Painting with Gradients and Patterns

With the Corel Painter computed brushes, you can brush on gradients, which are gradual transformations of one color into another. Refer to "Working with Gradients" on page 104 for more information. You can also use the Corel Painter computed brushes to brush on patterns (repeating designs). Refer to "Using Patterns" on page 120 for more information.

When you paint with a pattern, you can adjust the pattern's scale. Scale affects a pattern brush stroke in a special way by determining the resolution of the painted patterns.

Small scale causes blurry computed brush strokes; large scale causes sharper strokes. Here's why: The brush stroke is always drawn as the entire pattern, sized to fit in the current dab size. Scaling the pattern down very small (for example, to 20%) makes the brush stroke appear blurry, because the dab is significantly bigger than the pattern. Scaling the pattern up to 100% makes the dab as clear as it can get. Settings higher than 100% have no effect on the appearance of the brush stroke.

You can picture this process by imagining that the current pattern is 100 pixels across and the current brush size is 50 pixels across. With the pattern set to 100%, Corel Painter shrinks 100 pixels into a 50-pixel area, which it can easily do without visible loss of accuracy. If you scale the pattern up to 200%, it looks as clear as the original, so that fitting it into the 50-pixel brush size creates a brush stroke that looks the same as when the pattern was scaled at 100%. If you scale the pattern to 50%, the original will be the same size as the brush, so there is still no difference in the resulting brush stroke.

Now, keep scaling downward. As the size of the pattern is scaled below the size of the brush, Corel Painter must increase the size of the pattern to fit the 50-pixel area of the brush stroke. When images are scaled up, after first being scaled down, the image becomes blurry. This is especially noticeable if you scale the pattern well below brush size. At 20%, the pattern now consists of only 20 pixels and has lost 80% of the original data. When Corel Painter expands that to 50 pixels (the brush stroke size), the loss of data becomes very visible. Lower settings in scale result in even blurrier brush strokes. If you scale down to 2%, the pattern is only 2 pixels across and is able to contain, at most, four colors (two across and two down). When Corel Painter expands the image to fit the brush stroke, you won't see any of the original pattern, just a fairly uniform color, across the dab.

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