Pattern Rendering Variants Using the Plug-in Method
IMPORTANT: Please read this section and follow the locking instructions before installing the Pattern Pens Glow brush library.
I mentioned in my previous post Pattern Pens Plus that, quote;
“Due to a bug in Painter, it is not currently possible to save a Rendered dab type variant with a Plug-in method subcategory (such as the Glow Brush for example). This means that it is impossible to directly create and save a pattern rendering variant with glow properties in Painter. I have found a workaround for Mac users however, and will include details of this in a future post.”
Although there is a download link at the end of this post (Pattern_Pens_Glow.zip), (which comprises of the original variants from the Pattern Pens Plus brush library, together with 7 additional Plug-in method variants), for the following reasons I have not included this post in the Brushes Downloads section of the site.
1. The problem with saving Rendered dab type Plug-in method variants is an xml issue.
2. In order to access the variants in Painter, and without error messages, before loading the library it is necessary for the recipient to first lock the 7 cached ‘c_’ files included in the Pattern Pens Glow brush category folder.
3. Whilst locking files on the Mac is a simple procedure, I have no experience with locking Windows files. I believe there are Windows utilities available to do this, but as I don’t have access to a PC, this would be unchartered territory.
4. Once the associated cached variant file is locked, Painter can read the file, but not write to or overwrite it. This effectively means that any custom modifications to the locked variant brush settings will not be saved when a different variant is selected.
5. Lastly, but perhaps of greatest concern is that because the locked cached variant files will not be available for deletion from within the Painter application, choosing the ‘Restore All Default Variants’ command whilst this library is loaded is highly likely to instigate a visit from the spinning beach ball of doom – basically you will be forced to quit the application, potentially losing any unsaved work. In other words, DO NOT SELECT ‘RESTORE ALL DEFAULT VARIANTS‘ WHILST THIS LIBRARY IS LOADED. I discovered however that it was safe to use the Restore Default Variant command, even with a locked variant selected.
As a technical side note, my guess is that for the locked files, using Restore Default Variant is deleting a RAM-based/ temp file version incorporating any user changed brush settings, whilst Restore All Default Variants is attempting to delete the physical cached ‘c_’ files. As there is probably no code in Painter to ignore a locked file, the application stalls. I also believe that for the currently selected variant, a new cached ‘c_’ xml file is created, or an existing one overwritten, only at the moment when a different variant is selected, or the Painter application is closed/ quit.
It must also be noted that many of the Plug-in method subcategories tested did not behave as expected, so the 7 variants included represent the best results I could achieve with this method. Thanks again to Andrew Jones for providing the inspiration for these variants;
Cannot load variant. The plugin brush associated with this variant is not loaded.
It is possible to select say the Pattern Chalk variant and change the Method/ Subcategory to Plug-in/ Glow Brush in the Brush Controls> General section, and even paint with the variant using these custom parameters, but if another variant is subsequently selected, and then the changed previous variant reselected, the above error message is encountered. This also occurs when attempting to save and use a custom Rendered Dab Type variant with a Plug-in method.
One workaround is to temporarily select the Plug-in method and subcategory of choice, paint with that variant, then select Restore Default Variant, immediately prior to selecting another. Whilst this method should prevent the error message, it is neither very practical, nor a permanent solution.
Upon investigation, I discovered that this issue centres on the fact that Painter is writing incorrect data to the Plug-in associated variant xml and cached xml files, also observed in an article by a Japanese artist. As an example, for a Rendered method Glow Brush variant, Painter may write the following errors to the xml/ cached xml file;
pen-type=”Plugin-0″ instead of pen-type=”Plugin-8″
identifier=”" instead of identifier=”FDC ERJ Glow Brush”
The solution to this issue proved to be relatively simple. The custom variants were created and saved in Painter, with any resulting error messages accepted by clicking the OK button in the dialogs. Each of the newly created Plug-in method variant xml files were then opened in a text editor, and manually edited with the correct pen type and identifier.
After saving each of the edited files, they were duplicated to manually create an associated cached file for each. This was achieved by renaming the duplicate file by adding a c_ prefix, and removing the word copy. Each of the renamed cached files was then opened in the Get Info dialog (on the Mac platform), and the Lock radio button was checked in that dialog.
In the Pattern Pens Glow download folder, I have already created the cached files for the 7 Rendered Plug-in method variants, so all that remains after unzipping the file, is for you to lock them prior to initial loading in Painter.
