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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.
Now that we have seen three tablets that Wacom offers, let's take a look at how you customize the tablets to your preference. So let's call-up the Control Panel here. We'll go kind of by age. We'll start with Intuos3, then I'll go to the Intuos4 and then finally we'll go to the Cintiq. The Intuos3 is probably the one that's in the most usage right now because it's been around for a while and I set my, what we call ExpressKeys, so that they do a variety of things. I can show and hide palettes with the button, set the image to the actual pixel size so I'm seeing it at 100%.
I can fit an image into the screen. I can also toggle the screen mode. These are all things that you can basically do from the keyboard but once you map them to the Wacom, it gets into this navigation time I talked about. Rather than moving around in the interface on the screen, it gets to moving around on the interface on the keyboard and by mapping some of these to the control surface of the Wacom, you just have a much more quicker way to work. I am left-handed so a lot of what you see here may kind of look backwards to you. But I have worked out a lot of these out because I normally have the pen in my left hand.
That leaves my right hand free and so as you'll see, I typically kind of put all of my screen navigation controls on the right side for my right hand, which is free. My left hand has the pen in it and what I found works very well with the ExpressKeys is I used to slightly change the position in my hand so that I had to get a finger free to press these buttons and I finally realized, you know what? I don't need to press these keys with my finger. I can just use the tip of the pen. So I just go over and click on one of these buttons and it performs the function.
In that way you are not having to change the fit of the brush in your hand. You can just use the brush tip to change it. And so that's one way you can take advantages of these buttons and not worry too much about changing hand position temporarily to get a finger available for one of these buttons. I am going to show you how to set some of this up so that you will understand how this is doable and in terms of the ExpressKeys, what I want to make this brush do is to be able to change brush size and in order to do that, let's just look at Painter for a second here.
If I was doing this on the keyboard, you know here I'm drawing, I would hold down the Command+Option key, which temporarily changes the cursor to a small crosshair. Then I can click-and-drag and create a new size brush. So that's a real quick way to do it but why not map that to the Wacom? Most of the times, you can use keyboard shortcuts and I'll show you that in one of the other control panels, but here I want to show you a special case because these are both modifier keys, you can't go to keystroke which normally you would go in here. Let's even try it.
I would hit Option and Command and nothing is happening because those keys are slightly different and that's why they actually have a separate category called Modifiers. If you are only using Modifiers, you can select from here. So I want to select Option and Command, or it'd be the Ctrl key on Windows, I say OK, and there is no way to type in here, say change brush size, but that's what this command does. Now that that's mapped to that, this will then let you press this key. While it's pressed, your cursor will change to that crosshair, you can click-and-drag and then let up the key and you have now got a resized brush.
So it's very handy to have something like brush resizing instantly available to you on the surface of the tab and as I said you may find that you want to move these around or do something completely different. Another control you have on both the Cintiq and the Intuos3 tablets is the Touch Strip and the Touch Strip can be used to do some very interesting things. And for example, I have set it up so that my Touch Strip can undo and redo and we'll just take a look at how that's done.
Undo represents moving the finger on the Touch Strip upwards and Redo is bringing it forward. So that's a really good use of the Touch Strips and the other thing that I'll tell you that I use over here, I used to keep this off because again being a left-hander, my palm of my hand, the side of it, would rub up on here and all of a sudden things would change. I think it's set by default to zoom and my screen would start to zoom. So I disabled this, what you could do here, and for the longest time I didn't use it and then I finally realized, well not only can I use it to control brush size but there is an Advanced button here and what you can do is tell it to Accept Touch input from the pen only and if you enable this and say OK, what will happen now is if I rub this with the side of my palm, nothing happens.
You just take you pen and I kind of channel it along this edge right here, and I can slide up and I can slide down and that increases and decreases brush size. So that's the Intuos3.
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