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In Painter 11 Essential Training, John Derry, one of the original Painter authors, demonstrates basic and advanced creative techniques that can get beginners up and running. He also shows old hands the new features that can get a creative vision out of the head and onto the canvas. John demonstrates how to establish an easy workflow in Painter by using a Wacom tablet, and he explains how to create, edit, and publish projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the Painter/Photoshop Consistent Color Management PDF and the Brush Troubleshooting Checklist PDF from the Exercise Files tab.
So we've learned how to store brushes in a custom palette, but the one gotcha about it is the fact that if various variants from the same category are being placed in here, they will use the same category icon. And as a result I either have to memorize in my head what these are in their order, or I've got to always do what I'm doing here, which is hover my cursor over each one of these icons to remember what it is, and it's a bad practice that forces the user to have the mapping his head.
It would rather have the map out in the world, and then in this case, the map is the interface, and actually there is a way around this issue with yet another palette in Painter. Now, I'm going to open up the Tracker, and right now I have got to clear of anything, but I want to show you how it works. So right now, I've got this Dry Bristle brush selected. I'm going to draw with it and you'll see it's just stored it in there. What this is creating is a brush history. If I go to another brush here like the Bristle Brush and paint with it, you can see it's added on there.
And if I would go to even another category, like the distortion category, and play with the Bulge brush here. It's going to add it and it's going to keep doing that as it goes, so that it will build various brushes. The one thing that can be a little aggravating about this however is if I, for example, adjust the bulge brushes strength and use it, it's going to create another iteration. If I go in here and adjust it another way, it's going to once again add to it, because what the history of brushes does is it records every change you've made to a brush.
That can be useful, but you can also get into a similar situation that we found ourselves with in the Artist Oils. So the deficiency here is that to the same thing it's represented. However there is another facility associated with the tracker that we can use to make it more like the custom palette, but we're going to be have it textually represented and that's far easier to remember different brushes from the same category than the custom palette's ability to do that is. So I'm going to go in and I'm going to clear all of these and we are going to start over.
And let's just build some brushes based around the Artists Oil category. So let's see I like the Dry Bristle, so here is the dry bristle it's just created it. What I want to do at this point is lock this variant and there is a facility to do that. You can do it one of two ways. You can either selected from the menu bar or you can select down here. However nothing is going to happen when there is only one. It has to have multiple copies. So if you sit here with one brush in the tracker, and you are tearing your hair out because this doesn't work, it's because you've only got one. You can't start locking in until they are multiple variants in here.
So let's select a second variant like a Grainy Blender. It will not show up in here just by selecting, you've to at least to make a single stroke, and then records it. Now I've got both of these and let's say these are both brushes that I like. I'm going to go ahead and say Lock Variant, and again nothing happens unless you select it. So I've selected that variant. I say Lock Variant. And you'll see it now puts the little lock on it. The other way I can do this down here. So I can lock these variants, and let's just do two or three more here.
I did this the other day My Bristle, so I'll just draw with My Bristle and I'll save that one. It has a locked variant and I might want brushes from other categories, like the Oils category. Sometimes I like to work with this Smeary Round. And so draw a stroke to get it to up here, and then I'll hit Lock Variant, and once again there you'll have to highlight it. That's what I didn't do earlier. So as long as you highlight it and lock it, it's in there. Now let's say I start selecting other brushes and I use them but I'm not going to save them.
So I'll do that one. Maybe I'll make an adjustment to it. I might change the size. So you can see all of these cookie crumb trails still happening down here, but your locked variants stay, and so what this becomes is a way to keep locked variants around. And this way, I have over here my Grainy Blender, but I have to look there to get it here. All I have to do is click on the word Grainy Blender and I know I've got it. I don't have to stop and hover or whatever.
What's the other one here? This is the Oil Palette Knife and I didn't put in here, but I easily could and then I have a textual name to get to it. So I find this to be a pretty nice way to save this. The other nice thing about this is because it uses the same width as the basic palette stack, I can take this and a lot of times I just put right up here at the top, and I can close it when I don't use it. So that way I have got brushes available, but if I'm not using them I don't want to use that interface space, but if I turn them on they are right there, and the reason I like them up here is the right by where you normally select the brush, anyway.
So just again kind of muscle memory to have these right up here in this area that you constantly go up to to select your brush makes a very natural place to go get them. So the Tracker palette is a really great tool for being able to keep brushes persistent on the top of your interface, but by a textual name, rather than by icon. But each one of this serves a good function and a combination of both of them is actually very usable to create as much of a customized interface for brushes and commands that you'd like to put together.
So take advantage of these. So that you have a very favorite set of tools always available and you are not doing that unnecessary navigation time, looking for them up in the Brush Selector bar.
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