Brush Tracking and Basic Customization
PX3 Basics 5

Learn how to set your brush tracking and customize basic brush characteristics (size, opacity, squeeze and angle) using keyboard shortcuts.

In this video you will see demonstrated the use of the Option+Command+drag (Mac) and Alt+Ctrl+drag (PC) shortcuts to adjust brush size while painting in your image. These are very useful and I recommend you program the appropriate one into one of your Wacom Express Keys.

I then go on to demonstrate that you can modify what brush characteristic is changed when you drag your cursor after starting with holding down the Option+Command (Mac) or Alt+Ctrl (PC) keys. The trick here is that you have to KEEP your Wacom pen tip in contact with the Wacom tablet surface as you let go of the Option+Command (Mac) or Alt+Ctrl (PC) keys and then just tap on the Command (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key to cycle through the four different options: opacity, squeeze, rotation and then back to size. It’s a little tricky the first time you do this but gets easier as you get used to it.

If you lift your Wacom pen tip from the Wacom tablet surface, hold down the Command (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key, and then return the Wacom pen tip to the surface and drag, the Command (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key temporarily turns the brush tool cursor into the Layer Adjuster tool. As you drag with this tool on the background canvas you create a solid black line rectangle. This Layer Adjuster tool shortcut is useful in itself when you are working with layers and want to easily and quickly transition between painting on different layers (or on the background canvas) and moving the layers around.

These particular shortcuts are not documented in the Preferences > Customize Keys. I have added (with David Gell’s help) in my PaintboxTV PX3 Workspace the ability to do a shortcut search in the brush search field. So if you type in “brush size” you’ll get the “option+command+drag” shortcut listed.

Video length: 4 minutes 47 seconds

July 2013

Painter X3 Basics 5
Brush Tracking and Basic Customization


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2 Comments added

  1. June 6, 2014
    Great tips on using the opt-cmd and cmd, but cmd by itself does not do what you show in the video (I'm using X3 on a Mac). When I hold down only the cmd key, I get a solid rectangular marquee. I looked all through the customize keys preferences, but can't find either of these key combinations in there anywhere. Please advise. Thanks! Reply
    • June 8, 2014
      Hi Cheryl, Thanks for your excellent question, which I've addressed in detail above. Cheers, Jeremy Reply