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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 Painter and Photoshop. Both are world-class applications in their fields. Photoshop is excellent photo retouching and color manipulation tool, whereas Painter is best at expressive brush strokes and I use both in my workflow, because each application has its strengths and I use each for what they are best intended for. So I'm going to show you just a little set of slides here that kind of explain how I do my work and how I break it out.
I basically call this my Photoshop Sandwich with Painter in the Middle workflow, because I start and I end with Photoshop to do what it's best at, in the center of the sandwich, where the meat is. That's where I do all of the expressive work. So I start, as I said, in Photoshop, and for Photoshop once I'm working with an image, and this is particularly related to photography, I'll prep the image using Photoshop. I'll resize it for intended output. We mentioned resolution in an earlier video, resizing and knowing what that's going be upfront is absolutely critical.
So, I use Photoshop while I'm in there to do that. I also, in some of the my images, and for variety of purposes, there are times where you may want to include, what I call an outset, some extra non image space that you are going to paint in to. I do it myself to get kind of an unfinished edge to a lot of the work that I do, but again I'm in Photoshop, I'm getting the dimensions and the resolution of the image set there. I also use Photoshop for what its best at, Color and Tonal adjustments. Using Photoshop, it's got the most sophisticated tools, Painter has some similar tools, but if I'm going to be using Photoshop, I'm going to use it for what its best at, and this is where a Photoshop really shine.
So in this first part of my sandwich I'm going to use Photoshop for that. Then finally, if there is any Retouching, Compositing of multiple elements, that all happens in this initial phase. So that's the first kind of piece of bread on the top of our sandwich. Next, I take that image, once it's finished, into Painter, and this is where all the expressive interpretation takes place. I'm going to do all my brushwork. I'm going to apply any texture. I'm going to do-- I'm going to do all the border treatment. While I said that much more quickly than I did in talking about Photoshop, this is actually where 80-90% of my time is spent.
This is where all of the expressive addition occurs in the image, and so you are going to be spending the bulk of your time in this really fat sandwich with a really juicy, meaty center in Painter. Then when I'm done, I go back to Photoshop and I do, again, more image work. I'm going to go in and I'm going to prepare this image for any local color adjustments that need to made or tonal. What happens in mixing colors in Painter, sometimes you dull them down and you may need to make color corrections or tonal adjustments just to help, whatever your subject is become the most dominant element within the image, and through both tonal and color adjustments, you can do that.
I also -- any final color corrections I want to do, this is where it's going to happen. Then finally, I want to convert this image to its intended output profile. Hopefully, you are working or considering working in a color managed environment. Particularity if you are doing any work that goes out for printing, you really need to have that color managed environment. You are dead in the water if you send the file somewhere or even to your own printer, if you are not using profiles and color management, you are just kind of shooting in the dark and maybe occasionally getting what you want.
Using the output profile on that image, as well as the total color management environment, is going to ensure that what you see on your monitor is what you are going to see onto printout. So that's my Photoshop Sandwich with Painter in the Middle Workflow, and it works particularly well when I'm doing photographic expressive interpretation from a photo to start with. If you are just starting, painting from scratch, you can eliminate the top part of the sandwich and make it an open face sandwich, by just doing Painter to start with and then using your application of choice, typically Photoshop, to do that final editing and clean up for whatever form of output you are going to do.
So take my advice and go eat a sandwich.
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