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Skill Level Beginner
- In the last movie we took a look at the benefits of using a Wacom tablet with Corel Painter IX. In this movie we're going to take a look at how you can customize the Wacom tablet settings so that you can maximize its use in Corel Painter IX. In order to customize the tablet settings you need to access the Wacom Tablet Properties dialog box. To do that I'm going to go down to my System Preferences and you can see in the Other section there's this icon called Wacom Tablet, and if I double-click that you can see it automatically opens up the Wacom Tablet dialog box.
If you're using a Windows computer to access the Wacom Tablet Properties dialog box, you're going to go to the Start menu, choose Control Panel, double-click the Wacom Tablet option, and it will automatically open a dialog box that looks like this one. Now you can see at the top of the dialog box we have three options, Tablet, Tool and Application. So let's take a look at what those options mean before we get started customizing our tablet. The first one is Tablet, and right here you can see I have an icon of a tablet as well as some information about the model.
Here I have Intuos3 6x8, and that basically tells me that I have an Intuos3 6x8 tablet installed on my computer. If you have a different tablet you're going to see a different icon here. If you have more than one tablet installed on your computer you'll see a series of icons here, and what you need to do is click on the tablet that you want to customize and then you can go ahead and set up those settings. The next option is Tool, and you can see that we can customize the Functions, which include the Tablet Keys, also called ExpressKeys, the Touch Strip and the Pop-up Menu.
I can customize the Mouse settings, and I can also customize the Grip Pen settings. We're going to start with the Grip Pen so I'm going to leave it set on there, and now let's just talk about the Application. Right now it's set to All. That means that any of the settings that I change in this dialog box are going to affect all of the applications. However, the Wacom tablet properties allow you to set up your settings so that they apply to individual applications. If I click the plus button you can see it gives me a list of Currently Open Applications.
I'm going to choose Corel Painter IX and click OK, and now you can see I have the Application icon and the name of the Corel Painter IX program, and by leaving it set there and having that option selected, any of the options I change here are automatically going to be changed just for Corel Painter IX, it's not going to affect all of the other applications. Now the benefit of doing this is that if you're using applications that use all the features of a Wacom tablet, you may want them set up a little bit differently.
For example if you have Corel Painter IX and Adobe Photoshop CS both installed on your computer, you may want to actually go through the process of setting up the tablet differently for each application. I'm going to go ahead and add Adobe Photoshop CS, I'm going to click the plus button. Now it doesn't happen to be open on my computer so I'm going to click Browse, that's automatically going to look inside my Applications folder, I'm going to click the Adobe Photoshop CS folder and then click Adobe Photoshop CS and click Open, and then OK, and now you can see I have the icons for those two applications, Corel Painter IX and Adobe Photoshop CS.
I'm going to click on Corel Painter IX because that's obviously the application that we want to customize here. The first thing we're going to do is customize our Grip Pen settings, so I'm going to make sure I have Grip Pen and Pen selected. The first option we have is Tilt Sensitivity and you remember from the last movie that Tilt has to do with the angle of the pen in your hand, so the movement of right to left and forward to back, and that affects the shape of the brushstroke as well as the direction of the ink as you tilt the pen in your hand.
Now you can see that Tilt Sensitivity has three settings, Normal, Medium and High, and the default is Normal but you can increase that to Medium or High. Now the best way to decide how you want the Tilt Sensitivity set up is to go into Corel Painter IX, create a new file or work on an existing file, and choose an airbrush, I have Fine Spray chosen here, and what you want to do is just, you know, go ahead and make a few strokes while really tilting the brushstroke in your hand, and go back to the Wacom Tablet settings and adjust the settings again, this time to High, and just get a feel for how different that feels and decide, you know, where you like that to be set.
I actually like it set to the highest level and I'm going to leave it there for now. But this is really a personal preference thing. You really need to spend some time working with the airbrushes or some of the other brushes that take advantage of Tilt and get a feel for which one of these settings works best for you. The next thing we can do is adjust the Tip Feel. Now by default it's set right here to the middle and you can see that if I click inside this dialog box with just a little bit of pressure, you can see it reads close to the left, and if I apply a lot of pressure, you can see it's going to read closer to the Full.
