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Thread: Canvas and Grain Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Orinda, California USA
    Posts
    31

    Canvas and Grain Help!

    Hi,

    I am trying to understand how the Canvas and Grain options work in AR3.

    Do they work independently or are they linked? For example, if I select Watercolor Paper and the display changes to show the stroke. If I then click on the Grains preview, I can select a new grain. Say I pick a cross hatch look.

    So does the canvas become watercolor with a crosshatch look?

    Or

    Does the canvas become the Watercolor Paper and my painting stroke will have a crosshatch look? ..... one on top of the other. With the watercolor brush even at 200%, I can't tell what is going on. The stroke doesn't seem to change to reflect any grain at all.

    Or

    Did selecting a different grain cancel out the canvas choice?

    Yikkes! I'm not loony but maybe a bit dense. The manual was laughable in terms of the detail presented there.

    Thanks for reading my epistle. I'm totally frustrated and want to get on painting, but I can't get a handle on what is happening. AR is in definitely in charge and that is not the way it is suppose to be. LOL

    Is there somebody in the know that could shoot me some advice.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Jim Gahl

    PS - I want to create a grainy looking stroke that shows the pigment in the watercolor to be more pronounced and I was trying to manipulate the canvas and grain to achieve it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    2,867
    Hmmm... Explaining how this works always seems more complicated then it really is, but I'll try my best.

    Okay, so...

    You have your Base Canvas. The Canvas is what gives texture and the appearance of a surface to your image. The texture of the Canvas will show through with many types of tools, like the Watercolor, Gloop and Ink tools (imitating a type of color bleed into the surface). Other tools, like the Glitter, Paint Tube, Oil Paint (set to use a heavy Loading) will cover the texture over (thus imitating the build up of a painted surface).

    Now... The Canvas type also effects how certain tools catch the surface of the layer (and this can be set individually for each layer by editing it's Layer Texture). So using the Crayon on a rough surface will leave color on the high points of the textured Canvas, while using the Watercolor tool will result in displacing the color into the valleys of the texture. How much of an effect the texture has on the tool is determined by the Roughness setting for the Canvas or Layer Texture being used. Setting the Roughness vaule to high percentage means that tools like the Crayon and Chalk will catch less of the surface area (scratching only the highest points of the canvas), while a tool like Watercolor will end up having it's color fall more into the troughs of the texture. Note also, that the edges of some tools are also affected by the Roughness of the Canvas texture, like the Gloop tool. While the center area of the Gloop tool is mainly unaffected, it's outside edge changes. It shows the texture of the canvas, but doesn't get broken or separated by it. I've attached some images to display how a change in the Roughness of a single texture can affect different tools.

    So... In your case, since you want the paint of the watercolor tool to fall into the grain of the texture, you'd need to set your Roughness dial up a bit. If you want the texture to be more or less pronouced, while working on a surface that is more or less texture/rough, create a new layer and turn off the "Use Canvas Texture" option. This will allow you to increase the appearance of the Roughness for the canvas, but allow you to work on a lower/higher Roughness for that layer.

    Good luck.

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    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Orinda, California USA
    Posts
    31
    Hey Someonesane,

    Wow! How can I thank you enough for taking time to answer my questions in such detail. I printed your response out and have it with my other AR3 stuff so I can refer to it again.

    I have to say that not only did your answer enlighten a clueless mind, it pointed out again how much has gone into the development of the whole AR series. An actual, thought out plan had to be behind all the tools we so easily click and go.

    Sorry to say, but your response triggered a couple of questions. Too bad we can't sit down real time over a beer so I can ask away. Would you mind just a couple more clarifications?

    1) Supppose that after making canvas and individual layer texture adjustments I am ready to print. When all the layers with all the changes get flattened, what happens to all the specialized textures? Do they just drop one on top of another from the top down to the canvas?

    2) Ok, say that I am in the Canvas window where I can select a canvas texture. Well, next to the canvas thumbnail there is a window where it says to click to choose a canvas grain.

    How do these two windows interact? Does selecting a grain over ride the canvas choice?

    Or

    Does it take the canvas choice and super impose the grain on top or within the canvas selected?

    I guess I am not sure what the usefulness of the grain window is and in what situations I would use it.

    Thanks, and I am sure glad there is one sane person here! LOL

    Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    2,867
    Hi Jim,

    I'm glad my explanation helped a bit . As for your other questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gahl View Post
    1) Supppose that after making canvas and individual layer texture adjustments I am ready to print. When all the layers with all the changes get flattened, what happens to all the specialized textures? Do they just drop one on top of another from the top down to the canvas?

    The main thing to keep in mind when merging all the layers, is that the single layer left over in the end will take on the characteristics of the very bottom layer within the layer stack. So if your painting is using the Coarse Weave preset for the bottom layer, that's what the texture will be like if you began painting on it after you have merged all the layers. Note also that any Blend Mode options given to the layers will be merged into the layer and no longer be active to change (even if the blend is set for the bottom most layer).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gahl View Post
    2) Ok, say that I am in the Canvas window where I can select a canvas texture. Well, next to the canvas thumbnail there is a window where it says to click to choose a canvas grain.

    How do these two windows interact? Does selecting a grain over ride the canvas choice?

    Or

    Does it take the canvas choice and super impose the grain on top or within the canvas selected?

    I guess I am not sure what the usefulness of the grain window is and in what situations I would use it.

    I'm not completely sure I'm understanding the panel you're speaking of, but I'll go with what know and think may help.

    When starting a new painting you'll get Panel 1 in the attached image. At this point you'll be able to click on the Canvas window (Point 1) to open Canvas panel (Panel 2) where you can select the type of Canvas you'd like to use and change it's options around. Now... You have two choices here. You can use one of the many presets available on the right side of the Canvas Panel and then adjust the Opacity, Metallic, Roughness and Grain size options as you'd like or you can choose to click on the grain window (Point 2) to open the Paper Grains panel (Panel 3). With the Paper Grain panel you can import and use your own images as grain types for a canvas. If you do import and select a grain from the Paper Grain panel and click on OK, you'll be brought back to Panel 2 where you can then adjust the Opacity, Metallic, Roughness and Grain size options for it. Note that the Grain you select from the Paper Grain panel (Panel 3) is used instead of any preset you may have had selected on the Canvas Panel (Panel 2). So... If you go to the Grain Panel and select a picture of a brick wall, that is what will be used for your Canvas when you back to the Canvas Panel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

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