Can you expand on what workflow no longer works for you?
With the brush tool selected, I had two panels to draw on, the Brushes panel, which had maybe 3 dozen sizes displayed in small thumbnail for hard-edged brushes, and 3 dozen airbrush sizes. Those were the only brushes I worked with. Then, on the tool presets panel, I had maybe a dozen levels of opacity and/or "Fill", although I could never figure out the difference. And at this point I can't remember whether I had separate tool presets for eraser, brush and clone stamp opacity, but either way, I could pick the tool, then use the brushes panel to select size and hardness, then select opacity level on the other (tool presets) panel. Not exciting, but it got the job done.
Now, with CC2018, I can live with the new display of brush presets, but how to setup the opacity presets as ready-made levels is not obvious. I don't care if I have to set up different series' of opacity levels for each tool, I just don't want to be forced to move a slider for the opacity of every brush, eraser or stamp I use, every time I use it. Great, I have total control over the size of every brush I pick up. Who needs it? I tend to work at a particular size, for publication, so I'd like to have predictably-sized brushes.
MShaw-Hello. I got far enough with the current tool and brush features to get the arrangement I want eventually. It wasn't easy, and was made more cumbersome by the distinction between Tool Presets and Brush Presets. It isn't very clear, and none of the tutorials I watched explicated it. Supposedly, the user can establish a tool preset that works for both brushes and other tools. But there are different ranges of variability between, say, brushes and the blur-sharpen-smudge tools. The only settings that work for more than one tool are size and edge-type (hard edge v. airbrush). Everything else-opacity, flow, smoothing, strength, range, exposure, tolerance, etc., is tool-specific. Even among tools with the same set of options, I had to create a set of options for each tool.
So, of necessity, I wind up with the same arrangement I had before: One panel showing the choices for size and edge, which works for all the brushes and tools, paired with a brush opacity series, and one panel for all the other variable editing tools: eraser, blur-sharpen-smudge, and clone stamp, each of which needs its own set of variables, aka current tool presets. There may be a way of doing this easier in CC 2018, but I've spent enough time on it and there's still work to do, and for the life of me I can't see what the "better way" might be from the tutorials. They are keeping the secrets.
In case it’s not clear, the view settings can be modified from the panel flyout menu or with the Brush Picker (option bar popup and context menu) via the gear icon. You can set whether you want the Tip (thumbnail) name and Stroke individually. The slider at the bottom of the panel changes the size of the selected items. Bry default we enable the Show additional Preset info option so that yo will have the Tool and color chip showing on the brush if there is Tool info included in the brush preset.
Yes, the Brushes panel now allows presets which include tool info, but you can still save and utilize brushes that are tool agnostic. It sounds like your particular workflow was to select a Tool Preset and then select a different Brush from the Brush Presets panel. This can still be done, and if you have presets without tool information the tool will not switch.
If you need to extract a tool agnostic brush from a Tool Preset, after selecting the tool create a new brush from either Brush panel and deselect Include Tool Settings.
If you are looking for the previous default Brushes, or the previous painting tool presets they can be loaded as Brush presets now from the panel flyout menu as well (Legacy Brushes and Converted Legacy Tool Presets)
MShaw, thanks. It sounds like I'm on the right track. There's more going on in the brush and tool panels than there was previously. The tips you just provided will help. Thanks again.
Additionally if it helps you can use the number keys to set Opacity, Flow, and Smoothing on a Brush instead of having individual Tool presets for setting them.
1 thru 0 set opacity in multiples of 10 (10 -> 100)
5 + 5 would set to 55%
Shift plus number sets flow.
(note this behavior is reversed if airbrush build up is enabled - shift + # sets opacity in that case
option/alt plus number sets smoothing value
Option + 0 + 0 sets value to zero on smoothing