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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.
Let's take a look now at the Intuos4, which has been updated with this TouchRing and much as I did before, I have set all of these up similarly mapped to the way they were on the Intuos3. It's just now everything is on one side. So I kind of transposed things from the left side over here and everything from the right side is down here. Now another one I want to show you that is a little not straightforward to figure out. It is in relationship to the buttons. It's Rotate Page and the reason I want to bring this one up is I have seen several discussions about this on the web.
People want to use this to rotate the screen. In Photoshop, you can use this in the new version of Photoshop with the rotate page, and this works. Unfortunately, you cannot map this to rotate the page in Painter and why is that? Well, Photoshop actually has two keyboard commands: Clockwise and Counterclockwise screen rotation. Painter doesn't currently have keyboard commands equivalent to that. So the only way to instantiate page rotation in Painter is with a button and so what I did is I went in here and I said I want to do a keystroke and in Painter, it is Option+Spacebar is the two keys that you have to press in order to instantiate the Rotate Page command.
Once you have done that, then you just simply put the name in there and say OK and now all I have to do is press this button and when I do that, my cursor changes to the little finger that indicates Rotate Page and then you just click-and-drag with your pen. So it does work. It's just you can't map it here. So what do I use this for? Let's go to the TouchRing. You can have four different functions in here and I have actually mapped two to it and I'll show you how I do that. I'm going to put Undo and Redo in here.
So let's go to -- this is an automatic feature, so I'm going to say keystroke and you can see what I have done here is I have got them setup so that undoing is a counterclockwise action. So it's almost like going back in time and redoing. Going forward in time is the Redo command. So by setting them up in that kind of logical counterclockwise goes back, clockwise goes forward, makes it easy to remember. So that's how I have got that setup and what I have actually done is I could use this for four different functions but I find I use Brush Size and Undo/Redo so much with this that I would rather only have a one keyboard click away.
The other thing is unlike the LED displays that give you a title or a label for the buttons on the Intuos4, there is no labeling here. So you are forced to have to remember what these do. I find it's just easier if I know it's either going to be Brush Size or Undo/Redo and it's just always one click away. It makes it much easier for me to just double up these commands. I have also found setting the sensitivity of the wheel to Slow, works as well. The other thing I want to show you here, and this also works in the Cintiq as well as the Radial menu, and if I click on this, you will see that I have set this to Painter and it allows me to apply commands to a little pop-up menu that I'll show you in a moment that can come up.
In fact, let's jump over here and let's say I'm working and I want to make a change, I just click here, I click on Painter and I have got it setup, for example, I can quickly adjust my tracking because I find more and more with all the different brushes that in some cases it's slightly different tracking helps. So to have this right there and not necessarily attached to a keyboard command makes it very easy to get to. Also if I click on here, click on Painter and the Papers. I use Papers a lot, so I'll click on that and that pops-up my Papers palette.
Now right now these are attached because we have been doing a lot of different things this week but if I close that now and go to Painter and say Papers, again, now it brings it up. So this is another way to quickly bring this up and not have to go through a menu or anything and I want to show you a little bit how you have to do this because, some of doing this, it requires mapping keys in Painter using the keyboard shortcut customization in order to make this happen. It can be a little confusing how you setup a command to work on the Radial menu because in many cases, a command you wan to set there, it has no command available for it in Painter.
So you end up having to actually do two steps. You have to go to Painter's Keyboard Customization and give it a keyboard command and then put it in here. In the example, I'll show you to illustrate how you do this is I would like to put a, Save Variant here. So if I'm making the brush, and I like it, I can just click on my Radial menu and click on the Save Variant button. It will call-up the little dialog and lets me type in a name and I'm on my way. But right now it just has default Paste in there. So the first thing I need to do is go back to Painter and we'll go to the Preferences > Customize Keys and if we go into Palette Menus > Brush Palette, we can go down here and here is Save Variant.
You can see there is nothing currently associated with it. So I click on Save Variant to highlight the area where the keyboard shortcut goes in and I'm just going to give it a kind of an obtuse command, Shift+Option+Command+S. So that happens to be used by something that I don't care about so I'll say Accept, I'll say OK. So now that I have got a keyboard shortcut associated with this command. We can go back to the Radial menu controls here in the Wacom tablet and I'm going to go ahead and say that I want to change this to a keystroke and I'm going to clear this and then I'm going to put my keyboard command in there, there we go.
I'm going to say OK and I'm going to give it a name now. So I'll say Save Variant. So that appears on there now. Let's go back here. I'll open this up, click on Painter and there is Save Variant. So if I click on it now, if I created a brush I could very quickly through this process, oh yeah I want to save it, give it a name, hit OK and I have saved without having to move around. So this Radial menu, I'm showing it to you in a very simplified form. I have actually shutoff four commands here.
So you can have eight commands and you can literally keep having sub-menus. So you could remap all of Painter to this if you wanted to. I wouldn't want to do that because you would be digging down the menus and probably taking longer than it actually takes to navigate in Painter itself. But a few commands that you will find you just want to have very quickly, this is a good place to do this. Now the other thing I want to show you is you are probably wondering well how is you making the Radial menu command come up. That's associated with my pen that I have. And you can see right here, I have set this up so that it works on my pen.
Some other people may want to use one of the buttons on the control surface of the tablet itself to call this up but I find, I have enough commands I want to put there that I don't want to give it up for this. So what I have done is I typically leave this front button on my pen disabled because I click it a lot by accident and so by disabling it, it's less likely to cause a menu to come up I don't want. On the other hand, I don't ever seem to accidentally hit the back button and by assigning the Radial menu to that, I just click it, go to my Painter menu and select one of the things that I want to do here.
So you definitely have a bunch of controls you can do in both the Intuos4 and the Cintiq, have the Radial menu as part of its structure. So it will translate over to the Cintiq as well and speaking of the Cintiq, let's go take a look at it. In fact, see here is, there Radial menu Command. Let's look at the ExpressKeys. And basically there is one extra button that's different than the Intuos3. For example, see how they are almost identical but there is just one more button on the top.
That button assuming you have multiple displays hooked up which means one display is in the tablet itself and the other display is a second display that you are using. I show you elsewhere in this title how you can actually set this up in a very unique way so that you can mix paints and control all your color from the tablet, but then do you painting and have your canvas on your main screen and that's why this button is really important to keep it programmed for multiple displays because all I do is click this, and I'm instantly toggling between those.
So in my circumstance, I have it setup so if I'm currently on the Cintiq and I'm mixing paint, I then click to this button which I just kind of have sitting at the ready next to the tablet, while I'm working, I click and boom! That pen with the paint I have just loaded onto it is now on my canvas and I start painting. I want to pick up some more paint, click on it, I'm back down and so it's just a matter of using this as the equivalent of taking your brush from the canvas down to a Mixing palette and vice- versa and it's very natural.
And then I have basically kept all of my commands from the way I'm used to among the other tablet, you can see they are all essentially the same here. So that's really how everything works on these tablets. Bottom line here is don't ignore this great functionality that you have available to you on the Wacom tablet because it really does improve productivity and workflow and ultimately that's the goal of accessories like this. So take advantage of them.
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