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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.
We are now going to take a look at Manual Auto-Painting and you may be scratching your head, how can Auto-Painting be manual? Well that actually can, because we are going to be in the Auto-Painting palette, but we are going to shut off Smart Settings and Smart Stroke Painting. What that does is it now gives me access to all of these controls, which before were under Automated Control. Now, I'm going to set everything about the Brushes and the thing that this really opens up is the fact that you can use any Brush in Painter to do this as long is it set to be Cloning, which opens up the expressive door much wider than it was capable when you were simply relying on a narrow set of variants.
And so for that reason alone this is worth investigating and the other reason to do this is important is that by manually controlling this you are still letting Painter apply the brush strokes but you are deciding exactly how the brush is working in this more or less automated hand and let's go through and take a look at some of these. We are going to use the same image we used before, I'm just going to now do a select all by Ctrl+A or Command+A and then hit the Delete or Backspace key so now we have got our fresh canvas to work on here.
I'm just going to start it up right now in its current setting without anything being done, let's just see what's happening here. Okay what's happening and at this point this image could go on forever and it's never going to resolve, so don't sit and watch one of these and think it's going to resolve because that's one thing it does not do. That is now up to you but the other thing that it is doing is it's using a stroke to apply this as opposed to automatically stroking the image based on Contrast and Detail. It's now basically automated.
The first thing we want to look at in the Auto-Painting palette is the stroke that it's using. It's using the Scribble Large Stroke. Now I'm going to go ahead and just stop, by clicking the Stop button down here and I'm going to undo and remember you can stop these at any times so I'm just going to let it play for just an instance I'm going to stop it, okay you can already see it's applying more or a less a stroke that is rather kind of scribbled and that is what happening here. Now if I go and change to a stroke like Short Dab for example, let's Undo and then play, well now you can see this is a very different stroke, let's try a different one, let's go to Hatch, okay now this is drawing a very long single line, so you can see here, you can start to get a lot of character just by selecting the particular stroke that you get out of the stroke list, so now it's doing a Curve Stroke.
So that's the first thing to understand is that we do have the ability to determine the stroke that is going to be applied. The second thing I want to explain here is the way these settings are set to my mind is incorrect. I'm going to show you how I typically zero out or what I called nulling all of these. I'm going to set this to 100% because you do pretty much want 100%. This is the one control that we may go back and adjust a little bit, but I'm going to take this and I'm going to put it right at 100%. I'm going to set Length to 100%.
I'm going to set Rotation now all the way to 360 degrees and I'm going to Brush Size to 100%. Now why did I do that? Well if you have any of these changed and let's use Brush Size as our example, this is deciding what percentage of the actual size of the brush you are going to use. If you set this anything other than 100 %, it's real easy to want to start going up and adjusting the Brush Size which works, but I would much rather have these settings set, so that I don't alter the brush size. I don't mess with that, all of the size changes going on down here.
That way by having the settings more or less nulled out to what the brush would do all on its own without any bias by length or size or pressure anything, you will understand much more accurately what's going on here. As soon as you start playing with the brush size up here, well all of a sudden you have played around with the original Brush Size setting and all of a sudden 100% no longer means the 100% means 100% of some setting you have given it. So just to get you to wrap your head around this it's best to kind of set it up to these more or less null settings as I said this does not bias the brush in anyway other than we are telling the strokes to rotate 360 degrees which is normal, there may be situations where you are going to want to adjust this but normally I just set it at 360.
Same with Randomness and I'll go around and show you how you can play with these different settings to effect the brush, but you want to do it from here you don't want to do it from up in the Brush Control bar and finally Randomness if enabled in all of these cases. Once you get really into this, you will see maybe I don't want this to be Random or Rotation or whatever, but for the most general usage this is the setting I prefer. Now let's go ahead and we'll take the Acrylics Captured Bristle and I'm going to go back to that Scribble Large because that's a good one to show you. So now with the settings at their normal settings I'm going to play it quickly and I'll just stop it after we get a look at what the stroke looks like.
Okay right now that's very large, I'm going to Undo this and now let's take this and the way I like to work in this so you kind of keep a more or less systematic way of doing things is I try not to just randomly change this. Right now I'm going to go to the half of its original size, so I'm going to take it down to 50% and like working on very set size increments you will have a much better way of kind of two times ago I did it in 100%, then last time 75 and this time 50, rather than just juggling with random numbers in your head. Now you can see those strokes are getting somewhat smaller, let's Undo and take it down to 25%.
