Create A Chain Link Brush For Awesome Effects

Are you chained to Photoshop? Now you can create a cool chain link brush to show off your addiction! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a custom chain link brush as well as how to give it color and volume with Blending Options. Let’s get started!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CC

Difficulty: Intermediate

Completion Time: 1 hour

Creating the Brush

Step 1

Create a New Document in Photoshop at 600x300pixels with 72dpi. Get ready to jump right into the chain brush because this part goes quickly!


chainlinkbrush_1a

chainlinkbrush_1b

Finish the chain by adding the horizontal links. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) with a Solid Fill of Black to create the left and right links.


chainlinkbrush_1c

Now let’s make our custom brush. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to make a selection around the chain link shape. Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset , name your brush and hit OK.


chainlinkbrush_2

We’re not done with the brush just yet! Hit F5 to open the Brush Panel. If we keep the brush as is it’ll look something like this. So we need to fix these points in the chain where the links break.


chainlinkbrush_3a

First change the Spacing to 236%. Then go to Shape Dynamics and change the Angle Control to Direction and the Roundness Control to Stylus Wheel.


chainlinkbrush_3b

chainlinkbrush_3c

Step 4

What would a good chain link brush be without some awesome metal texture? Create a few solid dark gray strokes on a New Document. Then fill the white background with a gradient.

Right-click the layer and go to Blending Options. Select Gradient Overlay and fill it with a dark to light blue Linear Gradient.


chainlinkbrush_4a

chainlinkbrush_4b

To fill the chain with a metal texture you’ll have to apply the texture to the brush strokes directly. Right-click the layer with the chain links and go to Blending Options. First add a metallic Stroke with the following settings.


chainlinkbrush_4c

To give the chain that real 3D feel, add options for Bevel & Emboss and Contour using the following settings below.


chainlinkbrush_6a

chainlinkbrush_6b

chainlinkbrush_6c

Now that your custom brush is done, time for some experimentation! As long as you have the Blending Options for this layer, you can change the chain link to any shape or design. In some case, the link may still break, so just use the Eraser Tool (E) to clean those areas up. You might also have to adjust the Outer Glow if it appears too bright.


chainlinkbrush_7afinal

chainlinkbrush_7bfinal

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