Gertrudis Graphics

Creating a Custom Style – Step By Step

This Tutorial is for GMX-PhotoPainter 1.1.
Visit the Help for an Updated Version

Tutorial about creating Custom Styles in GMX-PhotoPainter

What it a Style?

As a real painting, GMX-PhotoPainter pictures are composed of many overlapped brushstrokes. Each brushstroke has it’s associated style which defines how it will look. A GMX painting does not have to use the same style on the whole picture, you can start by painting some brushstrokes with a desired style, and then switch to a different style when it’s required. There are a number of predefined styles, that can be directly accessed using the Style Bar:

GMX-PhotoPainter - Styles Bar

While GMX provides you a variety of predefined styles, the real power of GMX comes when you define your own styles. There are a lot of properties that a style may have, each of which can be modified. This guide will help you learn how to create a style and how to choose the right parameters for it.

Types of Styles

You can skip this section and jump directly to the Create a Basic Style Mini Tutorial.
In GMX-PhotoPainter there are three different kinds of Styles:

Bitmap Brush Style

This is the most common kind of style, it is general purpose oriented, and is used by the majority of the predefined styles, this is because it has many different options that make it very versatile. The Bitmap Brush Style has the following characteristics and features:

  • In it, the Bitmap Brush is deformed along the path of the brushstroke.
  • In a Bitmap Brush Style, the larger the brush, the less detail the drawing has.
  • There are a number of properties that can be modified:
    • You can modify the Brush.
    • Size: Width and Length
    • Transparency.
    • Color Modes: The tree Color Modes can work in combination with Bitmap Brush Style.
    • Texture: Texture is an option that currently is only supported by the Bitmap Brush Style.
    • 3D Look.

By looking at the Style Options Availability Table you can check that almost all style options are available for the Bitmap Brush Style.

Pen and Ink Style

The Pen and Ink Brush Style is fully covered in the Pen and Ink Tutorial. However it’s adequate to point out here some differences and similarities with the Bitmap Brushes:

  • Both, Bitmap Brush and Pen and Ink Styles have a Bitmap Brush which define the shape the brushstroke. The shape in both cases is deformed along the path of the brushstroke.
  • Unlike the Bitmap Brush Style, the Pen and Ink Style does not need to use a small brushstroke to give detail to the painting.
  • While in a Bitmap Brush Style the Transparency tends to blur the result, in a Pen and Ink Brush the transparency make it more soft, but it doesn’t lose detail. See the following example, both drawings where made using the same size, Width = 29, Length = 92:
    Pen and Ink head of a frog Bitmap Brush Style head of a Frog
  • Not every option that is available for the Bitmap Brush Style is available for the Pen and Ink Style. Take a look at the Style Options Availability Table.

Bristle Brush Style

In contrast to the Bitmap Brush Style and the Pen and Ink Style, the Bristle Brush Style does not use a Bitmap Brush. A single Bristle brushstroke is composed of many small and fine threads or dots of a similar color. There are four kinds of different Bristle Brushes:

  • Dots: It looks like a pointillism painting:
  • Short threads: It’s mainly used to imitate Crayon Paintings:
  • Large threads: It gives an aspect of a fast sketch.
  • Fluff: Making very transparent the brushstrokes could lead to very soft results.
Bristle Brush - Dots Bristle Brush Short threads

1. Bristle Brush: Dots

2. Bristle Brush: Short threads

Bristle Brush Large Threads Bristle Brushes Fluff

3. Bristle Brush: Large threads

4. Bristle Brush: Fluf

Painting 1, 2, and 3 where done using large color variations with medium transparency. While in painting 4, the color variation is low and the transparency is high (very transparent).

Mini tutorial: Creating a basic Style

This mini tutorial will show step by step how to create a basic Bitmap Brush Style.

1. Click in the Styles Button:

GMX Main Window

2. Right click with the mouse on the desired category where you want to put the new style:

GMX Styles Window

3.While GMX provides you a default preview, you can choose the desired one by clicking on “Choose Preview Picture” button:

GMX Styles Window - New Style

4. Choose the preview picture:

Preview Picture Selection

5. Don’t worry about the following warning:
Preview Picture Selection
GMX-PhotoPainter is preventing you from using a large image to do a preview. Keep in mind that the image you are choosing here is not the final drawing, it’s just a preview to get an approximation of how this style will look. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you choose “Yes”.

6. The “Preview Quality” setting lets you decide how many strokes will be drawn to do the preview, as you might suspect, low values result in poor preview quality, like the following one:

Preview Picture Selection

7. We moved the “Preview Quality” slider from 41 to “141″. As you can see, the preview looks better now:

Preview Picture Selection

8.If you don’t like the current brush you can choose a new one. Click on the “Texture & Brushes” Tab, and then, click in the brush preview, a Brush selector will pop up, browse through the brushes list, the selected brush will be highlighted:

Preview Picture Selection

10. Every time you change a setting, the preview will automatically get updated. You will see this process happening because at the bottom of the window, a progress bar will be shown. You can interrupt the update process by changing any of the available parameters.
Because we changed the brush, the preview changed too:

Preview Picture Selection

11. Check on the setting: “Gradient Brushes” under the “Other” tab. It’s recommended to have this box checked in bitmap brushes. See Gradient Brushes to learn more about it. Below is how the Style Preview looks like after we checked the “Gradient Brushes” on:

Preview Picture Selection

1 Comment »

  1. I’m thinking about buying your software. I want to achieve
    the same look as the little boy picture you show as a
    example. can you tell me how you did that one?

    Thank You
    David Whorf

    Comment by david whorf — June 19, 2011 @ 12:58 am

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