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Importing Brushes into Painter Essentials 3

How to use Painter IX brushes in Painter Essentials By Dave Nagel
It's always pleasant to find an undocumented feature in a program. But here's one that really changes everything about Painter Essentials 3: the ability to import and use standard Painter IX brushes.

Now, Painter Essentials 3 does include a fine collection of basic brushes--everything from acrylics to watercolors, plus a few special effects brushes thrown in for good measure. But even in the professional version of Painter, which includes many more brushes, there's always a need for tools beyond those included with the program.

In Painter IX, you overcome the limitation of preset brushes by simply creating your own to do whatever you need them to do and look how you need them to look. In Painter Essentials 3, there's no such mechanism for creating custom brushes. But it is possible to import third-party brush collections that had originally been created for Painter IX. And there are plenty of those available for download for free.

Again, this is an undocumented feature, so don't expect it to work flawlessly. (And, incidentally, I've only tried this on Mac OS X. I don't even know if it will work on Windows versions of Painter Essentials.) But this capability vastly expands the potential of Painter Essentials 3 by opening up a world of tools that you might have thought inaccessible to you.

Here's how it works.

Loading the brushes
1. Begin by downloading a collection of third-party Painter brushes. A good start would be some of my own brush collections, which you can find at the following locations:

Nagel Series 2 Brusheshttp://www.creativemac.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29233

Nagel Series 3 Brusheshttp://www.creativemac.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30406
Nagel Series 5 Brusheshttp://www.creativemac.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34285

There are plenty more out there as well. Just do a Google search for brushes for Corel Painter, and you'll find a ton.

2. When you've downloaded the collection, you should find that it contains two elements:

? A folder containing the various brush file elements with extensions like ".xml," ".nib," ".stk" and ".jpg";
? And a single JPEG file outside of the main folder with the same name as the folder ("NagelSeries5.jpg," for example).

If the external JPEG file is missing, you'll need to create one. So just open up any graphics program, and create a JPEG file. It doesn't matter really what you put in the image. The important thing is that the JPEG file you create has the same name as the folder containing the brushes.

3. Drag these two items (the folder and the external JPEG image) to the following directory: Applications/Corel Painter Essentials 3/Brushes/Painter Brushes.

Final preparations

4. Now launch Painter Essentials 3. Go to the Brush Selector bar, and click on the category to select the new brush collection you just downloaded.

And now you'll see the complete collection available to you.

However, if you try to use one of these brushes at this point, you'll see that it doesn't behave as expected. All of the brushes will have a flat, generic brush appearance (or basically the appearance of your last-used brush). The example below shows the improper appearance for a brush called "Fuzzy 3." This is decidedly not what this brush is supposed to look like.

It is, in fact, supposed to look like this.


5. You need to get these brushes to behave as they're supposed to behave. And you do this in one simple step. On the right-hand side of the Brush Selector bar, you'll see a little triangle. Click this to open the flyaway menu for this palette. There you'll see two options. The "Restore Default Variant" is the function you use to bring any single brush back to its original (correct) state. The "Restore All Default Variants" changes all of the brushes in a given collection back to their original (correct) states. Choose this second option to restore your brushes and make them behave the way they're supposed to behave.

And now you can use any brushes designed for Painter IX within Painter Essentials 3 (except for Watercolor brushes, which require a special type of layer that Painter Essentials doesn't support).

And that's it. If you have any further questions, be sure to visit me in the Painter forum at DMN Forums by clicking here.

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Related Keywords:corel painter essentials 3, importing brushes from painter ix

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