- The first stop on our customization tour is preferences. Preferences provide options to adjust how Painter handles specific tasks. I divide preferences up into two categories, convenience and performance. Convenience preferences are specific to your particular workflow so there is no right answer. Like convenience preferences, performance preferences are specific to your unique hardware configuration. Think of my suggestions as starting points which you may need to experiment with to find the sweet spot for your particular workflow and hardware.
To begin, we're going to open up the Preferences dialog and on Mac you go to the Corel Painter X3 menu item and go to Preferences, General. On Windows, you'll go to the Edit menu and you'll find Preferences at the bottom of that menu. As we go through these, as I said, I'm just going to make a few recommendations and it'll be up to you to try them out or adjust them later on if you find it isn't working for your particular workflow. I would say start out with everything set up the same here, except for, and this is my recommendation, Brush size increment.
I find 1 pixel change of size is very minimal. An example would be if you want to go from a 2 pixel brush to a 10 pixel brush, if it adjusts in 1 pixel increment, and by the way we're talking about when we're using the keyboard shortcuts of the cmd or ctrl key and left and right bracket keys, that's where you will make these size increment changes and as I was saying, if you have a 2 pixel brush and you want to go up to a 10 pixel brush, if you are in a 1 pixel change, you've got to do nine changes to get to that 10 pixel brush.
If you set it to two that halves the number of clicks you've got to do to get to that brush size. So I find it's just easier for me to be able to change brush size and I do tend to use the keyboard. We will be showing you some other ways to address size and so you're not locked into this, but it's a small thing, but I find over the long haul, it's helped me to have this set to 2 pixels. Next, let's go to the Interface and the thing that you may want to take note of here is the cursor type.
By default it's the Enhanced brush ghost. What this cursor does, and you may have seen it already in some of the other videos I've been doing, it's a cursor that's circular, but it also indicates the tilt of your pen as well as the bearing of it. And it's nice information to have, but it is extra and it does take a bit more processing to display that on your images, particularly on older systems. I have found there are some brushes, and I can't even tell you which ones they are, it's almost random, but there are some brushes that just seem to lag a little bit when the Enhanced brush cursor is enabled and if you see your brush behaving in that manner, switch it to the Brush ghost.
At that point it's just as simple circular cursor and it doesn't take as much processing power to display and it seems to eliminate that slowness that you encounter when you're in the Enhanced brush ghost. But on modern systems, high performance systems, you're not going to notice a difference. So this is just a caveat to people who may have older systems, this is one way you can improve the performance of your brush strokes. The other thing I'll talk about here is the Default View Mode.
You can either have Windowed or Full screen. And I prefer the full screen mode, which this is in and you can see beyond the image there's a gray background, which you can control here. In fact, I like this to actually be black, so I'm going to also turn that down and it won't update until we leave the dialog here. But this eliminates seeing your desktop, which can be a bit distracting. So it's just a way to provide a better focus while you're working and that's one thing you may want to think about.
You can also switch between Windowed and Full screen mode using the cmd or ctrl plus m key to switch back and forth between those. So sometimes you'll find one's better than the other but you do have the option to change that while you're working. Next, let's talk about the Toolbox Layout. You can see how this is one long row of icons for my tools and because of the resolution that we're recording at, normally on a higher resolution screen below this you would have the media palette but it can't be displayed here because of this screen resolution.
So one thing I could do here, I could change this from a Vertical Single Column to a Vertical Double Column, and again, we won't see this changed until we get out of the preferences. But this will enable me to show both the Toolbox and the Media Layout. Let's go ahead and I'll do that. So you can see how it switched to a black background which I prefer, it's also now giving me room for some additional furniture in the screen here so now I'm going to go down and go to my Media Selector and you can see now I can tuck this right down here.
So this is one way on a lower resolution screen you can have both of these palettes available to you. Of course, if you're working in a higher resolution environment you won't encounter this problem. Okay, so let's return to Preferences. And now we're going to look at Performance. Performance is specific to your hardware and so again how it's set here is probably, and possibly, different than what you're going to have to set it to.