Opening the folders in the Finder (Mac)
The above screenshot shows the Pattern Pens Glow brush category folder open in the Finder. At the top of the list of variant files on the right, I have used a red border to denote the 7 cached variant files which will now require locking. Note that it is only necessary to lock these cached files, not the associated variant xml files (even though their name also includes the word ‘Locked’).
Locking the Files in Get Info
Right click (Ctrl + click) on each of the 7 cached variant files in turn from the previous step, selecting Get Info from the contextual menu. For each of the 7 files, check the Locked radio button in the Get Info dialog, as indicated in the above screenshot.
Files now Locked and Ready
After locking the cached variant files, you should now see that the file icons have a small padlock, shown by the red arrow in the above screenshot. These files can now only be deleted by first unlocking them, and they will need to remain in their locked state in the same brush category as their counterpart non-cached variants.
On the Mac, I have found that this library works fine without error dialogs in Painter IX and above. However, Painter 7 and 8 gave xml errors.
Due to the issue with using the Restore All Default Variants command, I recommend installing these brushes as a stand-alone brush library, rather than a category within another library. That way, you can happily use the Restore All Default Variants on any of your other brush libraries/ categories without issue. I currently have my Pattern Pens Glow library installed at the following location;
Users [Username] /Library/Application Support/Corel/Painter 11/Default/Brushes/
Locked Patt Add Grain
In this screenshot, I have used the Locked Patt Add Grain variant in combination with the default Little Green Vine pattern and the UPC paper from the Extras> Paper Textures> Contrasty Textures.papers library, over a multi-coloured background.
This variant combines Pattern As Opacity with the Add Grain Brush plug-in, and will only render ‘greyscale’ values. The variant will work on both the canvas and non-transparent (i.e. previously coloured) areas of a default layer.
Locked Pattern Glow/ Glow 1 Variants
Using the same background as the previous screenshot, I have applied the Locked Pattern Glow variant (left of canvas, and one of my favorites), and the Locked Pattern Glow 1 variant (right of canvas), again in combination with the Little Green Vine pattern.
Both variants combine Pattern As Opacity with the Glow Brush plug-in, and both will work on coloured areas of the canvas and non-transparent (i.e. previously coloured) areas of a default layer. The Locked Pattern Glow variant will produce a lightened glow effect based on the directly underlying hue as the stroke is being applied (eventually going to white), and no additional colour is applied. In contrast, the Locked Pattern Glow 1 variant picks up the hue directly under the cursor at the start of the stoke, and applies that throughout the length of the stroke, again with a lightened glow property.
Locked Pattern Hue/ Hue Sat Variants
Perhaps for a more psychedelic look, the Locked Pattern Hue and Locked Pattern Hue Sat variants may do the trip. Both variants employ the currently selected main color in the Colors palette.
The Locked Pattern Hue Sat variant will paint directly on the canvas, but otherwise, both variants require directly underlying coloured media to have been previously applied to the canvas or default layer.
Locked Pattern HueGlow/ Locked Pattern Neon Pen
Both the Locked Pattern HueGlow and Locked Pattern Neon Pen use the Glow Brush Plug-in subcategory, with Pattern As Opacity. Again, both variants employ the currently selected main color in the Colors palette, but with a lightened glow effect.
These variants can also be used on both transparent and non-transparent regions of a default layer, with overlapping stroke areas lightening in hue. Otherwise, both require coloured media to be previously applied when used on the canvas.
Download the Pattern Pens Glow Brush Library
Again, before downloading this library, please ensure you have read the introductory section above, accept the potential risk of losing unsaved work, and remember that specific files in the download will require locking prior to loading the brush library in Painter.
As with all resources on this site, neither David Gell nor jitterbrush.com accept responsibility for any loss of your data or computer functionality which may be caused by downloading or using any of the resources available on this site.
The download comprises of the following;
A complete zipped brush library for Corel Painter IX and upwards.
There are no restrictions on use, other than the resources are not to be offered for sale or redistributed without my prior consent. All variants are SaveRestoreDamping|SaveRestoreMouseParams compliant.
Download Pattern_Pens_Glow.zip (167 KB)
N.B. If anyone can successfully get these files locked and working without errors on the Windows platform, please contact me with the details, and I’ll post the info. here too.