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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.
At the heart of Painter is its brushes. That's what really is the heart and soul of this application. These tools enable you to express yourself. It enables you to take something up here, express it through yourself, and apply to it your feelings, your senses, your emotions, and communicate them to other people. We have been doing this for eons with traditional tools all the way back to cavemen, on through the various art forms, through the centuries to today, where now we can actually apply many of the traditional techniques in a digital environment.
So Painter has an array of controls that enable you to adjust this brush engine to act as many, many different natural media tools. What we are going to look at first is the Brush Creator, because it takes a little while to absorb what all of these little controls do. The Brush Creator is a great way to introduce yourself to how to start to adjust and build and create your own brushes.
But rather than expose yourself to hundreds of dials, and buttons, and levers, we are going to start off rather simply. This is kind of like brush creation on training wheels. Once we go through the Brush Creator, you are going to start to be able to think about taking those training wheels off. So let's get started on the Brush Creator. So the Brush Creator, where is it? I don't see it anywhere. It's actually a whole separate room if you want to think of it that way, aside from the normal interface we see in Painter and to get there, we go up to the Window palette, and drop-down to the bottom here, and you will see Show Brush Creator.
Now, you can also use the keyboard command, Command+B or Ctrl+B, to get there as well. But we'll go ahead and click on that. What happens is we get kind of a mini version of Painter, and in some respects, it looks similar, but then we also see some very different things going on. What's happened here is all of Painter has been whittled down to just focus on nothing but brushes, and all the tools and things associated with it. So while we do see parts of the interface that we recognize, the rest of it as well is dedicated at this point to just concentrating on brush and brushes.
The main area to concentrate on at first is right there. This is the Brush Creator. It's broken up into a few parts here that I want to talk about. The left side is basically the control area and you will see that there are three different tabs that we have to work here. We are going to go through these in individual chapters coming up. But each one of these has its own set of controls associated with it, and as I said we'll familiarize ourselves with those a little later.
Down at the bottom, we have a Sample Stroke. So just depending on what the current brush is, it actually draws a little sample stroke for us. So we can get an idea of what the current settings would give us if we started drawing with that brush. Every time you start to stroke, you are going to see exactly that look. But it gives you an indication of what to expect. So it's a little bit like a preview of what you are designing. We've also got the area here. This is a Scratch Pad. This is just an area where you can test out your brush and try it, and practice with it, and see as you are working with the designing of brush, if it's doing what you want it to do.
Because as you iterate and change things over on the left side here, you are going to want to go and not rely simply on the Test or the Preview stroke. You are going to want to actually try it out with your hand to see how it's working. Then we'll get into the rest of the area around it, which is very familiar. Some of the Tool palettes are here, but only the ones you really need. I mean most of the time you are only going to be in the brush. These other tools, they are nice. But to be honest, I've never even used them while I'm over here. So you are pretty much going to be using the Brush tool. Some tools may relate to some of the Content Selector.
So the ones that are important are here, in case you want to try them out and play with a texture aware brush for example with a paper selector. You will have the option here to be able to try different papers with that particular brush. Then we get over to the Colors palette. It's just like what you are used to. You are also going to want to be able to adjust color to try out a brush. So that's here for us. We also get here to the Tracker. The Tracker is kind of what I think of as a History palette for brushes. As you make adjustments to a Brush, you're changing some control in the brush engine and what the Tracker does is each time you make one of those adjustments, it makes a new entry.
What's a little confusing is for example right now, because I came across from the application with the Digital Airbrush current, it happens to be on that list. Let's say I went in and I started making adjustments to the Digital Airbrush. Each time I made an adjustment, it's going to make a new entry, which is just going to say Digital Airbrush. So you could end up with 20 or 30 entries that say Digital Airbrush and really only way to make that useful is you can click backwards through it and slowly go back through the different changes you've made to a brush. But the idea of the Tracker palette is a bit like a cookie crumb trail or as I said history of what you are doing with the brush so that you can get back to earlier iterations.
You will see some differences in what's available in the menu bar. For example, we don't see Variant when we are in the main application, but as we learned earlier, a Variant is a particular unique setting of the Brush Engine, and variants are then stored in categories which are like the aisles in a art store. So when we are working over here, we are thinking in terms of I'm building a variant or I'm adjusting a variant. So the Variant palette is where I'll be able to manage and save and restore, do the various things that I want to do with a Variant.
You get into the Brush menu and certain brushes you may want to capture a particular texture or something. That lets you do this. But for the most part, the rest of this is going to be very familiar to you from Painter. So this is the basic layout of the Brush Creator and in the next few videos, we are going to take a look at the individual components, and go into a little more depth.
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