Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video creating custom palettes, part of Getting Started with Corel Painter IX.
- In the last movie, we took a look at how to customize the interfacing Corel Painter IX by grouping and ungrouping our palettes into different configurations. In this movie, we're gonna take a look at another great way to customize the interface and that's using the custom palettes feature. Custom palettes basically let us build our own palettes. What we can add to those palettes are things like brushes, paper textures, gradients, patterns, weaves, looks, and nozzles. We can also add commands from the menus.
Now, why would we want to create a custom palette? Well, sometimes you'll find it tedious to spend time going through some of the different selectors such as the Brush Variant selector here to search for different tools. So being able to set up a custom palette, it allows you to take the tools that you use most frequently in your workflow and put them into an individual palette. So the first thing that we need to do before we start creating our custom palette is decide what the purpose of the custom palette is. For this exercise, I'm gonna create a custom palette that I would use if I was cloning.
Now the idea of cloning seems a bit foreign to you. Not to worry, there's an entire chapter of movies about cloning later on this movie training. For right now, just focus on the task of creating custom palettes. So for my cloning palette, the very first thing that I wanna do is I want to decide what brushes I'm going to use and I'm gonna add those to my custom palette. So I'm gonna go up to the Brush category selector and I'm gonna choose Cloners which is the category of brushes that contains all of my cloning brushes. First brush that I'm going to add is the Camel Oil Cloner which I just selected here from the Brush Variants selector.
Now, to add it to a custom palette, all I have to do is click and drag the little thumbnail icon of the brush tip. What you can see happen is I have this outline of that icon around my cursor. When I release my mouse, you can see that I had now have a custom palette. It's called Custom 2. And I have an icon which is identical to the current icon in the Brush category selector. And as I position my mouse over that icon, you can see that it says Camel Oil Cloner which is the currently selected brush and the one that I chose to add to this custom palette.
Now if you can't see the Tool Tip, it's possible that you don't have Tool Tips turned on in Corel Painter IX. To make sure that you have Tool Tips turned on, go up to the Help menu and make sure that the option here says Hide Tool Tips. If it says Show Tool Tips, that means it turned off. So click that option and your Tool Tips will be turned on. It's important to have Tool Tips turned on especially here because as you can see, we see the icon of the category, not of the actual brush. And in order to understand which brush we're working with, we need to be able to see those Tool Tips.
So I've added my first brush. Now, let's go ahead and add another one. This time I'm gonna choose the Impressionist Cloner from the Brush category selector. And again, I'm just gonna click and drag. You can see that little outline. And I'm gonna position it right beside the first one. There we go, Impressionist Cloner. Next, I'm gonna go a little higher in my menu here and I'm gonna choose the Chalk Cloner. I'm gonna click and drag, and position it right beside the Impressionist Cloner.
Let's add one more. This time I'm gonna choose the Soft Cloner so I'm gonna choose that in the Brush Variant selector. And then click and drag. And there we go. Now we have the four brushes that we wanna use in our cloning workflow. And again, as I position my cursor over each of them, we can see the Tool Tip. Basically, to select them, I'm just gonna click on them. And if you watch right up here in the Brush selector as I switch tools in the custom palette, it automatically switches them in the Brush selector.
There we go. Now I'm just gonna click and drag this resize handle to make my palette a little bit bigger. The next thing that I wanna add are paper textures that I like to use. So just like with the brushes, all I have to do is click and drag to add the paper textures that I want. So I'm gonna go over to my Paper selector. I'm gonna choose my Paper. I'm gonna start with Basic Paper. And I'm gonna click and drag. Again, we can see that little outline around our cursor. And I'm just gonna drop it right on to our custom palette.
And there you can see we have not only the Tool Tip, but now we also have an actual thumbnail of what that paper texture looks like. Let's add another one. I'm gonna go into my Paper selector and this time I'm gonna choose Coarse Cotton Canvas. Again, I'm gonna click and drag, and position it right there inside my custom palette. Now the next thing that we're going to do is we're going to add some commands from the menu. Before we start there, let's just take a look at the menus. You can see that some of the items are grayed out.
Now, why are they grayed out? Well, it's because I don't have a file open. And as most applications, if you don't have a file opened, there's going to be some commands that just simply aren't available. So, what we need to do is we need to, before we start adding commands, we need to make sure that we have a file opened. Because if any of these commands, for example, the one I'm gonna add in this example is gonna be Quick Clone. If that's grayed out, I can't add it to my custom palette. I have to have that particular option active in order to add it.
So in this case, what I need to do is open a file or create a new file. I'm gonna go to Open. And inside my interface folder, I have a file called pepper_plant.jpg. I'm just gonna open that up. Now if we go to the File menu, you can see that we have Quick Clone available to us. And since it's available, we can now add it to our Custom Palette. Now unlike the brushes and paper textures, we can't add that by clicking and dragging because there's nothing to click and drag from in the menu. So what we need to do is go up to our Window menu and go down to the Custom Palette menu flyout.
