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Join John Derry, one of the original Corel Painter authors, as he shares the creative techniques that will get beginners up and running, and shows old hands the new features that can get a creative vision out of your head and on to your canvas. The course demonstrates how to create projects, use Painter brushes and painting styles, build templates, and work with layers and channels. John also shares pointers on setting up a Wacom tablet to interface with Painter.
The first stop on our customization tour is preferences. Preferences provide options to adjust how Painter handles specific tasks. I divide preferences up into two categories: convenience and performance. Convenience preferences are specific to your particular workflow so there is no right answer. Like convenience preferences, performance preferences are specific to your unique hardware configuration. Think of my suggestions as starting points, which you may need to experiment with in order to find the sweet spot for your workflow and hardware.
So to get to Preferences let's go to the Corel Painter menu, and drop it down to Preferences, and we are going to go to General, and here is our Preference panel. So in the General panel we have a bunch of things we can do here. I normally leave most of this as is, but the one thing I will tell you that I do change, is right here, Brush size increment. It's set by default to 1 pixel and that means that when you use a keyboard shortcut like the Command or Ctrl key, and then your left and right Bracket keys, this is how much it's going to change each time you click that.
Now if you're doing very precise work changing one pixel at a time is fine, but I find for a lot of work I do, I want to increase my brush size much more than this in a shorter amount of time. So by simply changing this to 2 rather than 1, if I want to go from a 2 to 10 pixel, I only have to do my keyboard shortcut four times and I'm up to 10. Otherwise you can leave everything on in here, it's pretty standard. Next, let's go to Interface, and one of the things you can play with here is, what the cursor looks like.
It automatically is set to the Enhanced brush ghost. What this does, in fact, let's just temporarily go out of here and I'll open up a new document, so you can see what exactly we're talking about here. See how this looks. If I get my pen, and I happened to have the 6d pen here, this shows me all different kinds of things. Like right now, I have my pen straight up and down perpendicular to the tablet. As I tilt it, you can see I get the look of tilt, as I change bearing it indicates bearing, and as I rotate the barrel, you'll see there is a little dot on that circle, that as I rotate the barrel it changes.
So I am getting feedback from this Enhanced brush cursor that tells me a lot of information about what's happening with my stylus in my hand, and you may not think that it's important, but seeing this as feedback can be very useful while you're working. Now here is the gotcha about this particular setting. Some systems will have a reduction of performance when this is on. I would say keep it on by default, but if you find some of your brushes seem to be acting slowly, and I can't even tell you which brushes it happens on, but some brushes will suddenly just seem to act slower when this is on.
And so what I have found works very well is, in this Interface tab, you can just change it to a standard brush cursor. So now it shows much less information. I can no longer see tilt or bearing or anything, but it still functions the same. I am just not getting the visual feedback. So that's one thing to keep in mind. Also, the Default View mode. I showed you this earlier, that you can have Painter automatically want to open up in Full Screen as I've done here, so I get the gray background rather than any particular desktop that I have.
So I like to have this on, and once this is on, each time I open a new document it will come in with Full screen mode rather than the Window mode. Then lastly, we did this earlier for this particular resolution screen, the Vertical Double Column Layout as you see on the side of the screen here works to fit in this screen resolution, likewise for the Media panel layout we have the Vertical Single Column, and that's how I've got it set up in this particular workspace.
But if you have higher resolution displays you may want to play with these to find out what suits you. Next, we will go to Performance. Painter 12 is the first version of Painter that understands Multicore Usage. So most modern processors now are working with multiple cores and they even have virtual cores. So the machine I happened to be working with here has eight cores, but it's able to mirror those eight cores and actually it has a total of 16 cores that it works with.
When you're working with any multicore setting you want to set this down at least one less than the total number of cores you are working with, and as they indicate here if you use all those cores you may see a performance loss, because if you have multiple applications running they're taxing some of those other cores and you may run into a little bit of a traffic problem and see a slowdown in Painter. Memory Usage, you can play with this trying to turn it up or down, the general default of 80% is a good place to keep it.
Also you have the ability to set what your scratch drive is going to be. Undo Levels, Painter will do a huge number of undos, but keep in mind as you increase the number of undos, it's going to have to use more and more in the beginning RAM space and then if you go out beyond your RAM, it's going to have to start using virtual memory, which once again will start to impede performance. But if you do start to see a performance hit, this is another area where reducing undo levels can be a helpful way to reduce taxing on your processors.
Same thing goes here. I would leave these on, not having the object smooth out when zooming, that just means the character of the zoomed out or zoomed in display is going to look better when these are on. When you turn them off, you are going to get a more jaggy, a little less accurate display of what the image actually is. Shapes, I just keep it at the default. Quick Clone, we are going to get into that later in the chapter on cloning and I will come back to this and talk about the whys and wherefores of how you set this.
And finally, there is a new feature, Connections, that Corel is introducing that has not yet been activated, so go to the Corel web site for more information about Connections once this is online. These are my recommendations, but keep in mind that there are many, many hardware variations that Painter runs on. Your specific system may or may not benefit from these recommendations. If you're seeing performance issues with the suggested settings, experiment with adjusting the settings to improve your performance.
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