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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.
The first area of the Brush Creator we're going to take a look at is the Randomizer. I showed you earlier how to get to the Brush Creator, but how do I get back to Painter? Well, it's the same way actually. If I go over to the Window menu, we can go down here and say Hide Brush Creator and here we are in Painter, and vise versa, I go up to the Window menu in Painter, I say Show Brush Creator and now we're back. And actually that's good to know because there are times when you're going to be working in the Brush Creator and you're going to get some point with the brush where you may want to go back to Painter and start using it.
The concept behind the Brush Creator as a separate space is sometimes when your working on Painter you're thinking more in a right brain activity where you're being creative. When you come over to the Brush Creator, well you are kind of slipping into left brain, logical, figuring things out and so as a result there are two kind of very different activities and to divide them up and put them in actual different spaces is one way to sort of keep the left and right brain activities from running into one another. So, let's look at the Randomizer. Now you'll see very similar to the Brush Selector bar, in the Painter it looks very much the same here, and in fact it is.
Look, here is all our categories and then we have all of our variance. So, what I like to think of the Randomizer as it's a almost Las Vegas style slot machine, where you put a brush into it and you pull the lever and it just creates a bunch of variations on that brush. You don't have any control over it. It's all random. But just like Las Vegas, who knows when you're going to hit the jackpot. So, this is the absolute beginner's tool for starting to explore brush creation.
I'm just going to go down here and just try to think what would be a good opening volley here. Let's go to something like Pens and I'm going to go to the Flat Color. The reason I'm selecting this, this what I call the dumbest brush in Painter. It's very, very basic and it's a good brush to explore here, to see what's it's going to do with brush. So, we see a sample stroke of the brush and just to show you a little bit over here, I can paint with this. It's a rather large brush, so let's make it a little smaller. And I'll go to show you here, ones you've worked on here, you can just Clear right here.
So here's my brush and this does give me the facility to kind of play with it. So, this is just like the brush would behave in Painter, because right now, we're dealing with the default brush just as we selected it. So, let's go ahead and you'll see these little pairs of gears here, you'll see it says Randomize Current Selection, this is the Las Vegas one-armed bandit arm, we're going to pull it here. So lets pull it. I just clicked it. It's going to go through now, and it's just going to create random variations by changing various parameters of the brush engine without our control at all.
It's just doing it. So we've come up with a bunch of variations. You do have some control over this process and that is right down here. This is the Randomization slider, the lower this is the less it's going to adjust all of the various controls. So if I go through here and do it again, you'll see hardly anything is happening, and in fact, it doesn't look like anything is happening. But the higher up I take this and then click it, the more radical it's going to start making adjustments.
It's going to start giving it more radical color differences. It's going to start jiggling the path of this brush. So, if I take I all the way up to 10 and hit it. Now, it's at its maximum kind of diddling around with all of these controls, so let it run through. Now, I can select one of these newly coined variants. So, I'm going to select this one. And I can just go over now here and I can try it. See for some people you may go, I like that. That is a cool brush. So right there, we've already created our own brush. No, we didn't have a lot of understanding of how it was created, but the idea behind the Randomizer isn't to understand how it's done.
It's just to see what the varying controls will do. Once this brush is current as it is now, when I click this again, it's not going to start from the original Flat Color Brush that we brought in there, which is solid blue, it's going to start with this, and its even going to get more varied. Because it's taking this and once again, applying a varied set of different adjustments to it. So, if we go over here now let's look at, this one looks kind of interesting. So I'm going to Clear and I'll paint with this one. And now you can see, here's a very interesting brush.
So again, you don't have control over how these are made, but you have control over selecting which brush you may say I like that. I want to use it. This is a really neat kind of festive style brush. Now, the next thing I want to show you is, you've discovered it, this is my brush, what do I do with it? Well, what you want to do is save this variant. So we're going to go up to the Variant menu item here, and this is where I can say Save Variant. So I'm going to go ahead and say Save Variant, and right now it's in the Pens category.
That's where we got it. And when I save this, it's going to save it back into the Pens category. We'll have an opportunity later to change that, but for now, I just want to change this. So let's just call it Festive Brush. So I hit OK and I've got it. Now, one thing you'll notice is it still looks as if we have the Flat Color brush current, and in fact, we do. What we've been doing is altering all of its settings to where it now acts like this. So this is another key concept to understand. Once you've adjusted a brush, Painter just maintains those settings.
I mentioned this earlier that Painter in some cases and this is a good example, acts like a pair of jeans, when it's brand new, they are kind of, they are dark blue, they are stiff, but as you wash and wear them, they slowly mold and fade to your shape, and after a while they're your jeans, they're not the like the jeans you bought off the rack. They're your jeans, because they've accommodated themselves to you. That's what happens in Painter, as you make adjustments to a brush, it's going to remember those and assume, well you wanted that setting, I'm going to keep it there. Well, we temporarily wanted this setting, because we adjusted the Flat Color Brush to look like this.
But how do I get back to my original brush? You can do this in many ways. Eventually I'm going to show you how you can make adjustments just over in Painter. You don't even have to come to the Brush Creator. But you can often start playing around and all of a sudden you've realized I've lost the original brush, what do I do? Well, we're going to go right up here to the upper left corner and the same icon appears when you have the brush tool open in Painter. When you click on this, look at it. It even calls it the Reset tool. This is kind of the emergency button. When I click this, this resets the button, so that it's now just like the original brush that I brought in.
So, anytime you think you've messed up a brush and I can never get it back, you hit that reset button and it brings that brush back into it's factory default. Now you may say well, what happened to my cool fun brush? Well, if we go into the category here and look, we'll see, in alphabetical order, there is the Festive Brush. So I can go in there now and there now and there it is. So, we not only have been able to avert disaster, and lose a brush, we've been able to reset to get it back to where it was. But we've also created entirely new variant that wasn't in the library before.
So, the Randomizer is simply a way to take any brush that you want to start with and pull the Las Vegas slot machine handle and just let the Randomizer play around with the settings and change it into whatever kind of thing it thinks it wants to do, and as you can see. You get several variations to look at. And each time you select that variation that you like and then re-hit the button, you're just going further slice, and dice, and blend this thing into oblivion. But who knows which direction it will go. It could go in a direction that you end up finding a very unique brush that you never would have found otherwise.
So look at the Randomizer as a fun way to just sit and have a good time with making brushes, without having to have any knowledge of how to make all the adjustments. Painter makes sure that you don't accidentally turn up some steam knob, where you're going to blow up Painter. That won't happen. You can't do any damage while you are in the Randomizer. So, I really encourage you to sit down with a jar of quarters and start pumping them in here and have some fun creating some new brushes.
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