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Pencils are the universal drawing tool. I guess that more doodles, drawings, and sketches are done with pencils than any other medium. As a result, it is a look and feel that we all know well. Painter's had pencils since version 1.0, but it is only with Painter 11 that the fidelity of a simulated pencil is so close, it's scary. Let's take a look at pencils and how to adjust them. I'm going to go up the Brush Selector bar, go down to the Pencils category, and we're going to work with the Real 2B Pencil.
Now 2B Pencil is a model of pencil that practically everyone uses, both in school and just anywhere and it's a very good example to start with to look at how well Painter's pencils now look in the virtual world. The other thing we are going to take a look at is the Hard Media palette. This is the new technology built into Painter 11 that enables the look of pencil to be so accurate. Let me just draw few sample strokes and draw a little bit so you can see what I'm talking about.
As I draw, I'm thinking consciously about it now but the real power behind the way this tool works is that as you start working with it, you don't even think about the technology underneath of it. It just works like a pencil and one of the things I'm doing for example is as I tilt, I start to address more of that exposed lead on the tip of the pencils so that I can actually use it as a way to apply tonality to my image and then as I point more straight up and down I get a very fine pencil point.
So tilt and bearing play a big part in the way that this particular Hard Media category of tool works and I want to show you one thing that you can do to enhance it a bit. I' going to go ahead and tilt as far back as I can and still make a mark and just do a sample so you can see the width of the exposed lead that I'm getting. I'm now going to go and go to my System Preferences and look at the Wacom driver. By default Tilt Sensitivity is set to Normal. I advise you to turn this up because what's going to happen is, and let's look at the comparison, now when I tilt and do the same thing see how I'm getting a greater sense of what's happening on the tilted pen. Turning up the Tilt Sensitivity in the Wacom driver is a way to squeeze a bit more performance out of both your Wacom pen as well as what's going on in Hard Media.
Now, Hard Media has a preview and I want to show you how this works. You'll see there's this thing called Preview Tilt. This actually does not have a control over the way the brush works on the canvas. It has to do with how the little preview of it looks so that you can make adjustments to it and I'm going to exaggerate it here so you can see this and you'll notice that we get a tip, and maybe if I just temporarily enlarge it up. It's a tip that's very dense at one edge, but as it moves away, it gets less and less dense.
That's what causing this edge to be able to perform the way that it does and so this tilt angle, as I said, does not do anything. Don't get mixed up. So I'm going to keep it turned up, so that I can see this elongated edge and show you how some of these controls actually work. The Squeeze controls are set so there is a pair for vertical control and horizontal control. The vertical controls adjust how wide this brush is going to be up and down or vertical and the horizontal controls adjust how elongated this is going to be.
In fact you can see that the horizontal maximum here is set to 100%. Watch as I reduce it. See what's happening to the width of that stroke at the top? And so if I make it shorter, I will still get a stroke, but it's just going to behave differently than it did before. Now I want to get back to the original settings of this pen so I'm going to take advantage of the Brush Selector Bar's panic button, as I call it here. And just reset my pen back to its default settings, because the other setting that's pretty important here is in this Transition Range setting.
This is where you control based on the tilt of your pen, when does the transition from the fine point to the exaggerated point start to happen and so with respect to this particular tool, it's set at 20% of an angle. So that at a 20% angle, that's when it's going to start to make the transition and it and it will finish at 60%. I find another way to sometimes get as much performance out of the pen as possible is to reduce this finish point.
So I'm going to take it more like 40% and I'll show you how it makes a difference. Actually, it's not something you're going to see but I can tell you by the feel of it. I feel like I can get to that wide edge relatively easy and it's all a matter of preference how this is set. It's really kind of up to you but you should be aware of the fact that if you don't sense you're getting the performance out of what you want a Tilted Hard Media tool to do, you'll want to go into the Transition Range and play around with this start and finish point.
Another key area of Hard Media are these profiles. This is what's determining what's happening in the look of the mark being made and you can see that the way this has transitioned. It's set to be dark very quickly but then it ramps off and reduces in density. So what these profiles are, are just a graphic display of density as viewed in a 2D side-view manner. If we take this one, you'll see that the look of the pen is changing because now it's got a soft edge, transitions to a hard edge, and then it goes back out to a soft edge and each one of these is going to provides a slightly different profile that it is going to change the look of the pen.
You can see on this one now where its highest density is in the center, so it's got a very shallow amount of density at the outer edges but it's complete in the center and that's exactly what we're seeing in this pen. You can see the greatest amount of density lies right in the center of the stroke but either edge is softened out to less density. So you can also play around with how the stroke looks based on the actual profile that it's using. So to finish up the real category of pencil, it is what makes such a profound difference in the way that tools work and you'll find throughout many categories that a variant will start with the name Real.
That signifies that it's using the Hard Media tools to adjust how its shape is made. The one exception to that rule happens to be in Real Media, which was an earlier category, and those happen to start with Real as well. But as a category and as the way those tools are set up, they have nothing to do with Hard Media. So other than the Real Media category, anywhere else you find a variant preceded by the term Eeal will indicate to you that it is a hard media-based brush that you're about to use.
The new Hard Media palette in Painter 11 is what enables this very sophisticated control over the look of media that have a non-regular edge and the pencil is a great example of that but we'll find out in the rest of the Dry Media category that it applies to other tools as well.
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