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The combination of layers on the Mixer Brush eats up a lot of processor power, so much so that sampling the color found on underlying layers can slow brush performance down. In this video, we'll take a look at the Mixer Brush's Sample All Layers option and I'll show you how to avoid potential interruptions in your creative flow. So the thing is that we've got this Sample All Layers option when we're in the Mixer Brush. You typically want to keep it off.
The reason is, as I mentioned at the beginning, when I start to paint on another layer, and let's just take something like the Smeary Brush. Now it's normally smeary, but you can see when it's not interacting with the layer below it. It doesn't smear, whereas another color on this layer will smear with it. If I want a color to smear with the color on a layer underneath of it, I have to enable Sample All Layers. Now, it's going to do the extra push to look at that color underneath of it.
Now, in this particular instance, just dealing with a color layer to sample color found underneath of it is not necessarily a huge performance hit. Where you're really going to find the issue however is when you're on cloning layers. If you're on a cloning layer, and using the cloner, Sample All Layers, if it's enabled is going to just slow your brush way down. So if you happen to be on a cloning layer with a cloning brush, and you start to paint and it's very slow, the first thing you should think of is Sample All Layers, and look up here and I'll guarantee you that you've got it checked.
So you normally want this unchecked, specifically when you're working on cloning layers. Now, I'm going to give you a little tip that is kind of hidden, and that is, you would think, okay, cloners only work with cloning layers. But guess what? They actually can perform two functions. So I'm going to get a round cloner here. Now, we're not on a cloning layer. What do you expect to happen when I use it? Well, watch this. It actually becomes a blending brush.
It's a brush that blends, but doesn't apply color. It could be very useful. In this case, I do want Sample All Layers on and now here I am blending colors very nicely, but it's on a separate layer completely. So this lets me do all kinds of blending and not be destructive about it. For example, normally I tell you keep Sample All Layers not enabled when you're using the cloning brush.
Well, when you're on a cloning layer, yes, but you may later on want to create a blank layer and then use the cloning brush in its alter ego, which is as a blender on a normal layer as I'm doing here, and then you could go over your cloning layer and use that same cloning brush on a normal layer to become a blender. So it's a nice technique for being able to use the cloning brush as a blender.
To kind of wrap this up, the Sample All Layers option can be very useful for blending color on overlapping, multiple-layer, underlying color, but in doing so, it can dramatically affect brush performance. Being processor and memory dependent, it's very difficult to predict whether or not it will affect your specific setup. For the most part, you can work with Sample All Layers disabled and never notice it. But don't forget my little trick. You can use the cloning brushes on regular layers and blend.
Very big trick.
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