Using the main menu
Video: Using the main menuIn this lesson I will show you how to use the main menu bar. The main menu bar features file access and saving options, editing and preferences, image and canvas controls and the useful Help menu options from Autodesk and SketchBook Pro user groups. To begin, let's create a new sketch to help demonstrate the features of the main menu. I am going to go ahead and take my pen and I'll hover over the Drawing tools. Press down to make your selection and drag up. And then the next thing I am going to do is I am going to press down on the color wheel, and make a selection of a color.
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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.
- 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
Using the main menu
In this lesson I will show you how to use the main menu bar. The main menu bar features file access and saving options, editing and preferences, image and canvas controls and the useful Help menu options from Autodesk and SketchBook Pro user groups. To begin, let's create a new sketch to help demonstrate the features of the main menu. I am going to go ahead and take my pen and I'll hover over the Drawing tools. Press down to make your selection and drag up. And then the next thing I am going to do is I am going to press down on the color wheel, and make a selection of a color.
In this case, I am going to select the color Black. I'll move my cursor mid page. I'll go ahead and press down and drag a line, lower left to upper right. Again another one. And I'll construct a small cube. Now before we get into editing this drawing or sharing with you how it can be edited using the main menu, what I'd like to do is talk a little bit about the first item on the main menu bar, which is under File tab.
Let's go ahead and click on that, and again hover your cursor and press down. And let's go ahead and take a look at some of these options. Now the first several, the new Open, Save and Save As, you are probably very familiar with these from previous software titles. However, there are a couple of Save options here I'd love to share with you. They are pretty good. Save a Copy As, and let me go ahead and click on that, so you can see what that does. What that does is it allows you to go ahead and save an identical copy, but under a different name, which is really helpful, especially in SketchBook Pro, because it's TIFF file you want to maintain, because you want to be able to have those exact same controls.
Okay, let's go ahead and go back up to the File tab. And another one is adding the image. Again, this is very much like importing image from your file archives, that you might be able to import, another drawing, illustration, or perhaps a photograph that you like to merge into your SketchBook Pro, and it's really easy to do. Again Page Setup refers to getting ready to print. If you have a particular page format you like to work in, letter- size, letter-sized and that allows you to basically set that up.
And printing, again, that allows you to go ahead and print based on your print setups. You can also send a SketchBook profile through e-mail by saving either TIFF or any other format size that you like, and go ahead and e-mail that out. Let's go to the next File tab, which is Edit. Now you do have several options here, but I'm going to talk a little bit about a couple of them. The other ones we will talk a little bit more in the future lessons, but the first one is Undo. And basically what that means is that it's going to undo the very last drawing brushstroke that you've done.
So if you went ahead and clicked on that, you see how that line disappeared? Now it magically reappears too, by also offering a Redo option. Now, let's say you really don't want that drawing anymore. You can actually go to the Clear option, and it'll clear the drawing from your canvas. Now if you want that drawing back, go ahead and hover over Edit and click Undo, and the drawing comes back. Another feature that's on the Edit menu is Select All. And by hovering and selecting that by tapping once, there are a couple of options.
You see where you have which we would call the marching ants. You can either delete everything that's within that space or it also gives you the option of scaling it away from other elements of your drawing. And if it's still in the way you can actually click on the Rotate tool and move it away from areas of the drawing that you don't want to select. Once you are satisfied with what you've selected and you want to remove that, you can simply go to your Edit menu again and select Clear and it clears that item.
Now in the last two items, Stylus Responsiveness and Preferences, are lessons that we are going to be talking about in the later demonstrations. But I want to share with you very quickly Stylus Responsiveness and what that's all about. It is very simple. Depending on the way you traditionally draw, if you're very, very heavy-handed on the pencil on paper, where you just naturally put a lot of force, what you want to do is you want to go ahead and decrease the amount of sensitivity in your pen, so it compensates for it. Now if you have a relatively light touch to your drawing and you are very light on the pencil, what you want to do now is you want to increase the amount of responsiveness.
So what it does is it tries to compensate to make the drawing experience in SketchBook Pro as natural and as comfortable as possible. Go ahead and deselect that. And let's go ahead and bring back one of those drawings. Now what I did here was I went back to the lagoon and I clicked on the Undo button. And we will go into that in a future lesson. Let's go to the next main menu tab, which is Image Controls. Now there are two main ones here and there are also some other ones here, which are very helpful in the event that you need to rotate your drawing for another purpose or flip an image.
