Brush icons in custom palettes

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  1. #1
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    Brush icons in custom palettes

    You know how brush icons in custom palettes look like the brush category icon, and have no label or other distinguishing features? It's a big pain to me, as I like to have the 5 or 6 brushes I am working with on a palette, and they're often in the same category. Maybe I'm the only person bothered by this, I don't know.

    You can actually add custom icons (without the pain of having a category per brush) by exporting the palette to a .pal file, editing that, and re-importing it (the file format is described here).

    I was thinking of making a tool to do this. Maybe something where you give it the name of an image file and a .pal file and it puts the image into the specified button on the palette. Would anyone be interested in that?

    If so I'd probably make it a windows executable -- or maybe Ruby or Perl so it would run on a Mac, but I don't know how many Painter users could possibly want to paint their own brush items *and* have Ruby installed.

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  3. #2
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    Hi Ondal,

    I have written a tutorial on this subject which you may find useful.

    David

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    ondal,

    From the first paragraph on your linked page:

    "-- except for one thing: brushes on a custom palette have the icon of their Brush Category, and nothing to show what particular brush they are."


    It's not true that there's nothing available to show what the particular brush variant is when there are multiple brush category icons that are all the same in appearance.

    While it's great that you and David have figured out ways to handle the problem of identifying specific brush variants in a Custom Palette when there are multiple icons from the same brush category, not everyone has the techie genes needed to work with your solutions. Still there are many (probably most) Painter users would like an easy way to identify these brush variants.

    We do have, and always have had, a quick and easy way to do this:

    With Tool Tips enabled, we can learn what brush variant the brush category icon in a Custom Palette represents.

    1. Use Help > Show Tool Tips

    2. Hold your cursor very still over the brush category icon until the name of the brush variant is displayed.

    In this demo image, you can see the brush category icons remain the same but the brush variant names are appropriately different when displayed using Tool Tips.

    Brush icons in custom palettes

    It can also help to arrange your brush category icons in some meaningful order, for instance in the same order in which the associated brush variant appears in the Brush Selector Bar's brush variant list, or in the order in which you might use these brush variants.

    While pictures are worth a thousand words and we'd all probably prefer unique icons for each brush variant, this method is cheap, easy, and quick... and after a while using your Custom Palette, you'd probably remember which icon is related to a specific brush variant anyway... second from the left, fifth from the left, last icon on the right, third icon in the bottom row... etc.


    .........

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    Just revisiting the thread to post this from Corel's site: http://apps.corel.com/painterix/trai...kid=tpc0706tut

    I thought it could be useful since using a captured dab creates a new icon.

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    I spent a bit of time creating a tutorial for this yesterday ;3

    It' ll be in the release packet with my custom brushes


    Hope you guys can wait till that =3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Just revisiting the thread to post this from Corel's site: http://apps.corel.com/painterix/trai...kid=tpc0706tut

    I thought it could be useful since using a captured dab creates a new icon.
    Whether or not the brush variant selected when we drag the icon onto a Custom Palette is a Captured Dab variant, the icon that appears in the Custom Palette is the associated brush category icon.

    To have a unique icon for each brush variant, each brush variant has to be in its own brush category and that brush category's icon is what appears in the Custom Palette and helps to identify the single brush variant in that brush category.

    If you create a custom brush category using a flower for the brush category icon, then create a custom Captured Dab variant using the same flower for the Captured Dab image, and only have that one brush variant in the brush category.... everything's fine because that single image identifies both the brush category and brush variant. Now if you add a few more custom brush variants to the same brush category and drag them into the Custom Palette, they will all have the flower brush category icon and it won't be so easy to tell which brush variant is which.

    ...........

    Please do not PM me with Painter questions. Instead, post them here where everyone can benefit from them. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin View Post
    To have a unique icon for each brush variant, each brush variant has to be in its own brush category and that brush category's icon is what appears in the Custom Palette and helps to identify the single brush variant in that brush category.

    If you create a custom brush category using a flower for the brush category icon, then create a custom Captured Dab variant using the same flower for the Captured Dab image, and only have that one brush variant in the brush category.... everything's fine because that single image identifies both the brush category and brush variant. Now if you add a few more custom brush variants to the same brush category and drag them into the Custom Palette, they will all have the flower brush category icon and it won't be so easy to tell which brush variant is which.
    This is exactly what I did with the tutorial I created ;3

    You re-capture an image for each and every brush again, so that you will only have custom icons on your palette

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin View Post
    Whether or not the brush variant selected when we drag the icon onto a Custom Palette is a Captured Dab variant, the icon that appears in the Custom Palette is the associated brush category icon.

    To have a unique icon for each brush variant, each brush variant has to be in its own brush category and that brush category's icon is what appears in the Custom Palette and helps to identify the single brush variant in that brush category.

    If you create a custom brush category using a flower for the brush category icon, then create a custom Captured Dab variant using the same flower for the Captured Dab image, and only have that one brush variant in the brush category.... everything's fine because that single image identifies both the brush category and brush variant. Now if you add a few more custom brush variants to the same brush category and drag them into the Custom Palette, they will all have the flower brush category icon and it won't be so easy to tell which brush variant is which.

    ...........
    That is a given, however, I think just like with traditional media, there is a certain point where you realize you're not going to use too many different brushes. Captured Dab might seem like a lot of work at first but as anyone who becomes familiar with the program and are likely to commit to a certain painting style, the focus becomes more narrow on which brushes you're likely to revisit in your drawings enough to create a custom palette.

