The Topic of Conversation

During my last Live Event, I received a TON of questions about the difference between FLOW and OPACITY related to the brush in Photoshop.  Do not confuse this with OPACITY and FILL in the layer palette. They are two very different topics.  Brush flow and brush opacity can be tricky to comprehend, but I have a tip to help you remember.


Acts as a governor.  It tells the brush, no matter what, you may not exceed this opacity percentage unless you release your click on your mouse (or pressure on open) and click again and go over the area.  At that point, it will allow you to build up the effect.  So Brush Opacity is an on-Click Buildup process.

Brush FLOW

Controls the speed at which the brush will build up (much like a can of spray paint).  It tells the brush that you may make as many passes as you need, and it will build up based on the amount.  So brush FILL is an on-pass buildup process.

Of course, throwing a pen and tablet into the mix makes things a bit more interesting.  Watch the tutorial below to see a demo with flow and opacity.  You will also learn more about how pressure sensitivity with a pen and tablet can be beneficial.  Here is a link to the tablet I use. It is an older tutorial, but I am still using the tablet to this day!

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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