This is one of those effects that when people first see you making it they’ll wonder how you can create something that looks so cool with such ease. You’ll learn so many different facets of working with the Mixer Brush and paths in Photoshop in this tutorial. We will cover how to create custom samples from gradients and turn them into handwritten 3D typography effect. Learn to use and control the Mixer Brush, use Paths to create precise shapes with ease, use the Freeform Pen Tool, work with multiple gradients, simulate pressure when stroking a path, and learn more about working with this false 3D effect than you may have ever thought possible!
Creating a Sampler Gradient Swatch
We’ll be using the Mixer Brush to create this effect, but in order to get the 3D effect we want, we’ll need to sample a full-fledged gradient. We can do this by creating a new layer and naming it “sampler” and then use the Elliptical Marquee tool and hold down your Shift key to drag out a perfect circle. Grab the Gradient tool and select the gradient stripe at the top of the screen and edit the gradient so you have a very rich, saturated gradient running to a lighter and much less saturated gradient. Drag a linear gradient out across your selection so you have the lighter pink in the top left corner and the darker pink in the bottom right part of the ellipse.
Using the Mixer Brush + Sampling the Right Way
Grab the Mixer Brush (click and hold on the Brush tool icon to find the Mixer Brush) and look to the top control bar and set the tool to Dry, Heavy Load and tick on “Sample All Layers”. To get the perfect sample, you’ll want to shut off any background layers before sampling and right-click to make the brush tip large enough that it is a little bigger than the gradient circle we just created and then hold down Alt/Opt key and click on the gradient circle to load the brush with that gradient shape. Create a new layer and name it “brush” and try painting with this brush to see the cool effect that happens.
Stroking a Path for Awesome Effects
Now that the Mixer Brush is loaded with a colorful gradient we can go ahead and create a new path using the Pen tool and then open the Paths Panel (Window>Paths) and right-click on that path we created and choose “Stroke Path” and choose to stroke the path using the Mixer Brush from the drop down menu. You’ll see the effect as it is applied perfectly along your path. TIP: Before applying the stroke grab the Mixer Brush and change the size of the tip to radically change the way your stroked path will look when the Mixer Brush hits it.