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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.
In this movie, we are going to take a look at the Transform tool. Transform is short for Transformation and what it allows us to do is to take a layer or a layer element and warp it and move it in some interesting ways that kind of bend it out of its original shape. So, I'm going to start by creating a new layer and I'm just going to go through a short little project here to kind of show you how I would go about using this particular tool. I'm going to get the Selection tool and if you remember from earlier, this essentially is acting as a mask right now.
I have got my Sponge tool set up here. So, if I go and get my brush, I can just click a few times in here to put kind of a sponge pattern. I might take a couple of other colors just to kind of create something with a bit of color in here. Let's go one more here, a little bit of green. Okay, so we have basically got an element here. I can go ahead and use Command+D or Ctrl+D to delete my selection and I have now got this layer element. So, what I want to do is create the illusion that we are looking in a three-dimensional cube and I'm going to use this as my wall surface.
So, what I need to do is manufacture a few extra versions of this same element. Now, one thing you can do that's a good feature to understand in Painter is, if I hold down the Option or Alt key while I'm in the Layer Adjuster tool, it will allow me to create a copy. So, I have just made a copy of my layer. I'm going to need to do that a few times. So, rather than go through a bunch of menus and things to try to do this, it's very easy to just to use the Option or Alt key in concert with the Layer Adjuster to quickly create a new layer and this is identical to the way it works in Photoshop.
So, if you come from the land of Photoshop, this will seem entirely natural to you. So we are going to go up to the Edit menu and right down here, we have Free Transform and you will see you can also use Option+Command+T or Alt+Ctrl+T to get this command through the keyboard. Once I have done that, it creates a set of handles on here. Also, it gives us a visible feedback that this particular layer is under transform right now. You will notice that it automatically switches to the Transform tool from the Layer Adjuster and our Properties bar up here has changed as well.
We now have some options we can do here. The one I want to play with is the one that's going to allow me to pick up a corner and move it. So, I'm going to pick this up and I want to make this look as if it's kind of coming forward. So, I'm just kind of picking these up and as soon as I get to what I like, all I have to do is hit the Return key and that now takes it out of its transformation and puts it back into a regular layer. So, let's go ahead and use the Option or Alt key again. I'm going to click and drag, and if we go up to the Edit menu, we can take advantage of the Flip Horizontal command here.
So, I'll just flip it and this lets me have a mirror copy I can put over here. Now, I'm going to hold my Alt or Option key and create another copy. Now this time we want to transform it. So, let's go up to the Edit menu and Free Transform and another option is to rotate. So, if I get in proximity to the corner here, you will see it changes to a little rotate cursor. I'm also going to hold down the Shift key and that constrains it, so that it's not just free rotating but it snaps to regular increments and I want to get it, so that it's rotated 90 degrees here.
And I need to grab that moving tool here, so I can move this up and once again, we are going to rely on the corner adjuster, so that I can stretch this to fit the corners of the two walls I have already built and hit Enter or Return and we'll do just like we did a moment ago. Hold down the Option or Alt key, bring that down and we'll go once again up to the Edit menu and this time we, will use Flip Vertical and we'll lay that in there. We didn't do this with a high degree of precision. So, if we go ahead and free transform it once again, grab our corner adjuster, which is already selected.
I can go in here and adjust this so that it fits right within there. Then hit the Return key. So, the last thing I'll do here just to show you how I follow through with this is I'm going to select this layer, the top layer that's kind of the ceiling and I could go up and grab something like under Tonal Control > Adjust Colors and this will let me play with just the value. I want to really darken this up a little bit and then because I'm set to Auto Adjust layer, all I have to do is click on another wall element and you can use the Command or Ctrl and the forward slash key to instantly bring up the last effect that you worked on.
So, I also want to darken that one. I'm going to click on the right wall and once again, hold down the Command or Ctrl plus the forward slash to switch this, so it's lightening it. So really, it's just kind of step and repeat operation here, but you can see what I have done here. In general we say a little final finishing of the corners. I have created the illusion of kind of a three dimensional room that we are looking into with a rather radical paint job that would literally drive you insane if you had to stay in here for any length of time.
But the Transform tool is just a great way to be able to take an existing layer element and distort it into a perspective or a different angle or attitude so that you can not have to unnecessarily create a layer element, specifically designed for that angle, you can literally take an existing element and stretch it and warp it and bend it into a desired shape, via the Transform tool. So when you want to do any construction work in Painter, I advise you to go straight to the Transform tool.
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