Photoshop has a lot of options and tools available for you to modify your photos with. Some of the most important tools include the Brush tools. Have you noticed two separate sliders for opacity and flow settings?

At first sight, the difference between the two can be not that much obvious. Opacity could be replaced with the word transparency. It is a measure of how much light passes through an object. In Photoshop, reducing the opacity of a brush will result in making a stroke more subtle, less visible. Flow is the amount of colour that you’ll apply per unit of length, or how much “ink” will come out of the brush at the same time. For example, having a 20% flow brush will deposit “ink” only ⅕ of the time. You can go over that same area, let’s say, 4 times without having to lift you brush to have the same effect has an 80% flow brush. Opacity strokes only add up if you go over the same area, but you lift the brush between each pass. Here’s a comparison of a brush with 40% opacity of the left and 40% flow on the right.

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 18.56.40.png

Hopefully, that made the two settings a bit more clear to you. One really isn’t a replacement for the other. They both have their own purpose and need to be used accordingly.


What other two settings do you find seemingly similar in Photoshop? Let us know in the comments below!