Now you can see how the individual looks of those strokes are starting to make sense. Let's now play around with Length and let's take that down to maybe 50%. So now the strokes that are being created themselves are somewhat shorter. So you can start to see here there is a definite control that you can exert over this and for example, let's take 360 all the way down to 0, now you can see every stroke is being applied at the exact same angle, but it's not as random as it can be. But you can see how these settings can start to very much control what you are creating on screen.
Now I'm going to take these back to their normal settings and let's just try a different brush, let's go with Hatch, this is the one we looked at a little while ago. So this is just kind of creating a random direction here and let's kind of play the game that the Smart Stroke Painting plays. So it's applying strokes with in that one point it stops and it starts to make the Brush Size smaller, so let's make it maybe 75% or what it was, now we are making a smaller brush stroke and if we continue kind of play the game that the Auto Painting Plays it's going to keep reducing this down.
One way to think of Brush Size is almost in camera terms is like an aperture. The smaller this brush size gets the more detail it's going to bring through. So smaller Brush Sizes create higher detail, so the smaller I make this the more I can actually bring more and more of the original detail and the image through, if I want to do that. So you get it down about half on 12%, so click it up here. This is similar to what happens on the Auto-Painting. It's a little harder to see what's going on and unlike the Auto-Painting the Smart Stroke Painting it's dispersing the energy everywhere in the image but you can see where it's starting to resolve itself more and more.
So a key understanding about Cloning in any form is that the smaller the brush size the more unit of detail you are brining through to the original image. So let's back once again into our original settings and I'm going to Undo here and let me tell this too. Sometimes if you want to clear the screen you will find you have got to quickly do two undos in a row. Now because I was doing several things there were several items that were there, but if you want to undo like this, if I do this for a second I stop. I do one undo, nothing happened. Two undos.
So two undos is kind of the common procedure at the end one of these Auto-Paintings. Now let's go into the next round which is any brush in Painter, I'll qualify that almost any brush. There are some brushes that are not going to necessarily working. It's somewhat a matter of experimentation, so let's try the Scratch Board tool. Now I have no idea what this is going to do at this point, I'm rolling the dice here, but I have mentioned this elsewhere the key fulcrum point in Painter is in the Colors palette and that's right here that is the Clone Color button, you will see when I enable that, the Color palette goes gray.
That's because we are now telling this brush to use the current clone source or the existing image the one that's back here as my Color palette and so because of that I can now Paint with it and we have now got all these settings set, let's just see what happens. Okay what this is doing right now its taking that Hatching Stroke and it's drawing and it's just applying it, you can where size, in this case, matters because, if I go up here now and say well I want to start with a much bigger Brush Stroke, let's take it up rather 150 or so.
See now I have enlarged that a little bit, you may have to go a quite a bit here, let's go all the way to there, and this is a brush that's normally not designed for really wide usage but you can see its making it pretty wide now. So here's again there is a case of we are stopping whenever you want, some of that hatching that let's some of the white canvas show through could be an interesting feature that you want in your image and because of that being able to stop anytime you want is really a key part of how this works is you are exerting control you are not telling Painter just do it all for me, the more you exert control the more these are going to stop being kind of because I filtered images and more your own expressive images.
I am going to go ahead and Undo here at back and let's take something little more conventional Oil Pastels, Real Soft Pastels down here, I want to try the Real Soft Pastels and Oil Pastel. So I'm going to go up here now I have got my Real Soft Pastel, I'm going to enable the Clone Color and let's go ahead and click and see what's happens here. So think through this with me, we are seen it bring through some of the imagery, the one thing I can see right now that I don't care for is the stroke I'm using, so I'm going to go ahead and stop. I'm going to undo.
I'm also going to return this back to 100% right now by Brush Size, but I'm going to change to a different brush. I'm going to try Short Dab. Let's try this. So you can see now its applying a very Short Dab of stroke each time, but you can also see this would take a long time to resolve itself, so this is where I can play the game that I have if I'm going to turn this all the way up and this is where, I mention not playing with Brush Size but let's just experiment here, I'm going to go in here, I'm going to take this up to 60 or so, just close I have doubled the size of the brush, now what happens.
So we have enlarged it a bit here, so that rule I said earlier, break it, rules are made to be broken, normally do not play with Brush Size but here's where, if I have taken it all the way up to 200 % and it's just not enough you may want to crank this up a bit, so you can as this plays it starting to bring the original imagery through but it's doing it in this kind of shape of the chalk mark that's been made. So the whole purpose of this particular video is to get you to the fearless about the Auto-Painting palette, if I haven't gotten anything else across to you the idea here is that the term Auto- Painting is only half right in terms of this palette because it can be a very manual process as well.
So don't be afraid of the Auto-Painting palette's manual capabilities because to be honest, that's what you are going to get the most self-expression out of it when you turn off the automatic features and take control yourself.
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