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The Photoshop Elements 11 Detail Smart Brush

The Detail Smart Brush tool in Photoshop Elements 11 also enables you to paint various image adjustments on all or part of your image. The action of the tool is similar to the regular Brush tool, enabling finer control than that of the Smart Brush. Follow these steps to use the Detail Smart Brush tool:

  1. Select the Detail Smart Brush tool from the Tools panel in Expert mode.

    The tool icon looks like an art paintbrush with an adjacent gear. You can also press the F key to switch between the Smart Brush and Detail Smart Brush tools.

  2. In the Tool Options, choose a brush tip the Brush Preset Picker drop-down panel and adjust the brush tip size as desired.

    Feel free to change your brush tip and size as needed to achieve the desired effect.

  3. Select an adjustment category and then your particular preset adjustment from the Smart Paint drop-down panel in the Tool Options.

    Effects include making your image look like a film negative or an X-ray, as well as more subtle looks, such as creating a vintage photo with the Sepia Duotone effect.

    [Credit: ©istockphoto.com/WorldWideImages Image #4363392]
    Credit: ©istockphoto.com/WorldWideImages Image #4363392
  4. Paint an adjustment on the desired layer in your image.

    A new adjustment layer is automatically created with your first paint stroke, along with an accompanying layer mask.

  5. Using the Add and Subtract Smart Brush modes in the Tool Options, fine-tune your adjusted area by adding and subtracting from it.

    When you add and subtract from your adjusted area, you’re essentially modifying your layer mask. Adding to the adjusted area adds white to the layer mask, and subtracting from an adjusted area adds black to the layer mask.

  6. Select a different preset adjustment for your selected area, if you want.

    In fact, try them all out before you make your final choice.

  7. If you believe that you need to refine your selected area, choose the Refine Edges option in the Tool Options.

    If you’d rather apply the adjustment to your unselected area, select the Inverse option in the Tool Options.

    If you want to modify your adjustment, double-click the Adjustment Layer pin on your image. The pin is annotated by a small, square, black-and-red gear icon. After you double-click the pin, the dialog box corresponding to your particular adjustment appears. For example, if you double-click the Shoe Box Photo adjustment (under Photographic), you access the Hue/Saturation dialog box.

  8. Make your necessary adjustments in the dialog box and click OK.

Elements supports touch-screen capability on both Windows and Mac platforms. If you have a touch-screen monitor, or an iPad with a VNC (Virtual Network Computing) application, you can browse images in the Organizer by simply flicking with your fingers. What’s even cooler is that you can even retouch and enhance images by using all the tools in the Tools panel with your fingers. Mouse? You don’t need no stinkin’ mouse!

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