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How To Create Fractal and Spirograph Brushes with Photoshop

Hi guys! So last month we looked at how to create basic custom brushes in Photoshop but did you know? There’s a feature called Photoshop actions that allows you to repeat the step by step process of your designs by recording each step!  In today’s tutorial, let’s push your skills to another level and create some Spirograph and Fractal brushes. Let’s begin!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended

Difficulty: Advanced

Completion Time: 30 minutes

1. Spirograph Photoshop Brush

Step 1

Create a new 600×600 pixel document in Photoshop. Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create an outline of a circle with a stroke of 1.5 point. Adjust the shape so that it’s more oblong with Free Transform (Control-T).

Step 2

Go to Window > Actions to open your Actions panel. Create a new action and name it Spirograph. Once you hit enter it will automatically start recording your next steps.

Step 3

With your ellipse layer selected, hit Control-J to duplicate the layer. This will automatically create the first action. Then Control-T to Free Transform the duplicated layer and rotate it slightly. When you’re finished hit the Stop button on your Action panel.

Step 4

Now that you’ve finished creating your action, put it to use! Select the Spirograph action and keep hitting the play button until you’ve created a full circle.

Step 5

Select all the circle layers, and right-click to rasterize then merge them together. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), make a selection around your new design. Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset and name it Spirograph Brush.


And that’s it! Now you’ve created the first brush with Photoshop Actions!

2. Fractal Photoshop Brush

Step 1

Let’s move on to our second brush, a unique fractal design. Keep the same 600×600 pixel document in Photoshop. Before moving onto the next step, make sure the Brush Tool (B) is set to 5 pixels. This time, use the Pen Tool (P) to create a curve, using as many points as you would like. Now right-click to stroke the path, using the Brush Tool with pen pressure enabled.

Step 2

Time to record! With your Photoshop Actions panel open (Alt-F9) create a new action and name it Fractal.

Now select your curve layer and Control-J to duplicate it. Select the duplicated layer and drag it upwards slightly, then hit the Stop button the Actions panel.

Step 3

Just like before, press the play button for the Fractal action until you have an interesting fractal design you’re satisfied with. Rasterize and merge the layers together, then use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the design and go to Edit > Define Brush Preset to name your new fractal brush.

All done! Keep experimenting with different shapes and options within the Brush panel to come up with even better results. Creating custom brushes in Photoshop is just that easy! Follow these simple steps and have fun making your own!

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