How to convert vector shapes into Photoshop brushes

So you’ve acquired an impressive collection of vectors and you want to be able to use them as Photoshop brushes, right ? Well, you can easily transform them into brushes in just a few seconds and I’m here to show you how to do it.


Open your .EPS file in Illustrator and turn all the vector shapes’ color into pure black (#000000). If you vector has more colors, use the Magic Wand (Y) to select each color and hit Delete, leaving only the outline.
(to set Tolerance to “0”, hit Enter after you select the Magic Wand Tool (Y))

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Open Photoshop,go to File > New… and create a new document of 2500 x 2500 px in RGB color mode, with the “Background setting set to “White”. (2500 px  is the maximum size for the brushes).[/cleeng_content]


Go back to Illustrator, grab the Selection Tool (V), select a vector shape and copy it (CTRL+C).


Go back to Photoshop and paste it in (CTRL+V). When prompted to select the paste type, check “Smart Object” and hit OK.


Now you’re in Free Transform mode. Resize it to fit the entire document, either on width or height, depends which one is larger. Hit Enter to exit Free Transform mode.


Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset…, name your brush and hit OK. Repeat for the other vector shapes.


To save your brushes, open the Brushes palette (F5) and click the small arrow in the top right corner of the window. Select “Preset Manager”. Here, you can delete any extra brushes, load others or rename the brushes.
Hit OK when you’re done cleaning them up.



In the same menu as STEP 7, select “Save brushes…”. Name your set, set its location and hit OK.


How it works:

When you define a brush preset, Photoshop only sees you image in grayscale and uses the gray tones to set the opacity of the brush. That’s why you need to set the vectors to pure black and the background color to white.


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17 Comments How to convert vector shapes into Photoshop brushes

  1. Tom Ross Jan 20, 2012 at 14:17

    Very well explained tutorial guys! I make custom brushes all the time but I’ve never created/released my own brush set, this is really helpful.

    1. Adriana Jan 25, 2012 at 12:59

      Hey Tom, we are glad you liked our tutorial, we try our best to make it comprehensive and intuitive – good luck with creating your own brushes ;)

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  5. Mahek Jan 30, 2012 at 12:48

    Hey… Whats New in this….???

    Do something new here…

    Dont Timepass with graphics

    Every person should know abt this

    1. Doink Jan 31, 2012 at 10:26

      Not everyone knows how to do it and this tutorial is out because we received emails asking how they can convert our vectors into Photoshop brushes.

      An artist will just open photoshop and start working his magic without using effects and for some, it takes a month to figure out how to set the layer blending mode to overlay (yes, there was a case such as this!)

    2. M Feb 20, 2012 at 22:57

      Every person should know about this? Have you ever thought about the fact that some people are beginners with Photoshop, or did you already knew this when you launched Photoshop for the very first time in your life?

      Do something new? Why don’t you show us something?

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  7. Marceline Budapest Jan 29, 2013 at 12:41

    It was really useful for me, thanks for this article, I hope you will post soon…

  8. Dubai website design Mar 9, 2013 at 09:17

    This is nice tut, but can you tell me how can I convert an object to shape? If any buddy knows please share.


    1. Doink Mar 18, 2013 at 17:56

      First, CTRL+Click the layer’s thumb to load a selection of the object’s contour.

      Grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and right-click inside the selection. Click “Make Work Path.

      Now Grab the Path Tool (P), right-click again and select “Define Custom Shape”.

      You’ll now find the new shape under the “Custom Shape Tool” menu for the Path Tool (P).

      If there’s anything left unclear, please reply to this comment. I’ll help :)

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  10. Jahid Babu Jun 14, 2019 at 01:08

    I am Photoshop editor I learned a lesson from this tutorial, thanks for sharing this useful information.

  11. Maryjones Nov 14, 2019 at 00:14

    This is Awesome post thank for share your post this is great post

  12. MAX Mar 30, 2020 at 11:02

    Great tutorial. Now I need an Illustartor for Catalina…


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