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SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting software preferences


From:

SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training

with David Lee

Video: Setting software preferences

In this lesson I will show you how to set preferences to make drawing and painting in Sketchbook Pro as natural and efficient as possible. Let's begin by moving our cursor to the main menu bar and clicking on the Edit tab and click on Preferences. Now you do have several preferences to go over here and what we will do is we'll go over the first four and that's General, Brush, Canvas, and System. We'll get into Lagoon in a later lesson. Let's begin with General options.

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SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training
2h 28m Beginner Jun 14, 2010

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In SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training, David Lee shows how to use SketchBook Pro's powerful tools and unique marking menu interface to make digital drawing and painting a natural experience. This course covers setting application preferences, selecting brushes, picking colors, choosing the right drawing tools for each project, and working with pen tablet and pen display devices. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the user interface lagoon
  • Customizing brush settings
  • Creating a texture brush
  • Refining a sketch with blur, smear and sharpen tools
  • Creating illustrations with layers
  • Using the Symmetry tool to mirror drawings across the X or Y axis
  • Using the ruler tool to draw and position precise straight lines
  • Using the Ellipse tool to draw and position precise circles, ellipses, and curves.
  • Saving projects
Subject:
Design
Software:
SketchBook Pro Wacom
Author:
David Lee

Setting software preferences

In this lesson I will show you how to set preferences to make drawing and painting in Sketchbook Pro as natural and efficient as possible. Let's begin by moving our cursor to the main menu bar and clicking on the Edit tab and click on Preferences. Now you do have several preferences to go over here and what we will do is we'll go over the first four and that's General, Brush, Canvas, and System. We'll get into Lagoon in a later lesson. Let's begin with General options.

Now the first box says Display layers introduction to screen, Add Image: import into new layer. I usually leave those unchecked, because I'd like to have an unencumbered canvas as I draw. So it's a good idea to leave those open. Here is Page Up. This allows you to open a previous drawing or open the next image. No you can turn those on or off depending on which one you want. This one basely allows you to go back and open a previous image. Undos. Now this one is an interesting one, because Sketchbook pro actually allows you to save up to 75 undos and redos.

However, what happens in reality is that it does have a tendency to slowdown the application and they've recommended 2 - 30. Because my feeling if you need to do at the 30 undos and redos, you're probably best starting over another drawing. So I would definitely keep it down to 30 and it keeps application running nice and smoothly. Depending on the country that you are working in you can have a variety of language specific designations for your software. As far as the graphics, I would just definitely disable that because it does add one more item to your work in Sketchbook Pro that you don't necessarily need.

Let's go to the next tab that is Brush. Again, Brush Cross-hair and that's the actual cursor or guide that you see as you draw on your screen or on your tablet that's on your screen. I would typically click on this link displaying the crosshair. Now you do have other options. Best for your hardware. Some people just like that one. I think the standard display crosshair is good. Again, Brush Outline. I select all of them, because it's good to see where you're working. So it's okay to select all of those. Next is Canvas Size.

Now Canvas Size, that's really up to everyone. Everyone has their specific preferences. Again, Options, Enable canvas scrollbars. For me that's not really important, because I have a lot of the move and zoom tools that always me some capability to navigate across the canvas. However, what I usually like to do is I like to select the largest possible size that I can work in, because what that does is it allows me to work in a size that if I have to repurpose a drawing for web use or for printing, I am always having something that I can always compress in size and that gives me a nicer quality piece of artwork.

So you can go ahead and make selections there. Now here I can just go ahead and enter a size from it. I like using 17x11. That's the ledger size. That's pretty nice size drawing that you can print using ledger size paper. Again, I try to work anywhere between 100 and 150 dpi and reason for that is that if you select in the area of 300 and above, even though that is a very nice quality to print here, what happens is because it's a sketch, it does really slow things down a bit as you work. And since it's a sketch, an illustration, I think working 150 dpi, especially if you are working a larger size format. System.

Now what this does is it allows you to save your Sketchbook Pro work in a variety of file formats. Now the native format is TIFF. That allows you to save in layers very much like some of the other image editing software programs that are out there. A JPEG is really nice, because it always you to save very high quality, but in a very small size file. Then there are some other file formats here. These are two that I highly recommend working in, because they are really useful across the board for many, many type of illustration formats. The last one that we are going to talk a little bit about right now, I'll go into greater detail in future lesson, is Interface Lagoon, which allows you to basically customize the location of your particular tool feature, but within each one of those features you can actually customize the location of where you want that tool within the location on the Lagoon.

So it's a little bit of complexity, but if we go through this step-by-step in a separate standalone lesson, you'll find that this is going to be probably one of your most useful setups for working in Sketchbook Pro. Once your Preferences are preset to your drawing style, rarely will you need to revisit this. More comprehensive tool adjustments will be covered in a future lesson.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training.


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Q: The grid files the author uses in the course aren't included in the exercise files. Where can I find them?
A: The grid files are background template files that are provided with an Autodesk subscription, which comes with purchase of any Autodesk product, including Sketchbook Pro. To sign up for a subscription, visit http://subscription.autodesk.com and click Create an Account. You'll be prompted to enter your software license number, so make sure to have that handy.
 
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