Painter 12 Essential Training
Illustration by John Derry

Understanding the Underpainting palette


Painter 12 Essential Training

with John Derry

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Video: Understanding the Underpainting palette

In this chapter, we are going to take a look at auto-painting. Auto-painting is basically you handing the steering wheel over to Painter and allowing it to do the painting activity for you. Now that may sound like, oh good, all I have to do is press a button and I am going to make art. It's not quite that simple. Once you've created an image in this manner, some people will indeed say it's finished, I like what it is, but I like to think of it sometimes as almost a starting point, at which I'm going to go in and add more of my own brushwork onto it.
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  1. 1m 20s
    1. Introduction
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 5m 5s
    1. Understanding what Painter 12 can do
      1m 45s
    2. Let's paint!
      3m 20s
  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 38s
    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 18s
    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 38s
    1. Controlling color with the Color palette
      7m 12s
    2. Working with the Temporal Color palette
      3m 1s
    3. Mixing color with the Mixer palette
      11m 3s
    4. Working with color sets
      7m 22s
  7. 56m 32s
    1. Introduction to brushes in Painter 12
    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 11s
    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 33s
    1. Using each application for its strengths
      5m 0s
    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 21s
    1. Goodbye
      3m 21s

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Watch the Online Video Course Painter 12 Essential Training
5h 28m Beginner Feb 15, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the changes in the Painter 12 interface
  • Customizing brushes and selecting painting styles
  • Laying out the optimal workspace
  • Controlling color with the color palettes
  • Adjusting brush size and stroke attributes
  • Working with texture-aware media
  • Quick cloning with the Clone Source panel
  • Auto-Painting with the Underpainting, Smart Stroke, and Restoration palettes
  • Preserving transparency in layers
  • Creating layer masks
  • Painting with symmetry
  • Working with the Image Hose
  • Integrating Painter projects with Photoshop
  • Troubleshooting brushes and other issues
John Derry

Understanding the Underpainting palette

In this chapter, we are going to take a look at auto-painting. Auto-painting is basically you handing the steering wheel over to Painter and allowing it to do the painting activity for you. Now that may sound like, oh good, all I have to do is press a button and I am going to make art. It's not quite that simple. Once you've created an image in this manner, some people will indeed say it's finished, I like what it is, but I like to think of it sometimes as almost a starting point, at which I'm going to go in and add more of my own brushwork onto it.

One of reasons for this is if you're starting from a photograph, which is the typical way auto-painting is used. One of the biggest errors a person will make in converting or translating a photograph into a painted result is that they don't remove enough of the detail in the photograph, and when they're all finished, when you look at it, it still belies its photographic source, because there's so much detail in it. A painting typically reduces detail and simplifies imagery, so that it's not anywhere near the complexity of a photograph.

And that's one of the things that Auto-Painting is quite good at doing. So to let it do the activity of decimating or removing all of that photographic information and then using that as a starting point to do some painting activity on top of it, makes it kind of a hybrid, so that, yes, the computer is doing some work for you, but hopefully you are additionally adding some of your own expression to that image. But that's one way to use it. The other way is that it's a good educational tool just to watch the process of auto-painting take place, because as it takes an image and starts with very large brush strokes, and slowly reduces the size of the breaststroke and concentrates on looking at areas of detail and using smaller brushstrokes for those areas.

And that's a very similar to the way traditional painting is done. So you learn watching it how a painting is often constructed from a very rough to refined image through reduced brushstrokes size. So it's good for that as well. We are going to begin by using the first palette, and to get those we go down to the Auto-Painting Panels, and I am going to just click on Underpainting here, and that will bring up all three of them. And of course, we need an image, so let's go to our exercise file, and we'll go down here to chapter08, and I am going to get this borrego_cholla image, and we will load it in. And so the goal here is to take this from its photographic source and convert it into a painted result, and the first place we are going to go is the Underpainting palette.

Now the term Underpainting comes from the traditional world of painting, and refers to the initial paint laid down on the canvas to establish tonalities and composition. For our purposes, Underpainting allows us to eliminate the high detail aspect of the photo, as well as adjust its color and tonal characteristics away from a photographic vocabulary. Just as I was saying earlier, we want to remove as much of the photographic quality from this as we can. And so, that begins with Underpainting. And there are some things we can do here.

So let's take a look at first Color Scheme. This is where I can go in and if I want to try some of the built-in games I can, let's say Impressionist Scheme. So what it's doing here is substituting the original colors for another set of colors that are based on, in this case, impressionist colors. I'm not wild about that, so I'm probably not going to use it. Now you can try different color schemes to see if it is something that you'd want to use for your image. I already know. I've played around with this and I'm not really going to probably take advantage of this, but I just want to point out, it's a quick way for you to arrive at a different color configuration for your image.

