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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.
Well, as we have taken our grand tour of the interface elements in Painter, we've kind of made our way over here from the left, looking at the Tool palette, and the Property bar. We have also taken a look at the Brush Selector bar, but we've got this big area over here on the right. And what's going on over here? Well, these are various palettes that we'll talk in depth about in some of the later chapters, for example, this basically has to do with color and we'll explain that. We've got layers and channels. Those are also going to be covered in later chapters but where I want to go over specifically now is just the behavior of these palettes, because there are some interesting things going on here that makes it very configurable.
So that you don't have to stick with the so-called factory setting. You can make some adjustments to these palettes and I want to go through exactly how that works. Now, you'll notice that at the top of the Colors palette for example and it's identified by its name, you have got this little gray bar. In fact, each one of these is a palette bar and I can use the little disclosure triangle to the left of each palette title, to open and close these various parts of, in this case Color tools, within Painter.
So, right away you've got the ability to decide which one of these is open and which one of them is closed. And whatever actions you do to this, Painter remembers it so that the next time you open Painter up, it will be exactly as you left it. And some of these controls like this, I think it's almost like a pair of jeans. When you first buy them they are kind of stiff and blue. As you wash them and wear them they slowly sort of mold to your particular frame and so the palettes are much like that. As you adjust them and you sort of grow into them, they kind of take on the shape that fits your workflow.
So, that's the first thing. We can collapse these all down and minimize it if we want to, or we can open up to get to various areas of the interface as needed. The next thing I want to show you here is that and let's open one of these up to show you this. I can actually rearrange these. For example, if I think the Mixer is really something I want to use all the time. If I click-and-drag this, I can bring this up and place it up there. So now, I could set this up so that if I'm a person who uses the Mixer all the time, I could have that be my primary form of color selection rather than the Color palette itself.
So you can organize these according to the way that you want to prioritize what's important and what's not. You also have the ability to decide what you want to open or close. You'll see each one of the palettes has a little box, with an x in it. If for example, if I just never used Color Expression, I can just click and close this and now it's not even there to work with. But fear not, you can always go back to the Window palette and in this case, if I go to the Color palettes, I can see right here this Color Expression is unchecked, if I click on that it now shows up.
So you never lose a palette by turning it off. You just disable its visibility. It's always retrievable back through the Windows menu to determine, if you want to turn it on or off. So, you have complete control over what palettes show up in Painter. Here is another interesting feature. Let's take for example layers. I can take a palette and if I click-and -drag it, I actually can detach it, so here it was in this palette container, I've actually detached it, so now, I have got it as a separate palette and one of the things that's nice about that is the way it comes from the factory which would set up like this.
I find a little cumbersome because, like obviously, well now that's lost I've got to close this to find that there is Channels. It's actually-- I find it works a little better when it's not so broken up. So what I do is I take Layers and I put it right in the bottom of this palette. And I do the same thing with Channels. Now they didn't quite pop into the right spot, so I'm just going to click-and-drag that and I'm organizing this now. So, now all my palettes are in one palette stack. I have no longer got two palettes. I just find putting this in a single what I call layer stack is a much more elegant way to work.
Because as you open and close it, it's kind of like an accordion. It will collapse and open. So that whatever you are opening up, it will accordion open or close the other particular palette, so that this becomes the palette that's now your focus. And in fact, talking about the notion of an elevator, if I close these, like this, I could go in and this is like an elevator instead of buttons. Now, say I want to go to the Colors floor, let's open another title up here.
By clicking on the title itself it will close that or open it. So you can see here by clicking on each on one of these, it will close in the other palettes and focus on just that palette. So, you can almost use this like an elevator. I want to go to the color variability floor or I want to go to the Mixer floor or I want to go to the Colors floor. So you can keep this basically collapsed and only deal with one palette open at a time. But to be honest, you are going to find times where you want the Colors palette and the Layers palette open and that's why it's nice to be able to determine when you want to open and close multiple palettes.
Now here is another little power secret that a lot people don't know. If you hold down the Shift key and click on one of these disclosure arrows. It will open all of the palettes. Now obviously, it's larger than can fit on the screen, but you can instantly open all of the palettes with that little trick and conversely, if I hold Shift key and click it again, it collapses them all down. So, through this mechanism of being able to move palettes around, turn palettes On and Off, determines which ones are open and close, you can really organize the palettes to exactly suit your working style and what you want open at any given time.
So, the palette behavior is just a nice way to customize the interface to your particular workflow. So definitely take advantage of this ability and don't just think of the factory setting is the way you have to work. As you get acclimated to Painter, you are going to find that certain palettes are open more often and other ones you never use. So edit your palette stack and organize it to suit your needs.
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