you can fly!? Learning to use Particle Brushes

First Steps
with PD Particles

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PD Particles
Project Dogwaffle

 part 1 - part 2  -  part 3  -  part 4 

Starting PD Particles

When you launch PD Particles, it will open over the full screen and ask whether you wish to start from scratch with a blank image, or load a previously existing image from file, or from the Clipboard.

PD Particles can also send images you create in it sraight back to the Clipboard, and it can of course also save it to image files in a number of popular formats. The default format is called 'Default Targa' and also offers support for 32-bit depth with Alpha channel. 

< click image for full size
Selecting an Image Size

Let's create something from scratch with a blank image. Select the desired size from the presets list or enter the size in the width and height fields.

Then click OK.

The dimensions of the image is expressed in pixels (picture elements).

If there are some specific sizes you want to add to the presets list, or others you'd like to remove from it, you can do so easily by using a text editor such as Notepad and editing the default resolution file named Def_Res.txt which can be found in the folder where you installed PD Particles (e.g. C:\Program Files\PD Particles). Each line in the file contains a doube-quoted text string which will show as the descriptive, and a komma-separated list of numbers (width, height).

Note the Tools panel with the color selectors. You can move it to a different position if desired. In some tutorials you'll see the Tools panel; along the left edge.

The tabs along the top right edge show parameters of 'regular' brush and particle brushes.

By default, a particle brush is selected.

The particle system also has a 'Bristles' option.
Choosing a Basic (internal) Brush

Below the menu bar there's a Presets button leading to a menu.

It leads quickly to the particle brush presets as well as the various internal brushes for natural media and effects like airbrush, oil and watercolor.

Select the Oils category, and the large cover brush therein.

When painting with oil, it is useful to start with a large cover brush. It helps in quickly setting the major tone of color, such as when doing a nature scene: blue tops, green+brown bottoms, and misty yellow haze (aka Los Angeles grey) along the horizon in the middle.
Now just start painting.

Here's the result of just one brush stroke with the large cover brush.



You can use Shift-K of the Clear option in the Image menu to clear the image buffer back to white.

a note about colors:

PD Particles manages two colors: the primary and the secondary colors. You can paint with the left mouse button to use the primary color, and with the right mouse button to use the secondary color.

The secondary color  is white by default, and is used by the Clear function. Thus, if you need to clear to a different background color than white, simply change the secondary color, and then clear.

The secondary color is set by using the right mouse button on the color selector. Using the left mouse button on the color selectors sets the primary color.

Select a blue color.  You can find a variety of color selection tools and gradients.

Use the left mouse button to pick or drag in the color selection tool and pick a blueish color that will serve for painting the sky area.

Perhaps you can start with a darker blue for the upper area of the sky, then a light blue and eventually light grey or white.

After a few brush strokes at these colors you should have a rough sky like this.

 part 1 - part 2  -  part 3  -  part 4