We need to start by creating a path of a leaf. It's always easier to
start if you have an example to work off of, so I plucked a maple leaf
from a tree in my backyard and scanned it. You can download my leaf . Use the
Pen Tool to draw a path around the shape
of the leaf. You don't need to pick up
every detail of the left, just the
general shape. (For more details about
using the Pen Tool you might want to
reference the Paths Tutorial)
Fill the shape in with black by going to the Paths Palette,
right-clicking on the path to select "Make a Selection," and then
while your foreground color is black.
Make sure there is transparency showing
behind your leaf; you may have to hide
the background layer and others by
clicking the eye icons in the Layers
Palette. Now we are ready to create a
Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to make a selection around your leaf. Go to Edit>Define Brush and name your brush (whatever you want) in the dialog box that pops up.
the Brush Palette, there are a great
deal of settings you can now customize
to fit your own taste. Start by
decreasing the Master Diameter of the
brush until it looks reasonably sized in
the preview below. I chose 40 px. Then click on Brush Tip Size and increase the spacing. I settled with 90%. Next click on the words Shape Dynamics.
This is where the real fun begins. Set the Size Jitter to 100%.
Experiment with the other settings if you feel like it. Raise the
Minimum Diameter to around 24% to prevent any micro leaves from
appearing in the final result. I also changed the Angle Jitter to 13%
and set the Angle Jitter Control to Pen Pressure.
Next go to the Color Dynamics
menu. Set the Foreground/Background Jitter to 100% to produce the
largest variance in colors. You will want to move the Hue Jitter up
slightly. I set it to 14%. The Hue Jitter, like the other three
settings below make slight changes to the colors of the leaves. You
will probably want to go back and adjust them afterwards to see what
produces the best effect.
Lastly, you need to select a foreground and background color that
define the range of colors the leaves will cycle through. I chose a red
for the foreground and a yellow/orange color for the background. Make
sure the Opacity and Flow of your Paintbrush are set to 100% in the
options menu at the top of the screen so the leaves will display in
full color. Now put the Paintbrush Tool to the canvas and be amazed.
I must end
with a note of apology because just as I
reached this step, I noticed Photoshop 7
has a lovely leaf brush that comes with
the program. All of this was not in
vain, however, because the stock leaf
brush is that of an oak leaf, not a
maple like the one we just created. And
of course, you have to admit that our
brush was much more exciting to make and
truly natural. To the left is a version
using green colors