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Painting with symmetry

From: Painter 12 Essential Training

Video: Painting with symmetry

We humans love order. Symmetry creates an instant sense of order. With symmetry, everything is in balance, everything is in order. It is a perfect world with nary a hair out of place on its symmetric head. Painter 12's Mirror and Kaleidoscope tools serve up utterly lickable symmetric eye candy; like a warm puppy or fluffy kitten. Who isn't attracted to and loves symmetry? But don't be fooled, the Mirror and Kaleidoscope tools are powerful stuff that you may find yourself hopelessly lost in with no apparent way out.

Painting with symmetry

We humans love order. Symmetry creates an instant sense of order. With symmetry, everything is in balance, everything is in order. It is a perfect world with nary a hair out of place on its symmetric head. Painter 12's Mirror and Kaleidoscope tools serve up utterly lickable symmetric eye candy; like a warm puppy or fluffy kitten. Who isn't attracted to and loves symmetry? But don't be fooled, the Mirror and Kaleidoscope tools are powerful stuff that you may find yourself hopelessly lost in with no apparent way out.

Be forewarned, symmetry painting can be habit forming and may lead to addiction. I'm required by law to issue that warning. We're going to talk about two new tools in Painter 12, the Mirror tool and the Kaleidoscope tool, and we'll start off with the Mirror tool. And it's actually found in the Tool palette right here, so I'm going to enable Mirror Painting by toggling that on. We've got some controls up here that we'll talk about.

For one thing I can turn it on and off from here. I can also adjust whether I want a vertical symmetry or a horizontal symmetry, or both. You can play with which aspects of those you want. I am just going to play around with vertical right now. You can also adjust the angle of it. You can go in here and by adjusting this you can change the angle of the symmetry, and as we get playing with it a bit, we'll see how that plays into doing some symmetry work.

You can also alter the color of whatever the Symmetry Plane indicator is on screen. And I am just going to stay with the green that it is. So we've got a vertical Symmetry Plane set up here, and I am just going to move this into the center. And I am going to use the Scratchboard tool at least to start off with here, so I can show you how this works. When I paint in one side of this, it starts to mirror itself in the other side and if you then go on to the other side, same thing.

So, I'm just scribbling at this point, you can already see how you can really get some interesting kinds of things going on here, and start to add things like different colors, for example. It's pretty addictive, once you start trying this stuff out. And it works with most of the tools; I won't say it works with every tool, but let's try something like the Wet Brush, I will get a different color here. Yeah so you see where once again it's just going in there and doing some pretty remarkable changes.

And because it's symmetrical, and the human face is symmetrical, I am already kind of seeing a bit of a human face in there. So maybe I'll go back to the Scratchboard tool and get some black, and it seems kind of like there is some sort of alien thing going on here with some sort of eyes, and this is some sort of scaly head thing. But you can see because the human face is symmetrical, this right away kind of has an interesting use.

And I've seen a lot of the conceptual fanatics kind of get into this kind of, sort of quick way to create a symmetrical entity like a face without having to necessarily draw both sides of it. So this is just kind of a quick messing around, but I think you can already see the value of just, either for playing, or for actually creating a finished piece. You do have the ability here to get some pretty interesting stuff going on.

And because it's symmetrical, like I said at the outset, the eye is attracted to symmetry. It's just -- it's the natural balance of it we find very appealing. And so, this naturally has kind of an interesting look because it's symmetrical. And so without a whole lot of effort, I'm actually able to create, you know, a fairly nice little quick sketch here. Now this will probably mess it up, but I want to show you some of these things. One of the things is, if you go back to the Symmetry tool itself, if I get near the edge of the symmetry plane I can go ahead and I can change this angle.

I can also get right here and I can move this around. Now this is probably going to wreck my perfect alien face, but let's get another color here, and I'll just show you that now I need to go back to my tool of course. Now our symmetry is off at some other angle, you know, I could give him a -- I don't know, a nice pretty little bow, and I would imagine that erasing works well, yup. So you can erase, not that I want to.

I thought maybe I would do just the -- yeah but it's not on a separate layer. But don't forget that, you can create multiple layers here. So if I create a New Layer, and let's see, let's see if I have enough undo here to I get myself out of there. So, now I could on a new layer, go in here with the Scratchboard tool and kind of give him a nice little bow right there. So the fact that you can move this around and alter it as you go gives you a pretty interesting way to use symmetry in multiple planes like I'm doing here, in order to be able to have a symmetrical object elsewhere in the image without it actually being on the same symmetry plane as other work you've done.

That's pretty cool. And being in a layer, I should be able to pick this up and move it, it will no longer respect the symmetry plane, but it is a layer so you can still treat it exactly as such. So, that's symmetry and as I said at the outset, this can be very addicting and once you set it up and start playing with it, you start to realize, oh what if I bring this brush in and what if I do this kind of effect and what if I change the angle? It's a real playground for getting very interesting designs and things going on.