So what I need to decide is, you know, how much pressure sensitivity do I normally apply when I'm working, and do I want it to remain with these settings. Now I find it difficult to set up the Tip Feel using just this interface so what you can do is click the Details button and you get this little area called Try Here, and that basically allows me to draw a few strokes, you can see I'm applying, you know, little pressure, which will give me a nice, thin line, and I can go ahead and apply thick pressure and that's going to give me a really thick line.
You can see as soon as I release my grip of the pen on the tablet it automatically clears that area. Let's see what happens if we go all the way to Soft. If I go all the way to Soft, I'm just barely touching the pen to the tablet and I'm getting that thick line. If I go all the way to Firm you can see that little pressure, I get that really nice thin line, and then as I increase my pressure I get a much thicker line. But you can see it really takes a lot of pressure to get it to go to that thickest setting, to the thickest line, so you need to really experiment here to see which of these settings you want to work with.
I like to have mine set to just the second-highest Firm setting, that's what I find works for me. But play around with this Try Here area, try a few different settings, and go back to Corel Painter IX, work with some brushes that you know you're going to be using, and just play around and see what gives you the best feel. This is really an experimental thing and it's going to take some time to get this set up exactly how you want it. It's also going to depend on the type of work that you're doing. If you're doing a lot of detailed work you may to want it to be set closer to Firm, if you're doing a lot of gestural work you may want it to be set closer to Soft, but ultimately, like I said, this is an experimental thing and your settings are going to be different for you than they are for anybody else.
So spend some time getting to know how the tablet feels and how you want your tablet set up. Now with this set closer to Firm you can see that a little pressure is just barely reading here, and medium pressure is more in the one-third of this area, and full pressure, where it really takes a lot to get it to Full pressure, I really have to press really hard, and that's the way I like it to be set up for me. The next thing we're going to do is customize the button on the pen, and you can see that there's two sensitive areas, there's an area back here that's closer to the eraser and an area up at the front, which is closer to the tip of the pen.
And we can set those up to have the same settings or different settings. Ink Toggle and Double Click are the current default settings, and I can go ahead and change those. I like to have the area here at the back actually set to Right Click and I like to leave this button, this part of the button up here set to Double Click. So let's take a look at how that works. I'm just going to click on my desktop and if I click the back part of the tablet you can see that it works the same way as right-clicking on the folder, which basically offers a Context menu.
You can see that if I press the top part of the button it basically works the same way as double-clicking, which is going to open up that folder. So you can set this to whatever you like, you can see there's a number of different options that you can set up here. These just happen to be the ones that work for me, but take some time, look at the options that are here and think about, you know, what would work best for you. Now keep in mind that if you don't want the button to have any function, you can actually set up Disabled, and that's going to turn off any functionality for that part of the button.
You can see that that option exists in both pop-up menus here. So now we have our Pen set up. Let's take a look at the Eraser. The eraser is the opposite tip of the brush, which is the one right up here, and we can set this to a number of different options. You can see it can be set to Erase or to a series of Keystrokes or Modifier keys. I like to have it set up to Erase because it works very similar to a true pencil, I can draw with the tip and then turn it over and use it as an eraser.
So I'm going to leave that set to Erase. Now just like with the pen you can see that we had Tip Feel, Eraser, we have Eraser Feel and if I turn this over and just press here you can see that that little slider, that little reading meter basically gives us the same functionality as it did with Tip Feel. Now what I can do is I can change it to Soft or Firm, and if I click this Details button here you can see that I can try and see how my eraser is going to look.
This is automatically by default set up to the middle and I can set it to Soft, which is going to give me just like with the Tip Feel, a really thick line, or I can set it to Firm and that's going to require a lot more pressure to get a nice, thick line. For my eraser, I tend to like it to be a little on the soft side, so somewhere here in the, a little bit closer to Soft but not all the way over. I'm going to click OK and now let's take a look at what we get.
