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The Difference Between Flow and Opacity in Photoshop

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Today’s episode is all about the Difference between Flow and Opacity in Photoshop. Both Flow and Opacity are settings used for the Brush Tool.

Flow Vs. Opacity

The Brush Tool is one of the most commonly used Tool in Photoshop. Knowing the Difference between Flow and Opacity while using the Brush Tool will make your life so much easier when editing.  There are moments when using Flow is the perfect choice, and there are moments when it might not the best option.  Today we will discuss both settings, as well as show you a few different examples.

Flow vs Opacity, round 1!

So let’s break this down.

  • FLOW: Flow allows you to build up ink over and over again.  A lot like ink on a piece of paper.  The more times you go over something with Flow as your setting while using your Brush Tool in Photoshop, the more ink you are building us.  Imagine the effect a marker has on a piece of paper.  Every Stroke lays down more in.
  • OPACITY:  Opacity is more of a computer generated way of painting.  If you painted a canvas with 50% Opacity, you couldn’t lay more ink down on your canvas until you picked up your brush and applied it again.  This method can be super useful in some cases, in others it might be extremely limiting.

So both Flow and Opacity can be great settings for the Brush Tool.  The key is to know when to use which setting and why.

And the Winner is…

It’s a tie!  Both settings are extremely helpful when using the Brush Tool.  Now get out there and master them both!


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