Image Size basically refers to your file image size. So there are several adjustments here, as you can adjust the width and the height of your drawing and the resolution. And you also have other settings, which you can actually adjust by percentage and pixels of height and width. And you have the exact same settings here, but you also have in addition metric sizes. It has automatic equivalence, so it will readjust to the dimensions that you want and also in metric in standard dimensions for your resolution.
Now one of the things that I'd like to share with you that's really important is that you have a button here, which allows you to click to keep proportions, because if you unclick that, it allows you to freely adjust your image size. But if you want to keep that same proportion but you just want basically a smaller image size, you need to click that that before you make your dimensional changes. Once you are satisfied with everything, go ahead and click OK and you're ready to roll. Now what works together in conjunction with that, but in some ways separately, is the Canvas Size. And what that basically means is that, let's go ahead and click on inches.
And what you see here is that it matches the image size, which makes sense. However, let's say you want to do a drawing and you want to add a border, or you want to add a little more size to it to fit that particular format size, but you don't want to change the image size. You might want to increase the size of the canvas to allow you to have extra room or margin. So in this case what I am going to do is I am going to take that 12 and I'll increase it by 14. And the Height I am going to adjust to perhaps 12.
Now obviously it didn't really make a whole lot of visual change here, but you can automatically see that the format size has gotten a little more square. And now I have a little more room to create a margin. In fact, let's go ahead and draw a margin. And again, I'll show you in a later lesson how to draw these straight lines. So now you can see we have gone ahead and added a margin and increased the canvas size.
The next items here are Rotating tools, which allow you to rotate the image counter clockwise, clockwise, allows you to mirror to canvas. And what you want to do is keep your eye on the middle of your screen, right on that cube. And what you'll see is a flipping. I'll flip that back. And I still want you to keep your eye on the middle of that screen, because what we are going to do is we are now going to flip the canvas vertically. We'll flip that back. Now the next two tools are actually specifically for mirroring a layer.
And we'll get into that a little bit later as we are talking about layers. But what that does is it allows you to select a separate layer and flip that, because there might be some other reasons for why you are going to need to have a mirrored image on a separate layer. And SketchBook Pro has been very clever by adding that feature. The last two items on the Image Controls are the Symmetry X and the Symmetry Y tools. These are great tools, because they allow you to draw exact precise symmetry rather having to draw two profiles. Well, let me share with you what that means. Let's take a look at Symmetry X. Now as I go ahead and hover and click down on that, a line appears right through the middle of my canvas.
And with my tools selected let's go ahead and select that Pencil tool. I am just going to draw a freeform line at the top of the symmetry guide. Now watch what happens directly below it. Isn't that great? Let's do another one. Maybe something little more rigid. Now let's go ahead and deselect that. And again to deselect it what you want to do is go back to the main menu bar and go to the left. You see that little check mark? Let's go ahead and check that off. And by closing that off we don't inadvertently create more symmetry on a different axis, and let me show you what that is.
So let's go back to the main menu tab under Image and select Symmetry Y. Now the Y-axis is basically North and South. So with our tools selected, we will go ahead and select the Pencil tool. You can draw perfectly symmetrical items with the Y-axis going up and down. Let's go ahead and do something. I want to share this with you because I think it's really important to see. If you have both X and Y, I want to share with you what happens. If I start a drawing at the top of that X-axis, watch what happens on the entire canvas when I start to draw these lines.
You see that drawing meander both top and bottom and left and right. That's why it's a really powerful tool. However, if you are not paying attention to what you're going to accomplish on that drawing, you can easily do something that you didn't really plan on doing. Now the easy plan with SketchBook Pro is you can always go back to your Undo tool. So I am going to go back to the main menu bar to Edit and click Undo. And again, every time you click one it takes away the previous drawing that you've just created.
And to close out, what we are going to do is talk a little bit about the Help menu. And again, I am not going to go into a great detail about these. However, this is probably the single most resourceful area for help on SketchBook Pro questions. And there is help that's on board. Let me go ahead and hover over Help and click on SketchBook Pro Help. And as you can see it gives you a column of all the tools and again, icons referring to each of the functions and features within SketchBook Pro.
If you go on the second one, SketchBook Pro Online, that allows you to get online to get support directly from Autodesk for user groups and also purchasing and downloading. There is a particular Autodesk area that's also access to other community groups, Jobs, Downloads and Tutorials. And the last item is Autodesk Community. And if you click on that and it goes online, it allows you to have more specific access to particular Downloads, Portfolios and Discussions.
Use the main menu as your portal for preparing to draw, file, and accessing SketchBook Pro support.
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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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