Now you can see that, you know, Medium pressure doesn't take a lot of work and Full pressure, I don't have to press quite as hard as I did when it was set right to the middle. And I just find that when I'm erasing, you know I really want to erase something so I like it to be set a little softer than what I would have my pen at. Now we can take a look at how the tablet is mapped to your screen. And you can see here that it's set up by default that the top left-hand corner of your tablet is mapped to the top left-hand corner of your screen.
Likewise the top right-hand corner is mapped to the top right-hand corner of your screen. Now I can set this up in different ways. You can see that right now the orientation is set to Landscape. I could change it to Portrait so if for some reason I wanted to work with my tablet at this angle, I can set up the Mapping so that it matches it. I'm going to go ahead and just set that back to Default because I prefer it to be set to Landscape. I can also change how the tablet is mapped to the screen. You can see that right now by default the top left-hand corner of the tablet is mapped to the top left-hand corner of the screen.
That means that when you position your pen to the top left-hand corner, it's automatically going to go to the top left-hand corner of the screen. If I want, I can actually change how it's mapped. I'm going to go here to the Tablet Area and choose Portion, and you can see that that gives me these little handles and I can basically click and drag and reposition this around so that now this part of the tablet is going to be mapped to the top right-hand corner of the screen.
So let's click OK, and you can see that now it's showing you basically where the screen is mapped on the tablet. So it doesn't require me to go all the way to the top corner to get to the top corner of my screen. I really only have to be in a smaller area, and you may find that helpful. I know that some people who work with large tablets find it helpful to readjust the Mapping. I personally like it set on the default and that's where I'm going to choose to leave it for now but keep in mind that these options are here.
Just like you can remap the tablet area you can also remap the screen area. But I prefer to leave these on Full. Okay, so now we're done with our Grip Pen. We've adjusted the Pen, the Eraser, and we've taken a look at what Mapping offers us. Now we can take a look at the Mouse, and you can see that we can choose the Mapping or the Mouse settings. I'm going to click on Mouse. What we can do with our Mouse settings is basically change the functions for the different buttons on our mouse. You can see that we have the right and left mouse button, we also have a wheel, and we have these two little buttons that are on the side of the mouse.
And basically we can set these up to whichever functions we like. Now this is really helpful especially if you're left-handed because one of the things that you can do is reverse the functions for your mouse. So for example if you want to have the Right Click as the left mouse button and Click as the right mouse button, you can actually do that. So here you can see we have a pop-up menu for each of our buttons. I'm going to actually go ahead and set up my right mouse button to be Click, and then go and set my left mouse button to be Left Click, and that works out well for people who are left-handed.
Now with these options here you can see that we can set these up to whatever we like. They're set up as default as Keystrokes but you can also set them up to Right Click, Middle Click, Modifier keys and what have you. I'm actually going to leave this on the default settings. Now the wheel actually has a function as well. Not only can you scroll with it but you can actually also click that wheel, you can hear it right there in the background. And I can set this up right now, it's set up to Middle Click but I can set this up to a number of different functions as well.
I'm going to leave that on the default. Now the wheel by default is set up to Scroll but you can also set up as a Keystroke or you can disable it. You can set up the Scrolling Speed, it's set by default as Medium, which I'm going to leave, and you can also combine that with a Keystroke. I like to have this set up as it is, I don't see any need to make changes to this aside from adjusting my Click and Right Click menus because I find that that can be a really helpful feature for people who are left-handed. I'm actually not left-handed so I'm going to set these back to their default settings, and I'm actually going to switch this one first because if you set both of these to Right Click you'll have a hard time getting them back so that one of them is a Click menu, so I'm just going to return those to how they were.
I could've also clicked this Default button down at the bottom and that would've accomplished the same thing. Now I'm going to click Mapping and basically what this lets us do is map the Speed and the Acceleration of our mouse, and Acceleration basically means how long does it take to get the mouse moving at the pace we want. It's set by default almost to High. If we turn that down so it's a little bit lower you can see that when I first start using it it's quite slow, and that's because the Acceleration is set a little bit lower than it was.
