copyright 1999 - 2001, Jinny Brown
This tutorial was originally written for PAINTER 5 in response to an e-mail list question about "how to erase on a Transparent Layer". It is been revised for Painter 6 and the words "Transparent Layer" are replaced with "Layer". It's a tutorial about working with Layers and Layer Masks, which will explain "Erasing" in the title of this tutorial being in quotes, as the effect (in this example) of painting on the mask is removal of part of a painted line. Although, in Painter 6, there are no Transparent Layers and it's possible to erase directly on the Layer itself, this exercise will help to make the beginning Painter user familiar with both Layers and Layer Mask editing.
included in this text for Painter 5
In this tutorial you'll be working with Layers and Layer Masks. There are some general rules that cover Layers. Some of these rules are described in the following paragraphs:
In the Layer List, the layer's eye-icon makes the layer visible (open) or invisible (closed). The small black lock icon locks and unlocks the layer. When locked, it's impossible to move the layer. In the Layer List, when the Layer is highlighted, it is selected, and active. When a Layer is selected and active (and, in the Layer List, Show Layer Marquee is checked) it has a thin black-and-yellow striped frame around it. This makes it possible to see which Layer or Layers are selected when working on a more complex image. When a Layer is selected, as well as painting on the Layer, many of the Effects menu selections may be applied to it.
To open or close a Layer, click on its eye-icon. To lock or unlock a Layer, click on the small black lock. Click in the Layer List, on the appropriate Layer, to select and activate it (you may be working with a large number of Layers).
For the purposes of this tutorial, the lock may remain in the unlocked position as shown next to Step 2 of the following instructions.
Masks can be confusing. It's best to remember that nothing new is created on the Mask. What is on the Mask is only a reflection of what was painted on the original, whether that original is an Image Layer made from a selected area of the Canvas (Selection) or it was created by checking New Layer in the Layers palette drop-down menu.
A Mask is a masked area of an image.
In the old days of graphic production, masks were cut from rubylith, a film on acetate that was laid over an image on the art board then cut and peeled away and used to expose or burn away selected areas of the image and block light from other areas (to burn away a cluttered and distracting background behind a piece of machinery, for instance). Masks were also used to define areas of color (color separations, done manually). The cutting required a sharp, clean blade, a steady hand, and good eyesight. The tiniest slip and the mask was ruined as the edges had to be perfectly cut. A miniscule flaw stood out like a sore thumb on the printed piece.
At the print shop, negatives were shot then printing plates made. Printers had, and still have, skilled workers who touch up those negatives, remove smudges and spots from what will be light printed areas of the image by painting over the dark flawed parts of the negative to block out light, for example.
Now, we can do this kind of touch-up in Photoshop, Painter, and other applications, either on a finished image or as we create it, as part of the creation process. This is, in a way, similar to the old way - before computers and all the wonderful software we have now and it's much more fun.
In Painter, Masks are used a lot in the creation process as you'll see:
the File menu, select New and open a new, White, canvas.
3. In the Brushes palette, make the following selections:
In the lower left corner of the Color
notice the two Color Swatches, the Primary Color (in front)
and Secondary Color (in back). These swatches show the colors
you last used (or that were the default colors when you launched PAINTER).
NOTE: If you should ever need to switch the Primary Color swatch color and Secondary Color swatch color from front-to-back and vice-versa, click on the small double-headed sweep-arrow next to the Primary Color and Secondary Color swatches.13. In the Brushes and Controls palettes:
brush choice before doing the final mask editing.
17. Notice that your stroke is colored. This is because you're on Layer 1 again, not on the Layer 1 Mask. (In Painter 5, you're on the Transparent Layer again, not on the Transparent Layer Mask.)
18. In the Brushes palette, choose a Brush and continue to paint.
(In Painter 5, add to your Brush choice:
Here's what I added to my Mask-edited first paint stroke.
|Jinny Brown, August 28, 2000
last updated April 13, 2001
- 2001, Jinny Brown