Saving Custom 'Plug-in' Method Brushes in Painter 7
*Click here* to download 'Plug_in Template' brushes (for Painter 7 only).
Also check out Kaburaya's Plugin Brushes - Effects and Settings Primer here.
In the above example, Painter 7's Dry Ink variant was first selected. Next, the Method for this variant was changed to Plug-in, and the Subcategory, Confusion Brush. The modified variant was then saved as the custom variant 'Dry Ink Confusion'. After saving, both the initial default variant and the newly created custom variant were greyed out in the Popup menu and could not be used.
Although this problem appears to have been remedied in Painter 8, in Painter 7 there is a bug or programming issue which prevents a custom brush 'xml' file being correctly written if in Brush Controls> General, the Method is set to 'Plug-in' and any of the 27 method Subcategories assigned. Invariably, not only will the new custom variant be greyed out (and unavailable) in the Brush Variant Popup menu, but the original brush variant from which the custom variant was made will also be greyed out.
In order to restore the original variant, select a new brush category and hold down the option/alt key whilst selecting 'Restore Default Variant' from the 'Variant' menu in the Brushes palette. In the resulting dialogue box, click OK to delete all cached variants and restore brush file to original state. If you select the previous brush category however, you will probably discover that although the original variant is now available, the new custom variant is still greyed out
The only work-around I have found to this dilemma is to create a custom 'Plug-in method' variant from an existing (working) brush of the same brush subcategory (Confusion Brush for example). As trying to find these 'working' Plug-in variants is time-consuming, I have created a library of 'Plug-in Template' brushes encompassing all 27 Plug-in Subcategories, which may be used as starter brushes to create custom Plug-in method variants.
To use this brush library, simply download the zipped library folder from the above link, and after unzipping, place the folder at the top level of your 'Brushes' folder, which in turn resides in your main Painter 7 application folder. After loading the library, choose the appropriate variant from the Brush Variant Popup menu (listed by subcategory), alter the brush parameters in the Brush Controls palette to your liking (keeping the same brush subcategory as the original) and save the custom variant with a new name.
Note that the original 'Plug_in Templates' variants are really for use only as templates to create your own custom variants from (i.e. they have not been created to be used as normal brushes for creating art work). Any custom variants you create from these can then be moved to other brush libraries/categories if required. Note also that in order to see the effect of many of the 'Plug-in method' variants, the respective brush stroke has to be applied over media already laid down on the canvas or layer.
PS. Please mail me to let me know if they work as intended on the PC platform in Painter 7.