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Custom Brushes in Painter 8

Part 1: Creating paint blenders, diffusers and distorters By Dave Nagel
We kick off a new series of articles on Corel Painter this week--actually our first Painter series--with a comprehensive look at methods for creating custom brushes. Brushes are, after all, at the core of this painting application, and few of you are likely to be satisfied working with just the limited number of brushes included with the program. We'll start things off this time around with brushes that don't apply paint at all, but rather ones that scatter, blend or otherwise distort the paint that's already on your canvas, either for helping you blend elements in your composition or for creating painterly effects on an existing image.

For many of you, this will be your first experience creating custom brushes. The process in Painter isn't a particularly intuitive one, and it's easy to get discouraged. However, as we go through the creation process, you should begin to get a good idea of how this all works and what relationships there are between the various parameters available to you. This particular tutorial will be focused solely on blending brushes; we'll get into other types of brushes in future installments.

Creating the base brush from an existing brush
To begin, launch Painter; open an image; and then open up the Brush Selector Bar in Painter (Window> Show Brush Selector Bar). Set the brush category to Airbrush, and select one of the basic airbrushes.

Now, in the flyaway menu on the right, choose "Save Variant."

The reason you do this is that any changes you make to a brush will replace the brush that you're working with. Since we don't want to overwrite an existing brush, we're saving a variant to create a copy of it. Name the variant "Base Brush" and select it from the menu of available brushes in the Airbrush category.

Now you're ready to get to the actual brush creation process.

Working in the Brush Creator: General settings
In order to create a custom brush of this type, you want to edit the base brush that you created in the last step. So select the flyaway menu in the Brush Selector Bar again, and choose the "Edit Variant" option.

This calls up the Brush Creator interface. It includes a miniature canvas, color controls and a sort of brush creation history palette called "Tracker." Before you make any changes to your brush, either draw a few strokes in the mini canvas so that you'll have something to test your settings on as you go along, or set the background of the mini canvas to the image you have open (Canvas > Background Image > [Your Image]). In my case, I'm using an image of some roses, but it doesn't matter. This image is just for testing out your brushes as you go along.

On the left-hand side of the Brush Creator interface, you'll see several categories of parameters listed. Switch to the "General category, as seen in the screen shot above.

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Related Keywords:Custom Brushes,Painter 8, Corel, graphics, art, paint, design

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