Complete Guide to Making Fractal Brushes

Making your own brushes can sometimes be hard. So in this tutorial I will show you how to make your own brush. With the knowledge you’re about to learn you will be able to make your own custom brushes to use. The final result should look similar to this:

Final Fractal Brush Result


To start making our brushes, what we need to do first is make a fractal. I know there are other programs out there that will allow you to make fractals but my favorite is Apophysis. What you want to do is make a fractal that you think would make for a good brush. You want it to be big and unique. This is the fractal I will be using:

Usually I like to have more going on in a brush. Right now I don’t thinkthat this fractal would make a good brush. So I’m going to add more to it. To add more to it, I’m going to take a second fractal and add it to my current one. This is the fractal I will be adding.

To add these fractals together we first want to drag our second fractal over to the first one. Then select your top layer (which should be your second fractal) and set the blending mode to Linear Dodge. After doing this you should have a fractal kind of like this:

**Take note that your fractal will look different than mine because you are using different fractals .
Now that we have a fractal that is well suited to become a brush we start the preparation. To start we want to add some black to the edges. This will get rid of extra/unwanted parts of the fractal. So what you want to do is make a new layer and fill it with black. Then erase the middle and other parts of your fractal until you have an outcome kind of like this:

Now you may want to add a Brightness/Contrast layer. This will help get rid of any extra grain or lines that are unwanted. I used a very subtle Brightness/Contrast layer, because I didn’t want it to get too bright or too contrasted. I’m not going to tell you the exact numbers I used for mine, because I want you to experiment. So just experiment with it until you find a nice amount.

Now that we have added our Brightness/Contrast, we are ready to start making it a brush. So first I want you to desaturate it.

After desaturating our fractal we want to invert it. So invert your fractal.

Now that we have inverted we are going to go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.

You can see there is a significant change compared to the last screen shot. I’m not going to tell you the settings I used for two reasons:
1. Every fractal is different and will require different settings.
2. I want you to experiment so your learning and not just copying down numbers.

Now that we added the Brightness/Contrast we are almost done with making our brush!

All we have to do now is hit Ctrl – A and go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Name the brush what ever you want, and try it out!

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