So you have been using Photoshop for some time now, and you probably noticed there are two Opacity & Flow sliders in the brush options for a while now. You probably tried both, and noticed how they both adjust the transparency of your strokes, despite them having different names. So what’s the real difference between the Opacity vs Flow settings?
If you want to learn more about Photosohp, check out my book, Learn Photoshop CC with pictures, which is an easy way to learn Photoshop. Use the code MiniTutorial to get 20% off the PDF version full price. The book is also available for Kindle.
Quickly go to:-
Let’s make a little experience, this experience will help us distinguish between flow & opacity.
- Select the brush tool from the tools panel.
- In the brush tool settings, make sure that both the Flow & Opacity settings are both set to 100%.
- Change the flow setting to 25%, the exact number here doesn’t matter, you will get good results even if you used a different number.
- Click & drag with your mouse from the left to right to draw a horizontal line on your canvas, don’t lift the mouse button yet.
- Now while you are still holding the mouse button, drag the cursor from the right to left.
- Do you see how the line you drew earlier became darker?
Now, let’s do the same thing again, but with opacity this time. Set the flow back to 100%.
- Change the opacity setting to 25%, you can change it to another number if you feel like experiencing.
- Now, draw another line from the left to the right.
- Again, without lifting the mouse button, drag the mouse over the area you drew earlier.
- Notice how the stroke didn’t change at all, compared to when we adjusted the flow setting. This pretty much explains the difference between Opacity VS Flow.
Now you may start using both the opacity & flow in your designs, you may want to know a way to quickly change both while you are working. The following shortcuts can help you achieve that quickly.
- You can change the opacity by pressing the keys from 1-9, pressing 1 sets the opacity to 10%, 7 for %70, 9 for %10, and so on. Pressing 0 set the opacity to %100.
- The same way can be done to set the flow, pressing shit+1 sets the flow to 10%, shift+7 for %70, shift+9 for %10, and so on. Pressing shift+0 sets flow to 100%.
Opacity & Flow settings are these settings you could easily know the difference between them under the right situation, something that may not be obvious to some people. Knowing the difference between the two can help you with your graphics design if done correctly. I hope you find this article useful.
If you want to learn more about Photoshop, check out my book, Learn Photoshop CC with pictures, which is an easy way to learn Photoshop. Use the code MiniTutorial to get 20% off the PDF version full price. The book is also available for Kindle.