Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Tool palette and Property bar, part of Painter 11 Essential Training.
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In this video, we are going to start taking a look at the components of the on screen interface in Painter and I'm going to begin by taking about the toolbar, which is right here, the Tool palette and I'm going to also discuss the Property Bar. So, this is normally where you wouldn't put them but I'm just pulling them out so you can see the components I'm talking about. Interestingly, the Tool palette and the Property Bar are almost two faces of a coin and the reason that is, is that you will notice if I switch from my Brush tool by clicking over here on the Layer Adjuster you will notice that the Property Bar changes and in fact, every time I click to a different tool the contents of that Property Bar update.
Why is it doing that? Well, one way I think about the Property Bar, it's almost like the dashboard on your car. When you are driving down the road, you don't spend 20%, 30%, 40% of your time looking down at the dashboard. In fact you would probably spend less than 1% looking at it. But at the same time it gives you vital information about the status of your car, so you know how much gas you have, you know how fast you are going, you can tell what radio station you are listening to, the time, they are all there but they are laid out in such a manner that you can pretty much glean that information from a single glance.
And that's exactly how the Property Bar works in conjunction with the Tool palette. So, each one of these tools has bits of information that is very useful to be able to almost in a glance be able to find out. We'll begin with the Brush because that's literally the heart of Painter. You will be in these other tools at various times but you are going to spend the majority of your time in Painter in the Brush tool since that what Painter is all about. And so, the Property Bar reflects the fact that you are using the Brush tool.
What you will find up here are various elements that tell you the status of that brush at the current time. Now, it's not my intent in this video to go through and describe for you what every component of every Property Bar setting is going to look like for every tool but the idea here is to let you know that you can get the key information you need about a tool from the Property Bar. And the way the Brush tool is set up in particular is it gives me some very vital information.
For example, I can find out right away what size brush I'm working on right now and it's listed in pixels. So, this is a 20 pixel brush. I also can find out what's the Opacity of this brush at the moment. It's a 70% Opacity. Finally, and we'll talk about this in greater detail in a later video but the Paper Grain interact with some tools, and this gives me a indication of what's the current setting of the Paper Grain. And then you are going to get into some more a little bit esoteric things here like Resat, Bleed, Jitter.
You know they are not common word that you encountered in everyday conversation, but to the brush they are important. For example, Resat is a contraction of re-saturation, and re-saturation and bleed as we'll find out later are two components of the brush that very much control how color comes off of the brush. And you can adjust them to get a wide variety of looks with the color that's coming off the brush and once again, we'll investigate that in depth at a later chapter. Jitter is another one.
It allows me to play around with the stroke that is made by a brush. In fact, let's just temporarily switch to a different tool and I'll show you a little bit of this. If I draw with this brush right now you will see that it in fact draws us a very nice straight line. However, if I go in and adjust my Opacity down and this is an important feature to show you, you can adjust the Opacity or any these boxes in several ways. I could go in here and this is an editable field.
I want to do 90% and you can see that the brush is not quite 100% opaque anymore. Another way to adjust it is to click on the little down arrow on the rectangle on the right side, if I click on that you will see what pops up here is a slider and I can now use this slider to adjust very coarsely or I can actually use these little right and left arrows to very precisely adjust exactly the level I want. Now, I have a brush that is 55% transparent. The other thing though that is very useful to know about the way this little drop-down menu that brings the slider up is you don't have to go through one, two, three actions in order to adjust opacity.
I can instead just click and drag, just clicking and dragging instantly make this adjustable so that you are not having to do three clicks. The only time you would use the three click method, the one and then two and then finally three to slide or to adjust this when you really want to make very precise adjustments. Normally I don't, especially with opacity. It's not something you necessarily need an exact level of Opacity. Many of the sliders in Painter employ what I call season to taste. There is no particularly correct Opacity level.
It's all in what your intention is and what kind of expression you are trying to make. So like a chef many of these sliders are really season to taste, you just get into roughly where you want. So, if I'm not at 50% exactly that's close enough for me. I don't need to spend the time threading the needle here to find exactly 50%, I can just basically click and drag and get to a percentage within a range that I want to work with. So, that's one way to very quickly work on these. Another way to do this what's you are going to happen to do when you are in the Brush tool is the 1 through 0 keys, work in 10% increments.
So if I want to get to 80% right now, if I just click the 8 key you can see it immediately moves up. So I can go like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and so on just by using those numeric keys. So you do have one way to quickly kind of move in 10% increments and often times that's totally useful. So what I'm talking about here that's specific to the Brush Property Bar is going to apply in basically any one of the palettes you are in. So if I want to change the Brush Size clicking and dragging is a way to do that.
The basis, as I said though, is that the Property Bar acts as if it were a dashboard for the particular tool that is active in the toolbar. So, you want to use this two sides of this coin to be able to give yourself a instant status check on what a particular tool setting is at any given moment.
Download the Painter/Photoshop Consistent Color Management PDF and the Brush Troubleshooting Checklist PDF from the Exercise Files tab.
- Understanding the Painter 11 interface
- Exploring Painter's brushes and painting styles
- Creating and using templates
- Working with layers and channels
- Adding text to a canvas
- Designing captions and text for photos
- Integrating Painter projects with Photoshop
- Creating animation sequences with Painter