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Using Sample All Layers

From: Digital Painting: Architecture

Video: Using Sample All Layers

The combination of layers and a Mixer Brush uses a lot of processor power. So much so that sampling the color found on underlying layers can slow down brush performance. In this video, we'll take a look at the Mixer Brush Sample All Layers option and see how we can avoid potential interruptions in your creative flow. First and foremost, we want to see, well, where is this Sample All Layers thing you're talking about? If you're in the Mixer Brush and you go up to the Options bar, you'll see right here, you have the option to enable Sample All Layers.

Using Sample All Layers

The combination of layers and a Mixer Brush uses a lot of processor power. So much so that sampling the color found on underlying layers can slow down brush performance. In this video, we'll take a look at the Mixer Brush Sample All Layers option and see how we can avoid potential interruptions in your creative flow. First and foremost, we want to see, well, where is this Sample All Layers thing you're talking about? If you're in the Mixer Brush and you go up to the Options bar, you'll see right here, you have the option to enable Sample All Layers.

Why wouldn't you want to turn this on? Well, it used to be a bigger problem in CS5, but they've done some work under the hood so it's not as bad as it used to be, but it's all tied up in how much memory do you have, what kind of processor you have, are you running under multiple processors? All of that is part of the equation that will dictate whether or not you are going to encounter some kind of slow-down when Sample All Layers is enabled. And I'll show you how I've come up with a workaround for it.

Here's some layers and I've just kind of created an artificial situation. So from one point of view, this may look like it's just a single layer, but if we look over here, you can see these are components on different layers. And in a real painting, you're going to quite often run into that situation. So, the first question becomes, well why would I want Sample All Layers on at all? Well, if Sample All Layers is not enabled, and if you've installed the optional content that I have, I've set up things on the Wacom tablet so that when I press the little button, the Forward button, it allows me to pick up color.

So, if I pick up color here, for example, nothing happens. Why didn't anything happen? Well, I'm actually on a layer on top of all of these layers, that doesn't have anything on it. Because it can't sample all the layers, I picked up nothing. If I go to, say, this middle layer and I go and sample color. Okay, well now, I've picked up some but not all of the color. What happens if I say Sample All Layers, and then up here and I sample it. OK. I'll sample there.

See now, I pick up all of that color on all of those layers, and that's whats important, particularly if you want to emulate loaded brush strokes, which are multiple colors across the face of your brush so that you get these more complex combinations than you do with just, say, a solid color stroke. You know, if I do this, that's very interesting, but it's also not nearly as interesting as being able to pick up what in, like I say, in traditional painting is called a loaded brush.

You go and you pick up color off of your palette where there are multiple colors, and then you paint with those multiple colors. So, this isn't nearly as interesting when it's just a solid color. I'm also going to go in here and just slightly adjust my depth up. There we go. So, how do we get around this problem? Well, one of the things that I installed and I show you in the tablet video in the introduction is I've got a button on my tablet. And you'll notice now I'm turning that on and off, I'm not actually going up here and turning it on and off, I've been able to enable and disable that.

So, if I'm in a situation where I temporarily want to pick up multiple colors, you know, let's say, I'm painting away, and it's like, oh, I'd love to grab this combination of colors here. I just press the button on my Wacom tablet, I'm temporarily in Sample All Colors, I press the Forward button on my Wacom tablet, press down, disable with my button on my Wacom tablet, Sample All Colors, and now I am painting away with that particular combination. So, I can very quickly go over, enable sample, I've got a different set of colors on my brush.

Go over, temporarily enable sample, and now I'm painting with that set of colors. So, the combination of the Front button of the Wacom tablet being able to pick up color, as well as the ability with a button on the control surface of the Wacom tablet, to be able to temporarily enable Sample All Colors, gives me a workflow where I can quickly go in and pick up the various colors on my multilayered painting surface and get those multiple colors so that I can paint with a loaded brush.

So, that's a long winded way of saying, I can very quickly paint in a very natural way with a couple of modifications to the buttons on my tablet pen as well as the tablet surface to get this kind of behavior. So, the Sample All Layers can be very useful for blending colors on overlapping multiple-layer underlaying color. But in doing so, you can also dramatically affect your brush performance. So, being able to have this built-in, on and off capability embedded in the control surface of your Wacom tablet, gives you a way to work as if you have Sample All Layers on all the time.

But you're able to dictate when and why you have it enabled with that button on your Wacom tablet.

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This video is part of

Image for Digital Painting: Architecture
Digital Painting: Architecture

49 video lessons · 12312 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
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  1. 26m 4s
    1. Introduction
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
    3. Installing custom content
      2m 46s
    4. Setting up Wacom express keys
      13m 32s
    5. Setting Wacom touch ring preferences
      2m 14s
    6. Setting Wacom stylus preferences
      3m 24s
    7. Division of labor: Image prep and painting
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 9s
    1. Visual vocabularies
      3m 49s
    2. The vocabulary of photography
      7m 38s
    3. The vocabulary of painting
      4m 59s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      2m 43s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Removing lens distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      6m 47s
    2. Removing distractions
      8m 7s
    3. Don't be a slave to the original photograph
      10m 51s
    4. Correcting image adjustments
      2m 58s
    5. Telling a story with added image elements
      10m 14s
  4. 25m 2s
    1. The eye has a better sensor than a camera
      3m 2s
    2. Adding natural shadows with Field Blur
      8m 47s
    3. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter
      7m 48s
    4. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 25s
  5. 39m 56s
    1. Resolution is in the brushstrokes
      3m 26s
    2. Using the Surface Blur filter
      6m 17s
    3. Using the Displacement filter to add imperfections
      6m 22s
    4. Using the Oil Paint filter
      11m 51s
    5. Making tonal and color corrections
      12m 0s
  6. 22m 40s
    1. Nondestructive layer painting (NDLP): Your creative safety net
      5m 54s
    2. Setting up the Mixer Brush cloning action
      7m 29s
    3. Using cloning layers
      2m 58s
    4. Working with adjustment layers
      6m 19s
  7. 20m 7s
    1. Using tool presets and not brushes
      3m 41s
    2. Categorizing and organizing brushes
      6m 14s
    3. Adding canvas texture
      4m 51s
    4. Using Sample All Layers
      5m 21s
  8. 14m 48s
    1. You must destroy detail
      2m 9s
    2. Establishing compositional structure
      3m 46s
    3. Determining a style and sticking to it
      7m 30s
    4. Painting in progress: Finishing the underpainting layer
      1m 23s
  9. 26m 40s
    1. Understanding simplified indication
      9m 9s
    2. Understanding color: Warm advances, cool retreats
      4m 9s
    3. Painting in progress: Introducing texture to the intermediate layer
      13m 22s
  10. 40m 19s
    1. The play's the thing
      5m 18s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      4m 40s
    3. Using a traditional paint color swatch set
      4m 37s
    4. Painting in progress: Completing the detail layer
      16m 25s
    5. Adding surface texture effects
      9m 19s
  11. 12m 47s
    1. It pays to wait a day
      1m 55s
    2. Adjusting your importance hierarchy
      4m 49s
    3. You'll never paint the same thing twice
      2m 7s
    4. Helpful resources and inspiration
      3m 56s

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