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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Stuff That Works - MagicSquire

I have recently been learning more about 'digital art' techniques like compositing, blending etc....in fact you just might be seeing some of that here in the coming months. Perhaps. We'll see. But one of the things that digital artists use quite a bit are Photoshop brushes. And those brushes need some sort of organization. When doing 'straight' photography, I pretty much needed just a soft round brush and a hard round brush. There was rarely a need for more. But dabbling in digital artistry I can see a need for watercolor brushes, grunge brushes, bird brushes, cloud brushes, splatter brushes etc. The native Photoshop panels are somewhat non-intuitive and generally clumsy to use. So I began looking around for an organizational solution and I found it in a piece of software that is a Photoshop extension called MagicSquire by Anastisy.

MagicSquire installs a panel that lets you name and organize your brushes in an intuitive and visual way. The brushes can easily be dragged to different groups for rearrangement and the groups can also be renamed, deleted etc. Just about anything you, or at least I, might want in a basic and intuitive brush organizer is possible. The only hitch I had was that it wouldn't install using the Adobe Extension Manager. However, there was an indication in the introductory email that this might well be the case and one is given a link to download Anastisy's version of an Extension Manager. The installer worked like a charm, with the panel installing on the first attempt.

MagicSquire also puts all its data in a folder in you documents folder. What does that mean? It means that if you have to uninstall Photoshop for any reason you don't have to start from scratch remaking your brush groupings. The data is all there to be imported right off the bat. Your work is saved. Likewise if you get a new computer.

MagicSquire isn't free, but really good things often aren't. However at 19 bucks I think it is money well spent.

Want to see the software in action....here ya go. Let me add that I have no association with Anastisy whatsoever, I just like it when something solves a problem and solves it well. I do know there are several other pieces of software 'out there' that have similar functions. I haven't tested or compared them, but I am quite pleased with MagicSquire! Oh, and updates to the software are free and that's always a plus.

And some newer features:

by Howard G

© Howard Grill