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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 we're going to take at another buried treasure in Painter and that is the Growth command. Growth has been around for a while, and I'm going to open it up here. Go to the Effects menu, once again we go to Esoterica and go to Growth. I think again part of why this may be a little obtuse for people is that it's not exactly straightforward how this works. So I'm going to go through it a little bit and show you a practical application for this. Basically, this a fractally generated branching structure.
Right now I've got it set to one branch, so it's rather tree-like, but you can use it to make all kinds of interesting fractal patterns and I think that's where most people think, oh, it's this neat little eye candy thing, but how is it useful? I'll show you that in a moment, but right now let's just talk about how I can control it. For that right now, I'm just going to temporarily go back down to one branch so we don't get confused by overlapping iterations here. Flatness, as you can see, kind of plays around with whether the tree has started to grow yet, or is it branching out. So I can literally make it branched so it's so big it would touch the ground were on a tree.
I can also adjust the Thinout and this just kind of controls the visual weight of what's going to render. So right now it's very dark, but it would also tend to black up some of the fine details, so I'm going to keep that open a bit here. I also can adjust Randomness. Right now it's set to full randomness. You'll see as you unadjust that, it just makes it a little kind of this of perfectly symmetrical design, which could be used for just that. It's creating an interesting design. But I'm going to throw in some Randomness here, pull it all the way up.
Then Thickness, once again, just kind of plays around with weighting of it so I want this to be kind of a young tree, so I'm not going to want to really big trunk around it. The branches, as I said, start to take this and reproduce it. Then you get into this Maximum Level, and you kind of see what's happening here, it's just reducing the complexity of the tree. As you design a new level, it just creates a new level of branching, till you get all the way up to the top here. It's the maximum kind of number of branches that could happen. Same with Forks too. You can kind of play around, with how the forks either come together, or appear near one and another, or how they spread out.
Finally Fork Ratio just kind of plays around with how far off of the axis of the last branch do the next branch set want to migrate away from that angle, and the farther it is, the more non-tree like it gets. But all of these things kind of play around with being able to generate a broad set of interesting looks. I'm just going to go ahead and show you how do you finally get this on the canvas. Well, what you do is if you go out on to your canvas and click-and-drag that will create a circle that this pattern is going to be generated in.
You can see this pattern is not the same as that pattern, and that's partially because this is some what random generated, so you don't get the same pattern every time. It's somewhat random. So that's the basis for this, but I'm going to take up one more step here and show you kind of an interesting way to take advantage of this Branching and Growth Pattern Creation tool. I'm going to create a layer, so I'm going down at the bottom of my Layers palette and click on the New Layer icon. So all I'm changing at this point is, I want this to happen on a layer.
And we'll go back to Growth. I'm going to reduce this down to one. So what my goal here is I actually want to create some tree silhouettes and the only way to that would be with one branch and that gives me that tree look. The one you can't do here is you can't control either the angle in this little preview or how it decides to recreate itself out on the canvas. Let's just do one of these. I'm going to do it fairly large and what I'm going to show you here it could be duplicated multiple times to create many different tree silhouettes. Let's say OK.
So in order to rotate this now, what I need to is take advantage of the Free Transform tool, which is nested in with Layer Adjuster tools. One of the commands I can do here is I can Rotate it. So I'm going to go here. I'm just going to Rotate this around so that I get it into the upright position that I want it at, and I'll go ahead and hit the Return key. Now I've got my sample done at the right angle. So the idea here is, I could create as many of these as I want using the procedure to create an Image Hose Nozzle.
I created an Image Hose out of this, so I'm going to turn this off and grab my Image Hose, and I'll just show what I got out of that. So you can see here, this one way you can take advantage of this to get a really nice kind of artistic feel for little trees in winter. It's a great way to create a branching structure. And I've even used it before just to create one very high resolution one then used the branching structure to paint leaf clusters on to it so that instead of trying have to make up a branching structure, I've got it some prebuilt ones that I'll use.
So Growth is an interesting Pattern tool. But used specifically in this way you can actually kind of play with it in order for it to actually turn into a tree silhouette creation tool and combined with the Image Hose, you get some pretty nifty results.
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