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Thread: STENCIL Making

  1. #1
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    STENCIL Making

    hummm making my first stencil sets and all seems well, except the image (PNG) is large but doesnt seem to matter in the program. Anyone know a proper file format size? Any suggestions?

    I took digital photos of some wood art...palms, fish, teddybear, etc. then converted them to PNG with correct BW format. I did not resize the new png yet. I did convert/load them into AR/stencils and they work fine.

    Bray

  2. #2
    irishrose Guest
    I think you should put this in the Technical section... I know that Someonesane would definitely know the answer to this one!!!

  3. #3
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    you're on the right track, I suppose. For me .png works fine; many a times I even don't bother to convert to B/W format. Regarding the size-parameters I really don't know, but I think AR converts any .png into its standard stencil irrespective of the file size. I got check it up though!
    The artist is the lover of Nature, therefore he is her slave and her master. - Rabindranth Tagore

  4. #4
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    I'm afraid I don't recall having read about any specific file sizes or dimensions. After taking a quick look at the manual, the closest thing I found was the following quote:
    "Tip: If you’re making Stencil images, make them pretty large. The larger they are, the better quality
    they will be when you scale them up. For examples, look in the ArtRage Resources folder under
    ‘Stencils’. We suggest using a loss-less image format such as PNG."

    I decided to open up the ArtRage stencils folder, to take a look at the default stencil files there. They seem to range anywhere in size from 400x400 pixels to 1141x1621 pixels and all were saved as black and white PNG files. So I figure it would be safe using those dimensions as a standard.
    Last edited by Someonesane; 06-12-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: I am the typo king and I rein supreme!
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  5. #5
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    Hi Bobbyray,
    The short easy answer to your question is that keeping them as large both dimension and dpi wise will provide you with the most flexibility in terms of their use.

    The downside of this is that when you have a lot of high res stencils in either your user or program folder that you load in through the stencil dialog you are going to start to notice your program grind as it tries to load this huge amount of data. If working with large dpi stencils its best to put them in their own folder import the one you want as an image to a layer and then turn that layer into the stencil.... that way you are only importing and using the ones you need and not waiting for the huge load each time you want to swap one. I've found this to be a time saver for working with huge stencil files.

    The long difficult answer to your question is that it is one of those dpi juggling acts and it would depend on what size and dpi you wanted your 'final' piece to be as to the appropriate size and dpi of the stencil. Keeping them large will give you more choices as to how large you can go with the target image.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juz View Post
    its best to put them in their own folder import the one you want as an image to a layer and then turn that layer into the stencil.... that way you are only importing and using the ones you need and not waiting for the huge load each time you want to swap one.
    Hi Juz,

    I'm curious as to why you import the stencil to a layer first (as an image), then create the stencil from the image layer? I understand the part about the huge loading (which I discovered when I put a large number of my own texture images into the stencil folder), but why not just import the image using the "Load a Stencil from Disk" option in the stencil menu?
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    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  7. #7
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    I use stencils more as selection masks and for my needs i want to control the exact size. When I import the way you suggest, Artrage shrinks it down to around 50% and I cant find an exact numeric way to resize, just the crude magnifying tool with eyeballing. I want to be sure i'm not scaling above the created size of the original stencil image to avoid pixellation. Because i often create mask pieces that need to fit exactly together, its easier for me to work with the positive space of the images to position them first then turn them to stencils, than to work with the negative space and messy overlay of the stencil borders.

    If I create the pieces in either photoshop or illustrator i can used the precise options for positioning in those packages and bring it in at exact size with the layers maintained then convert to stencil (this is the most common way i work). I always prefer to keep things in layered editable files incase it needs revisiting.

    I should note that this is a very digital design-ish approach to a 'painting' product and is more a reflection of my personal art background than a 'best practice' approach to this product. In my heart of hearts I would like to dump this approach and return to working in a more 'loose' manner for my own work, enjoying brushstrokes and my 'happy mistakes', boldly painting over and through that which needs redoing. I can definitely learn a lot from people here with regards to this goal.
    Last edited by Juz; 06-13-2009 at 01:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    I see, so it's about keeping the dimensions of the stencil. I recall a few posters looking for an easy way of doing this. It might be worth suggesting to the AR team, about having an option to auto-size the stencil to default size.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  9. #9
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    Hopefully its already been suggested, as artrage 3, i'm happy to say is in beta testing
    http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums...t=13637&page=4
    To be honest, for the price of the software, I'll just be happy with whatever Ambient deliver in the new version That is as long as they don't remove Mr Tycho from my updater.
    Last edited by Juz; 06-13-2009 at 05:17 PM.

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