Photoshop for Watercolor Painting ... some suggestions for improvement to a great engine!

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I use Photoshop (CS6) for watercolor painting. It's a powerful engine, better IMO than Corel Painter. There are some additions that would make it even better:
- Smudge tool: add other controls, especially Texture and Dual Brush
- Dual Brush: add rotation control. Having no control on whether or not, and how much, the brush is rotated makes this a hit-and-miss feature.
- Displacement Filter: this has interesting potential for painting ... but having the displacement map in a file limits its usefulness. If the displacement map could be in the Layer mask instead of in a file it would become very powerful.
If you are interested in seeing how Photoshop can be used to paint watercolors, I have a few videos and free tools available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...
Robert Ardill
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Robert Ardill

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Posted 6 years ago

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rick brooks

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I've been using Photoshop since version 6, starting with photo and image processing, but later for creating art. I'm currently using CS5. Although there are many features already available, I agree that more should be added to further artistic expression.
1) I agree that the smudge tool should be expanded as Robert described.
2) The mixer brush should be changed to include transparency
3) the displacement filter should be added into the gallery along with a preview and the X, Y variables. And in that menu the displacement map should be selectable from the menu and include stored patterns auto converted to grayscale. There should be a standard folder to store user maps, or the user should be able to use a mask as a map. A preview of the effect before application would be good
4) masks... it would be nice to have nondestructive adjustments that can be grouped onto a mask
5) flow maps with generated turbulence, noise, and randomness that can then move pixels or lighten/darken pixels would be a good feature.
thanks, Rick Brooks
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Robert Ardill

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Another feature that would be very useful would be to be able to Update Tool presets with current settings (much as with Lightroom Presets and Templates). We often want to make small changes to a tool preset, but at present it's necessary to create a new tool preset, delete the old tool preset and rename the new tool preset to the old one, which is time-consuming and annoying.
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Robert Ardill

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Another feature that would be VERY useful for painters would be to be able to drag tool presets to a panel (as is possible in Corel Painter, for example). Typically only a few brush, eraser and smudge presets are used for a particular painting and it is time-consuming and awkward to trawl through all of the presets to find the ones we need.
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uhanepono

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The smudge tool and the eraser tools should have the capability to sample more than the current layer. Not "select all layers" just some. I know this is a big engine request but... what the hay...

Plus Robert's suggestion about displacement maps is a very good one for many applications!! I hadn't thought of it but now I see it as a great potential tool!
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John Stevenson

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I also have an interest in this. There are several aspects of Tool and Filter development in Photoshop which have either been overlooked or left to quietly expire. I've posted today a similar request, addressing (primarily) the artistic filters (many of which have been a part of Photoshop for more than 15 years, but where even the very newest have some substantial limitations): http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
And will make an additional request later covering Masks.