View Full Version : Color Sets in Corel® Painter™: Part 1

05-06-2006, 12:03 PM
Color Set Options in Corel® Painter™

Many artists come to Painter from traditional backgrounds. As intuitive as the Color Palette is, some artists prefer to choose colors using the color-naming conventions they have become accustomed to when working with traditional media. One such set of conventions are the common names used to describe pigment colors. Pigment color come in a wide variety: jars or tubes, as oils or acrylics, watercolors or gauche, wet or dry, etc.

The names associated with traditional color have evolved over time. Some color names refer to the source of the pigment color (Cadmium, Cobalt, Manganese). Others are more fanciful (Venetian Red, Emerald, Lemon). There is no standard for these colors; each paint manufacturer uses their own formula for their colors. Regardless, these names provide artists with a sense of familiarity.

This installment will focus on Painter's default Color Set, Painter Colors. Choosing and selecting colors is straightforward; what many users aren't aware of is how customizable color sets are. Using Painter Colors as an example, we will look at how to adjust the appearance of a color set. In the next installment, we'll look at creating and editing customized color sets.

Painter's Default Color Set: Painter Colors

The Painter Colors color set provides users with a traditionally-named 208-color set. The initial viewing settings for this palette show the 208 colors as a scrollable horizontal list with the color names appearing to the right. This lengthy color set provides an excellent example for demonstrating the various ways in which a color set can be displayed.

Option: Display Name / Show Grid

By default, the Painter Colors color set displays each color swatch with text providing the color's traditional name. When the Name is displayed, the accompanying color swatch is always fixed at a 32 X 17 pixel size. Each color swatch is delineated by a one-pixel white outline. Both the name and white grid outline can be toggled on and off (Color Set palette fly-out menu: Show Grid / Display Name).

When the Display Name option is unchecked, the name list is disabled and the color set changes to a grid display. The initial size of the swatches is determined by what the color swatch size was when the color set was saved. When the Show Grid option is unchecked, the one-pixel white grid is disabled and the color swatches abut each other. The readability of some color sets benefit from the presence of the grid; others are perfectly readable without the grid display.

Option: Swatch Size

The Swatch Size menu has a fixed set of size offerings (8X8, 8X16, 16X16, 24X24 pixels), as well as a Customize dialog for user selectable sizings. This is particularly useful for the display of color sets with a large number of samples. The Color Set palette can be resized by dragging the palette's lower right corner. Used in concert with the Customize dialog, a large number of swatches can be available onscreen without taking up an inordinate amount of screen real estate.

Option: Sort Order

Color sets can be organized in various ways. The order of the swatches when it was created is called the Saved order. Additionally, the swatches can be ordered according to Hue, Lightness, or Saturation. When any of these HLS orders are applied to a color set, the swatches are reorganized (right-to-left; top-to-bottom) according to the selected Sort Order. These optional color organizations can be useful for quickly evaluating and selecting color for a project or painting.

Organize Your Color

With the tools provided for Color Sets, you can reconfigure a color set to suit your needs. In the next installment, we'll look into creating and editing your own color sets. Combined with the Color Set Viewing Options, you have a complete color organizing solution.

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Viva la Painter!