PI8 Basics #2: The EasyPalette
The EasyPalette is a central repository for PI's built-in filters, effects, objects, masks and templates. It's also a place to store your own custom presets and objects so that you can use them over and over again, or share them with others. To access the EasyPalette, click its button in the Panel Manager, or choose View, Toolbars & Panels, EasyPalette.
The screen shot below shows the EasyPalette in Tree view.
And here is the EasyPalette in Tab view.
To access effects or objects, drag and drop from the thumbnails, or double click on them.
The first two buttons on the left, running across the top of the EasyPalette, allow you access Galleries or Libraries. Click the down arrow next to the Galleries or Libraries button to access the Gallery or Library Manager. Doing so opens a submenu. Note that there is a new Package option which will be very popular with those who share presets. Package allows you to save an active Gallery/Library as another file in a specified folder, including all linked custom image, texture or background files.
The Setup EasyPalette Pop-up button opens a related dialog box.
Add Galleries and Libraries by selecting them and clicking the right-facing arrow. The item will be added to the Pop-up in the Status bar. Click the up arrow in the status bar to select a Gallery or Library from the Pop-up. You don't even have to have the EasyPalette open to apply an effect.
The "Use an image, object or selection as thumbnails" button lets you choose to view your own image, object or selection instead of the default thumbnails. Click the down arrow to access the menu. To return to the defaults, select "Reset all thumbnails."
The Thumbnail Menu Commands button offers its own menu of options. This menu can also be accessed by right clicking on any thumbnail in the EasyPalette.
To edit a thumbnails' effect, select Modify Properties and Apply. Doing so will open a dialog box associated with the preset so that you can tweak its settings. Note the last three items on the menu. The first of these allows you to add a PhotoShop (third party) filter effect, for example, you might want to add a Blade Pro or an Andromeda filter effect thumbnail. Add Fill Thumbnail lets you add your own image fill to the EasyPalette, which is very handy if you often use the same image fill. Add Command Thumbnails lets you choose from a selected list of commands. For example, you might want to add a thumbnail for Paint on Edges, which is now buried in the Effect, Creative menu commands.
Click View Menu Commands to reveal options for searching for effect thumbnails, EasyPalette options, or for resizing or arranging the EasyPalette.
The last button on the right is Thumbnail Size, from which you can edit thumbnail size in pixels. This is very handy if you have difficulty seeing thumbnails at the default size, or if you want to make them smaller so your EasyPalette takes up less room.
Here's a few more things about the EasyPalette that make it easier to work with. To make room in the work space, double click on its blue title bar and it will minimize or "roll up."
Simply double click on the blue title bar to display it again. You can drag on any EasyPalette side to resize it, too.
Finally, a few words about "Read-only" Galleries and Libraries, like the Mask Library. These default to "Read-only" to prevent unintended edits to the presets that ship with PI8. To add custom thumbnails, right click on the desired Gallery or Library and deselect (uncheck) "Read-only (for Sharing)."
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