Pressure-sensitive eyedropper, etc.
I have a special palette plugin that I created for a different program called TVPaint, but there are some ideas in there that I would like to share with you.
One of them is a pressure-sensitive eyedropper. The harder you press, the faster it blends your current colour with the sampled colour on the canvas. If you want to pick up a colour without blending, then you just press on the tablet with the maximum pressure.
Another one is a CIE-calibrated LCH palette. This one allows a person to make hue shifts that compensate for perceived intensities. You're probably well aware of how #00FF00 looks MUCH brighter than #0000FF even though numerically, the two have the same brightness. A CIE-calibrated palette would partially alleviate the problem and help a person to make better colour choices.
Doing this isn't that easy -- I had to convert HLS to XYZ and then to LCH colourspace, and then reconvert back. Fortunately for me there were algorithms out there to do this. Also for the pressure-sensitive eyedropper, I had to convert colours from RGB space to XYZ space and then perform the blends to preserve proper hue-shifting.
I also have a small HUD popup that follows my mouse cursor around when I perform colour blends. it shows the colour of the pixel underneath my stylus, the colour I started with, and the resulting blended colour beside one another to help me gauge the relative differences in colours.
Anyways you can see all this on my site:
and here's the pressure-sensitive eyedropper (weighted-colour-picker) in use:
http://www.moat-dd.com/public_downloads/Using the WCP/Using the WCP.html
(copy the entire link because the spaces kind of mess things up)
I'd also like to see a moveable water-glass where you can scribble over it (using varying pressure and scribble violence) to specify how quickly the paint clears off the brush.
I like the little colour-cubbyholes on the right -- they're quite useful, but I'd also like to see something that does the same thing except it stores brush and tool settings instead.
It would also be nice to disable the "auto-loading" option on the brushes so that even after you lift up the brush, it does not reload the brush. By using the Paint Tube, you should be able to deposit several blobs of paint and then use and unloaded brush to pick and mix colours like IRL... I tried using an unloaded brush on some Paint Tube blobs, but I don't feel that it 'loads' the brush up enough. The harder you press, and the more you drag through a blob, the more it should load the brush up, I think...
A "Hairdryer" or "Heat gun" tool would be pretty neat. You play it over wet paint to dry regions of it.
I have several other suggestions,
I've noticed on several tools that each stroke begins with a tiny pinprick brush that then expands to full size, depending on stylus pressure. I would very much like to have an option to specify the minimum size of the brush.
Also, on both tablet PC's and on Cintiq tablet displays (and even on some WACOM tablets, the sensor density at the edge of the screen is very low. This often results in poor stylus control in these regions and as a result, it becomes bothersome when tiny or skinny controls are located at the side of the screen. A good example of this opportunity to improve the GUI is on the Value slide on the color palette at the lower-right corner of the screen.
This makes the color picker VERY Cintiq + Tablet PC - unfriendly. What's worse is that typically the user's hand obscures the current colour indicator when selecting a colour.
I suggest making it so that if you click anywhere beside the slider(as long as it's not clicking on the "pie"), then it should register the click anyways. This may sound trivial, but on Cintiq tablet displays or on TPCs', the cursor positioning calibration becomes VERY unreliable at the screen edges. Also, if you move the current colour indicator to the outer circumference of the "pie", then it will no longer be obscured by the hand..
The same can be said for the Colour Samples Panel... tiny, hard-to-click squares make it very annoying. In fact, it would be really nice to eliminate the borders between these squares entirely soit is easy to tell what one colour looks beside another.
sorry guys -- I have another annoying suggestion:
I would like to be able to import PNG files (with transparency) as a layer, and export PNG files (with transparency). I'm looking also at running the crippled trial version of Alias Sketchbook Pro (which has no paint simulation, but has a very responsive pencil) in tandem with ArtRage... I want to be able to make an automated workflow where I can hit a hotkey (I'll program that part in AutoHotkey) and then whisk away the current layer into ASP, work on it with the pencils, then hit the hotkey again and whisk it back into AR2 so I can colour my linework.
Or, maybe you guys might be able to take a look at the pencil tool and see if you can improve its responsiveness (I have a particularly difficult time with using it in tight corners, which is what drives me into using ASP). I hate resorting to kludges, but I'll do it if it's unfeasable to implement into AR2.
ASP Pencil vs ArtRage Pencil/Airbrush
I've remarked on this a bit too much, but it's relevant so I'll post again about it. The ASP Pencil is perhaps the quickest and most versatile brush for line work--the ArtRage brush, as I believe I've been told, doesn't even try to address the same functionality because it has to do extra calculations having to do with blending, textures, etc. I'm guessing that's why the line doesn't even get created directly underneath the cursor--you have to move it a bit before you get to see what sort of mark you just made. The ArtRage airbrush, however, seems to be less computation-intensive, and happily lays over anything on the canvas. It's definitely similar to the ASP pencil, but it doesn't have the same brush size and opacity dynamics. I think our best hope is a modification of the airbrush rather than the pencil.
Hmm yeah, that Airbrush works great for sketching at 1%, but like you said, it's not opaque enough...