Hidden away in the paint synthesizer in the Path Start control panel is the ‘Sketch to Internal Path Memory 1‘ option for the path start Generator parameter. This particular path start Generator option can be very powerful if you are interested in creating sketch style paint effects. But it can also be confusing to work with, and can lead to some unexpected results if you don’t fully understand how it works. Today’s post will dive into explaining this particular paint synthesizer feature, and demonstrate a watercolor sketch paint preset you can use as a starting point for creating your own sketch effects.
The whole point of the paint synthesizer’s Path Start control panel is to allow you to define where automatically generated paint paths start to draw. Some path start Generators create a series of random sampling points to stochastically distribute paint strokes throughout the drawing canvas. Others generate geometric scanning patterns, like regular tiling or border scan patterns. Others scan based on the location of bezier curves stored in the different bezier path memories. Others perform something called path start regionization, which involves intelligently analyzing the source image, breaking it up into smart regions, and then painting those regions in one at a time.
The ‘Sketch to Internal Path Memory 1‘ path start Generator option is unique, in that it analyzes the source image to create a controllable edge sketch effect, converts the edge sketch into a series of individual bezier paths, and then places those sketch paths into the internal bezier path memory. The resulting bezier paths that represent the source sketch are then available to be used to define paint path start locations, but are also available in the Path Shape control panel to be used to define the actual drawing of the paint paths themselves.
The Internal Bezier Path Memory is a way to store a collection of individual bezier paths inside of a specific paint preset. The Sketch to Internal Path Memory 1‘ path start Generator option is overriding whatever is inside of the internal bezier path memory when you press the Action button to run the paint preset. It loads that internal bezier path memory with a new set of bezier paths that sketch the current source image.
The thing to keep in mind is that the entire complete bezier path sketch is generated prior to the first paint stroke being drawn. So the complete sketch is computed, and then stored inside of the internal bezier path memory. There are several different Path Type options available inside of the Path Shape control panel that work with the contents of the internal bezier path memory. The thing to be aware of is that some of those options will draw the complete contents of the internal bezier path memory as one individual paint stroke. Others will cycle through the individual paint paths contained inside of the internal path memory one by one.
So when editing a paint preset that uses the ‘Sketch to Internal Path Memory 1‘ path start Generator, you need to be aware of this distinction between a Path Type option that draws all of the bezier paths in the path memory in association with a single path start location, vs cycling through the individual bezier paths in the path memory and only drawing only one with each unique path start location.
This second option, cycling through the bezier paths one at a time is what you want to shoot for to create a sketch effect like the one we are building in today’s example. If you create a paint preset that uses the first option by mistake, then the entire bezier sketch will be drawn for each individual path start location. Typically this is not the kind of behavior you would want, for obvious reasons.
Let’s show how to put together a color watercolor sketch paint effect. The first screenshot below shows the Path Start control panel.