Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mapping the Wacom Intuos4 for Corel Painter

Click to download PDF

I've been enjoying working with the new Wacom Intuos4 tablet in conjunction with Painter 11. After a bit of adjusting, I've come up a mapping scheme that works well for me. In particular, I've found mapping Painter's 32-level Undo/Redo to the TouchRing to be highly useful. I've set it up so that the 32 undo levels are cycled by a counter-clockwise motion on the TouchRing. Redo, then, is applied with a clockwise motion. This setup enables the ability to review your most recent actions, providing a powerful safety net that encourages experimentation.

I've applied subtle brush resizing as the other TouchRing function. I do a lot of detail work, so I like to be able to adjust my brush in small increments (1- or 2-pixel resizing). For large-scale brush adjustments, I've mapped an ExpressKey to OPT + CMD (ALT + CTRL on Windows). This enables me to press this ExpressKey, then click-and-drag on the current image to quickly resize the brush (using an onscreen circle preview while dragging).

Because I use the Undo/Redo and brush resizing functions so much, I've double-mapped them to the 4 TouchRing positions. This keeps both functions only one click away. And, to be honest, there aren't a lot of possibilities available in Painter for continuous functions to map.

Another ExpressKey is set to invoke the Rotate Page tool. I press and hold this key, then click-and-drag on the image to rotate the canvas to the desired orientation. (Note: You can't map Painter's page rotation to the TouchRing—Painter doesn't currently have individual commands for clockwise and counterclockwise rotation.) The rest of the ExpressKeys are used for screen navigation.

I've created a PDF of my Intuos4 mapping setup. You can download it by clicking on the small preview image at the beginning of this blog post. If you are a Painter user with an Intuos4 and wondering how to take advantage of the tablet's control surface, you might want to use my setup as a starting point—or use it as is.


  1. John,

    Thank you for sharing. This was very generous of you to not only go through your setup in a very detailed manor, but also document it in such a visual manor.

    Thank you! I've been tweaking mine with modo and PS, and have been working the past week on what would work well with Painter.


  2. Thanks for that. Is a help to me, cause i found it hard to understand how to map from Painter.

  3. Very well explained and helpful. Thank you for your time, John!

  4. any links to using with Vistablet? a new one of those with Painter 11

  5. It appears the link/download went wonky with the retirement of John, can you make this helpful guide accessible once more? Thanks!

  6. there is a "403 Permission Denied" if I would get the PDF. Can you fix it?

    Thanks in advance

  7. Thanks, Ulf...fixed...!Happy Holidays!

  8. Great Stuff! Thanx man!

  9. For the canvas rotation I had no luck in Windows. The reasing is the Tablet mapping will not allow the keystrokes to be entered in the order of Spacebar + alt, only alt+spacebar. The problem is this is a function of Windows. I posted this with Corel.