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Auto-Painting in Painter Essentials 3

Part 1: creating paint effects from photographs By Dave Nagel
Painter Essentials 3 introduced a new capability for the Painter line of tools: the ability to apply paint strokes automatically. This essentially allows you to use actual paint strokes to generate painterly images from photographs. And you're not limited in the types of brushes you can use to accomplish this, so you can create a variety of effects that resemble hand-drawn artwork, from loose, sketchy looks to rich, thick, wet paint styles.

In this first installment in this new tutorial series on Painter Essentials 3, I'll walk you through the process of generating a hand-painted effect from a photographic image using some of the program's functions that you might not be aware of. (In future installments, we'll look at techniques for creating other hand-drawn and hand-painted effects.)

Below, on the right, you'll see an example of the final effect we're going for this time around, compared witht he original source image on the left.

For this effect, we'll be using four different brushes. With three of them, we'll be using Painter Essentials' Auto-Painting feature. We'll then go over the image with a soft cloner to bring a little detail back into the image.

Preparing the image
To begin this process, we're going to open up an image as a source image. And while this isn't strictly necessary when you're using the Auto-Paint feature, we are, nevertheless, going to go ahead and make a Quick Clone of our image. To do this, once you've opened your image, choose File > Quick Clone.

This will open up a new image window with Tracing Paper set to "On" so that you see a faint overlay of your original image. You can turn off this Tracing Paper by choosing Canvas > Tracing Paper. (You should shut this off, or it will obscure your painting while you're working with it.)

Now you should be looking at a blank blank canvas, but one that's set up at the same size as your original image and with the clone source set to your original image as well. That's all you need to do to set this up.

Auto painting
Now we can begin painting. For starters, I'm going to select a brush in the Artists' Oils category called Thick Wet Impasto. This brush will be used to lay down some basic stroke texture and depth on our image.

Up in the tool bar at the top of the interface, I'm going to scale the brush down a little to work well with the dimensions of my particular image. I'll set its Size value to 10.6.

Finally, to set up this brush, I'll go into the Colors palette and click the little Clone Color button in the bottom. This turns any regular brush into a cloning brush.

Now, in the Auto-Paint palette, I'll make some adjustments to the style of the automatic painting. I'll set the Stroke to "Swirly" to give me nice, long, curving strokes. And then I'll adjust the rest of the settings as follows.

Then I'll hit the little Play button in the Auto-Paint palette and let it run itself for about 10 seconds, until my canvas is completely covered, and I'm satisfied with the way the strokes look on my canvas.

Now I'll select my second brush. This time it's the brush called "Opaque Acrylic" in the Acrylics category.

And, once again, I'll click the Clone Color button over in the Colors palette.

Then I'll switch the Stroke type in the Auto-Paint palette to "Sweeping S Curve," which will give me slightly more stubby strokes than what I'd get with the "Swirly" stroke type.

And then I'll hit the Play button in the Auto-Paint palette for about three seconds. The result is that most of the strokes I created with the previous brush will be blotted out, while the bristle texture (from the impasto) will remain in tact.

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Related Keywords:painter essentials 3, auto-paint, automatic painting, paint effects, painterly effects, acrylics, oils, convert photograph to painting

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