How to Work with Stroke Smoothing in Adobe Photoshop

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In Brief...

Photoshop CC 2018 has added a new smoothing feature for use with the Brush, Pencil, Mixer Brush and Eraser tools that allows more control over the jagged effect when painting or drawing.

This feature is new to Photoshop CC 2018

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  1. The example here shows a brush stroke created using a mouse with no smoothing. You can see it's a little rough.
    Brush Stroke
  2. If you look at the Options Bar, you'll see there's now a Smoothing control.
    Options Bar
  3. Smoothing needs to set before the stroke is created. Here's a stroke that's been painted with Smoothing set to 100%.
  4. When smoothing is increased, the stroke becomes tethered to the cursor, showing where you're dragging while the stroke catches up with the cursor. There is also a Brush Leash feature that displays a thin magenta line between the lagging stroke and the cursor. This feature can be turned on or off by going to Edit > Preferences > Cursors.
    Cursor Preferences

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Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.