Floater, Transparent Layer,
and Textured Canvas
(PSD to PhotoPaint - Floaters/Objects Intact)
by Jinny Brown  e-mail

copyright 1994 - 2001, Jinny Brown

This tutorial was written for PAINTER 5 as a demonstration of what can be done with Floaters, Transparent Layers, and a textured Canvas, saved as a PSD file and opened in Corel PhotoPaint 8 with everything intact just as it was in PAINTER 5
The steps would be very similar working in PAINTER 5 or 6 then opening the PSD file in Adobe Photoshop 5 or 5.5.

Before beginning the tutorial, take a look at the screen shots below, one of the Painter 5 Objects:Floaters List and the other of the PhotoPaint 8 Objects List. Then look at the sample image.

Painter 5 Objects:Floater List
(Blank area below Transparent Layer
and Floater 1 is clicked to activate and work on the Canvas)

Corel PhotoPaint 8 Objects List
(Background is the Painter 5 Canvas)

These are the steps taken to create this image in Painter 5, save the files, and open the image in PhotoPaint 8:

1. In Painter 5, on the white Canvas, I painted a stroke with the Felt Tip Marker brush, Dirty Marker variant.

2. In the Select menu, chose Auto Select, Using: Image Luminance

3. Clicked on the selection with the Floater Adjuster tool (pointing finger hand) then clicked inside the selection. This floated the selection and now there was a new Floater listed in the Objects:Floater List, with a transparent background. 

4. In the Objects:Floater List, clicked in the blank area below Floater 1 to activate the Canvas, in the Select menu, chose All (Ctrl-A in Windows) then, in the Edit menu, chose Clear (Ctrl-X in Windows). This removed the "ghost pixels" from the Canvas (the leftover edge pixels the selection didn't pick up, that I didn't want because they had too much white in them from making the selection on a white Canvas).

5. In the Floater dropdown menu (click on the word Floater to open it), I chose Transparent Layer. This opened a new transparent layer.

6. In the Objects:Floater List, clicked Transparent Layer to highlight and make it active then picked another color and this time used the following Brush settings to paint on the Canvas:

Brush Popup: Chalk
Brush Variant Popup: Artist Pastel Chalk
Method: Plug-in 
Subcategory: Transparent Layer Brush 

NOTE:  In Painter 5, when painting on a Transparent Layer, the Method must be Plug-in. Other Subcategory options are used to paint various effects on existing paint strokes made with the Transparent Layer Brush. A few from this long list are Confusion Brush, Hue Brush, Glow Brush, Relief Brush, and Bulge Brush.

7. Next, I painted on the Transparent Layer, then switched to the Glow Brush subcategory and painted in the center of the Transparent Layer, above the Floater 1 brush stroke.

8. In the Art Materials:Paper section, chose Ribbed Pastel as the Paper texture. 

9. In the Objects:Floater List, clicked in the blank area below Transparent Layer and Floater 1 to activate the Canvas.

10. In the Effects menu, chose Surface Control, then Apply Surface Texture and used the following settings: 

Using: Paper
Amount: 25%
All other settings: Default

11. The Floater 1 paint stroke looked foggy below the Transparent Layer's Artist Pastel Chalk and Glow Brush strokes. To make the paint stroke clearer and more intense, I clicked on the Floater Adjuster tool, then in the Objects:Floater List, on Transparent Layer.

12. In the Controls:Adjuster palette, from the Composite Method dropdown list, chose Gel.

13. Saved the file as a RIFF, then saved it again as a PSD file.

14. Next I opened PhotoPaint 8 then opened the PSD file. The Transparent Layer, Floater 1, and Canvas (now Background) were all intact just as they had been in Painter 5.

15. Copied the Background then chose Edit, Paste, As New Object.

16. Shut the Background's Eye icon then moved Object 2 (copy of the Background) below Transparent Layer and Floater 1, in the same heirarchy as before, but with all Objects now fully editable (as opposed to the Background which is immobile just like the Painter 5 Canvas and PhotoPaint 8 Background). 

All of these appropriate, general, steps could be taken in both Painter 5 and 6 and in Photoshop 5 or 5.5 instead of PhotoPaint 8. The terminology is a little different and some of the steps are slightly different, but it's all basically the same routines.

The image is completely unexciting, but maybe this short exercise will help you understand the Painter 5 Floaters/Transparent Layers and Painter 6 Layers (which are all Layers by another name and not nearly as difficult as people sometimes think they are, though the Painter 6 Layers do smell just a little more like roses).

By the way, I was surprised to see that the Painter 5 RIFF file was 876 kb and the Photoshop PSD file was 3,419 kb!  I guess it's a burden carrying someone else's work. (Well, that's my non-techie take on it.)

Jinny Brown, August 24, 2000
last updated January 17, 2001
©1994 - 2001, Jinny Brown


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