avatar

Loke and comment

So cool set! Thank U!

NickLegend's avatar

Very interesting and thank you so much on behalf of myself and the creative community.

Elisstyle's avatar
margotd1's avatar

Gonna give it a try. I'm not good with the mixer brush at all, but I'm not ready to give up. Thank you!

Awesome, thank you very much for this gift

thank you so much!

JinxedElf's avatar

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I've been trying to find a good replacement for Procreate smudge brushes, and it vexed me that the Brush just couldn't do it. The default Mixer Brush was not doing it for me too, and I didn't know even know where to begin tweaking it. This is fantastic as a starting base and exactly what I'm looking for!

kurokohii's avatar
BEST! thank you!
I'm excited to try out your mixer brushes. I've recently started playing with this feature in PS!
WickedWoomy's avatar
Tbh these are the best blenders i've ever used. Thank you :3
oclara's avatar
merci beaucoup
Brilliant!  Thanks so much for sharing this.  I'm an old holdout to SAI, and this adequately simulates some of the blending features I missed most with that application.

Sincerely appreciated.  This will definitely speed up my workflow.
Alunaa's avatar
Unfortunately it isnt loading for CS6!
MelassaBellaBulla's avatar
I have cs6 version and it work.
ajay02's avatar
Its not working in Ps 7 :(
Android-Alpha's avatar
Sorry, I'm really new at this and after I load the file nothing new is added to the list of tool presets. Am I doing something wrong?
joan-does-art's avatar
It says that it's not compatible with my version of photoshop. I have CS6...
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