I would keep most of these on the normal settings right now and I'll describe a couple of them and if you find performance issues with your system, this is where you would likely go to adjust that. Memory Usage 80% is a good initial setting. The idea being here that the more memory usage you allocate to Painter, the less memory is left available for the system to do other background tasks. 80% is a good compromise, but once again, if you find your system lagging, you may want to adjust Memory Usage of Painter down.
Also, for Windows users Painter does run in a 64-bit environment which again is a performance enhancement that allows it to do much more work at a single time. However, the Mac version is still working in 32 bits and this Painter Memory Extender is a work around for the time being that allows Painter to use more than the limitation of memory that is presented in a 32 bit system, so this hopefully will be addressed in a later release of Painter when it goes 64 bit on the Mac, but for now this is your way as a Mac user to enjoy the extended memory that your system probably has.
Multicore Usage. Each system has a different setting here depending on what your processor is. This happens to be one that has eight processors and then an additional eight virtual processors so it's giving me 15 and leaving one available for other activity. Again, this is something you may want to adjust depending on how you work, if you have other applications running, lots of background tasks, you may find turning this down actually gives you a better performance.
Again, I'd stay with however it's set, it will poll your system, find out how many cores it has and deduct one and set it to that by default. But you have the option later on to turn this down. Undo Levels. Keep in mind, you can go up to 256 levels, but each one of these levels starts to incur more and more impact on your system, so I typically set more down to something like 24 so it is nice to have the ability to hit that cmd or ctrl Z multiple times and back up and not be constrained to one, but if you turn it way up, again, you could see your performance be impacted by it.
So I would say keep it at the normal one or maybe even turn it down a bit. Finally we get to these View Options and this allows the view of your imagery to be smooth when you zoom it out to anything other than 100%. I'm going to temporarily jump out of here and I want to show you if I go to the magnifier just what's happening here. You can also set this in the magnifier tool with this setting right here and you may or may not see this in the recording of this, but when I set this and then I start to well let's zoom up and this will be where you really see it.
Right now this is off, so I'm seeing the real pixels. If I turn this on, you may have seen a slight smoothing happening. Sometimes it can be disadvantageous to have this smoothing on when you're zoomed in because I may want to work on a pixel by pixel basis and having this on kind of smears the pixels a little bit and you don't see exactly what's there. With it off, you do see exactly what's happening. So, it's up to you and you do have this option to turn this on and off when you're in the magnifier tool itself, but I just wanted to show you what that means when you're setting it.
Next, let's go to, quickly just go to Shapes. I'm going to pretty much bypass this, these particular settings work fine and I've never changed them ever. So I find these to work totally like they're expected to when you're working with shapes. Cloning, this is another one that you may want to change and when we get to the cloning chapter I will address these in greater detail, there are a couple of things I will show you to change, but until we actually get into cloning, it doesn't make much sense to talk about it.
So, we'll return to this when we get to Cloning. And then finally we get to Connections. Connections deals with the companion app for Painter called Cinco and we are also going to do a video on that and it just extends Painter's interface to the iPad so that you can actually use your hand to make quick adjustments to almost any tool in Painter. It's very wide open how you can set it up, as you'll see when we take a look at it. But you will need to enable this in order for the iPad and Painter to communicate back and forth with one another.
These are my recommendations, but keep in mind there are many, many hardware variations that Painter runs on. Your specific system may or may not benefit from these recommendations. If you are seeing performance issues with the suggested settings, experiment with adjusting the settings to improve performance.
Learn the basics of painting on a computer, and see how to set up your system (your Painter preferences, tablet and pen, and palettes) so it works best for you. John shows you how to mix and manage color; wield Painter's expressive brushes with maximum control; work with layers, selections, cloning; and integrate with that other digital-painting powerhouse, Adobe Photoshop. John also covers 2015 features such as the new Particle brushes, Jitter Smoothing, updated brush tracking, and improved custom palette tools. Dive in now and get your creative juices flowing.
- Understanding the Painter 2015 interface
- Working with a pen tablet
- Creating templates and custom palettes
- Working with layers and channels
- Calibrating brushes for maximum stroke quality
- Painting with Jitter brushes
- Painting with Digital Watercolor brushes
- Painting with particles
- Selecting with the Lasso and Magic Wand tools
- Preserving transparency in layers
- Cloning artwork
- Using Photoshop and Painter together