This is a follow up to an article that I did quite some time ago about about the difference between “flow” and “opacity” using Photoshop Brushes. This has become a very popular article and a reader brought up a point which I thought would be good to address. If you haven’t read the first article, I suggest you go back and read that one first because this is an addendum to that article.
In the last article I created a brush made up of lots of overlapping circles to show the effects of changing the opacity and flow settings.
A reader then made the following observation:
The effect shown for “opacity 100% and flow 50%” can be achieved with “opacity 50% and flow 100%” if you paint one overlying circle at a time… 🙂
Yes, the reader is correct. If you set the opacity to 50% and the flow to 100% and make one long brush stroke it will look like the middle sample above. But, if you make lots of small one-circle-long brush strokes, it will look like the bottom sample. Why the heck is that happening?
In the example below, I set the opacity to 50% and the flow to 100% and the mode to “Normal.” I then made 8 different brush strokes, which means I touched my stylus to the tablet 8 different times lifting it off the tablet in between (if I was using a mouse, I could have clicked my mouse button 8 separate times)