Photoshop: Inverting Pressure Input/Custom Pressure Curves for Painting

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  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
It would be great to be able to invert pressure input from wacom tablets for brush parameters. The most basic implementation would be an "invert" checkbox next to each parameter. A more powerful idea would be to have customizable pressure input curves for each parameter. This could be done with the "contour editor" used to control various layer style falloff options.

In particular, I found that the pressure input for the Mixer brush's "mix" slider was the reverse of what I thought it should be, but the ability to customize the input curves for all parameters would create many new ways to use the brush tool. These curves could also be used to control exactly how much force on the pen is needed, allowing artists to work at a comfortable level of pressure and still enjoy the full range of input. This would greatly enhance the entire painting experience! Thanks!

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Matthew Nava

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Posted 7 years ago

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Photo of Scorpion451


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Can someone explain why the brush control panel DOESN'T look and work like this?

This would eliminate so much frustration wrestling to get brushes to do what I want them to. I frequently want very different sensitivity curves on different aspects- sometimes even reversed from what the programmers at adobe apparently consider to be the only way anyone would ever want it to work.

At the moment, only hours of tinkering with strange dual-brush/texture combinations can even come close to mimicking the functionallity this would allow me to set up in a matter of seconds.

I've actually been trying to find a python script that does almost exactly what you describe here for ages, and never been able to find one- I've been considering learning python scripting just to be able to fix the problem myself. XD

I want to see this added, like, yesterday.
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Alex Olsen

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I agree completely, the mix slider feels backwards because it restricts flow as it's increased. That is logical but it feels limiting because high mix yields a soft influence. It should be a light press or at least have the option to invert it.

I've been using pen tilt to compensate but it's pretty wacko.
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Please, please, please, PLEASE. It's the only thing that's keeping me from making the switch from Manga Studio. The ONLY thing. ...Well, there's also the really nice "Close and Fill" tool, and then there's the adjustable brush smoothing, but... I'm getting way off track.

My point is, this is a really make-or break feature for me. I got a Surface Pro 3 because I can't afford a Cintiq yet, and while it certainly is more convenient to use than my old brick of a laptop, it can be really hard to get the pressure heavy enough. I have to use a lot of force (which causes the screen to freak out a little) just to get, for example, a heavy opacity when it's controlled by pen pressure. This is fixable with MS's customized curves; all I have to do is pull the point at which max output is applied to a lower input level. You can also control the curves for and have almost any setting controlled by any combination of angle, velocity, and of course, pressure, among a few others.

Photoshop really, really needs to get on the ball with this. I haven't seen many improvements to the brush customization options in years, and that's depressing. Please, please take a page out of Smith Micro's book and let us painters use your software without all this fuss. Once I hear about such improvements, I'll start subscribing to CC so I can use it on my Surface. Until then, I'll have to stick to Manga Studio. :(
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Mario Viskonty

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Posted 4 years ago (((
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Stasik Kanevsky VitaeViazi

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CC 2017? Are you kidding? 
Photo of needsloomis


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Mix control is inverted in literally every other painting program.  C'mon adobe, your painting support is terrible.  These features are standard these days.
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Yuri Vachutinsky

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5 years.
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Coby Randal

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Nice graphic! This will be a great addition as the new brush smoothing options are awesome and pressure input smoothing (preferably with curves like you have shown) is the only logical next step. Thinking about posting this to FB / Twitter so other PS artists can up-vote this; I'm pretty sure they would be VERY happy to see this implemented.
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Kate Tucker

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6 Years and the mixer brush is still unusable because of this.  Good job Adobe.
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Richard Žember

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6 years. Now that pen tablets/2-in-1s are abundant, this is more needed than ever. Adobe, please.
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Jochen Ewert

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Gosh, unbelievable. 6 years ago, Matthew very precisely pointed out the mayor deficiencies of the mixer-brush tool. Specifically, the inverted mix-pressure response is making me move away from photoshop. I’ve had enough.
I quite often found myself puzzled at how I couldn’t make it work the way I needed it to. A revelation for me: CloverPaint, a neat drawing App for Android which works fantastically on a dated Cintiq Companion Hybrid and has a fantastic brush engine working smoothly on a tablet with only 2 GB of RAM. How can this be? A very sad situation.
Adobe doesn't seem to see the incentive to improving Photoshop for digital painters. How annoying. From a professional’s viewpoint: Adobe makes money by selling tools to enable efficiency. By not solving this problem Adobe has cost me hours upon hours trying to find a workaround and in the end working with tools which do not behave like I’d want them to and thus taking longer in the completion of those projects. Adobe thus is costing me money.
Matthew, thanks for the great original post. Wish I'd found it much earlier.

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This is still missing. Would love for that functionality! I want a small line to be opaque while the wider it gets, the more transparent. Can't do that with the current settings. Extremely frustrating.
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Sarahí Remolina

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Options like these would be life-changing for any professional that uses Photoshop - especially digital artists. Please allow pressure curve control, with adjustable nodes - also for the Pencil tool. Brush and Pencil tool both. Pencil tool allows for the removal of anti-aliased edges.. but has poor opacity and missing texture controls. The standard pressure-controlled opacity that comes with Photoshop is too strong, the soft end of the spectrum is too harsh, not subtle enough, and the hard end of the spectrum is too soft, leading the user to use excessive force on the tablet to gain full opacity, that can lead to wrist problems. Adjustable pressure graphs for all aspects of brush settings would be a huge step forward for Photoshop. This is such a fantastic program... lacking this very basic function that would raise its value. This would be a welcome addition to Photoshop by all users. Especially artists.