If I set it to High you can see that it's much faster. Now you can also combine this with the Speed and you can set it to Slow, which means that our cursor's going to move quite slowly over our screen. And we can set it to Fast, which basically, you can see my cursor's now jumping all over the place at the speed of light. So depending on how you like this set up I personally just prefer this on the defaults and I'm going to leave it there. But play around with this, you may want you know your mouse to start slow and pick up faster or you may want it to start fast automatically, or you may want your speed to be fast or slow.
So play around with that and decide what really works best for you. The last thing we're going to do is customize the Functions on the tablet, and this is the Tablet Keys and the Touch Strip. By default the Tablet Keys are set up to Command, Shift, Option and the space bar, but we can actually set these up to be whatever we want. One thing that I like to set up is the Tab key, and you'll remember in Corel Painter IX if we hit the Tab key on our keyboard, it hides and shows our palettes, and I actually find that setting this button up right here on the left-hand side of our ExpressKeys or Tablet Keys, instead of having it set as Command, really works for me so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to this pop-up menu and I'm going to choose Keystroke.
And I'm going to press the Tab key, you can see that it adds that little entry right here to Keys, and I'm going to click OK and now I can name it, and I'm going to name it Hide Palettes, and I'm going to click OK and now you can see I have this set to Keystroke and it's called Hide Palettes. If I go into Corel Painter IX and I press that button you can see that it's automatically respecting the Keystroke that I set up.
You could also disable these Keystrokes if at any time you find that they're getting in your way. I actually like to leave them on and I find that it's a really helpful function to have these set up as they are. And now I'm going to go to the Touch Strip and by default both the right and the left are set up to zoom in and out, and in addition to being able to Zoom or Scroll you can also disable these. I actually find that sometimes having the right one turned on, because I'm right-handed, it will sometimes get in my way so I sometimes turn that off.
I'm just going to set that back to Zoom and note you can control the speed that it zooms in and out, and I want to point out that you can also assign a Keystroke to this. One thing that's I find helpful for setting up these Keystrokes is the square brackets keys, which increase and decrease the brush size. So what I can set up this button here to the right square bracket key and click OK, I'm going to call that Increase Brush Size, click OK or press Return, and set my other one to the left square bracket key, which is going to be Decrease Brush Size, so I'm going to type that in, press OK or hit Return, and now that particular Touch Strip is going to be set up to increase and decrease my brush size.
So let's go ahead and go back to Painter and here you can see my Brush cursor, and as I touch the Touch Strip you can see if I, well you can't see my hand but if I just touch lightly on the bottom part of the Touch Strip it gets smaller and if I touch up at the top it gets larger, and if I just drag my finger along you can see it increases the brush size. So that's one really helpful function that you can set up for that particular option.
So as you can see both the Tablet Keys and the Touch Strip, those are both new features on a Wacom Intuos3 tablet. If you're using an Intuos2 tablet you won't have options to set these up, and this is a really useful feature of the new Wacom Intuos3 tablets because it basically allows you to set this up so that you really don't have to depend very much on your keyboard, and that's important when you're working in something like Corel Painter IX because sometimes, you know your monitor, then your keyboard, and then your tablet all set up in a row can be a little bit of a tedious setup, so being able to be hands-free of your keyboard and set up your common functions on your tablet really makes your workflow a lot smoother.
So now that we've set up our tablet settings, all I have to do is close my tablet and go back to Corel Painter IX, and I can enjoy the settings that I customized in the Wacom Tablet Properties dialog box. So as you can see the Wacom tablet allows you to customize it in such a way that it really allows you some useful functionality. Not only does it allow you to customize the pen for tilt and pressure sensitivity, but it also allows you to customize the button on your pen, all of the different buttons on your mouse, including the wheel, and it allows you to customize the Tablet Keys and Touch Strips, which are new in the Intuos3 tablet.