Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video Manipulating grain, part of Corel Painter 11: Mastering Brushes.
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Grain refers to the appearance of an irregular surface within a variant's stroke and Painter utilizes a built-in library of paper grains to provide grain-aware media with a virtual three-dimensional surface. What do I mean by grain-aware media? When I say grain-aware, I'm referring to various tools within Painter that are aware of this 3D surface and in the next movie, I'll show you how to distinguish between when a media is grain-aware and when it's not.
But for the most part, it's the ones that you would think they are, like chalk, charcoal, conte crayons, pencils, anything that you associate with interacting with grain is a grain-aware media. But I'll show you very specifically how you can determine what a grain-aware media is. One of the important factors of how you access these grains in Painter is through pressure sensitivity, and the Wacom tablet is probably the premiere tablet that is used in concert with Painter for being able to access this pressure.
So it's a combination of the fact that Painter is aware of paper grain and information being delivered from a tablet like the Wacom that is able to utilize pressure and in turn send that data to Painter so that it knows how to take advantage of the artist's varying pressure and utilize paper grain to make it visualized as part of the artwork. I'm going to start off with a little bit of chalk here to show you how this works, and I'm going to start with very light hand pressure and you'll see that I'm just barely touching the top of this grain.
One way to think of it is it's like a little mountain range and there are peaks and there are valleys. Right now, I'm just addressing the peaks, but as I start to bear down in pressure with my hand via the Wacom tablet, I'm adding more and more depth to that pressure so that at my full pressure I've now completely obliterated the mountain from the peak all the way into the valley. And it's this ability to have this scale from very light pressure to very full pressure that gives me this continuum of varying degrees of appearance of the grain.
So when drawing, you'll start to see how much it starts to play apart in the character of a particular variant. So you can see how this really makes a difference in the way that the character of a single brush or variant can be varied based on the hand pressure. Now by being able to adjust what grain is used we can even get more variability, and so we're going to take a look at where do we access these grains. I'm going to go up to the Window menu and drop-down to Library palettes and you'll see within the library of various media is Papers.
So you can access it this way, but I'm going to show you the way that I like to get at it and that's over at the bottom of the toolbar. We have access to the Library palettes right here as well and you'll see this upper-left icon, which actually is a graphic representation of the current paper grain, is the Paper Selector. When I click on this, I can quickly get to just the grains themselves. If I want to access the palette however, I can go up to the fly-out menu and go to Launch Palette and that brings up the Papers palette and once again, I now have access to all of these grains.
And if we select a different one, you'll see now I get a very different character based on that paper grain and that's one of the really nice things about the way paper grain works is which paper grain you happen to select makes a big difference on the way it's going to look. As a result paper grain is really responsible for delivering a wide range of expression to various grain-aware media and I will show you within the next movie how you can identify what is specifically a grain-aware media, but you can see very quickly here that just by changing grains, one simple tool takes on a very many different kinds of characters.
That's why grain is such an important component of the grain-aware media within Painter. I'll show you quickly what happens when you use a non-grain aware media and a good example of that would be something simple like the Airbrush. So let's go to Airbrushes here and I'll just kind of paint and you can see that this is also a brush. It's making a mark, but it has no grain. So it's not a grain-aware brush and that's why you get a very different kind of quality of stroke.
The good news is that there are some cases where grain awareness is very important, but with a tool like an Airbrush it's totally non-important, so you wouldn't want grain to appear in there and that's why there's a variety of tools that do sense grain and then there's a variety of tools that don't, and you want to have both types available. So think of grain as even though it's not part of the brush per se, it interacts with the brush in such a profound way that it's key to widening the expressive capability of many of Painter's brushes.
- Comparing real-world brush behavior with brushes in Painter
- Saving a brush variant for future use
- Using loaded brushes
- Using sponges and modifying captured dabs
- Drawing with pastels and chalk
- Painting with the traditional watercolor brushes
- Packaging brushes for distribution