If you think that's good, let's now take a look at the other tool, which if you click and hold the Symmetry Painting button, there is a second one here and this is the Kaleidoscope tool. Now I am going to go ahead and clear my layers off. But I'll leave them here in case I later on want to use multiple layers. Let's go here and as before if you are in the Symmetry tool I can get here, I can pick this up and I can move it, and I can also rotate the angle of the symmetry.

You can also create a lot of symmetry planes if you want. So, now maybe I'll go with eight or so, and let's once again, just something simple like the Scratchboard tool, and I'll start painting in here and once again, you're seeing a very interesting approach. The nice thing about it is, you can paint in any plane and it's mirrored in all the other planes. As I say here, I am going to write my signature right here, watch how even that becomes a nice design element.

See it's totally abstract, just because it's getting mirrored around and they all intersect like that, you get this nice little filigree going on. Let's get some very different tool, like something like Sponges. I am going to just take the Sponge tool and I am going to reduce the size of it a bit, and let's get a bright color here and just -- It's like a real kaleidoscope, you know, at some point you'll go like, oh I liked it a little bit while ago, and well, if you have enough undos you can certainly can get back to it.

But it's also -- it's very addictive to want to keep going and just kind of playing with this. And let's go back to the Scratchboard tool, so I am not going to spend a huge amount of time here, but I just, hopefully you are just seeing even within this quick little demonstration how amazing of a set of designs you can work out just based on simple symmetry. So that is the Symmetry Paint and Kaleidoscope tools, and I don't even have to hope you will enjoy these tools when you start playing with them. I know you are going to enjoy them.

But just remember, they can be habit forming. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Painter 12 Essential Training
Painter 12 Essential Training

63 video lessons · 8627 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
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  1. 1m 20s
    1. Introduction
      44s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 5m 4s
    1. Understanding what Painter 12 can do
      1m 45s
    2. Let's paint!
      3m 19s
  3. 11m 52s
    1. Starting Painter 12 for the first time
      4m 4s
    2. Creating, opening, and saving files
      4m 36s
    3. Working with templates
      3m 12s
  4. 30m 37s
    1. Painter's shiny new interface
      6m 43s
    2. Understanding the Tool palette and property bar
      4m 12s
    3. Using media selectors
      3m 43s
    4. Working with the Brush Selector
      7m 17s
    5. Configuring panels and palettes
      3m 41s
    6. Navigating Painter
      5m 1s
  5. 22m 41s
    1. Setting preferences
      6m 59s
    2. Arranging palettes
      1m 28s
    3. Creating custom palettes
      6m 30s
    4. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
    5. Understanding workspaces
      3m 52s
  6. 28m 37s
    1. Controlling color with the Color palette
      7m 12s
    2. Working with the Temporal Color palette
      3m 0s
    3. Mixing color with the Mixer palette
      11m 3s
    4. Working with color sets
      7m 22s
  7. 56m 31s
    1. Introduction to brushes in Painter 12
      41s
    2. Understanding brush size adjustment
      2m 46s
    3. Exploring brush controls
      17m 44s
    4. Using the Computed Circular palette and stroke attribute brushes
      4m 13s
    5. Painting with Real Watercolor brushes
      7m 34s
    6. Painting with Real Wet Oil brushes
      3m 20s
    7. Working with Impasto
      8m 10s
    8. Working with texture-aware media
      12m 3s
  8. 13m 38s
    1. Understanding Quick Clone
      3m 58s
    2. Working with the Clone Source panel
      7m 22s
    3. Tracing a clone's source using Tracing Paper
      2m 18s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Understanding the Underpainting palette
      9m 25s
    2. Exploring the Auto-Painting and Smart Stroke palettes
      7m 26s
    3. Working with the Restoration palette
      6m 5s
  10. 22m 15s
    1. Working with the Rectangular Selection tool
      3m 25s
    2. Using the Lasso tool
      3m 26s
    3. Selecting items with the Polygon tool
      2m 39s
    4. Understanding the Magic Wand tool
      7m 55s
    5. The Channels palette
      4m 50s
  11. 29m 1s
    1. Understanding the flexibility of layers
      7m 25s
    2. Preserving transparency in layers
      5m 37s
    3. Picking up underlying color in layers
      5m 13s
    4. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 52s
    5. Working with layer masks
      7m 54s
  12. 24m 3s
    1. Painting with symmetry
      9m 6s
    2. Understanding Smart Blur
      4m 43s
    3. Working with seamless patterns
      10m 14s
  13. 25m 10s
    1. Introduction to the Image Hose
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding Image Hose controls
      9m 58s
    3. Working with nozzle files
      12m 59s
  14. 14m 32s
    1. Using each application for its strengths
      4m 59s
    2. The PSD format: what's compatible and what's not
      5m 3s
    3. Color management compatibility
      4m 30s
  15. 7m 0s
    1. Your best friend: Undo
      1m 50s
    2. Painting on layers
      1m 55s
    3. Save often, save early
      3m 15s
  16. 9m 48s
    1. The panic button
      2m 13s
    2. Using the Shift key restart
      2m 1s
    3. Re-importing a workspace
      4m 4s
    4. Troubleshooting: My brush won't paint
      1m 30s
  17. 3m 20s
    1. Goodbye
      3m 20s

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