Skip to main content

This guide covers the basics of using the brush tool in Magma and it's various settings.

Written by Ryan Allan
Updated over a week ago

The brush is one of your primary painting tools. The default keyboard shortcut for this tool is B. View the video below for more about the tool settings or scroll on for the written guide.

NOTE: The advanced brush settings window is in beta are we are gradually improving our brush engine. We welcome feedback from you on the experience. Please consider completing our survey (link incoming)

There is a range of different characteristics for your brushes which can be adjusted in the settings panel under your color wheel. To see the full range of settings, click the gear icon and set the mode to Full.

Standard Brush Settings

The different settings and characteristics included in the standard setting panel are:

  • Size
    Adjust the size of the brush, toggle pressure sensitivity and the size ratio;

  • Flow
    Adjust the opacity per stamp of the brush tip and toggle pressure sensitivity;

  • Opacity
    Make your brush stroke more transparent or more opaque;

  • Stabilizer
    Helps make smoother lines;

  • Shape

    Change the shape of your brush tip by selecting from our preset range;

  • Hardness (for round brushes)
    Adjust the hardness of the edges of your round brush;

Advanced Brush Settings

When your settings panel is in Full mode, the Advanced Brush Settings button becomes available and you can customize your brush even further.

The live preview in your brush settings panel will give you a clearer idea of your brush's behaviour as you adjust the settings.

The different setting you'll find in the Advanced window are

  • Brush Tip Shape
    Adjust settings like the size, angle, roundness and spacing of the brush shape;

  • Shape Dynamics
    Add jitter to the size, angle, and round, and adjust the controls for these characteristics;

  • Scattering
    Add scatter to your brush stroke by spreading and repeating brush tip stamps along an axis;

  • Texture (future setting)
    Add texture to your brush tip and strokes, as well as control the strength of the texture;

  • Dual Brush (future setting)
    Combine brush time shapes for added texture;

  • Color Dynamics
    Adjust jitter settings for the hue, saturation, and brightness of your brush strokes;

  • Transfer
    Control the opacity and flow of your brush;

  • Brush Pose (future setting)
    Override your stylus input settings;

  • Noise (future setting)
    Add noise to your brush tip to minimize banding with soft edge brushes;

  • Wet edges (future setting)
    Add bolder edges to your brush stroke to emulate wet media

  • Build-up (future setting)
    Cause your brush to build up paint similar to an airbrush;

  • Smoothing (future setting)
    Assistive feature for creating smoother lines;

  • Protect Texture (future setting)

Save as New Brush

Once you've customized your brush, you can also save it to use later. Either use the button in the Advanced Settings window or use the button under My Brushes in the brush list.

Our Spark/Free users are limited to three saved brushes. Our paying users will have unlimited brush saves.

Additional notes about brush settings


You will notice jitter options for various brush settings. This will add variety and randomness to that particular setting.

For example, when you add size jitter, each stamp of the brush will vary in size. The higher the jitter setting, the higher the degree of variation.

The same applies for colour jitter. If you have a high value for hue jitter, then the hue can vary dramatically for each stamp of the brush, but a low value will create more subtle variations.

Flow versus opacity

Flow (previously Density) is the opacity setting per stamp of the brush along a single brush stroke. Paint will layer over itself without needing to lift the pen.

The opacity of the brush on the other hand is the opacity for the entire brush stroke. More paint is added only after lifting your pen and applying again.

Adding pressure sensitivity

Currently, flow and size each have a pressure toggle in the main settings panel. You will know that pressure control is active for these when there is a brush icon inside the box.

Various settings in the Brush Advanced Settings window can also be controlled by pressure. Looks for the Control setting in each section and then select pressure from the dropdown.

Size ratio

Between the pressure toggle box and the size slider is a checkbox for the size ratio of the brush. You can cycle between ratios for the slide of 10px, 100px, and 500px.

Below the size bar are two smaller bars. On the left is the minimum size percentage for your brush. At 0%, the minimum brush size will be 1px.

The default shortcut keys for decreasing and increasing your brush size are [ and ] respectively. You can increase your brush size up to 1000px using the shortcut.

Your feedback

While we are working on improvements to our brush engine, we'd love to get feedback from you. Please let us know about your experience of the new Advanced Brush Settings by filling out this survey: (Link incoming)

Did this answer your question?