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Impressionst plugin: How to create a custom style

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  • Impressionst plugin: How to create a custom style

    I got a question the other day something like, "How do you go about creating a custom style in Impressionist."

    The short answer: It's pretty much by trial and error process.

    The basic steps to create a custom versiion of the Pencil Sketch > Detail Colored style follow. (You can experiment with this one or another of your choice.) The settings are ones I stumbled on while experimenting. You can use them or ones you discover.

    Before going on, read the Important comment below.

    Creating a custom style:
    * Open an image
    * Invoke Impressionist
    * Style: Pencil Sketch > Detail Colored
    * Click: More Controls
    * Choose Brush from the menu
    * Scroll right among the choices (they are presented in alphabetical file name order). Click along the way (to see the file names) until you get to Smudg5c.tif
    * Choose Brush from the menu
    * Uncheck option "Scale Strokes Proportionally"
    * Settings for Min Width: 3.....Min Height: .8
    * Settings for Max Width: 17.....Max Height: 2.5
    * Choose Orientation from the menu
    * From the Orient the Strokes menu, choose Hue (Try Brightness and Saturation, while you're at it. Optimally is the normal setting.)
    * Number of angles: 32 (Try 1, 2, 4, too. What happens?)

    ...then give it a shot.

    Experiment with other settings. You can't break anything!

    Important: If you hit the jackpot (or come close), click SAVE to preserve your settings. If you don't and you switch to and apply a different style, the custom settings are lost unless you remember exactly what they were. You can always delete the "I really didn't like this one anyway" tries later.

    Save dialog entry guidelines:
    * Category Name: #XX Custom, where "XX" represents your initials (note 1)
    * Variant Name: Anything you like. (Trust me on this: The name MUST BE 30 characters or less. Although you can type a name > 30 characters, doing so messes up one version of Impressionist. So, specify a name of 30 characters or less just to be safe.)
    * File Name: #XX Custom (note 2)

    Note 1: Creates a new category for the Style dropdown menu. Leading "#" causes the category to be listed first in the menu.

    Note 2: Creates a .set file in \User Settings named "#XX Custom.set"

    - - - - - - -

    Have fun! Ask questions or post discoveries, please!


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