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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.
We now have our under painted image which has simplified the image a bit. We have applied a little bit of contrast and saturation. I even changed the colors in it a little bit. But now we have got the source that we want to apply Auto Panting to. And in order to do that, the first step is going to be to make a Quick Clone. So, I'm going to click on this. This will open up a new document, same resolution, just I have got my preferences set so that it does not include the image and we are going to do this so that it's total Autopilot, all we have to do is basically watch but we have to engage the Autopilot.
So, I'm first going to click on Smart Stroke Painting and I also want to make sure that Smart Settings are on. So, you want to be sure that both of these are on. Now, the only thing left is to click the Start button. Before I do however, I want to look up here in the Brush Selector Bar and just make sure that the brush I want to use, which is the Smart Stroke Brushes Acrylics Captured Bristle. If you happen to be somewhere else in another category, you want to make sure that you can go and get to the Smart Stroke Brushes and because it's the first one in the list, it will automatically pop-up, but you then want to make sure you have got the Acrylic Captured Bristle.
So, let's go ahead and select Play and now, this is going to start to playback and I'm just going to describe a little bit of what you are seeing here. What it's doing is it's starting out with very large strokes. That's why to a matter of speaking, this doesn't look like anything at this point. And this is the way traditional painting often goes. You start with kind of large blocked in areas and then you go in and you start to refine those areas with smaller and smaller brush strokes. That's what Auto Painting does and in fact, we can already see it's dropped down to a smaller brush size and it will continue to resolve the image through smaller and smaller brush strokes as it goes on to complete itself.
But just be aware when you first start one of these, if you think something is wrong because you don't recognize the image, that's because it's starting out with these very large strokes and then resolve to the final image. Now, this process does take a long time and I encourage you to watch through it because it is useful for a couple of things. One, you will find out in general for a certain size resolution image on your processor about how long it takes and when you start getting into larger images it can take a while and so you may want to get up, go have a cup of coffee or whatever.
But it's also useful just to watch how this applies itself. It's looking at areas of detail and kind of suppressing the non-detail area, so that as time goes on, it tends to spend more of its energy resolving the detailed parts of the image and not spending so much time in the unimportant areas. But because this takes a while, I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to stop this now, and this is another point to make. You can stop this at any time you want, you may say I like it at this point, so go ahead and stop it.
There's nothing to say like law that you have to complete this all the way to the end. Sometimes you will get a nice impressionistic result, something like you see here without going all the way to the end. So, without going into all of the vagaries of Auto Painting, just I'll throw out a couple of things here. You could select another brush and apply it if you wanted to. You may want to disable Smart Stroke Painting which we'll get into a little bit in the next section here. But I want to talk about the fact that you don't have to finish the image.
Whatever looks visually right for you is what is visually right. So, there is specific place you necessarily need to stop. Now I'm going to go ahead and open up a completed version of the image while I let it play all the way out. So, I'm going to open up auto finish painting here and here it is. And let's just take a look at the difference and I'll go ahead and use my tab key to get rid of the UI right now. You could see how much more detail comparatively speaking there is in this image versus this image. You could see there was a lot of detail going on in the trees back here.
At this point, it's not fully baked. There are still several iterations of smaller brush stroke that have to go on. The same is true in this area. In fact, we can look at these. You can see here's the original under painting that we started with. Here it is about mid way through the process and finally in the center here, we have the completed auto painting. So, you can see how in the process it uses all this detail but it breaks it down and then slowly starts to bring it back and which at this point, this an intermediate step and then finally we get to the finished one and you can see where now these are Brush Strokes and yet it starts to approximate much of the energy that we find in the photograph.
So, the idea here is that Auto Painting completely takes all of the handwork and does it for you. Now, I'll also be honest and tell you, I normally would not stop here. This is great first step but hopefully what you are going to start doing is after you have kind of been enchanted with a few of these Auto Painted versions, there's nothing to stop you from taking brushes and going in here and continuing to do more work. At this point, it's somewhat of a filter effect. It's a very sophisticated but it's going to apply the same rule set every time to every image that it's applied to.
So, you are going to start getting a very similar look. Obviously the content makes a big difference but it's important to realize that there's life beyond Auto Painting and hopefully it's a springboard for you to continue on. So that in a nutshell is Auto Painting and try it out, you will have a good time there.
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