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Thread: Preserve transparency

  1. #1
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    Preserve transparency

    one thing I really use a lot in photoshop is the "preserve transparency" feature in the layer palette. You can paint on a layer with any size of brush. If there is something under your brush, your brush will put some colors, if there is nothing, the brush does nothing. It's really usefull to work on an element of a drawing with a big brush without filling all the layer.

    Cédric

    PS : I'm sorry if this feature has already been asked, I havn't read it
    My portfolio & other things :
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  2. #2
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    Another big vote for this. Think of it as painting on a paper cutout.

    A frisket or stencil is like a layer where you are allowed to paint on the layer(s) BELOW it, wherever there is a hole in the frisket. (The idea is that you then usually recycle or discard the frisket that caught the stray strokes.) An advanced frisket scheme allows for the frisket to be lifted away from the canvas to blend airbrush strokes softly (via a gaussian blur on the frisket edge).

    The other desired form described here is where you don't recycle or discard the cutout layer. Instead, you protect the layers underneath with a scratch bit of paper, and paint ON the cutout layer. Technically, this is just a matter of "don't change the alpha value of each pixel painted."

    Photoshop and the GIMP both have a preserve/keep transparency flag on their layers. This is exactly the same approach, but of course with natural media applied to the cutout layer.
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  3. #3
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    I've never used 'preserve transparency'. Even took me a couple minutes to find it.

    I just now tried it on a normal photo, and couldn't quite get the sense of that feature.

    Photohop often has many ways to do the same thing.

    Is it best used with flat graphics, or does it work as well on full value range pics?

    In what sort of situation would you use it?

    Thanks.

    :?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Akey
    I just now tried it on a normal photo, and couldn't quite get the sense of that feature.
    A normal photo has one layer and no transparency.

    In Photoshop or the GIMP:

    * Load a flat image like a photograph.

    * Add a new transparent layer over your photograph.

    * With any brush, handwrite your name on the transparent layer. Wherever you stroke, an opaque color will replace the transparency and you will obscure your photograph.

    * Turn on the "Preserve Transparency" option for the handwritten layer. Change your current color boldly so you can see changes. Now draw all over your signature in any direction. Wherever you stroke ON your signature, the color changes. Wherever you stroke OFF your signature, you can still see your photograph.

    In ArtRage, each layer is like a full-canvas-wide rectangular sheet of acetate or cellophane, and paint will adhere to the layer wherever you stroke. What people are requesting here is to allow for layers which have been cut out in irregular shapes, so that you can paint on the shapes without making the shapes grow with every stray stroke.
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  5. #5
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    Just a question about that:
    Do you feel Preserve Transparency offers anything over using masking instead?
    In concept, I think you could achieve the same effect with masking tools. But there may be a good work-flow reason why Preserve Transparency is a better method.
    AndyRage's mantra for graphics engine code:
    "Sure - how hard can it be?"

  6. #6
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    Thanks Ed. I can see this does something similar to what I've been doing a different way.

    Andy,
    I can't speak to their use of Preserve Transparency. I never used it that way before. But if you have channels where you can copy a drawing, make a new channel and paste it in. Then you can load it as a selection onto a new layer.

    Then on the new layer:

    1. do a fill to reproduce it in monochrome

    2. or use the paint bucket to reproduce it in monochrome (if it's a solid color)

    3. or brush any old thing into the selection

    What that ultimately does is to allow you to get a selection vignetted onto a new layer complete with transparent gradients.

    I *think* that's what they're getting at with preserve transparency.

    But in my scenario you need to be able to control channels.

    That feature is well worth it because it allows for sophisticated gradated masks that can be painted onto a transparent layer, and it can be taken from an other existing image.

    1. Masking is way at the top of my wish list for ArtRage.

    2. Also Paths that can be stroked, filled or clipped.

    3. Also an eraser-like tool that works in a streaky way like a paint rag.


    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRage
    Just a question about that:
    Do you feel Preserve Transparency offers anything over using masking instead?
    In concept, I think you could achieve the same effect with masking tools. But there may be a good work-flow reason why Preserve Transparency is a better method.
    I believe Preserve Transparency is a different tool and a very important feature. Imagine, you do an illustration with layer and you need (or want) to change the color of an object that is on a specific layer. You check "preserve transparency" and you can use any tool, even with a large size, to paint over your object or character, the colors won't go where you don't want.
    With masking tools, you need to create your mask before so it's longer. But if we had the possibility to create a mask from the content of a layer, the preserve transparency is not so important (but the mask needs to be a real mask, with 256 grey levels, and not just a binary selection)

    I hope I'm clear with my bad english....

    Cédric
    My portfolio & other things :
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  8. #8
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    Cedric says it well. No problem with the English at all. Wish I could speak a second language that well.

    I like the fact that you can use part of your art as a mask without having to re-draw it. Aside from the extra time lost, hand doing a mask means it may or may not be accurate.

    Nice feature.

    Or at least you might include the ability to import masks (channels?) when importing a .psd file.

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    Whoa, ancient thread, I know, but I just wanted to say that I'd really like to see this feature. One way I use preserve transparency is to keep my strokes within the lineart while shading colors. I color one layer of "flat" colors, then apply shading strokes on top with preserve transparency on, which makes it so that my new strokes don't go outside of what I colored underneath. Hard to explain, but it's the same idea as coloring a circle red, then applying a darker shade of red on top without worrying that your strokes will mar the original shape (it won't go outside of what you originally colored). Would love to see this in the next version.

  10. #10
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    ++

    I was just going to suggest this.

    As said, it allows several simple&great workflows.

    For me, it would make it simple to do vector illustration to be used as a mask shape, export that with alpha channel and paint it in Artrage to get natural look. Imagine silkscreening and similar techniques! Also useful for CGI cut-out animation props.

    I wish this feature (and non-additive brushes) get implemented.

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