And you can see that we have a couple of commands. Organizer, Add Command, and then we have this option down here, Custom 2. Custom 2 is basically telling us which custom palette we have opened and active. If we had more than one custom palette opened, you'd see them below in a list. Right now, we only have Custom 2 so that's what you're seeing here. We're gonna take a look at Organizer in a little bit. But right now, we're gonna concern ourselves with this item here which is Add Command. So I'm gonna choose that. And you can see that it opens up the Add Command dialog box.
And this dialog box is what allows me to add commands from the menu into our custom palette. So the first thing I need to do is I need to tell Corel Painter IX what custom palette to add the menu command from. You can see by default, it's automatically gonna add it to a new palette. Well, I don't wanna create a new palette. I want it to be inside my Custom 2 palette. So I'm gonna go ahead and choose that. And now all I need to do is go up to the menu and choose the item that I wanna add. So in this case, we're gonna add Quick Clone which is a new feature in Corel Painter IX.
We're gonna take a look at that in subsequent movies. So I'm gonna choose Quick Clone. You can see menu item. It now updates to Quick Clone. And if I click OK, voila! There is our Quick Clone item now inside our Custom 2 palette. If I click it, it automatically creates a clone of the image. If I close up our clone and go to File, Quick Clone, you can see it does exactly the same thing. Let's look at that one more time. I click it here.
There's our clone. So you can see that basically, any of the commands from any of our menus in Corel Painter IX can be added into our custom palettes. In this case, I added the Quick Clone item because it's something that I often use when I'm cloning. Okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and close up this file because we're done with that clone and we've tested that Quick Clone actually works. So the next thing we're gonna do is rename our custom palette. Obviously, Custom 2 is not a terribly intuitive name so let's rename that to something else.
So I'm gonna go up to my Window menu. I'm gonna go to Custom Palette. I'm gonna choose Organizer. And if I click Custom 2, you can see that it enables this Rename button. So I'm gonna click that. And I'm gonna type Cloning. I'm gonna click OK. And now you can see that the title bar changes to Cloning and we have the Cloning entry right in here. I'm gonna go ahead and click Done. Before we move on, I wanna point out one thing. In the last movie, we looked at how we can group and ungroup palettes.
The same principles apply when you actually have a custom palette. Instead of leaving it floating on its own, if I wanted to, I could just drag it right over here and dock it with the other palettes. Now let's just see what happened here. There's our Colors palette which needs to expand this palette a little bit so we can see both of them. Close that Colors. There we go. Now you can see that we have the Cloning palette grouped in with our Colors palette. I'm actually gonna drag that back out so that it's on its own. So we can finish this exercise. Open up our Colors palette again.
The last thing that we're gonna take a look at is how to import and export these custom palettes. You may decide that you wanna save your custom palette onto your hard drive so that you can use it again in future or you may actually decide that you wanna share custom palettes with other users. So to do that, we need to look at how to import and export these files. I'm gonna go up to the Window menu and I'm gonna go to Custom Palette, Organizer. Let's first take a look at how to export these files so that we can save it for somebody else to use.
So what I need to do first is just click on the palette. It seems a little counter-intuitive when there's only one item in here but imagine that you have several custom palettes. You need to specify the Corel Painter IX which palette you wanna work with. And to save this particular palette on to my hard drive, I'm gonna click the export button. And I'm gonna save this right into my interface folder. Now you can see it's asking for a file name. I'm gonna call this cloning_palette.
Now if you're on Windows, it's gonna add a .PAL extension. That's the native file format for this particular type of file. I'm just gonna go ahead and I'm gonna click Save. And that saved our palette. But we wanna check and make sure that it actually has saved it. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to click on Cloning and I'm gonna click Delete because we wanna clear this from the list of current palettes that Corel Painter IX can open because we wanna test to make sure that that particular custom palettes save properly.
So now what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna click the import button. And here you can see I'm in my interface folder. We have cloning_palette. I'm gonna click it to select it. And I'm gonna click Open. And there's our palette. Now, the same principle would apply if you got a palette from another user. Let's take a look at what you would do in that situation. Again, we're just gonna click the Import button. You can see I've created this folder for you called custom_palette and there's two particular files in here.
The first one is portrait_palette and the second is portrait_palette.PAL. If you're on Windows, you're gonna wanna use the .PAL file. And if you're on a Mac, you're gonna use the portrait_palette file. This is a custom palette that John Derry built. You're gonna actually use this later on in the cloning chapter. So again, just like we did before, I'm gonna click it to select it. And I'm gonna click Open and there we have our custom palette. Now you can see that there's two items in here. And I'm gonna click Done. And now I have my two palettes that I can work with.
So as you can see from this movie, being able to set up a custom palette in Corel Painter IX is very helpful especially for things like brushes and paper textures. You're not always hunting through some of the Brush selectors and the Paper selectors. And it's also helpful to be able to add an Add menu command as we did in our Cloning custom palette where we added the Quick Clone command. And again, if you need to, you can save these custom palettes and save them in the appropriate file format and feel free to share them with other users.