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Corel Painter X: Power of Scripting

There are two kinds of scripts in Corel Painter. One type you use with the Record feature. The other automatically records your work session. Should your computer crash, there is a good possibility you can retrieve your work session in Painter by playing back the script from the time of the crash. You can specify how many days Painter keeps the automatically recorded scripts by specifying the number of days in the Preferences > General dialog box. The default is one day.

The Power of Scripting
Every good computer graphics program offers the ability to write scripts in one form or another. Tapping into the power of scripting greatly increases your ability to make software work for you. No matter how comprehensive the tools in a piece of software might be, there is always something the programmers didn’t think of, or a feature that would have been too bulky or specialized to include, or a repetitive task you would like to automate, such as applying the same effect to each frame in a video clip. And that is where scripting comes in. You can literally write your own processes without having to learn programming. In Corel Painter, scripting offers you, for example, the power to have unlimited “undos.” If you record your work in a script, you can revert to any stage in the project by playing the script back and stopping it at the stage you want.

Play a script
Open the Scripts palette by going to Window > Show Scripts.
2 Play the Tim Warnock 1 script by clicking the Play button at the bottom of the palette.
3 Play the script again, this time using the Stop or Pause button to stop the playback.
4 From the Script Selector, choose another script and play it back.
5 Click the Single Step button to see the steps the script is following.
(see Fig. AB)

Record a script
Start recording by clicking the Record button on the Scripts palette.
2 Open a new file with a white background. Set it to 720 x 486 at 180 ppi (that is a good resolution for printing on a 1440 dpi inkjet printer).
3 Choose Select > All, or use Command+A (Mac OS) or Ctrl+A (Windows). Choose Select > Convert To Shape.
4 From the Shapes > Set Shapes Attributes dialog box, make sure Stroke is on and Fill is off. Select a color for your border and adjust the size of the stroke.
5 Choose the Shape Selection tool in the toolbox. In the property bar, click the Convert to Layer button, then drop the layer to the canvas.
6 Go to Canvas > Canvas Size, and add 200 pixels to the bottom of the canvas.
7 Click on the Text tool in the toolbox, and type in “Audio,” “Job” and “Scene #.”
8 Put a thin border around the entire image. Make sure everything is dropped to the canvas, and stop recording. Give your script a descriptive name like NTSC756X486.
9 Close your image file and play back your script. If you have done everything correctly, you should have an image similar to (fig. C)

Editing scripts
Scripts are flexible. For example, you can play a script one instruction at a time. You can also edit scripts by opening them in the Scripts palette. To open a script, click the palette menu arrow, and choose Open Script. In the dialog box, choose the script and click Open. You will see all the steps and information about the script listed. (fig. D)

You can edit a script to change the order of instructions, remove an instruction, or add a segment from a different script. You can select instructions by clicking them. To select multiple instructions, hold down Shift when clicking them. To cut, copy and paste parts of your script, select one or more instructions, then click the palette menu arrow and choose Cut or Copy. Select the instruction before which you want to paste. Click the palette menu arrow and choose Paste. Corel Painter stores copied instructions in the Clipboard, so you can close one script, open another, and paste the instructions there.

Recording a painting
Imagine recording a drawing, then playing the drawing back with a different drawing tool. This is an easy way to experiment with different looks, and an easy effect to create using scripting. The trick is to set up the script options correctly in Corel Painter. Replaying scripts with different tools is a wonderful way to experiment with a sketch. (see fig E)

Record a painting
1 Open a new file. Pick your color and your drawing tool.
2 On the Scripts palette, click the palette menu arrow, and choose Script Options. In the Script Options dialog box, disable the Record Initial State option. This will allow you to change art materials on playback.
3 Start recording.
4 Make your sketch, but be careful not to change colors or drawing tools.
5 End recording and name your script Sketch.
6 Choose Select > All, and hit the Delete or Backspace key to clear your canvas. Test your script by playing it.
7 Now play back the script with different tools and colors. Try combining several playbacks over the same file.

Scripting for animation
Scripts can also be created for the purpose of making movies. You can create a movie from a script by saving the script as frames during playback. Before you record the script, you need to enable the Record Initial State option. Once the script is recorded, you can play it back to test it before you save it as a movie. When you want to create a movie from the script, go to the Script Options dialog box and enable the Save Frames On Playback option (this is the option that directs Corel Painter to create a movie on playback). (fig F)
Choose how many tenths of a second you want between frames. Corel Painter defaults to ten 1/10ths of a second. The lower the number, the more frequently a frame is created and the smoother the animation will be. More frames, however, use more disk space. In this example, I played back my Sketch script. When Save Frames On Playback is turned on and you play a script, a dialog box will open asking you to save a frame stack. I named the file Sketch.frm. Corel Painter automatically broke the movie up into 72 frames. The length of the movie will depend on the 1/10ths of a second setting you choose and the length of your script.

Play the Sketch QuickTime movie.
Increasing resolution with scripts
One of the reasons artists like to work with vectors is that they are resolution-independent. They are easy to make larger with no loss of image quality. When you enlarge a bitmap, however, the image quality suffers. With scripts, there is a way around this limitation. You can use a script to record your painting while you work at a low resolution, then play the painting back at a higher resolution! This technique allows you to paint quickly and intuitively at a low resolution, while still having the advantage of being able to render your painting at a high resolution.

Replay a script at a higher resolution
1 In the Script Options dialog box, make sure the Record Initial State option is enabled and everything else is turned off.
2 Open a new file, 640 x 480 at 72 ppi.
3 Choose Select > All. (This action allows for a resolution-independent playback later. It creates a reference rectangle that is part of the recording. The rectangle must be recorded to play a session back into a higher resolution file later.)
4 Start recording your script.
5 Make your painting. When you are finished, stop recording and name your script Hi_rez.
6 Open a new document, two to four times the size of your original file (in this case, 1280 x 960 or 2560 x 1920 at 72 ppi). Make sure the new document has the same aspect ratio as the original, so your image won’t get distorted.
7 Choose Select > All again to select the entire canvas. The rectangle recorded at the outset of the original script is referenced to the selected rectangle in this document.
8 Now play back the Hi_rez script you created. Corel Painter will play back the script in the new document while automatically scaling the brushes to fit the higher resolution.


Anonymous said...

can I record an animated movie in Painter and then export it for further use?

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Unknown said...

I am trying to make a script into a quicktime movie file. However in the Script Options dialog box the "Record Initial State"-option is missing..? Can anyone tell me why that is? And can I make my script into a movie without this option?
(I have a trial version og the program. Can that be the reason for this problem?)

Sanjay M Colaco said...

Hello there ! I am a Corel Painter user. I am trying to make a script for clean canvas- so that I don't have to follow the usual steps: 1. select\select all 2. Edit\clear 3. select\None

I am trying to record these steps- without any success.

While in Photoshop, I have recorded a similar action and that action does a pretty good job- in one click, I get a clean canvas.

Could you please help ?

Thank you !

P.S. by clean canvas, I mean : If I have messed the canvas with my doodles and now want it clean.

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