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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.
Fonts, lettering, text, whatever you want to call it, it's a primary communication medium. Painter's Text tool enables you to do dynamic adjustment of text. It's a great tool for customizing letterforms to your purposes. Let's take a look at it here. I am going to go over and select the Text tool, which interestingly is actually a form of text, the T, and by clicking on that now it puts me in the Text tool and you will see that's reflected in the Property Bar. I have a number of things I can control here.
But I would recommend when you are using the Text tool, you want to go over to the Window menu and go down and select Text. You could also use Command+6 or Ctrl+6 to bring that up. But this enables more than you have here, and it just makes sense to have it available while you are working on text. So I'm going to go over here, and one of the things you can do is, you can select the particular font you want to use. This one is jam-packed with a lot of different fonts. I'm going to go ahead and use the Century Schoolbook Bold to start with. I am just going to go ahead and click, and you will notice now, when I click right away, a text layer has been created in the Layers palette.
Now, a text layer is different than a regular layer, because unlike everything else, we have been looking at, the text layer is more or less vector-based. You're really dealing with outline information at the basic level, and because of that, it's its own unique layer type. You can't paint on a text layer. Only text can happen on a text layer. But towards the end of this, I'll show you how you can convert this to a normal text layer, so you can go on and use things like brushes and stuff on it, should you want to do that.
So let's go in and I'm just going to type-in Painter. So we've got our word. Now, right away one of the things I want to show you, because it's not immediately obvious is how do I move this around while I'm in the Text tool? Well, if you hold down the Ctrl or Command key, you will see that we get a little arrow. If I go up to right where this little crosshair is, this lets me pick this up and move it around. Where that crosshair is, is somewhat dependent on whether you've got Centered text or Right Justified or whatever. You can see now that I have switched it to Centered text.
It now appears in the middle. So don't expect it to always appear in the left-hand side of your text input. It just depends on what you've got your justification set to. Now that I have done that, I want to start to do a few things to the text. Well, I think it's kind of widely letter spaced here. So I'm going to go up and adjust the kerning that's right here and just kind of slide it in. Now, if you are used to Illustrator or Photoshop, or other text packages, this does have some basic text control tools. But it's by no means designed to be an exhaustive Text tool.
What my recommendation is this is best used for kind of a display style headline type text. You don't want to try to compose paragraphs or anything with it. It's not built for that, and you'd find yourself very frustrated, if you did try it. But what it is very good at is for just doing a very interesting word or like I said, more like a display style approach. I'm just going to tighten this up even more. I can also, from here, I can control the size. So I have got your controls here to work with.
Now, we could just keep the text at this point on a straight line, but I'm going to show you another little feature here that's kind of nice is you can play with curve styles. So I'm going to select the first one here, which will curve the letters, but it sometimes start off a little odd here. So I'm going to move this around, there we are and just what's you have been doing with this previously can influence how this is going to work. I am going to just stretch this out. So you may have to do a little kind of wrangling of this Bezier Curve to get it to not completely distort your text.
You can see once you have sort of unwrapped it, if it is a little strange at first, you can adjust this and use the Bezier handles to play with the actual way that the curve is adjusting. So I kind of like that. So let's give it a little bit of flag wave there. Once I've got that, there are other things I can do for example, I can give it a style here. You can do a style that gives it a drop- shadow, and then when you are down into this lower portion, this is where I can play with the shading of that. If you want to offset this, basically you just go in and just use the Layer Adjuster tool to play with your offset.
Another style is kind of the Inside Shadow. So it appears as if it's inset into the surface, and the same thing goes here. You can move this, and adjust to play with kind of the depth and the field that you want for that particular element. So once you've got this all done and setup the way you like it, you are most likely going to want to convert it to just a raster or pixel layer. You can save this in the RIFF format and it will come back up and all of the text properties will be kerned with it. I can go in here for example change to a different letter style.
So it's still dynamically linked to the outline information that is the font and as long as you keep it in text format, you have all those editing abilities. But at some point, you are going to want to convert this, and the way to do that is if you go over to the Layers palette, and make sure that you've selected the current text layer. Now, if you have a mouse with a right mouse button. If you right-click, you can call up this little dialog. If you don't, hold down the Command or the Ctrl key. That will bring it up as well, and just go down and say Commit.
Now, once it's committed, it's now de-texted it. It still has the individual layer that represents the color layer and the shadow information. So I still have those to play with if I want or I can merge these together in fact. Let's do that. I'll go in here, and I'll just say I want to collapse my layers. So that's in the Layers option palette. When I do that, now I have got one flat layer. While we are here, this is something that sometimes pops up. You will see these little indicators. This is just kind of a layer indicator to show me that that's my current layer.
If I had many layers selected, this would show me. A lot of times they kind of are visually distracting to me. So once again if you go to Layers palette Options menu here, and go down, you can select Hide Layer Indicators and now you won't see that anymore. But that's the basics of text. As I said, it's great for creating various kinds of display style text, but unlike Photoshop, it does not have the ability to make a text-box and flow text in or anything. So anything more than just a few words or a few lines is going to go beyond what Painter's Text tool is capable of.
Also, don't be fooled, because it has the same name as Photoshop's tool. This is not compatible with their text or type layer. If you try to save this as a Photoshop file, what it would do is it would convert this, and flatten it just like I did. So it ends up in Photoshop with a flat rasterized pixel layer, and the same going from Photoshop. Painter has no knowledge of what Photoshop's type layer is and so they may look similar, but they are really unique and you need to keep them in their own native file formats to preserve their editing capabilities.
So the Text tool provides a great deal of flexibility. Just don't forget about readability.
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