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Thread: Using Photoshop Brushes in AR3 Studio Pro

  1. #1
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    Using Photoshop Brushes in AR3 Studio Pro

    NOTE: Although this tutorial is designed for creating sticker sprays out of Photoshop Brushes, you can apply the knowledge here to almost any graphic application including Artrage itself as long as you can export one of the supported file types for stickers (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, .tif, .png, .psd and .ptg). Filetypes that support transparency (eg/ .png, .psd) are ideal. Remember to make your artwork for export in the bright saturated red (RGB 255,0,0) mentioned in this tutorial.

    Photoshop Brushes in AR3 Studio Pro

    The Photoshop brush .abr filetype is not available to many products outside of Adobe and cannot be used currently with AR3 Studio Pro.

    However as all Photoshop brushes are essentially stamps, they are easy to remake and bring into AR3 Studio Pro. This tutorial outlines the steps to recreate your Photoshop brushes and get them working with the AR3 Studio Pro StickerSpray Tool.

    In Photoshop create a document that is 600 X 600 pixels @300dpi on a transparent background. I like to use a nice high resolution for my stickers to assure that I wont run into resolution problems when printing artwork with stickers within it. AR3 SP will downsize images used for stickers in width and height also to help make sure there's no stretching of pixels and that they print clean. Because of this reduction in width and height by AR3 SP we will begin by making our brush a lot larger (width and height) than we intend to use it in AR3 SP.
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    Last edited by Juz; 01-20-2010 at 05:18 AM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    From the tool palette in Photoshop select the foreground colour swatch to launch the colour picker.

    Set the colour to R=255, G=0, B=0. This pure bright saturated Red is the Base Value of the RGB colour wheel. AR3 SP uses this same RGB colour wheel to interpret colours.. I will be writing another tutorial to explain in detail how AR3 interprets RGB colour values for stickers. For now just make all Photoshop brushes you wish to become Sticker Sprays this value of red which will allow you to trace the full RGB gamut of colour using your usual AR3 colour selection method.
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    Last edited by Juz; 01-20-2010 at 04:02 AM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    From your Brushes palette select the brush you wish to use in AR3 SP and set the Master Diameter to 500 pixels (Alternatively you can just set the size of the brush to 500 pixels in the brush properties). Click once in your transparent document to paint a single instance of the brush head.

    Choose file Save and save in the .png format. The .png format compresses flat colour exceptionally well so this is a great format for our needs. It's a good idea to name the file the same brush name as in Photoshop to make working between both Applications easier.
    Close Photoshop and open Artrage Studio Pro.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    If you are going to make a lot of stickers for brushes it is a good idea to organise them into categories. This will make them easier to find when we reference them later.

    Open up the sticker panel in AR3 SP.
    From the top left of the dialog click the 'Add Group' button.
    Name your new brush group category. In this tutorial I will be bringing in a fractal brush from Photoshop and so I will name my new category 'Fractal Brushes'. Try to get into the habit of naming categories and brushes in a sensible way. You'll thank yourself when you have hundreds to choose from.

    Click OK. The new brush group category will be selected in the left hand side of the Sticker Sheets panel and the right hand side will be empty.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    Now to import our Photoshop created brush.

    Click the 'New' button from the top right of the sticker sheets dialog.
    In the 'Lower Layer' area click the 'Color' area ( or the '' icon in the circle beside it) and navigate to the .png you created in Photoshop and load it. Name the brush the same name that it has within Photoshop to make it easier for yourself to find the brush you're looking for no matter which application you are using.

    Click OK. The newly created brush appears in your custom brush category group.
    Close the sticker sheet panel.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    Select the StickerSpray tool from your AR3 SP tool panel.

    Click the 'Settings' pod to open up the StickerSpray settings panel. Note: The settings panel is dynamic and changes according to the tool selected so make sure you select the 'StickerSpray' tool beforehand.

    The StickerSpray settings panel gives us a lot of control over how the brush we created in Photoshop will appear when used as a Sticker Spray.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    From the 'Settings' panel for the 'Sticker Spray' tool, click on the 'Spray Variation' button to launch the Spray Variation panel.

    From the top left menu in the Spray Variation panel choose 'Set up Settings for Image Brush'. This will give us a good set of starting values for the properties of our Sticker Spray which we can tweak to get our desired result.

    Note: The sticker variation panel lists the properties of the sticker spray in the left hand column and the values for those properties across the top row. Choosing 'Set Up Settings for Image Brush' will not only set up values for properties in your Variations panel, it will also adjust the parameters in the sticker spray settings panel.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    I've attached an image to show what my brush preview looks like in Photoshop with a comparison to AR3 SP one.

    As you can see its getting close but my AR3 SP sticker spray is spacing the image stamps closer together than in the Photoshop brush.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    FINE TUNING
    When tweaking/fine tuning your sticker sprays, keep an eye on the preview in the AR toolbox. This will save you having to test out every tweak you make.

    On an 'Image Brush' variations setup, the default setting for Continuous (Settings Panel) is off. This means that the spray will only lay down stickers when moving the stylus/mouse. When switched on it sprays stickers constantly while the mouse button is pressed or stylus touches the tablet. I like this option on as it allows me to build up paint in one area without having to wiggle my drawing tool (stylus/mouse) around. When I switch this option to on I notice that the spacing between my stamps has opened up a little. I will still need to adjust it more to get it closer to the Photoshop preview.
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    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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    The Spray Rate dial in the 'Settings' panel for the sticker spray will give us the real control over the spacing between the image stamps. Tweak as desired.

    Here is an image of the brush with the Spray Rate set to 95% and 80%.
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    Last edited by Juz; 01-20-2010 at 04:25 AM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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