The only setting for the Smudge tool in my Brush presets panel is Transferwith strength jitter set to Pen pressure. In fact I just turn that off to see what happened, and got a similar result to yours
BTW I love the Smudge tool as well. It's highly underrated IMHO
Been using it on every painting since early 2005. It's definitely been changed!
The settings are all in the same place. Transfer is where strength jitter is, but you can also set size jitter to pressure in Shape Dynamics. The behavior of the tool itself has been screwed with. I'm so familiar with the feel this tool that it's jarring.
The smudge tool code has not changed -- check all of your brush settings.
I upgraded to CC from CS5, which is uninstalled. Since then (3 months) I have 100% focused on a website. So maybe I didn't notice, but it is definitely different than CS2 - 5.
I'm familiar with the settings. With a hard round brush, 100% strength, and only size jitter set to pressure, it used to displace color completely, only varying in size. So you could do a large stroke, from slight pressure to no pressure, and it would pull out a thin strip of color. Setting it to 97% was perfect for hair.
Now, it barely displaces any color. Reminds me of liquify.
I would love to be wrong! I'm running OS X 10.8.5 with latest update of Photoshop CC, and a Cintiq 24hd touch with latest drivers. All other brush tools seem normal, and the Cintiq is working great in all apps.
So has it changed since CS5?
Check ALL the settings. It sounds like you have the brush tip spacing set differently.
No, the smudge tool code hasn't really changed since Photoshop 3.
Good! Then something is up.
I've attached an image. Might be hard to see, didn't realize this website would scale it down. I had to press harder with the smudge tool to pull out the color as far as the brush. The strokes that barely pulled out color were the same pressure as the brush. There is weird, stair-step displacement in the smudge.
Back when learning digital art, I noticed adjusting the spacing doesn't affect the smudge tool. That is still the case on my end. 1% spacing gives the same result as 1000%. Performance speed remains the same too, unlike a brush. (back then, I had tried to adjust spacing to boost performance)
Gone through all the settings, business as usual.
Just noticed that the default blend mode (in the options bar) is darken. It makes quite a difference when set to Normal.
I think it's set to normal by default, but you can accidentally (or intentionally!) scroll brush blend modes w/ shift + or -
Either way, if the code wasn't altered, this can be fixed and that is great news. Love smudge painting. I sold all my airbrushes when I found that tool!
I bet resetting preferences would fix this, but if I can avoid it that would be nice.
It's behavior has been changed since CS6! see: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1021785
At 100%, it does not work right, and needs to be fixed. It is user friendly to slide quickly to the right for 100%. So much so that I didn't even notice 99% works!
At 99% and below, it seems ok. However, I will have to test side by side with CS5.
In the attached img, 100% does't do much. The marks you can see were applied with heavy pressure. The fine lines at 99% were with very little pressure, and you can see how I use it for hair, etc.
Please report this bug. As a long time Photoshop user, this isn't a change for the better. That said, I love PS and am thrilled I get to paint tomorrow! Been staring at too much html & css...
Thank you SO much for pointing this out. I've been struggling with the smudge tool ever since "upgrading" to CC. I'm going to report it as a bug right now!
Chris, Have you tested this yourself, or has anyone at Adobe followed up on this obvious bug in the Smudge tool? It clearly works differently than in CS5. At 100% strength, the tool is broken in CS6 and CC.
Just tested CS6 & CC and at 100% the smudge does fall off fairly quickly for some brushes and doesn't at 99%. It also depends how severe the drop off is on the brush type.
Chris Cox has stated there have been no changes since CS3, but I have not heard him say if he conducted this simple test. Something has clearly changed.
Odd, I just tried this again with a 30 px hard brush in PS CS2, CS6, and CC, and all worked the same.
Do you have any updates on that issue? CC 2014 still has the same issue,
I've posted my find at the end of this thread: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1021785
Thanks a lot for looking into this!