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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.
After you choose your tablet and get all the settings the way you like them in the Wacom preferences, there is one more preference you're definitely going to want to adjust in Painter to maximize the way your Wacom tablet works and to get to this, we're going to go to the Preferences menu, which in Mac is under Corel Painter 11 menu. In Windows, it's under the Edit menu. Go to Preferences and we're going to go to Brush Tracking. So, let's open this dialog and what this basically wants you to do is to draw a stroke that is similar to your typical pressure and speed and I'm going to purposely draw incorrectly, because I want to show you how this works.
I'm going to draw so light and basically, I'm just going to be letting my pin touch the tablet surface and I'm not giving it any weight. So I have drawn a stroke. I'm going to say okay, I have got Square Chalk here, which is a texture aware brush, and at my lightest stroke l should be able to just skip along the tops of that paper grain and already, I mean I'll try as best I can. It's so hard for me to actually get to the light end of the pressure because that ultralight stroke I did set up the tracking, so that even the lightest touch makes it pretty full.
Now, let's go back and notice when we're in here that Shift+Command or Shift+Ctrl+K gets you here. I'm going to be using that for the rest of time. Now, I'm going to draw with a very heavy-handed stroke. Just almost as heavy as I can. Okay, now I'm drawing a very heavy stroke. And now I'm going to say OK. Now, I'm going to try to get that light pressure. I'm pressing and feeling nothing. Pressing, pressing, pressing. Now, I'm finally getting to it and an extreme amount of pressure finally gets to the maximum pressure. So, it definitely senses what your hand is doing and the best thing to do is not press real light, not press real strong. Just draw a stoke that is typical of the kind of painting activity that you are going to be doing.
And let's see this. Yeah, see now I have perfect control over my pressure and this is in particular important with the new Intuos4 because it has a much higher sensitivity to light pressure. And you want to be able to get the maximum out of it. I can tell you a quick story to tell you how important this is. In some of my workshops, it will be actually a day or two before I get to a student, to work specifically with them, and sometimes I'll see what they are doing and there is just something about it.
And they'll say, "I can't do it the way that you are doing it." And I say "let me see your pen" and I'll go to draw with it and it will be set up like one of these extremes that I have told you about and they didn't realize there was any control over it. And so,when I took them in there, and I'll just do a quick stroke and then I try it and it's like, "Oh here, try this." The second they try it, they are just like, "Oh my gosh! I can't believe this." "There is so much more pressure capability in this than I thought." So it's really important to visit the Brush Tracking palette fairly regularly and I used to be more on this side of just set it once and forget it, but I found for different brushes in Painter, if it just feels kind of funny to me, I'll open this up and do a stroke and go back and sure enough that corrected it.
So, there isn't one size fits all for brush tracking anymore. It's now somewhat depended on the various media that you're working with. So take advantage of brush tracking. It's going to get you the maximum feel for the Wacom tablet that's possible. Well, we have our Wacoms configured, we've got them gassed up and ready to roll, go forth and paint!
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