You can also go into Photo Enhance, and this let's me do things like High Contrast. That's not typical of the contrast in a photographic image. So while it's a little extreme for what I want to do, it is starting to do the job of altering this photographic image from its normal kind of contrast that you associate with photography, and it starts to apply a rather exaggerated contrast. We'll also do Desaturate, several things in here, but again, these are all sort of built-in formulas that are already here.

You can also manually adjust this and that's all these are, our settings that have been done by controlling the sliders down here. So I can adjust things like brightness if I want to, brighten it, darken it and up the saturation. And you can see, just by upping the saturation, that's one way you can exaggerate the colors in an image. And quite often, Painter will do just that in painting an image, they have control over the colors through the paint and the mixtures that they use. And so by exaggerating these colors a bit, I can start to, as I've said previously, remove this from its photographic source by applying a range of color to it that is brighter than you would typically get in a photograph.

The other thing I am going to use here -- and it pays to see this at 100%. Smart Blur, this is a very nice filter for doing exactly what I was speaking about, reducing detail. One of the reasons this looks like a photograph is all of this fine granular detail throughout this image. And while it's great for a photograph, a Painter is not going to sit there and draw every one of these little branches, and he is not going to draw necessarily every little needle on the cactus.

It's going to be simplified and Smart Blur does just that. So let's just turn it up a bit, and you can already see how it's starting to remove some of that fine granular detail. The more I up this, the more it removes the detail. So if we take this, in this case, all the way up to 100%, and then move this around and look at it, we can adjust this just so you can see how different it is. Right away doing that gets rid of some of that detail. So it's already helping you do something that you yourself might not be inclined to do, which is remove this much detail, but I guarantee you, by simplifying your image before you even start applying paint, whether it's by hand or by auto-paint, this is one way to establish this image as a painting, rather than a photograph.

So the last thing we could do here, and let's reduce this down so you can see the whole image. You also apply Edge Effects to this. For example, if I do a Rectangular Edge Effect, you can see here it actually will give this a vignette. I'm not too interested in that, for this particular image I am going to let it just remain all the way to the edge, but I wanted to point out, you can play with these edge effects to get various kinds of treatments to how the edges of your image will appear. But let's go back to None in this case.

Now you can also reset Underpainting, so if you don't like all the things you did, you can -- you can also apply it, which I want to do here, so I am going to apply it. Now that is my image, so we are ready to take this image to the next step, and to do that, I need to Quick Clone this image. So we learned before that Quick Clone is available to us up here in the File menu, however, there is conveniently located in the lower right corner here, an Auto Clone button that does this for me. So I am going to go ahead and click on it, and it's made a copy for me and it's removed the image. So now it is as if I have a blank canvas, but all of the tools we are going to be using are associated with that image, so it will be funneling the colors and the nuances we've done to the image through those brushes and applying it onto this blank canvas.

Painter has a set of built-in Auto Cloning brushes right here, they're called Smart Strokes, and what that is, is they are brushes that have come with Painter that are set up to do a set of different types of painting. They're okay, but I've created my own set, and I'm going to be giving them to you, so that you can use them with the paintings. And I think you'll find that if you compare what would the default ones do, compared to the ones I've done, I'd like to think anyway, that mine are a bit more successful at emulating various media.

So the first thing we need to do is install that category of John's Smart Strokes. So let's do that. So the first thing we need to do here is the install my brush category in here, and let's jump over to the desktop. If we go to the Exercise Files, once again in chapter08, we will find John's Smart Brushes, and this is a brush category file. So all I have to do is double-click on this and it will automatically install the brushes in here.

So you can take that file, double-click it, and you will then have in your copy of Painter 12.1, my Smart Brushes. So now we have got our brushes installed, we have got our image ready, we are ready to auto-paint, and we are going to cover that in the next video.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Painter 12 Essential Training .

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Q: When I double-click the John's Smart Brushes.brushcategory file as shown in the Chapter 8 movie "Understanding the Underpainting palette," the brushes do not install. Instead I get the message "There is no application set to open this document."
A: This is because your operating system does not recognize the .brushcategory file type.  This can be circumvented by selecting the file, right-clicking, and choosing "Open With…".

If Painter 12 is not in the list, use "Other…" to locate and select Painter 12.

The file will be read by Painter and the brush category will be installed.
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