    I love my Tria Markers, but I realize I do not need the entire set of colors produced. I only use so many pencils working traditionally, and in fact when I use traditional airbrush, I only use 4 colors of ink - CMYK ...I mixed the inks to create other colors I needed.

    Same with Photoshop, while it's great I can snag a multitude of custom brushes, I really don't use a library that huge.

    In Painter it's a great expanse of tools, the custom palette is there as a resource for our most used brushes. A beginner will be overwhelmed and want to immediately start using the custom palette, an intermediate/advanced user will start becoming familiar and will probably use the capture dab tool to pick out the most used brushes.

    Not an argument with you by the way, just my two cents on how the Captured Dab customization will probably come into play.

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    I don' t mention Capture Dab in my tutorial at any point, only the Capture Category

    I find it pretty useless if you have a custom palette that covers your favorite brushes. All you do is learn to use the brush itself and where it is located, instead of having to move through your categories and brushes manually.

    I think it' s a lot of work to create a custom palette with each brush in another icon, but if people are willing to do it, or if you have a lot of time on your hands, then I believe it' s a good idea to start customizing your library :3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Just revisiting the thread to post this from Corel's site: http://apps.corel.com/painterix/trai...kid=tpc0706tut

    I thought it could be useful since using a captured dab creates a new icon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    That is a given, however, I think just like with traditional media, there is a certain point where you realize you're not going to use too many different brushes. Captured Dab might seem like a lot of work at first but as anyone who becomes familiar with the program and are likely to commit to a certain painting style, the focus becomes more narrow on which brushes you're likely to revisit in your drawings enough to create a custom palette.

    I love my Tria Markers, but I realize I do not need the entire set of colors produced. I only use so many pencils working traditionally, and in fact when I use traditional airbrush, I only use 4 colors of ink - CMYK ...I mixed the inks to create other colors I needed.

    Same with Photoshop, while it's great I can snag a multitude of custom brushes, I really don't use a library that huge.

    In Painter it's a great expanse of tools, the custom palette is there as a resource for our most used brushes. A beginner will be overwhelmed and want to immediately start using the custom palette, an intermediate/advanced user will start becoming familiar and will probably use the capture dab tool to pick out the most used brushes.

    Not an argument with you by the way, just my two cents on how the Captured Dab customization will probably come into play.

    I think we may be using the words Captured Dab differently and I'm not sure how you're using those words.

    Using Painter's terminology, when I talk about a Captured Dab brush variant I mean a brush variant that uses Dab Type: Captured and its brush dab is based on an image (based on the JPG Captured Dab image file).

    The demo images below are screen prints using one of my custom Captured Dab brush variants, the brush dab based on a rose leaf I drew and inked about 35 years ago.

    Captured Dab Image Displayed in the Size Palette Preview Window

    Brush icons in custom palettes

    Brush Variant Nib Image Displayed in the Brush Selector's Brush Variant List

    Notice the brush category icon image is not the same as the brush variant nib image which is a tiny version of the Captured Dab rose leaf image.

    Brush icons in custom palettes

    Here's a demo showing how this brush variant paints (or one of the ways it paints when it's not set to paint at random angles and random sizes):

    Brush icons in custom palettes


    ...........

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    Sorry about that Jin, I was actually talking about both, and used the term to cover all of them. Not just the dab, that creates a new icon, but capturing an image to associate it with a brush variant.

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Sorry about that Jin, I was actually talking about both, and used the term to cover all of them. Not just the dab, that creates a new icon, but capturing an image to associate it with a brush variant.
    Not only the variand, also the category :3

    But yes, you can capture both, I' ve noticed.. this makes everything even more complicated xD
    I' m not going to re-write my tutorial for this, you don' t need the variants images anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Sorry about that Jin, I was actually talking about both, and used the term to cover all of them. Not just the dab, that creates a new icon, but capturing an image to associate it with a brush variant.
    To the best of my knowledge, the only documented way we can capture an image to use, associated with a specific brush variant is to:

    Create a Captured Dab variant (as demonstrated in my previous post). This is not a fix to the problem of identifying brush variants when their associated brush category icons are dragged into a Custom Palette.

    Painter automatically assigns a brush NIB (brush nib) image and a brush STK (stroke) image to each brush variant and these two image files are used in the Brush Selector Bar, in the Brush Creator, and in the Brush Controls palettes. For example, in the Brush Selector Bar we can choose from three ways to display the brush variants:

    Brush icons in custom palettes

    When we drag a particular brush variant into a Custom Palette, Painter displays the associated brush category icon, not the brush variant's NIB or STK image.


    The only other way to identify a specific brush variant by a user-selected image is to create a custom brush category using your choice of image as the brush category icon, name the brush category to indicate the single brush variant it will contain, then copy only that one brush variant into that brush category.

    Now, if you drag that brush category icon into a Custom Palette, since there's only one brush variant in the brush category, you should always be able to know which brush variant is selected when you click the brush category icon.


    The term Captured Dab is not interchangeable with images used for brush category icons.

    I think some of the confusion may come from two Brush Selector menu commands, each of which use the word "Capture":
    • Capture Dab (used only when we create a custom Captured Dab variant).
    • Capture Brush Category (used only when we create a custom brush category)

    In either case we capture an image (we select the image and in the rest of the process Painter automatically saves the image) but in each of the two cases, that image is used for an entirely different purpose.

    .............

    Last edited by Jin; June 1st, 2007 at 06:18 AM.
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    Thanks for clarifying Jin, that was helpful.

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