Painter 12 Essential Training
Illustration by John Derry

Working with seamless patterns


Painter 12 Essential Training

with John Derry

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Video: Working with seamless patterns

Each time I do one of these Essential titles, I tend to concentrate a lot on what are the new features in the application, but I always like to try to dig out something that's been in Painter for many, many releases, and yet a lot of people just don't even know it's there. And it may be partially because it's not entirely obvious that it's there or the steps aren't necessarily obvious. But this time around, I want to talk about seamless patterns. In the world of wallpaper, clothing, carpeting, patterns abound, the world is full of patterns.
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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

Working with seamless patterns

Each time I do one of these Essential titles, I tend to concentrate a lot on what are the new features in the application, but I always like to try to dig out something that's been in Painter for many, many releases, and yet a lot of people just don't even know it's there. And it may be partially because it's not entirely obvious that it's there or the steps aren't necessarily obvious. But this time around, I want to talk about seamless patterns. In the world of wallpaper, clothing, carpeting, patterns abound, the world is full of patterns.

Just as I was talking about symmetry earlier, how the mind likes symmetry. Patterns are similar, patterning is restful. When you see a pattern, it equates with stability. And so, patterns are all around us and yet sometimes, making a pattern can be rather difficult. And so what I want to show you is -- what's essentially a very easy way in Painter, to create your own seamless patterns. And to do this, we're going to create an initial pattern tile, and so I'm going to go to New and I'll make this one, oh, 800x800.

Typically you want to work in a square, and so we'll go to 800x800 here. So I've got this tile and what I want to happen is, as I make any artwork, again, I'm just going to use Scratchboard tool to start with here. If I'm making a pattern tile, whatever happens when it goes off this edge, it's got to come around over to here. And so when this becomes a tile, and you take an exact copy of this and butt it up against this right side, that left side has to match up with it.

And so that can be kind of hard to do. One way I used to do it before we had this technique is what I called slice and dice. You could make some kind of tile like this, but then you'd have to make a selection, cut it in half, swap those two selections around, then you'd have to drop that, cut it in half again and drop the vertical sides, replace them. So now the outside edges match, but all along the insides of that tile, they're not seamless, so you'd have to use various techniques to try to hide those seams.

But with this seamless tile technique, you don't have to do any of that. It's so easy, a child can do it. So let's take a look at this. The first thing you need to do is we need to open up the Pattern panel. So I'm going to go to the Window here, and we're going to go right down here to the Media Control Panels, and we want Patterns. So here we have our Patterns panel, and let's move this off to the side a bit. And in the Patterns panel flyout menu, what we want here is Define Pattern.

I'm going to click on Define Pattern, and nothing unusual seems to have happened. But actually a minor miracle has happened, because as I draw off one side, it goes off automatically onto the other side. So I'm now creating, literally, a seamless tile. And if I hold down the Shift key and the Spacebar key, I can now pick this up and move it around. So I can now address an area here where maybe it wasn't the greatest thing going on.

So we'll do a little bit there, and then I'll pick it up, offset it, maybe grab another color, maybe do some shapes in here. The idea that I found is, what you want to do is kind of keep moving this around until you start getting a bit of an overall look to this, so that there's no area that's anymore naked of textures, or drawing, than any other area. So I'm just kind of filling this in with different graphic elements.

That looks like you could use something right there. So let's get yet another color and we'll use, I don't know, what we want to use here, octagon. I'm not trying to do anything special here other than to show you at this point what this will do. So now we've got this seamless pattern. How do we take advantage of it? Well, what you want to do is you want to select all. And remember it's seamless no matter where you put it. So it's not like, oh I have to put this in a certain place for this to work. It's seamless no matter where it lies, because everywhere it goes off one edge, it's matching up exactly on the opposite edge.

So all I have to do is select all, and we'll go back to Patterns here, and I'm going to say Capture Pattern. So now it comes up and I'm just going to call it squiggles. You don't have to change anything here, just go ahead and say OK, and we've now just created a new pattern. In fact, we'll reduce it down here a bit. But what I'm going to do is, let's open up a new file and we'll make it pretty large like 1800x1800.

It could be any size at this point, I just want to fill an area with this pattern. So now we've got a rather large area here and I'm going to go ahead and say, use Command+F or Ctrl+F to fill. And one of the options here, and since we were just dealing with patterns, it knows that, so it's selected that, we'll go -- Now this one, I did happen to put an element in there that kind of sticks out. And that's where I was saying, you want to position things in an overall manner and I really wasn't thinking about that when I drew that first little squiggle.

But you can see here, we've now got a pattern that is continuous. If you look at it, other than the fact there's a bit of an obvious repeat with this one squiggle that I inadvertently placed in there, it's now just an overall pattern. So now that we know how to do that, let's just take a moment and maybe do something a little more interesting with it. So we've got this pattern, it's already set up as a seamless pattern, I can go ahead, select all, delete. And instead of just using the simple Scratchboard tool, let's get a little more interesting here.

We'll try some different brushes with it. For example, earlier I was using the Sponge Brush, and I may enlarge this up a bit. I'm just going to go ahead and apply a few dobs of sponge here. And because it's seamless, it wraps around. Again, this is where you want to kind of move this pretty regularly so you don't end up with any spots that are drastically different than other areas.

And I just find just by kind of moving this fairly often, you'll be able to do just that. Oops! You see now -- now we're just using the Shift key there, which is an easy mistake to make and it's just moving this on the background. But if we hold both of those keys down, there we go! And let's try something else a little different here. Let's go to the Image Hose. And Image Hose is going to paint with different types of graphic elements, and we'll be talking about this in greater depth, so you don't have to get too hung up about exactly what I'm doing here.

I'm going to use a spray size controlled by pressure and let's just split this -- I don't know what's there. This is just kind of an interesting blob. And if we go in here, let's change to say, that. Once again, you want to kind of move around. The thing that's nice about this is it's taking multiple objects that are complex and even in this case, photographic, and allowing you to paint with them.

Once again we want to make sure it looks pretty uniform. So this may not be the greatest pattern in the world, but it's got more complexity going on, we're combining three-dimensional elements spitting out of the Image Hose, some photographic elements, some graphic elements. So once again we want to do Select All, and we want to Capture. And now we'll just say funhouse, or something.

Now let's go back to our other image and let's fill with this. And there we go! Now once again, you can see this is where if you really want to get something that doesn't seem to have edges to it, it does take a little extra work and I'm not necessarily taking enough time to do it. But you get the basic idea here, I think, that this is a great way to create your own seamless patterns.

And in fact, once you've created a seamless pattern, it's a excellent way to create backgrounds for web pages, because you can easily define a single pattern tile in HTML and have it repeat, and you'd get the same effect that you're getting here. Now let's even take it down a little smaller here. It turns out too, the smaller you make it, the more you start to see the repeat. The larger the scale, the less you see the repeat, especially when it's large elements like this.

So seamless tiles are just kind of an interesting thing that's been in Painter forever, but hopefully I've exposed you to something that you didn't know was there. And actually, besides being kind of fun to play with, it's also very useful, particularly when you get into the world of web design and you want to do some kind of interesting background. Anything you can think of as a seamless tile can basically be created using Painter's seamless tile facility.

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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