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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.
In this chapter, we are going to take a look at effects. Painter has a whole menu of different kinds of filters and interesting things that it can apply to an image and many of them you would recognize from other applications. No surprises there. But Painter does have some interesting different filters that in some cases haven't seen the light of day for a while, they have kind of been buried back in their closet, but they have actually been in the application for some time and I'm going to go through and I'll show you a newer feature, as well as some of the ones that have been buried in the closet.
We'll dust them off and take a look at them. So, let's look at effects. In this video we are going to take a look at Apply Surface Texture and as the name of this effect implies, this allows you to imbue an image with a sense of surface that's almost three dimensional, as if you could almost reach out and touch it. Now so far, we worked on this earlier from a photograph but I want to even go further into making this appear painted and I have taken the original image, which was layered and flattened down, and we are going to go to the Effects menu and under Surface Control we have Apply Surface Texture.
So, we'll click on that and this brings up this dialog. And there are several things I can do in here, all of these sliders are dedicated to achieving various types of visual control over your three dimensional appearance that surface texture is going to apply. Then normally, we use paper but I'm also going to show you this Image Luminance feature that's in the Using pop-up. This just determines where is the source of the three dimensional information being generated from. And in this case, we are just saying the actual image.
So, we are now looking at the image and I think you can see and I'll just really overdo it so that you can see it. It applies the appearance of a three dimensional height to everything within the image and I have got it right now so that it's way over done. But the idea is to really pull this down to a very minimal level. Now compared to where we were, this looks good. So, I'm going to say OK and that one is actually pretty good but even now, I can still see it kind of showing up a little more than I want in the image, in fact, I'm going to go to 100% here so we get the actual pixels to look at.
And there's just something about it. It's a little bit too strong. The think you basically want to do is keep these kind of at the threshold of consciousness. You don't want the viewer to be actually distracted by this stuff. It should be just noticeable enough so that it adds to the image but it also should be subtle enough that it doesn't distract or call attention to itself. And even after I have applied it, I have the option of going up to my Edit menu and I can take advantage of the Fade command Now, the Fade command just undoes what you did by a certain amount.
If I say Undo 0% that's exactly how it looks now on the canvas. If I take it to Undo 100%, well it will have us back to our original image before that was applied and I want somewhere in between there and you have heard me mention the old 50% rule. Well, this is actually a case in point where for this particular filter, I would say about 50% is right and so I'm going to go ahead and say OK. So we have applied a little bit of three dimensionality to this, but I want to apply now a texture to it.
And I'm going to open up the Paper palette here. So we'll launch our Paper palette and I'm going to now open up Apply Surface Texture again. Now, we are going to tell it we want to use the Paper as our source and the nice thing about this is while this is opened, I can actually adjust this so that you could see how, as I'm changing the scale in the Papers palette, I'm also seeing the scale change here. Now, one of the reasons that's important is, you may want it to stop to think about what size of a painting is this and I'm kind of envision it as a very small 12 x 8 inches or so.
So, it's not a really large painting and because of that, you wouldn't want to keep too small of a paper grain, especially this cotton canvas because if it's too small it's going to look as if it's a larger painting because canvas weaves are fairly in this ballpark in terms of count per inch or whatever, so that by playing around with this a bit, I can get what's going to look like the right scale for the image and here's a case in point again. Right now this looks pretty good, but while it is kind of turned up, lets just look a little bit of what I can do here.
For one thing, I can play with the Shine. If I wanted it to be a very matte canvas, I can turn that down and what it does is it get rids of the little highlights that make up the little point of light that is hitting the high peaks of the paper grain. So if I turn it up, you will start to see how it casts a light on that highlight edge. Now, let's just go ahead and say OK. And you can see by far that is way too strong and I can tell you that when you look at that little preview, it's isolated and you are seeing it kind of surgically removed from the context of the overall image.
And so it's not unusual at all to do this and then once you have applied it, realize oh! that was way too much. So, I'm going to Undo and I'm going to go back and I'm going to turn Shine just all the way down and I think any amount of that is going to end up being objectionable. And I also am going to apply my 50% rule, while this looks good in here, I'm going to take this down to about half, so it will be about 17%, 18% and I'm going to apply that and now that's much closer but even now, that's just enough causing a pattern on the image that you tend to see it.
So, I'm going to once again go to my Fade command here and at least 50% is probably good, lets try that. Now, there, there I can see it. It's in the image but it's not in the image to the point that it calls attention to itself. So, these tools take a bit of understanding how to sort of throttle yourself back because it's so easy to get enamored by the tool, when in fact you got to ask yourself the question what's the star of the show here? Is it the flowers that have been painted or is the physical characteristics of the canvas? Well, the answer should be obvious. It's the flowers.
So, anything added beyond that has to play a very supporting role. So Apply Surface Texture is a great way to add a bit of physical texture to your finished images, just be sure to use a subtle hand when you apply these tools.
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