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In the last two movies, we've been building this variant. In the first one, I basically created the graphic look of the brush and then in the second one, we adjusted principally the well, as well as the method that we're using here to control and adjust the color behavior of the brush, what happens when it's applied to color and what kind behaviors do you get. Now it's time to fine-tune. I always find this is kind of the fun part, because this is where you can start to apply some what-ifs to various behavioral aspects of how the brush works.
At this point sometimes it's just serendipity. We'll run into an interesting combination that you hadn't even thought of. One thing I do want to point out here, because it could be confusing, it looks as if I've been painting on this layer, and before I switch to the Drip method, I was painting on a layer. However, let me make a new layer, I'll show you this. Using the Drip method cannot operate on a layer and I went into this kind of knowing that I wasn't going to necessarily have a brush that was capable of working on a layer.
The Drip methods and the Plug-in methods are the two methods that basically don't understand what a layer is. So this brush is really designed primarily to work on the Canvas layer. Although, I may be able to make an adjustment and have a second brush that is layer aware. To avoid getting mixed up here, I am going to eliminate the layers and let's just try what we've got so far. The one thing that I think might help this is to put a bit of color variability into the stroke.
So I am going to crank this up, and now this starts to introduce some interesting variation within all of the little abacus dots, so to speak, and maybe even some color variation. Yes, now we're really getting to an interesting kind of behavior here. I'm going to Select All, Delete. You can see that there is a really interesting color here. Now one thing I recognize I could do is, this has a very hard edge on both sides, which may be something that's desirable, but I actually want it to have kind of a softened edge.
If I go back to the Rake palette, there is a control here where I can do what's called Soften Bristle Edge, and what this will do is you can see now the edge is kind of taper off in Opacity. So that helps us quite a bit. I want to play with this with some various colors at this point just to see how they're playing. What I like about this particular brush is that when I've have done enough of this that looks, in many ways, very much like a smeared and loaded brush type oil, but other levels, you see these individual dots, so it's an obvious digital brush, and it's kind of interesting that it exhibits both the traditional look but it's also got some hallmarks and they tell you well, this isn't a traditional brush, there is something unusual going on here.
And that's kind of unique that it exhibits a little bit of both worlds. It's digital and it's got a lot of the character that you find in a traditional brush. Now the other thing I can do, because I was using the Drip and this Grainy Hard Drip, that means that I can even introduce some more variability into the equation by what paper I use. Let's use something that's fairly regular, this Artist Canvas for example. I'll open up the palette, and one thing I can do here is I can adjust and play with the contrast of this, and by pushing the contrast, so I've got more distinct light and bright areas.
It's starting to do something different than it did before. The other thing I can do, if we go to the Random palette, you can have the Brush Stroke Grain be randomized. Right now there is a very-- let's take a darker color so you can see it. The grain pattern is very regular and it's showing up as a very regular element within in there, which can be desirable, but I'll show you another kind of randomizing factor here is to turn on this Random Grain pattern and I'll do it a little bit here.
What's happening now is that grain is changing for every dab of the brush to a new random location within it. So instead of lockstep kind of grid pattern that makes it up, it's actually being thrown around and randomized. So I get another unpredictable element. Within some limit I know what it's going to do but I never know at any application of the stroke exactly what I'm going to get. And then I can play around with the brightness and whatnot to get a very different character if I want. So just by changing how the brush interacts with the paper through its brightness and contrast can get very different results.
So now we are seeing very little grain because it's so flattened down in contrast, there is not much before the Grainy method to actually do anything with it. But as soon as I give it a more contrast, ee now it's having an influence on it. The more aggressive the grain gets, the more of a role that plays into look. So this brush has a lot of different characteristics going on. To make it a fairly complex brush that you can pick up and use but you never know from one stroke to the other exactly what you're going to get.
And as I said, I really like that quality. It makes it a very interesting brush to work with, and it's much like a real paintbrush. You can't know exactly how a loaded brush is going to decide the drop off of the brush and onto the canvas. So the artist has some control, but to another degree he is at the mercy of the medium. This is a digital media, but it's got those random aspects built into it so that it does have a behavior similar to a traditional media. Now the last thing I want to do is I want to give this a name.
The naming convention in Painter has typically been-- if this was a Painter brush, it'd be called like a Grainy Rake Variable brush, because you want to apply vocabulary elements that kind of describe what the meaning of the brush is. But I also like to give brushes more interesting names that make people want to see like what is that? And because of this kind of abacus quality, I figure a good name for this is the Abacus Brush. So I'm going to go ahead and save this now. I'll save my variant and I'll call it the Abacus Brush.
When I go to what is the Abacus Brush in this category, its default settings are exactly what I see here. So we've gone through the process of taking an existing variant, which is a good way to start because you can take some of the characteristics that you already know you want by choosing a variant that has some of those characteristics, and then go on to modify the behavioral aspects of it, especially when it comes to how the colors interact. Finally, I find that there is a fine-tuning process that goes on.
I may even get away from a brush and I'll try it and leave it and come back and I'll find just a different mindset. You may decide oh, I want to adjust here or there. So there are probably some more adjustments I will do to this and some brushes are never final. You're always somewhat adjusting them. But hopefully, this methodology I've gone through gives you a roadmap for how to start constructing your own variants. So I hope you'll tape this together and start doing your own brushes.
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