TUTORIAL - Clean Edges With Digital Airbrush - by Mr. Mu

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  08 August 2006
TUTORIAL - Clean Edges With Digital Airbrush - by Mr. Mu

This is a quick tutorial on how to get clean edges with PainterIX.5's airbrushes. My drawings suck. Don't bother...


here's a doodle I did the other day with PainterIX.5's Airbrushes.

Apart from anatomical incompetence and general weaknesses of my drawing skills you'll notice the absence of any clearly defined edges which put a quick end to my airbrush experiments...

...or so I thought, until SpiritDreamer, aka Glenn Gallegos, pointed out how he always used templates and curves in real life to apply control over edges to his airbrush paintings.

So, here is a tutorial on how to apply this technique to digital airbrush via selections.

EDIT: if you want to use my set of french curve selections I prepared, just see the third post in this thread and skip the instructions for creating your own selections...

I did a google search on french curves and found many images. I advise you to do so, if you want to practise this further.

here's what I got after a few edits...

For the purposes of this tutorial, however, I will include an image for the french curves template I used.

download it here..: http://muratkayi.de/cpg/albums/user...01/template.JPG

- You open the black and white image in Painter.

- Then, create a new file in Painter. I set my canvas colour to black. Chose whatever makes you happy.

- NOw you make a rectangular selection of the curve template part of the b/w image, copy it (ctrl-c) and simply paste (ctrl-v) your selection into the new file.

- NOw, use the magical wand selection tool and hit the black area (the template)

- we have a selection in the form of our curve template now.

- you can now delete the pasted layer with the curve image - we won't need it any longer

- please save the selection - it's the last menu item in the selection menu. The selection is now saved into the alpha channel. We won't go into what an alpha channel is. Just keep in mind that this will let you restore your selection at any given point of time when you work with your new file.

- so, we have a nice selection, but we want to be able to use it just like a real life template and therefore we will have to convert or transform it. Unfortunately, I use the German version of Painter, but you should be able to find it in the selection menu. We do not want to convert the selection into a shape, however. Chose the other option. I'd be grateful if someone could add the appropriate translation for this instruction...

- There's no apparent change. But if you chose the selection tool from the tools window now...

...and click on the selection area, you can


your selection in any way you want, making it the digital equivalent to a real life template.

If you click on the corner handle and drag you can scale the selection.
If you shift click on that handle the selection will keep its proportion when being scaled
If you ctrl click on the corner handle you can rotate the selection
If you just click and drag the selecion itself (not the hande) you can move the selection

Try it out! For more info on changing/transforming path selections read the manual...

Last edited by Mu : 08 August 2006 at 02:41 PM.
  08 August 2006
- I did a real quick and crappy sketch of a skull. I could have done much worse. Don't complain...

- Now, we tell Painter wether we want to paint only within the selection, only on the outside of the selection, or wether we want to paint anywhere on the canvas. These options we toggle in the lower left corner of our image window.

- Now, I can use my moveable, scalable, rotatable selection to make the curves of the template partly fit the outlines of my sketch.

Working on a new layer, whichever part I am covering with the template I can then cleanly airbrush with a distinct edge.

- On the inner part of the skull I chose to just gradually add airbrush for modelling the highlights and so on with no template. If you feel the selection hinders you when painting without it, just use ctrl+shift+H to hide it. It is still there, but won't get in your way.

- Lastly, I deleted the selection. This is totally safe, remember we saved our selection into a channel?

- I did so, because now I can right-click the layer with the airbrush on it and chose to select layer transparency. This selection I invert.

NOw, I can add airbrush to those parts of the layer not covered by my previous airbrush strokes. My edges are preserved!

More options:

- Selections' edges can be feathered to get edges which fade out in transparency. You can specify the width of the fade out.

- the intuos 3 supports tilt recognition which Painter uses to influence the look of the airbrush variants. I don't have an intuos, but I think it might be fun. Also, there's a wacom airbrush pen which might influence results with this technique further.

That's it!

  08 August 2006

I just yesterday discovered selection collections in Painter which allow you to access a set of predefined selections.

With this in mind, it's a lot easier than I described above...

I created a library of french curve selections which you can load from the selection pallette menu (as always the appropriate translation for the palette would be nice if anyone knows).

From there you simply drag&drop the selections on the canvas. You don't need to convert them as they are path selections already.
Attached Files
File Type: zip frenchCurves.zip (22.6 KB, 9 views)
  08 August 2006

This is quite cool, thank you for the Tutorial!



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  08 August 2006
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